I was told artisanal toast had finally arrived in Sacramento.
I’ve been waiting for this pretty much since I moved here. I’m a believer in toast. I once paid $7 for toast and didn’t even feel ripped off.
The artisanal toast craze started in San Francisco, and the idea that it’s totally absurd and symbolic of gentrification was covered in just about every media outlet from This American Life to the New Yorker. Now it’s even in Detroit. Detroit!
For the non-believers, artisanal toast can be the ideal simple pleasure, with bold flavors and satisfying texture. Requirements: Amazing bread. Thickly sliced. Charred on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Excellent butter. Fancy jam, or ricotta, or both. Flake salt. Done. $4. Worth it.
This is a roundabout way of saying that I tried the “gourmet toast” at Cafe Bernardo this morning, and it is not toast at all.
Cafe Bernardo introduced the concept in April, offering thick slices of Paragary Bakery bread with nutella and banana ($4), fromage blanc, banana, strawberry and honey ($5) and avocado, ham, fried egg and chili oil ($6).
I ordered the fromage blanc—because I love fromage blanc—hoping against my better judgment that it wouldn’t be a heavy, sticky mess. The cheese brought a nice tang but there was too much honey, and really, too much stuff. It’s no longer toast if you can’t eat it easily with your hands. And the bread was lukewarm, still pale in color—an open-faced sandwich at best.
That said, the open-faced sandwich with avocado sounds delicious for another day.