Fancy some French toast this holiday weekend?
By: Melissa Kahan, GLOB Correspondent
The Gainesville food scene has plentiful breakfast, lunch, and dinner spots that provide unique dining experiences. Breakfast, also known as the most important meal of the day, is a vast food venture, from the typical eggs, bacon, and hash browns to pancake stacks and oatmeal mounds that stuff tummies. However, I feel the need to touch on what I feel is an overlooked, versatile breakfast item: French toast. There are so many variations of this bready wonder that it may be time to pin down who gets it right in Gainesville.
1. Peach Valley Café: What they have done for French toast is nothing short of mouth-watering. Simple, fluffy goodness is found with each sugar-sprinkled bite. The stuffed French toast is a bit heavy for me; peach and strawberry filling is a concoction worth trying, though. Topping the toast with a fruit — and I am thoroughly impressed that it doesn't seem to have been frozen — is a flavorful addition.
2. The Jones Eastside Eatery: While I feel I must preface this by saying it is not particularly close to campus, it is worth the visit. Everything is delicious, and there are numerous savory menu items teaming with fresh, locally-grown ingredients of sizeable proportions. The omelets are sensational, the sandwiches overflow with meats and veggies and ooze with cheeses, and the fresh-baked sweets melt-in-your-mouth. However, it was on tasting the thick slices of brioche French toast drizzled with blueberries or used in Jonesy Cristo sandwich and snuggling eggs and bacon in the middle that solidified my desire to not want the experience to end. The French toast is hands down the best bang for your buck (or, in this case, schlep over).
3. Ivey's Grill: So this is a bit on the pricey side, but too many people have raved over the French toast, namely the banana nut, to not include it. A generous slab of banana-filled French toast provides a sweet, but not overbearing combination of flavors. It is also another way to support the local food scene.
4. The Flying Biscuit Café: OK, the French toast with a mound of raspberry sauce piled on top is good. Not great, but good. It is a solid addition to many of the breakfast choices, but the food is hit or miss.
5. IHOP: Hey, let's not disregard this cheap, late night hot spot. That means French toast, 24/7, with multiple types of toppings to adorn your breakfast food item. I don't exactly hate it.
6. 43rd St. Deli & Breakfast House: As soon as I saw challah bread French toast on the menu, I was sold. I had only heard amazing things of this sweet, fluffy bread's magical qualities for making the most eggy, scrumptious French toast. Instead, I received a few slices of pre-cut sandwich bread-size disappointment. This French toast is on this list because there is definitely room for improvement.