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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Feven Getachew
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Michael Lozada
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Food for Thought: French toast edition

Hannah Agpoon
Graphic by Hannah Agpoon.

By Gabby Hernandez   

You see, I’m something of a French toast connoisseur. The process of preparing this dish is relatively straightforward: scramble eggs, soak bread in the scrambled eggs and throw it on a hot pan until the egg is completely cooked.  

Being from a large city has allowed me to add multiple breakfast eateries to my list of “superb French toast producers.” This list recognizes sources of delicious French toast prepared in many different ways, from brioche to baguette.  

I have consumed French toast with bizarre themes and colorful fruits. They have varied in size and shape. This dish is remarkably versatile, and for that I adore it.

Though I have borne witness, as have my taste buds, to many French toast styles, French toast in its original and pure form will forever hold a place in my heart.  

As a Texan, I was pleasantly surprised — and strangely proud — to find that here in Grinnell the standard French toast has a base of Texas Toast. Frontier Cafe and A&M Cafe serve splendid renditions of French toast on this thick bread, and my love for both of these dishes is bigger than Texas itself.  

Frontier’s toast is beautifully golden, a sign of superb toasting. It is also remarkably light. Its flavor melts over my tongue, through my mouth and down into my stomach as though it was created for the sole purpose of doing so. After only eight short bites, my two slices of French toast are completely consumed.  

I found the epitome of French toast.  

Of all the knowledge pertaining to psychology I have attempted to acquire throughout my education, only the research of Pavlov and his dogs has stuck with me. For some time, I conditioned myself to think of the Frontier toast when I heard either the word “French” or “toast.”  

I found the epitome of French toast.

I love consuming this beautiful breakfast food well after the sun sets. Thankfully, the Frontier toast is available during all hours of operation. One evening, I ate a dinner of two pieces of French toast and a cheese omelet and saw my dinner once again in my dreams that night.  

I woke up in a cold-sweat after I finished my dream plate. 

I was drooling.  

Those two golden squares occupy my every thought.  

A short walk from Frontier Cafe lies the home of another dream-like French toast plate. Also served on large slices of Texas Toast, the A&M special had me loosening my pants so that I could continue eating.  

The A&M toast is a beauty in its own right. With my professional gaze, I could see its lovely homemade charm. 

Picture this: three square slices of French toast that have been cut diagonally as a child’s lunch sandwich is cut in stock photos. They are stunning in their triangular majesty. The powdered sugar looks soft; the contrast in color is reminiscent of freshly snowed mountain peaks. 

Those two golden squares occupy my every thought.

My initial cut through the middle of each slice was met with no resistance. I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea. 

One slice in particular reminded me of my mother’s own French toast. It was cooked not on Texas Toast, but simply on thin slices of sandwich bread. She would add a drop or two of vanilla to the egg. She had a talent. No one could make those flavors dance as well as her.  

The prominent usage of egg in the A&M toast took me back home. I could taste the love, care, and passion of the scrambler of the eggs. One slice, specifically, caught my attention.  

It was at the bottom of the stack of slices of French toast on the left side of my plate. When I reached this toast, I was struck by the visible presence of egg. I knew there was only one way to eat this: with salt and pepper.  

It may sound strange, but alas … I saw God.  

There was no need for me to order a side order of scrambled eggs to simulate this harmonious balance of egg and French toast in my mouth. The egg cooked into the toast was all I needed. With a light drizzle of syrup over it, the slice was gone in two bites.  

I was at odds with myself. There was a war in my soul over which French toast was dearer to me. Then I realized: the purpose was never to crown a victor, but instead to fall further in love.   

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