Artisanal toast. Tartine. Open-faced sandwich. Hipster bruschetta. Whatever you call it, it’s really just a grilled or toasted slice of bread loaded with well-thought out accompaniments. And it’s showing up on menus across town from tea houses to bistros to bars.
Traditionally, Italy’s bruschetta features garnishes like tomatoes, cheese, cured meats, beans, or vegetables. Scandinavia’s version, the smørrebrød, uses hard-boiled eggs, liver pates, pickled herring, horseradish cream, or fresh shrimp. And in France, the time-honored tartine is made sweet and savory. Back home in Austin, those global influences are apparent with the best toasts and tartines in the city, from its French roots at Blue Dahlia Bistro to Japanese-inspired toast at Sa-Ten.
Despite the endless mix-and-match combinations, sometimes simple is best — enter: the ubiquitous avocado toast. Yes, it’s everywhere, which begs the question, "How can it be different?" But it can. And for the most part, there’s Seventh Flag Coffee’s on challah bread with feta, red pepper flakes, and pink Himalayan salt, or the version at Café No Sé with crème fraîche, upland cress, and aleppo carrots.
Toast: A perfect sandwich? Possibly. A delicious and harmonious way to showcase a satisfyingly hearty bread, peak-season produce, and fridge favorites? Definitely.
This update adds Picnik, Sour Duck Market, Skull & Cakebones, and others.
If a favorite toast spot is missing from the list, let Eater know on the tipline or within the comments below.
With updates by Nadia Chaudhury.Read More