WESTWOOD – Looking to start your day with something delicious? Here is place really delivers. The Toast Office is a brand new breakfast and lunch spot in Westwood, where owner John Fortin and his wife Mel Stefanides are putting their own unique stamp on classic diner dishes.
“We have all of the usual suspects that a diner would have, but the difference is that everything is much higher quality,” John said.
“Local ingredients, organic whenever we can,” Mel added.
John and Mel have spent decades in the restaurant business, so taking care of customers is like second nature to them. They are well aware that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
“You can’t mess up someone’s breakfast. I think that a lot of the reason why we try to pay such close attention to all of the small details,” John said. “We are trying to honor the choice that someone made to come out and see us here with their first crack of the day.”
There are plenty of perfect breakfasts coming out of the kitchen at The Toast Office, but when it came to deciding on the perfect name for the restaurant, John and Mel just couldn’t see eye to eye.
“I would say things like, ‘What do you think of Brunched in the Face?’” John laughed. “She would just grunt, you know. And I would say something like, ‘How about Porky’s Revenge?’”
Other suggestions that crossed the table, Brunch Attack, You’re Bacon Me Crazy, Go Brunch Yourself, Mike Tyson’s Brunch Out, and even Baby We Were Born to Brunch. Not surprisingly, none of those names stuck. Then the restaurant’s shopping plaza location provided some much-needed inspiration.
“We’re in a plaza where, at the opposite end, is The Post Office,” Mel explained. “We kind of have a thing for puns, so when Johnny threw out The Toast Office, I was all for it.”
When it comes to breakfast at The Toast Office, the open kitchen is equally skilled at cranking out the classics as they are at getting creative. The simple Homestyle Buttermilk Pancakes are just about perfect, and their kicked-up version with Blueberry, Pecans, and Mascarpone cheese is even better.
“It’s got pecans for a great texture factor, and an awesome salty taste that gets added into it, but on top of that there’s the mascarpone cheese middle which is heavenly,” John described.
Bennys here definitely go gourmet, like the Eggs Alaska, with smoked salmon and capers.
“One of my favorites,” Mel said. “You’re gonna taste the smokiness of the salmon, paired with the runny goodness of the egg yolks, and the lemony hollandaise. So all together it just works really well.”
Johnny prefers his Benny made with Steak Tips.
“The marinade from the steak tips plays great with hollandaise, with poached eggs. It’s a meaty breakfast. It’s filling. It will get you started on the right foot, and it’s absolutely delicious.”
Omelets here are filled with all kinds of options, like apple, cheddar, and chicken sausage; or avocado, tomato, garlic, and Gouda. There is French Toast with Triple Cream Brie and Poached Pears. Hash fans will love the classic homemade corned beef version, and a special spin with braised pork, sweet potato, and sage.
For those who want a little bit of everything, the Toast Office Combo is hard to resist, with two eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, and a short order of brioche French toast that can be stuffed with strawberry and chocolate for just a few bucks extra.
At lunch the sandwiches are first class, like the Grilled Rachel with corned beef, Cole slaw, Swiss, and Russian dressing on rye; or the Grilled Jack n’ Hash, which piles that great housemade hash inside a grilled cheese.
“It’s almost like a sloppy joe, except with hash,” John said. “It’s absolutely amazing.”
As are the burgers here. Whether you order the Cliff Claven with apple, bacon, cheddar, and IPA mustard, or the thick and juicy Notorious B.U.R.G.
“The Notorious B.U.R.G. is our take on the classic Big Mac, except with much better ingredients,” John said. “The burger is an eight-ounce half-pound burger, and then we have our own secret sauce, pickles, onions, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and a mix of cheddar and American cheese, so it’s cheesy.”
With food this good, it’s a pretty safe bet that a visit to The Toast Office beats any trip to the Post Office. You can find The Toast Office at 679 High Street in Westwood, and online at thetoastoffice.us.
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