OPEN 7:30 – 3 / 7 DAYS A WEEK
When Toast first opened the doors of their Montclair, NJ location in May of 2007, owner Amy Russo Harrigan’s mantra was simple. “Peace, Love, Pancakes.” While Toast has since expanded with the opening of their new location in Downtown Asbury Park, the restaurant’s foundation remains the same. Toast’s mantra isn’t simply a cute catch phrase that looks good on t-shirts. Those three words are the (not-so-secret) ingredients that help make every dining experience at Toast stand out.
Toast’s vibrant, affable staff members greet every customer with a smile. Even Amy herself can often be found weaving between tables and laughing with customers at both the Montclair and Asbury Park locations. With bright, rustic, and ever so slightly kitschy decor covering the walls and tables, Toast provides a peaceful, B&B-like environment. This welcoming atmosphere plus Toast’s perceptive staff make both the Asbury Park and Montclair locations perfect for family outings, business meetings, and private events, alike.
Inviting atmosphere aside, the dining experience at Toast would be nothing if not for their expansive, unique culinary options. Toast’s menu boasts choices for breakfast, lunch, and that magical time in between, known as brunch. The fare ranges from Huevos Rancheros and Grilled Cinnamon Buns to their fresh Lobster Roll and Brookdale Cheese Steak, and while much of their menu consists of old standbys, every dish comes standard with a bit of extra love and care. Substitute a side of french fries for sweet potato fries, or switch out the Canadian bacon on your eggs benedict for crab cakes. These seemingly simple touches, along with all natural and fresh ingredients, help make Toast a cut above the rest.
Toast’s mantra, of course, would not be complete without the promise of pancakes. These much-loved pancakes are made using Amy’s tried and true family recipe. Plus, with fruit, chocolate chip, and even red velvet varieties, Toast’s pancakes have always been a crowd favorite. However, if pancakes aren’t your thing, Toast offers choices for widely varying palates. They even provide a generous breakfast/brunch/lunch menu specifically geared toward vegan and vegetarian diners.
Whether you’re looking to start your day off right, or you’re in dire need of a mid-day pick-me-up, Toast’s expansive menu, warm atmosphere, and ever attentive staff make both the Asbury Park and Montclair locations ideal dining destinations.
Toast isn’t simply a place to dine out with family and friends, we also offer catering for private parties and events. A year after Toast Montclair opened their doors and was flooded with positive feedback, Amy saw a wonderful opportunity to expand into the world of catering. While staying true to our roots, Toast Catering offers a new way to experience Toast’s comforting yet unique style of cuisine. From intimate at-home dinner parties, to bridal showers, family reunions, or fundraising galas serving hundreds of guests, Toast Catering will meet the needs of any occasion.
With Toast’s event planning expertise, you no longer have to fret about every stressful detail of primping and planning for your event. Private parties can be held at either of our two locations or in an off-premise location of your choosing. Toast Catering offers a plethora of menu options, so we can allow you to choose the catering menu that will best fit your event’s specific needs. These menus boast a variety of options for all palates, but if you would like to incorporate more vegetarian or vegan choices in your menu, or if you have any special requests, please feel free to let us know, and we will do our best to meet them.
Tri-City News | October 2, 2012
A Creative Community hub in Montclair Opening Second Spot on Cookman.
Probably the only other city in the state that can compete with Asbury Park for coolness is Montclair.It’s a hell of a city. Great ethnic and cultural diversity. Beautiful homes and interesting downtown architecture. Creative people up the wazoo.Montclair is about a 30 minute train ride to Manhattan. Interestingly, it’s become a magnet for those in the New York media world. There all over the place up there.Montclair is a fantastic place. And downtown Asbury is now slated to get an important addition from the that city, courtesy of a Montclair business owner who’ll be opening her second location on Cookman Avenue.
She’s Amy Russo Harrigan, 39, who opened Toast – a breakfast, lunch and brunch joint – in Montclair four years ago. We checked it out last weekend. It was totally happening and packed. A perfect magnet for the creative and alternative types throughout Montclair and beyond.
And now there will also be a Toast on Cookman Ave. Harrigan recently bought the vacant space next to Brickwall, which once housed the Market in The Middle restaurant. Of course, by owning the place, Harrigan doesn’t have to answer to a landlord, which gives her a big advantage.
Harrigan says she” be doing exactly what’s worked so well in Mtc: breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch seven days a week. She’s planning to open around Memorial day. Based on her reputation up North – we know people in Mtc who love her place – this will be a significant addition to downtown Asbury Park.
The slogan for her business is “Peace, Love and Pancakes”. Man it doesn’t get more triCity than that!
“It’s very cozy with traditional lunch, breakfast, and brunch, however always with a twist,” Harrigan said of her style. “It’s always the freshest ingredients. For example, nothing is pre-diced. It’s quality, quality, quality.”
“I like to be in a town on the way up,” she said. “Mtc is very similar to Asbury. It just came back earlier. I want to be in a place where you have a phenomenal community.” Harrigan said both her Mtc and Asbury spaces are about 3500 square feet. In Asbury, the available space will increase with the outdoor seating area in the rear.
Harrigan has long been in the restaurant business. Toast in Mtc, however, is the first place she’s owned. It’s all hers. That will be the same with the Asbury restaurant.
Welcome, Amy Russo Harrigan! Welcome to Asbury Park, now one of the best small cities in the country. (Even better than Mtc.)
In fact, we say ours will eventually become one of the best small cities in the world.
And that’s no joke. We’re damn serious.
Hey, another order of pancakes over here!!
The Anchor Review - Toast | April 2, 2013
By Alicia Collura
Smack in the middle of the heart of downtown Asbury Park, Toast exemplifies the small city, big personality vibe upon which the town has come to pride itself. The decor of this early dining establishment is somewhat kitschy, with mason jars for light fixtures, Christmas lights strung from the ceiling, and the occasional chicken shaped salt and pepper shaker. Even the staff tends toward decorative, some with their own individual flair, and many rocking the restaurant’s tagline, “Peace, Love, Pancakes” on printed tees.
Not a bad outlook, if you ask me.Open 7 days a week from 7:30- 3, Toast’s fair focuses on breakfast and lunch (“brunch,” if you will). I have eaten at Toast twice now, and I have a feeling it may quickly become one of my go-to places. On my first visit, I decided to skip ahead to lunch and ordered the veggie burger topped with avocado.
It was all I could ever ask for in a veggie burger. The bun was appropriately soft and flaky, and the patty itself was hearty, and, unlike many veggie burgers, did not leave me wishing I could swap the veggies for beef. One of my cohorts ordered the huevos rancheros and scarfed it down before I could steal a bite, but the crispy tortilla, eggs, beans, meats, and cheese looked tantalizing as the yolk of the over easy eggs cascaded over the layers of Mexican-fusion delight. I did manage to grab a few nibbles of the assorted breakfast breads another one of my accomplices ordered, and while I rarely question the assertions of Elaine Benes, the muffins at Toast are a delight from top to bottom.
On my second visit to Toast, I took the breakfast route and ordered the crab cake eggs benedict, and oh man, were they good. The poached eggs were cooked to perfection, and the crab crakes were light and meaty and not too heavy on the bread crumbs. As with many of the breakfast dishes, the crab cakes benedict come with a side of home fries.
For me, home fries can be really hit or miss. I find at many establishments, the potatoes are cut too thick and don’t crispy up properly. Not so at Toast. Crispy, salty, and with a little kick of spice, these home fries had me wishing that all potato products could taste this way forever. The even-ness of the crisp and electric shocks to my taste-pleasure center could only mean one thing– they deep fry those little fuckers! While, for me, my dish was the clear winner, my boyfriend’s choice of corned beef hash and eggs over easy proved a perfect representation of an old classic.
From my two visits to Toast, it didn’t take too much deductive reasoning to draw this conclusion: the people over at Toast know how to cook. Their menu isn’t too off the wall, but it’s clear that more than their pancakes are made with love.
Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart at Toast | May 14, 2013
By Nanette McLain
My iPhone has been a game changer; and three features led me to my most recent restaurant destination: unlimited googling capability, directions for the otherwise directionally challenged and my clever system of categorizing restaurants by location in the contacts of my phone. I have expanded this well-organized system beyond the five boroughs of New York City, adding Asbury Park to my ever-increasing contacts. On this particular occasion it was the Bamboozle Music Festival that drew me to the Jersey Shore and Asbury Park boardwalk. Not the Jersey Shore of Atlantic City or Seaside Heights synonymous with MTV and the suspiciously sun-kissed tan of the Jersey Shore, but instead Asbury Park known for its musical history represented by The Stone Pony and a native of New Jersey – Bruce Springsteen. Waiting for the bus to carry me to the festival I quickly googled area hotels and found a bed and breakfast. With a cursory review of the address and directions I found it unexpectedly close to a restaurant I had visited before and had added to the contacts of my phone.
An evening of music is followed by a morning brunch at Toast located within walking distance of the Asbury Park boardwalk. This is my second trip to Asbury Park and my second trip to Toast. The motto of this restaurant is Peace, Love and Pancakes; and it is the red velvet pancakes I enjoyed on a previous visit that compelled me to return.
The brunch menu at Toast is diverse; however after careful deliberation I choose the stuffed French Toast and the spinach, feta and mushroom omelette served with wheat toast and breakfast potatoes or home fries as I know them. Reluctantly, I pass on the red velvet pancakes; however I know if the individuals at the table next to me order them I will weakly surrender to the charm of the red-hued pancakes.
I first try the stuffed French Toast made with challah bread stuffed with sweetened cream cheese and topped off with fresh, sliced strawberries. Syrup is provided; however not required as the combination of challah bread and sweetened cream cheese is flavorful enough. The French Toast could be heavy and filling but the smooth, sweetened cream cheese and fresh strawberries are a refreshing combination.
The omelette is tasty. The feta cheese is a nice addition to the spinach and mushrooms. Accompanying the omelette is home fries. My experience with this breakfast dish is not always consistent. Sometimes my home fries are nicely seasoned. Sometimes they are crisp and golden brown. Sometimes they are neither, and sometimes they are both. To my delight, the Toast home fries are the later. The small, diced potatoes are nicely seasoned and each is crisp and golden brown to be savored one at a time.
Lastly, capturing what makes Toast special is my review of two otherwise simple, standard items served with brunch. I did not anticipate that the toast and coffee would deserve recognition, but at this Asbury Park restaurant destination they do. The toast is crisp and lightly buttered. With strawberry jam it is exceptional. Four halves served. Three eaten, and glad I didn’t order the pancakes. The coffee is fresh and meets in the middle of freshly brewed at home and prepared by a barista. Beginning to end the dining experience at Toast is deserving of a first, second or third visit. To quote The Boss, “Everybodys got a hungry heart,” and undoubtedly it’s hungry for Toast at Asbury Park.