The best thing since what?
Toasted1424 14th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Toast has become a fetish of our times.
The $4 variety just about set off the class wars in San Francisco in the 2010s, with many diners railing at the expense of a slice of bread that, when bought in bulk, costs roughly 20 cents. If you were to believe clickbait media, avocado toast represents every reason why millennials can’t save enough money to buy homes. Recently, restaurant critic Besha Rodell claimed that the green-spread-on-bread originated in Melbourne, Australia—only to have writer John Birdsall find an early recipe for avocado toast in a 1920s edition of the Covina Argus newspaper from San Gabriel, Calif.
All this to say that toast is very culturally important to California. And it’s significant that business owner Nubia Murillo has opened up one of the first restaurants dedicated to the niche food category in Sacramento.
This spring, Murillo opened Toasted steps from the Capitol, adjacent to her preexisting, popular juice business, Cap City Squeeze. Then, the Yelpers started yelping. Tracy R. wrote, “Millineals [sic], Rejoice!! If you’re looking for extra AF toast, this is THE SPOT!!!”
Tracy is onto something. The toast at Toasted is indeed extra AF. The walk-up, 200-square-foot restaurant serves combos with an average, mode and median of seven ingredients. There’s the Chunky Monkey ($7) with 1. honey-wheat toast, 2. peanut butter, 3. bananas, 4. chocolate chips, 5. coconut flakes, 6. cinnamon, 7. honey. The Pear-fect Date Toast ($7) makes a pun on 1. whole-grain bread, 2. almond butter, 3. sliced pear, 4. chopped dates, 5. gorgonzola cheese, 6. honey, 7. cinnamon.
There’s no getting around it—seven is a lot of ingredients to balance in your hands. Granted, the build-your-own section of the menu allows patrons to mix-and-match their choice of locally baked Bella Bru toast, spreads, toppings, seasonings and extras.
To eat a full lunch, I opted for the savory toasts. The Southwest Chipotle Toast ($7) proved to be a slip ’n’ slide of slick chipotle pesto on whole-wheat bread. The sauce sent a chunk of sliced avocados and tomatoes sailing from my grip onto the table. The components were delicious, with a drizzle of Sriracha and a dusting of cotija cheese and cilantro that brought the Southwestern notes together. But it felt like the ingredients were in the wrong order or out of proportion—too much sauce, not enough substance.
The Salmon Lox Toast ($9), though, was filling and structurally sound. On French bread, cream-cheese glued-together arugula, tomatoes and purple onions. Atop it all, a thin slice of salmon blanketed the toast. The fish tasted fresh, and a speckling of sea salt and pepper brought out its briny essence.
Better still was the Greek Avo Toast ($8), which finally made use of the grippy powers of avocado mash to highlight the sweet-and-sour contrast of cherry tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Feta cheese brought in a nutty complement to the mild mash.
Now, if only there were a way to grasp ingredients on bread, maybe even using … two slices? Until we discover that wild invention, there’s always California-bred, millennial-endorsed, perennially misunderstood toast.