May 29, 2018 § Leave a comment
The National Trend Includes Charleston
It’s not uncommon to see lines of people wrapping around popular breakfast and brunch destinations in Charleston and around the country. This is true not only on weekends, as we saw more in the past, but during the week, as well.
Several factors are driving the trend, going back to 2008 and the Great Recession. During that time, people were seeking a better value when dining out. Lunch, as opposed to dinner, and especially breakfast served all day, fit the bill. Changes in traditional 9 to 5 hour workforce and a burgeoning millennial and senior citizen clientele are especially drawn to the menu format. The ability to linger and savor a more diverse breakfast menu for longer periods of time also increased the appeal of indulging in a mimosa or a Bloody Mary and other less conventional “breakfast or brunch’ cocktails.
A recent report from statista.com reveals exactly what folks are looking for when they’re eating breakfast or brunch at a restaurant forecast by professional chefs for 2018. Leading the list are ethnic inspired breakfasts. In the survey, 63% of respondents are interested in “ethnic inspired” breakfast items that might include Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes. Forty five percent cited avocado toast, 39% cited traditional ethnic breakfast, 36% cited overnight oats, and 29% cited breakfast hash as likely breakfast trends this year.
But the hottest of all is perhaps one of the oldest favorites on the breakfast books, the humble potato. Side Delights reported potatoes as a favorite growing brunch trend as consumers continue to embrace brunch beyond the weekend. According to Side Delights, “Brunch is a top food trend in 2018 for restaurant goers and home cooks, with the four top breakfast components being eggs, potatoes, bacon and bread.”
We conducted a survey with 5,000 of our Facebook followers (almost all based in greater Charleston) asking them what they look for in brunch or breakfast when dining out.
Here are some of their responses:
Dewey Kirkland: “Bacon and booze. Rich Hollandaise over cured meats and crunchy, buttery, toasted bread. What’s not to love?”
Stephanie Philips: “I love brunch! I mainly eat it on the weekends, but would eat it any day. I don’t know a girl who doesn’t love a mimosa or any variation on it. I agree on bacon and am also a big fan of country ham.”
Kimberl Drake: “Brunch is awesome, but breakfast for dinner is the absolute best. As a southern girl, bacon makes breakfast.”
Stephen Ulak: “Something on the light side and different. Maybe avocado toast, an open-faced egg sandwich, something with an egg on top and the yolk runs all over, cornmeal pancakes, breakfast sandwiches with a variety of bread choice and vegetable based rather than bacon, sausage or ham, and bowls with fruts, nuts and yogurt.”
Genny Smoak: “Shrimp and grits for both brunch and for dinner. Mimosas with brunch.
Judy Bernstein: “I’m not a huge brunch person per se, but there are times when breakfast food is just what you need. After a long day of travel, I want a warm, gooey omelet. When I’m sick, cinnamon toast is my comfort food. When I need something light, it’s scrambled eggs. For these reasons, I love places that serve breakfast all day.”
Melanie Neichin: “I find it romantic to dine with someone after sleeping in and going out for yummy food. Eggs Benedict, bread basket with strawberry butter, omelets with potatoes and great coffee and I am in.”
Judith C. Johnson: “I think that brunch as an all day affair should include veggies. I love omelets with lots of greens and cheese, too. Here in the South, be prepared to be served buttery grits or even cheesy grits.”
Shelley Mahon Wood: “My favorite brunch item is eggs Benedict. A gourmet omelet bar is nice as well. If I were to have a cocktail, it would probably be a good Bloody Mary.”
Responses to similar questions from Toast! General Manager Andrew Abernathy reflect the opinions and preferences of those queried here and general national trends. At Toast, which serves breakfast all day (along with Toast of West Ashley and Toast of Summerville), Abernathy says Mimosa’s and Bloody Mary’s are the most popular beverage. Eggs Benedict, Eggs Meeting Street (an indulgent stack of fried green tomato, a crab cake, poached egg and remoulade sauce), and the garden omelet are the most popular breakfast choices. Stuffed French toast and surf and turf are also very popular with the Toast crowd, which he describes as “customers of all different ages and from a variety of countries.” Every day peak hours are from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Nearby Eli’s Table also serves elegant breakfast options seven days a week and it is served until 3 p.m.
For more information, visit toastofcharleston.com or elistable.com
May 23, 2018 § Leave a comment
A Favorite Recipe from Toast’s! Kitchen
Sleek and so fresh they practically squeak, zucchini are flowing from farmers market baskets and local fields this time of year. Wonderful grilled, sautéed or roasted and finished with a bit of fresh basil or lemon is a delicious way to enjoy this seasonal vegetable. But muffins work, too, preferably warm from the oven and slathered with a bit of butter.
These moist, tender muffins come from the kitchen of Sharon Egri, Toast! Brand Ambassador and a veteran employee of Charleston Hospitality Group.
“This recipe was handed down from family members and it is an awesome recipe that everyone should make. I have a special loaf pan that I bought from Target and I make mini breads from the batter,” says Sharon. This recipe calls for muffin tins to make muffins, which takes less baking time and thus yields an even more tender bread. The trick to keeping quick breads tender is to avoid over-mixing the butter, which leads to tough muffins. Blend the dry ingredient just enough to combine once you’ve whisked together the wet ingredients.
(Yields 16 – 20 muffins)
6 large eggs
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose baking flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups grated, raw zucchini
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk eggs, sugar and oil together. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix together gently until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, distributing evenly throughout the batter. Pour into well-greased muffin pans and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan gently.
April 18, 2018 § Leave a comment
Indulge Mom’s Inner Gourmet Buffet Will Be Served All Day on May 13
Toast of Summerville has set the Mother’s Day Buffet bar high this year with an ‘Indulge Mom’s Inner Gourmet’ buffet that includes many of the restaurant’s specialties, including shrimp & grits, eggs Meeting Street, deluxe French toast and roasted chicken, as well as many southern styles, comfort food sides. Potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, beef tips, mashed potatoes, mini muffins, bacon and turkey sausage, and assorted desserts will all be part of the sumptuous selection.
Toast of Summerville’s Mother’s Day Buffet will be served from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee is $27.95 per adult and $13.95 for children ages 4 to 10. Children ages 3 and under eat free.
About Toast of Summerville – Casual and inviting, our Toast team ensures every guest feels right at home, whether it is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serving breakfast all day, Toast of Summerville (like her downtown and West Ashley sister restaurants), is famous for double deluxe French toast, eggs Meeting Street, and enormous, flaky biscuits – made fresh every morning. Toast of Summerville is located at 717 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, 29485. For more information or to make reservations call 843.900.4422 or visit toastofsummerville.com
Toast of Summerville, FILL Restaurant Bar & Grille Celebrate Easter with Special Menus and Tabbuli’s Special Brand of Entertainment
March 27, 2018 § Leave a comment
Other Charleston Hospitality Group Properties Celebrating with Easter Egg Baskets and Free Goodies
Family-friendly Toast of Summerville will feature an all-you-can-eat Easter Buffet on April 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hot buffet will feature scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and turkey sausage, home fries, shrimp and grits, crab cakes, chicken breasts, pineapple and brown sugar-glazed ham, seasonal vegetables, whipped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and deluxe stuffed French baguette toast. Cold menu choices will include mixed green salad, pasta salad, muffins, fresh fruits, biscuits and assorted desserts. Adults are $26.95, children ten and under are $13.95 and children three and under are free. Toast of Summerville is located at 717 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, SC 29185. For more information or to make reservations call 843.900.4422 or visit toastofcharleston.com
FILL Restaurant & Piano Bar will serve a buffet of three cheese scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, French toast sticks, pancakes, and breakfast potatoes. Lunch style items will include fried chicken and gravy, honey glazed ham, mashed potatoes and green beans. Salad, dinner rolls and assorted desserts, including Easter Eggs with a Surprise, will wrap it up sweetly. Adults are $21.95 and $9.95 for children 10 and under. The buffet will be served from 9am to 4pm. FILL Restaurant & Piano Bar is located at 1150 Hungryneck Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. For more information or to make reservations call 843.800.3042 or visit fillbar.com
Tabbuli will serve an (individually priced) Sunday brunch menu of gyro eggs benedict, Mediterranean eggs benedict, Tabbuli omelet, Mediterranean omelet, Charleston breakfast, mimosas, mimosa carafe, and Ultimate Bloody Marys. Brunch will be served from noon until 3 p.m. and include an Easter Drag Brunch Show. Tabbuli is located at 6 N. Market Street, downtown Charleston. To make reservations call 843.628.5959 or visit tabbuli.com
Other Charleston Hospitality Group properties, including Eli’s Table, Queology, Toast of West Ashley, Toast! (downtown), will be serving their regular menus during regular hours and offer Easter egg baskets containing an assorted “gifts” of menu/meal cards, gift cards, t-shirts, and mugs. For more information on these restaurants and their locations, visit charlestonhospitalitygroup.com