Toast Bar | Facebook | IG: @danthebaker_toastbar)
1028 Ridge St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
Open Wed-Sun, 8a-2p
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
Toast, huh? That’s a thing now? Maybe you think that when you hear of a place called Toast Bar. Maybe the phrase “artisan toast” gives you pause – and honestly, it does for me, too. But I can attest artisan toast more than just a $4 buttered slice of Wonderbread. If you know Dan the Baker’s breads, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
In case you don’t know who Dan the Baker is… Daniel Riesenberger has been baking bread and selling it at Columbus markets for years now. He focuses on high quality organic ingredients, and his breads are superb. Many of the city’s best restaurants feature his bread on their menus. A couple years back he opened a small cafe in his Grandview-area production bakery (you can read my old post about it here). He sold bread, pastries, coffee, and tea there for a while, but late last year he revamped the cafe into the Toast Bar, initially opening for part of the week, but now just on Saturdays and Sundays.
What he’s done is taken his breads and created, well, open-faced sandwiches with all manner of house-made spreads, vegetables, meats, eggs, and more.
The cafe is cozy: one communal table and a handful of cafe tables. You order at the counter and find a seat.
Menus on the wall explain the breads and spreads available.
The big table allows you to meet some of your fellow diners and get an eye on part of the kitchen.
Toast Bar offers more than just breads. There are sesame-laden everything bagels.
Croissants. (Dan’s ham and cheese croissant is a long-running favorite.)
Plenty of opportunities for me to attempt artsy photos.
Mrs. Breakfast w/Nick and I started with a house-made stonefruit soda and a shot of Intelligensia espresso, respectively.
We wanted to try, well, everything, but we settled for three items: a toast flight, one of the smorrebrod (the salmon), and a tartine (open-faced sandwiches).
All of them were excellent, but the Ohio mushroom tartine with bechamel and roasted tomatoes – amazing! Easily the stand-out of the meal. I don’t say this enough, but I looooove mushrooms, especially when they’re given a chance to shine like this.
We also enjoyed the toast flight with three breads and three spreads. We mixed it up with cultured butter, almond butter, and the lemon curd with soft Cloverton cheese from Laurel Valley Creamery.
The house-made butters are something to behold. They go way beyond store-bought unsalted butter.
In contrast to the salty and earthy mushroom tartine, the smoked salmon is clean and fresh, especially with the dill, more Cloverton, and cucumber. A must for anyone who loves salmon for breakfast.
So, toast. Yes, it’s a thing. A pretty amazing and delicious thing, when it’s handled well. Dan and his crew produce some of the best breads in town, and with their attention to quality ingredients, they’re showing how something as simple as toast can be incredibly complex.