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Food grade: French toast & bacon

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French toast ($3.79) and bacon ($1.25)

As we near the end of the semester, the more dedicated students among us will be spending more and more time on campus, perhaps even to the point that we feel like we are living here. It is only fitting then, that Food Grade visits the breakfast menu. Breakfast at the Skyline Café includes the typical eggs any-style and sides, pre-made breakfast burritos, customizable egg (not Mc) Muffins, and French toast.

It seems unfair to critique eggs on a plate, or a pre-made burrito, or even the now universal egg (copyright infringement) McMuffin. This evening’s fast was broken with squishy, fried bread.

There are many variations on French toast. Historically, what we in the States call French toast is not even a French dish. Like French fries, we’ve simply added the Franco qualifier to make salty, tough, guilty pleasures sound fancy. From savage Visigoths salvaging stale bread, to crack-head cartoon pastry chefs pitching razor-sharp frosted cereal, many parts of the world have developed their own variation on this double-cooked delight. None of the more famous varietals, ironically, are French.

If you expected this history of reanimated Franken-bread to lead to Skyline Café’s unique take on the dish, you were mistaken. The Skyline Café is sticking with basic American roadside diner French toast, and that’s OK.

It’s pretty straight-forward stuff. Thickly sliced white bread soaked in egg batter and griddle-fried. The bacon has been resting all morning under the heat lamp incubator, but bacon is bacon. As long as it’s made out of pig, it’s hard to make too much of a mess out of it.

The toast itself was surprisingly fine. Thankfully they avoided the original recipe of rock-hard bread soaked in milk until it eats like a soup or futuristic nutrient gruel. I’m also grateful they steered clear of the newly popular Hong Kong style, which is dunked in the fry-o-lator until it eats more like a carnival Twinkie, or a crusty sponge – good in its own way, but a disappointment if you’re expecting Franco-American toast.

With such a brunchy food on the plate, the glass called for a brunch cocktail, and there are only two. Mimosas are for cougars. The bloody mary is the morning cocktail for people bold enough to eat at the Skyline Café first thing in the morning. The bloody mary has been called the most complex cocktail recipe there is, however. It’s a difficult drink to carry and assemble on the go. Lucky for café patrons, everything you need is right there in the salad bar (save for the vodka, of course). Salt, pepper, Tabasco, ketchup, balsamic vinegar (substituting for Worcester sauce), a tiny splash of juice from the mandarin orange bowl, and a few stray veggies for garnish and you are a few shots of Stoli away from a poor man’s bloody mary. Let’s call it the Bloody Trojan.

Brunch and drinks: B. Good enough to get the job done.

Disclaimer, the writer of this column want to keep themselves anonymous for the sake of keeping the reviews unbiased and fair.

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Food grade: French toast & bacon