If you’re like me, you covet a breakfast spot with a bit of style and character, where the coffee is terrific and the orange juice is fresh-squeezed.
The food? It’s memorable but not fussy: A perfect omelet cradles a sauteed mushroom medley. Jam on toast tastes of berries in July. And the pancakes are off the hook: a fluffy palette for melting butter and a drizzle of real maple syrup, served warm.
This is my ideal for Toast Coffeehouse in Patchogue, the sibling to the Port Jefferson spot that Terry Scarlatos opened in 2002.
It’s not there yet, but it wouldn’t take much.
With Patchogue in the midst of a nascent restaurant boom, Toast Coffeehouse opened in late January, in a prime corner location, with plenty of seating, quick turnover and a vast menu — part dedicated to breakfast served all-day.
I can see why people like the place. Toast can feel like a party, or it did when I waited an hour for lunch on a Friday during the week schools in the area had winter break.
The décor is also festive. A pig, a cow and a chicken — a trio of giant portraits — oversee the dining room. Vinyl-covered booths are lit by steampunk-inspired wall sconces, pipes with gauges attached to Edison bulbs.
Things unravel with service. While a fleet of bussers hustle to clear tables, fill water glasses and replace a fallen fork or two, servers can get frenzied and tough to flag down.
The food can also fall victim to neglect. When I ordered a smoothie on one visit, a server told me not to get it, “because they’re not natural and they come from a box.” Points for honesty, but it made me wonder what else on the menu doesn’t feature tiptop ingredients.
Luckily, the burger has potential. When my friend ordered one with Jack cheese and avocado, it arrived thick, juicy and well-seasoned. But the bun was naked, as if straight from a bag. And the fries were cold.
I fared well with a savory breakfast, the garden gourmet scramble with enough vegetables to meet a day’s requirement.
Here’s what else you should order. If you like a sweeter breakfast, go for the blueberry and walnut pancakes. The sweet potato waffles prove the more decadent dish, laden with walnuts and dolloped with cream.
The apple Brie and bacon grilled cheese serves as a lunch indulgence, listed, oddly, under the lite bites section of the menu. And while ubiquitous avocado toast hasn’t yet made an appearance here, the Bad Larry sandwich doubles up on avocado, a slice between turkey and Cheddar, dressed with avocado ranch dressing.
There are many signs that Toast aims to please, whether it’s Instagram-worthy dishes posted on social media or the details in the design and the décor.
A few edits to the menu, in the kitchen and on the floor could transform a hit-and-miss place to that coveted breakfast spot — one that delivers on the promise written inside every menu: “Eating [at] Toast makes you happy,” every time.