Toast: New American Gastropub

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A trendy, lively atmosphere and delicious Southern cuisine, with a contemporary twist, make Toast New American Gastropub hard to beat. As stated on the homepage of their website, a gastropub is defined as “a pub, bar, or tavern that offers meals of high quality.” Conveniently nestled in the Village Shopping Center at the intersection of Patterson Avenue and Three Chopt Road, the gastropub attracts many different customers from throughout Richmond. Having only been open since August 2012, it is already a neighborhood hotspot and a popular dining destination.

Walking into Toast, we were instantly greeted by two friendly hostesses who quickly offered us a booth next to the window. With its wooden countertops and booths, and slightly dim lighting, the atmosphere is very rustic, yet contemporary. All of the hostesses and waitresses that served us were extremely friendly, never failing to crack a joke or make conversation with us as they were serving.

The Shrimp & Crab Nachos. Photo credit: Libbie Alexander.

My friends and I were extremely hungry when we arrived, so we decided to order an appetizer. As suggested by our waitress, we ordered the shrimp & crab nachos. The fresh corn chips were delicious and flavorful, covered in bits of crabmeat and shrimp as well as jack cheese, cabbage, guacamole, pico de gallo, and cilantro crème fraîche. The nachos were both savory and filling, a perfect snack to tide us over before our main meal. The portion was also large enough to split between all four of us. My sister Catherine Alexander (‘18) said, “The nachos were some of the best I’ve ever had. I loved the addition of the seafood and the cilantro crème fraîche.” The nachos were unlike any we had ever eaten before; the seafood added a distinctive twist to what otherwise would have been your typical nacho appetizer.

The Mozzarella Caprese Panini. Photo credit: Catherine Alexander. 

Soon enough, we were ready to order. Three of us, including myself, ordered the mozzarella caprese panini. This delectable sandwich on sourdough bread comes with fresh mozzarella, caprese tomatoes, garlic olive oil, basil, and balsamic reduction. There were also various sides that you could order with your sandwich, including, but not limited to, french fries, truffle fries, and fruit. The sandwich was delicious and distinctive for multiple reasons. Instead of the tomatoes being sliced on the sandwich, these thumb-sized tomatoes were cut in half and placed on the sandwich, giving the sandwich a distinctive flare. “My sandwich was good,” said Alexander, “the tomatoes were really fresh and delicious, which I was surprised about, given the time of year.” Another distinctive aspect of the meal was the house-made ketchup. The ketchup was sweeter than normal ketchup, which really added to the uncommonness of the restaurant’s meals. 

The Breakfast Sandwich. Photo credit: Lauren Brizzolara. 

Lauren Brizzolara (‘18) ordered the breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheese, and a side of bacon and hashbrowns. “It was light, but it was also a substantial meal,” said Brizzolara, “it didn’t leave me feeling too full. The hashbrowns were also really good.” 

Overall, Toast is a delicious and affordable eatery to visit for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Its casual and stylish atmosphere makes it versatile; it is the perfect restaurant to go to with family or friends. The menu has endless options of various Southern, made-from-scratch meals with a modern twist. Caroline Baber (‘18) says, “It’s really good. They have a variety of different options on the menu, even for picky eaters.” Besides what we ordered, some other highlights on the menu that are uncommon in Richmond include the crab mac n’ cheese and the B.E.L.T. (bacon, eggs, lettuce, tomato) with the option to add guacamole. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone for any occasion.

Featured image courtesy of Toast.

About the author

Libbie Alexander is a junior at Collegiate.