When it comes to breakfast, I’ve never been a pancakes and bacon kinda girl. I prefer to keep it simple with toast.
Toast, great coffee and morning radio. Perfection.
Needless to say, the food trend on toast is one I love seeing pop-up in restaurants as the world embraces eating the artisan bread basket for breakfast! Yes, I know. It’s toast. But with anything created from the kitchen, coming up with the right ingredients and selecting interesting flavors is what separates everyday toast with “oh, wow, this is toast.”
I’m lucky enough to live close to Lavender & Honey Espresso in Northeast Pasadena’s Washington Village area.The space is modern and simple, with comfortable corner booths, twinkly lights and plenty of natural light streaming in the large windows. It’s a great neighborhood spot to settle in with a good book, a mug of their notable lavender latte and one of their artisan slices of toast from their Toast Menu.
- Classic: Butter and Seasonal Local Jam
- L & H: Goat Cheese, Honey Drizzle and Lavender
- Pasadena: Avocado, Lemon Juice and Red Jalapenos
- PB Honey Banana: Peanut Butter, Slice Banana and Honey Drizzle
- PB Nutella
I was lucky enough to get to ask owner Melanie Porter some questions on the development of their menu and what’s the secret to a great piece of toast.
Thanks to Melanie for joining us!
Can you tell me a bit about Lavender & Honey Espresso?
Lavender & Honey is a boutique espresso bar and deli, focused on providing an approachable specialty coffee experience, while showcasing unique local artisans throughout our menu and market shelves. We created our shop to be a space for community-building, where everyone in the area could come and talk over a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. And our space reflects a true California sensibility and energy while also being evocative of a timeless European aesthetic.
How has the response been to your toast menu?
My husband and I created our menu by starting with some of our own favorite flavors, taking inspiration from our travels around California and abroad. We knew we wanted to serve great food and great coffee and once we decided on incorporating a deli into our concept, our toast bar sort of naturally evolved. There are a few places in L.A. that serve gourmet toast, but we wanted to do something that was both more approachable and more affordable, while also showcasing local artisan products. We also wanted to be certain that we had a nice balance of sweet and savory options, so we worked hard to ensure that we could offer just that. The response to our toast bar has been better than we ever could have imagined, and we are thrilled that people enjoy the toast as much as we do. Few things complement your morning cortado like one of our toasts. It really is the perfect snack.
How much does quality and type of bread make a difference in a sublime piece of toast?
To us, the formula for the perfect toast is the bread plus the spread. It is essential to have high-quality bread, something that can carry and accent all of the flavors that you want to spread on the toast. We found just that with Bread Lounge’s breads. In each bite you can taste and feel all the flavors and the textures that our toasts have to offer. For our L&H toast, for example, we use a walnut wheat bread, something that has a lot of unique flavors on its own, as well as a hearty crunch in occasional bites. It really enhances the goat cheese, raw honey and lavender toppings.
What’s the crowd favorite when it comes to the toast menu? A staff favorite?
Although all of our toasts have proved to be crowd pleasers, it is our namesake, the L&H, that tops the favorites list. It has such a unique, decadent flavor and pairs perfectly with coffee, making it a great anytime snack. Our staff also love the Classic toast because we rotate through local seasonal jam, and it’s always fun to see which new flavors will be in stock. Our jam vendors even work with us to incorporate lavender and/or honey into some of their recipes for our shop, which makes this toast truly one-of-a-kind.
Lavender & Honey Espresso is located at 1383 EAST WASHINGTON BOULEVARD, PASADENA, CA 91104 www.lavenderandhoneyespresso.com