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French toast

For this edition of Montclair Eats, I wanted to take a break from my usual routine. From there I thought of the most casual and comforting option for breakfast, which in my opinion is French toast, one of the most beloved breakfast foods of all time. With so many ways to make this classic breakfast treat at home, I took to the streets of Montclair to find some of the best French Toast preparations in town.

1. Classic French toast at the Montclair Diner

At the Montclair Diner, I enjoyed the most straightforward of all of the French Toast preparations I sampled. It is an excellent iteration, made with soft brioche bread, served with plenty of salted butter and syrup. The outside of the bread was crispy with a lovely custardy inside that is easily my favorite part of French Toast. This example showed greatness in simplicity and how certain things do not need to be overcomplicated.

French toast
Straightforward French toast at the Montclair Diner. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

2. Creamy center at Bluestone Coffee Company

Bluestone Coffee Company’s French toast took a similar approach to the Montclair Diner’s. They slice the brioche thicker and soak it in the egg mixture for longer, which results in a creamier center. That, coupled with maple syrup, is the perfect bite to start your day. The rich flavor of the crispy exterior ensures that you don’t even need to add more butter.

French toast
Eggy goodness in French toast at Bluestone Coffee. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

3. French toast, French baguette at Raymond’s Restaurant

Finally, Raymond’s offers a unique take on the breakfast classic, opting for a French baguette rather than brioche. The harder crust on the outside of the bread can really hold a longer soaking time in the egg mixture, resulting in a crunchy exterior, and an almost pudding-like interior. Raymond’s also deep-fries the French toast, which locks in all of the moisture. This French toast pairs best with strawberry jelly rather than syrup.

In this column:

• Montclair Diner
613 Valley Road, 973-746-0911

• Bluestone Coffee Company
123 Watchung Ave., 973-783-3523,

• Raymond’s Restaurant
28 Church St., 973-744-9263,