Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scrumptious Seattle with the PNBC: Toulouse Petit

(Ed.: I was already looking forward to visiting Pacific Northwest Bureau Chief E in Seattle, but if I had been at all reluctant, this post would probably have done the trick.) 
Toulouse Petit first came to my attention in a New York Times article C sent me detailing the "20 best things to do in Seattle."  When I saw they recommended brunch at a particular Cajun Creole-style restaurant, I immediately thought of NOLA (my favorite restaurant in Palo Alto, all New Orleans jazz and voodoo flare) and added it to my list.  Turns out Toulouse is the most popular weekend breakfast spot in Seattle*, and rightly so - it rocked my world.

We started off with the small plate of their famous beignets (small turned out to be five, so I guess large would be for a big group), which were generously dusted in powdered sugar and came with a small dish of chicory anglaise, which tasted like a creamy coffee sauce and made the piping-hot beignets marvelous.  They could potentially have done with another sauce option, maybe a fruit compote, to cut the richness, but it really feels absurd to voice anything close to a complaint about this place.

We had already ordered some other carb-lovely breakfast items and were kind of regretting it after the beignets, but not once we took our first bite.  My mum got the "Bananas Foster Pancakes" (which had the option, wisely declined, to be a la mode), which came doused in just the right amount of some incredible syrup and tasted so amazing I cannot even remotely do them justice here with words.

I ordered the Creme Caramel French Toast, which was all things light and fluffy with a slight custard texture.  I think it was made from brioche bread, and the two generous pieces were swimming in yet another amazing sauce, this time a "belle de brillet" pear caramel, which on further research turns out to be a caramel made with pear liqueur.  They came with fresh strawberries and every bite tasted equally good, despite the incredible decadence of the dish.

We tried to cut the heft with a side of scrambled eggs and orange juice, with some success, though we still didn't come remotely close to actually finishing our food.  I can't say that this meal sat lightly - we both kind of felt leaden afterwards - but there is no doubt in my mind that it was completely worth it.  And the price of the angels-must-have-made-them pancakes?  $5.  I think Seattle and I are at the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

*Side note - Toulouse is not just a breakfast spot.  It is actually open from 8am to 2am, six days a week (closed Saturdays), and also has one of the best happy hours in the city.  I think they also have live music sometimes, and basically it sounds like they're awesome around the clock.  I'm looking forward to exploring its nightclub side in the fall.