Let’s be real: when it comes to avocado toast, the star of the show is not the bread, but the smooth, green fruit.
Toast itself isn’t excitable or drool-worthy, but when it comes to Magnolia Dessert Bar & Coffee’s honey toast, aka brick toast or Shibuya honey toast—named after the part of Japan in which the dish originates—you may find a newfound appreciation for carbohydrates.
In the cube-shaped honey toast, what is most striking is the delicate balance between the bread’s crunchy exterior walls and its warm, soft, pull-apart interior. The sugary toppings on the strawberry honey toast don’t hurt either: strawberry and vanilla ice cream, housemade strawberry mousse, gummy strawberry mochi, pink crystal sprinkles, strawberry Pocky sticks, a wafer, crunchy chocolate candy, a macaron, whipped cream and a chocolate coin bearing the Vienna store’s name.
In other interpretations of the dish, the middle of the cube is cut out, chopped into smaller pieces and, like the exterior, coated with a honey-butter mix and toasted before being returned from whence it came. At Magnolia, which opened late last year, the interior stays put and is covered with another wafer so the mounds of toppings don’t cave in on the fluffy bread below, which is sliced into smaller sections to make eating, and sharing, easier.
Because of the endless topping possibilities, it’s unlikely you’ll find the exact same honey toast from one place to the next, though Magnolia owner Tammie Disayawathana says their honey cream honey toast is the closest thing to a traditional take. Other flavors designed by Pastry Chef Lalita Jong include green tea and Nutella.
“I’ve always had a dream of having a coffee shop and a dessert bar,” says Disayawathana, who also owns Sisters Thai in Old Town Fairfax and Mosaic District.
From the gold utensils and wooden plates, to the library wall and high-top seats overlooking Maple Avenue (also peek into the bathroom for Pinterest-worthy floral displays), Disayawathana created an overall enchanting experience. // Magnolia Dessert Bar & Coffee: 431 Maple Ave. W., Vienna; magnoliaofvienna.com