“I don’t like to think of it as a trend,” says Anna Perault. Avocado toast, she says, is “just going to stick around.”
As soon as she spied Toastique, its original location at the Wharf in DC, she started a conversation with owner Brianna Keefe.
Perualt works for Avanti Holdings Group, the real estate company revitalizing Old Town Alexandria with quirky, cool, independent shops like The People’s Drug, Pendleton Carryout Co. and, debuting this summer, Chop Shop Taco.
Below Avanti’s offices, near the King Street Metro—”Everyone walks by that space,” she says—was empty retail waiting for a grab-and-go concept.
On Wednesday, Toastique opens there.
The second location will replicate the existing Toastique menu, selling seven toasts, a long slice of bread (from local bakery Lyon) decorated in avocado, poached egg, smoked pastrami salmon, watermelon radishes (the pink version that really pops on Instagram) and avocado. Did we say avocado?
Toast boards sell for $10-$14. There’s also drip coffee and nitro cold brew coffee, plus acai and pitaya (dragon fruit) bowls, smoothies, juices and collagen lattes in a literal rainbow of colors.
Of course, not everyone thinks avocado toast is still a thing.
At the beginning, avo toast was, writes John Birdsall for Bon Appetit “healthyish, exotic, simple, yet piously extravagant. It migrated into magazines and other restaurants, and with the launch of Instagram in 2010, to the screen of every food follower in America. By 2013 we were approaching peak toast.”
By 2017, “It’s overplayed,” said the New York chef Gerardo Gonzalez of Lalito. Birdsall tracks the trend from early ’90s Australia to Gwyneth Paltrow’s “accessory of a radiant life devoted to psychospiritual nutrition,” to its status as basic: “trendy in a bland, unquestioning way, without imagination or style.”
That’s one way to rationalize the unending devotion to avocado toast, which somehow, though it is a carb, found its way into the clean-eating parade.
“I don’t think it is a trend, it’s just a way of healthy eating, a healthy culture,” Perualt says. The two women are already hoping to expand with more locations, says Perulat: “Why aren’t these sorts of cuisines around every corner?” // Toastique: 1605 King St., Alexandria
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