Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Yeah, toast! In praise of Arsaga's breakfast

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 10:29 AM

click to enlarge ZOË ROM
  • Zoë Rom
Quintessential Fayetteville establishment Arsaga's is dishing up a gourmet spin on a traditional breakfast staple — toast. It's a tasteful and complex breakfast that’s well worth waking up for.

Arsaga’s newest location is just off the Fayetteville Square at the corner of Church and Center Street, in a small yet sunny nook that boasts a sprawling outdoor patio. The smell of warm, newly baked bread is overwhelming, and complements the notes of fresh brewed coffee that linger in the air. My order? A latte and the Very Nice Toast, a name that is very nearly an understatement.

The toast itself is a thick slice of home-baked bread, wheaty and rich. It is hearty without being heavy, and comes smothered in a generous layer of thick cream cheese which is sweet and herbal, subtly infused with delicate sprigs of rosemary. It is surprisingly (yet not unpleasantly) chunky in a way that hints at its local, artisanal origins. To top it off, a sweet/tart berry compote is placed in the middle of this fantastic morning confection. Everything is made in house, of course.

The toast menu at Arsaga's is full of tantalizing flavor combinations that boast ingredients such as pears, date-walnut spread, paper-thin prosciutto, house-cured salmon and white bean tahini spread. Each toast is a work of art, a Pollock-esque masterpiece on a toasty canvas in bright streaks of berry, nut and cheese. Flavors range from the homey, simple toast with butter or Nutella to the exotic extravagance of The Last Toast, a flavor concoction featuring tahini, zucchini, egg, green garlic sauce and zesty red chili flakes.

Arsaga's is my favorite coffee roaster in Fayetteville. Always good, yet unpretentious. And alhough their coffee counter hosts enough glassware to rival a NASA lab, I’m satisfied with simple, foamed milk and dark espresso.

This is perhaps what Arsaga’s does best. They elevate the seemingly simple, toast and coffee, to a high art, making what would otherwise be a bland breakfast a gourmet event. This small, Fayetteville staple is a new go-to for dedicated brunchers and casual coffee drinkers alike, and I can’t wait to sample my way through the rest of the menu. 

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