Brunch / Toutant
Southern food and brunch go hand in hand at Toutant
Photos by kc kratt
437 Ellicott Street; 342-2901 or toutantbuffalo.com
James Roberts serves up his version of brunch cuisine, inspired by his Louisiana roots, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Sunday at Toutant, and, if reservations are any indication, Northerners are loving his Southern comfort food. “Our MO is to try to work as hard as we can to put the best quality product out there,” says Roberts. “We have a lot of dedication to quality, and we carry that into our brunch. We make sure there is something for everyone.”
We needed to book two weeks ahead to get a table for four, but it was worth the wait. The specials change from week to week. When we were there, an omelette featuring crawfish, caramelized onions, and bacon was on the menu. The Sunday pastry switches up, too, and it’s usually teased out on Instagram the day before; some weeks it’s the cinnamon buns, some the sour-cream glazed doughnut or, in the summer, a fruit buckle. A few of the dinner items are always available, such as the fried chicken or the muffuletta, a French quarter specialty of cured meats, cheese, and olive salad on a freshly baked garlic loaf.
We had to try the chicken fried steak and eggs and the cinnamon buns, which are massive renditions made with a cream cheese/buttermilk frosting. The steak is fried to perfection and made even more savory by a sausage gravy. The cinnamon buns melt in the mouth. (We were glad we ordered two.) We also split an order of the buttermilk biscuits, served with a side of house-made apple preserves. Biscuits, according to Roberts, are, when done right, “like little fluffy pillows from heaven.” We couldn’t agree more. We also tried the “Breakfast Royale,” featuring a sampling of nearly everything: two eggs, house sausage, bacon, grits, taters, toast, and preserves. The house-smoked bacon and sausage are phenomenal. Also ordered was the barbecue hash, featuring smoked meats, taters, and root vegetables, topped with two poached eggs, and served in a little cast iron pan.
The coffee is hot, with plentiful refills and an attractive presentation. For those who want a bit more than coffee, Into Mischief is one of the most popular Sunday drinks, and features whiskey mixed with a cold brew coffee. Toutant serves half-priced frozen daiquiris all day Sunday, as well mimosas and bloody Marys.
There’s a bit of a townhouse feel, with an intimate, upscale vibe. Exposed brick and cool lighting give it an industrial touch. The only downside is that there are two flights of stairs and no elevator, so those who have difficulty with mobility would struggle at this establishment.
Brunching at Toutant will not leave you disappointed. If you’re anything like us, you’ll likely want to return for dinner.