Earth to Belle: Gentrified Toast

Hey everyone, it’s Belle. As you may know, San Francisco has hit some rough patches in the past few years. And as a native, it’s hit close to home—pun intended. The city’s politics, rent control, zoning laws, tech bubble, and more, have all taken part in increasing this city’s living cost by so much that many can’t afford to live here any longer, thus ripping San Francisco of its lower class and of its culture. To put it simply, it’s all a mess. And as everyone is busy pointing fingers at one institution or another, it’s undeniable that San Francisco is in fact changing for better or worse. The golden city by the bay is transforming into a Silicon Valley 2.0, and I for one am not too happy to see my own home change right before my eyes. But I’ll get back to you on that in 10 years. In the meantime, here are some wonderfully written articles to check out if anyone is curious. I think they’re all interesting and worthy of your time.

But what I’m here to talk about is toast. SF has become notorious for its overpriced living expenses, such as rent, food, and rent. $4 artisanal toast has become the social norm, and $5 lattes (or $7 cold-pressed juices) have become necessary for a well-balanced SF breakfast. But who is going to pay $4 for a slice of bread with some goop smeared on it? Is the 15-minute wait and lengthy commute even justified at this point? I went to The Mill (a popular cafe often credited for starting the “hipster toast trend”) with a friend I met from Tinder one day and I realized that I can probably make something that is:
A) Less expensive to make
B) More filling
C) Less pretentious
D) Aaaand… better tasting

…all in the comfort of my own home. So let’s get started.

(Serving for 2, these are approximate measurements because I usually just eyeball it)

  • ciabatta
  • onions (I used yellow)
  • 1 avocado, mashed but not homogenous
  • portobello mushroom
  • 1 tomato
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • paprika
  • garlic powder or seasoning
  • dried rosemary

Slice your onion in half, and put one half away (you don’t need it). Place the half onion flat side down, and slice vertically. Put your onions into a pan and turn the stove to medium heat. Drizzle in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Caramelize your onions and sprinkle in a little salt and garlic powder or seasoning. In the meantime, take your portobello mushroom peel the dark skin off the cap. Place it on your chopping board, cap-side down, and slice vertically, so that the pieces are about a centimeter in thickness. When the onions are done, place them aside and add the mushrooms to the same pan the onions were in. Add a sprinkle of dried rosemary and a little olive oil. Allow the mushrooms to cook on both sides on medium heat for a couple of minutes until done. When waiting, mash your avocado and sprinkle in a little salt. Slice your tomato in half, and slice it like you did the onions. Then slice those pieces into thirds. As for the bread, slice the ciabatta and toast the slices lightly either on a pan or in a toaster. Brush or drizzle gently with olive oil and assemble your toast. First, smear on the avocado. Then add a few pieces of tomato. Then comes the caramelized onion and mushroom. Sprinkle with paprika and you’re done!

De-pitting the avocado
Deliciousness in progress…
Close up on the layers (I hadn’t added the paprika yet)