Today I want to introduce you to a fun and funky restaurant in Portsmouth, NH: The Friendly Toast.
I can’t remember how we discovered The Friendly Toast, whether through a recommendation or by stumbling upon it, but it has become a favorite. We’ve also visited the Cambridge, MA branch, but the Portsmouth incarnation is the one we’ve come to love the most.
The food choices are really creative, as are the drink options. Today, I ordered Green Eggs and Ham, which was a slice of anadama bread with ham and two poached eggs on top, covered with a creamy herb sauce and served with home fries. I’m also always tempted by the coconut pancakes which include cashews, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and a coconut sauce on top. We’ve even incorporated meals we’ve had there into our own home rotation (see the end of the post for the recipe we came up with).
The food is good, but that’s not the only thing we love about The Friendly Toast. It has a really eclectic, kitschy, vintage feel to it. All those crazy signs and oddments you find at antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales? I think most of them have ended up here.
The Cambridge branch has the same sort of décor, but it feels a bit more planned out. You can never feel bored here, because there is so much to look at. I also find the people that you see at the restaurant very interesting. It’s an amazing conglomeration of young families, older families, tattooed vintage-lovers, hipsters, baby boomers, and everything in between. There aren’t many places that appeal to such a wide array of people.
If you ever get the chance to go, may I also recommend buying a loaf of bread? We nearly always come home with a loaf of their Cayenne Cheddar Bread (but their Anadama is pretty great, too, and it’s a New England favorite).
I’ll leave you with our version of a special we once tried at the restaurant: New England Poutine. Of course, it’s not quite as good as the original, but it’s close enough to be incorporated as one of our favorites.
New England Poutine (or our best guess)
makes more than four servings (I can’t quite remember how many we got out of it…How big is your appetite?)
- 1 1/2 lbs. thin sweet potato fries (not steak fries), frozen, or about two large sweet potatoes*
- 1 1/2 lbs. thin-sliced potatoes (like shoestring potatoes or small-diced homefries), frozen, or about six small potatoes*
- 2-15 oz. cans of corned beef hash
- 8 oz. medium/sharp white cheddar cheese cut into cubes
- hollandaise sauce (This link takes you to the recipe we use for Blender Hollandaise Sauce–nice, neat, and not too tricky.)
- 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
- toast (something like a Cheddar Cayenne or Italian Herb is good, but plain will also work well)
*If buying frozen sweet potato and potato products, see if you can find packages with similar cook times and temperatures.
- Cook your sweet potato and regular potato fries according to package instructions or at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until done, stirring once.
- Meanwhile, warm your corned beef hash over medium heat in a frying pan on the stove, stirring occasionally.
- At this point, prep your Hollandaise as much as you are able to, leaving the final steps undone. If that feels like too much, do the Hollandaise after step 6.
- When your potatoes are cooked, plate them according to how much you think each person will eat, putting just a little less than you think they will want on each plate (there is more to add to this plate, so trust me on this).
- Next, cover the potatoes with corned beef hash, again just a little less than you might think.
- Top this with some chunks of cheese.
- Now finish up your hollandaise and pour some over your potatoes and hash.
- Finally, garnish with scallions and serve with the toast of your choice!
Hope you enjoy this recipe. Now even if you can’t get to the Friendly Toast, you can pretend you’re are eating there.