French Toast Forever

New North Dallas brunch spot idolizes French toast

New North Dallas brunch spot idolizes French toast

Cinnamon roll French toast at Restaurant Ava in Rockwall
This new North Dallas restaurant specializes in French toast. Photo courtesy of McCormick

A new restaurant in North Dallas, aptly called French Toast, specializes in a dish that's long overdue for a foodie overhaul. Newly opened in the former Paninis Plus space at the corner of Preston and Frankford roads, the restaurant offers nearly a dozen varieties of French toast, in decadent flavors such as strawberry cream cheese, apple pie, peach cobbler, and banana pudding.

Finally, someone who gives French toast the proper fetishism it deserves.

Owners Courtney and Lisa Kellogg opened with a vow to serve some of the best breakfast and brunch in Dallas-Fort Worth.

"My husband Courtney had been in the restaurant industry, but what made us decide to do this was my home cooking," says Lisa, a native of Detroit who moved to Dallas two years ago. "I was making French toast at home, and he said, 'We have something here.'"

Some of the French toast offerings are stuffed. Others have toppings that Lisa makes from scratch.

"We use different breads, including brioche, challah, French bread, and Texas toast," she says. "I make the sauces on top of the stove, and the French toast is layered with the sauce and fruit."

You can try a few different flavors at once on Sundays, when they put on a brunch buffet, with pancakes, fried chicken, bacon, omelets, and red velvet waffles. Courageously, they're open for lunch and dinner, as well.

"We're doing Louisiana-style soul food, with fried chicken, collard greens, candied sweet potatoes, fried corn," she says. She makes the veggies without meat, i.e. no bacon bits in the collards, for her vegetarian customers. "We don't use meat stock and we don't put pork in anything," she says.

They're still ramping up their lunch menu, but they do have a few items, including a Texas toast burger with a 7-ounce Angus patty. "And we plan to bring in a kosher corned beef from Michigan for our lunch," Lisa says.

There's a sweet personal touch to the place, with nods on the menu to family members and friends who've helped get the restaurant off the ground.

"The names of dishes on the menu honor people who've helped us along the way," Lisa says. "We did all the work ourselves. My sister painted the floor, using cinnamons and yellows — it's very French toast-y."