The Perfect Bite: Banana Bread French Toast

by jasmine

Today, I celebrated my 23rd birthday, so Sunday brunch had to be just shy of extraordinary.  I noshed at a true gem off the beaten path.  Nestled on a hilltop and fringed by the New Mexico, Texas and Mexico borders is Ardovino’s Desert Crossing.  The food style here could be described as, “continental cuisine with an Italian flair.”

Initially, I wanted to get into the “spirit” of my birthday and order their “Prickly Pear Mimosa,” but in the state of Texas, alcohol cannot be served before noon on Sundays.  Only slightly disappointed, NOTHING compares to an exceptional cup of coffee – Italian roast, French-pressed.

My main dish was a gastronomic gift.  It was everything a birthday should be – decadent and sweet.  The Banana Bread French Toast…

Three thick slices of banana bread coated in egg, garnished with slices of fresh strawberries and bananas, sprinkled with chopped pecans and topped with dollops of mascarpone.   And bacon and maple syrup on the side.  It was a presentation of various levels of textures and flavors.  It was a sinful dream.  It was sexy.  The perfect bite.

The banana bread was dense and moist with just the right balance of cinnamon and nutmeg.  The banana and strawberry slices were soft, equal parts tart and sweet.  The nutty crunch of the pecans prolonged every bite.  The stickiness of the maple syrup acted as a cohesive as the mascarpone enhanced every single one of those flavors.  Its smooth and velvety textures coating my palate, coaxing me to the edge of culinary ecstasy.  Needless to say, I was ready for a nap afterwards.