Arsaga's Church & Center makes good toast
by Lacey Thacker
May 09, 2017
Arsaga's at 200 West Center in Fayetteville is one of several locations under the Arsaga's umbrella. I've been a fan of Arsaga's at The Depot for awhile now, but hadn't yet made it to their location known for toast. That's right, toast. All kinds. And like any good food writer, artisan bread is one of my very favorite things, especially if it comes with toppings. As this was my first experience with a toast menu, I had no idea what to expect, so I was imagining a slightly nicer version of the toast I make at home.
My companion had no idea what to expect either, but wasted no time in ordering a Bloody Mary when she spotted it on the menu. I instead went for my usual latte, which, no surprise, was as good as I remembered. I've never ordered a Bloody Mary, preferring my morning adult beverages to include orange juice, but I took a sip of this one and I have to say, it was perfectly balanced between the requisite ingredients. The tomato juice had a particularly fresh quality I appreciated.
My friend also ordered food, from the "Little Options" section of the menu. She selected my second choice, the ever-popular avocado toast. Little perhaps describes the price ($5) but it in no way describes the dish. This was the thickest slice of toast I've ever seen, perhaps 3/4 of an inch. And slathered on top wasn't just some avocado, but practically an entire avocado, seasoned ever-so-nicely with a bit of red pepper on top. I'd pay to eat this off chips any day, but on toast it evolved to something decadent.
I don't know how it can get any better, but it does. I went with the Very Nice Toast ($5.95), a slice of sourdough with cream cheese and berry compote topped with lemon zest and thyme. This was arguably one of the top ten most beautiful plates I've ever been presented with. Luxurious in its simplicity, the fresh cream cheese and not-too-sweet compote were offset so well by the lemon zest, I had to stop and savor several times. The bread itself was delicious, somehow both dense and fluffy at the same time.
This is not your everyday toast; instead, it's the best example of what toast can be. When you prepare toast at home, even on good bread, it's generally not very thick, and most of us aren't inclined to pile on toppings an inch thick. But you know, we should pile on the good stuff. Life's short; have an experience. Go order some toast at Arsaga's.
Yeah, toast! In Praise of Arsaga's Breakfast
Posted By Zoë Rom on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 10:29 AM
Quintessential Fayetteville establishment Arsaga's is dishing up a gourmet spin on a traditional breakfast staple — toast. It's a tasteful and complex breakfast that’s well worth waking up for.
Arsaga’s newest location is just off the Fayetteville Square at the corner of Church and Center Street, in a small yet sunny nook that boasts a sprawling outdoor patio. The smell of warm, newly baked bread is overwhelming, and complements the notes of fresh brewed coffee that linger in the air. My order? A latte and the Very Nice Toast, a name that is very nearly an understatement.
The toast itself is a thick slice of home-baked bread, wheaty and rich. It is hearty without being heavy, and comes smothered in a generous layer of thick cream cheese which is sweet and herbal, subtly infused with delicate sprigs of rosemary. It is surprisingly (yet not unpleasantly) chunky in a way that hints at its local, artisanal origins. To top it off, a sweet/tart berry compote is placed in the middle of this fantastic morning confection. Everything is made in house, of course.
The toast menu at Arsaga's is full of tantalizing flavor combinations that boast ingredients such as pears, date-walnut spread, paper-thin prosciutto, house-cured salmon and white bean tahini spread. Each toast is a work of art, a Pollock-esque masterpiece on a toasty canvas in bright streaks of berry, nut and cheese. Flavors range from the homey, simple toast with butter or Nutella to the exotic extravagance of The Last Toast, a flavor concoction featuring tahini, zucchini, egg, green garlic sauce and zesty red chili flakes.
Arsaga's is my favorite coffee roaster in Fayetteville. Always good, yet unpretentious. And alhough their coffee counter hosts enough glassware to rival a NASA lab, I’m satisfied with simple, foamed milk and dark espresso.
This is perhaps what Arsaga’s does best. They elevate the seemingly simple, toast and coffee, to a high art, making what would otherwise be a bland breakfast a gourmet event. This small, Fayetteville staple is a new go-to for dedicated brunchers and casual coffee drinkers alike, and I can’t wait to sample my way through the rest of the menu.