{High Maintenance} Buttered Wheat Toast


I have been known to send food back to the kitchen at a restaurant.  Who hasn’t, right?  The meat is undercooked, the dish isn’t hot, the server forgot to serve the dressing on the side. But I’m not talking about the usual stuff.

I’m talking about toast.

(Wait, your honor!  Let me explain!)

A few years back we were enjoying brunch at a restaurant with our dear friends Jeff and Diane.  Somehow, the question of which one of us was the most “high maintenance” came up.  There had been plenty of “qualifying incidents” on the part of my table companions over the years, so I felt pretty safe.

Then the server came to take our order.

Mine was pretty simple, I thought: a side of crispy bacon and some buttered wheat toast. (Unlike someone ELSE who requested the three-egg omelet with only two eggs, whites only, extra cheese and no onions.  And could they please bring a little guacamole on the side?)

After ordering, our discussion resumed until it was interrupted by the delivery of our breakfasts.

Placed in front of me were a small plate of crispy bacon, and another with butter and wheat toast.

Butter AND wheat toast.  Not BUTTERED wheat toast.

I may have expressed my disappointment verbally.

Before you, too, declare me the winner of our little contest, let me defend myself (since no one else will!)

Pardon me while I go all “Bill Nye the Science Guy” on you, but… Toast is thin and porous.  Which means it cools quickly – certainly hastened by the breeze it encounters while being whisked through the restaurant en route to the table.  And the butter?  Oh sure, those little carved balls of butter are cute… but have you noticed that they’re ROCK HARD?  “Spreading” isn’t an option, and any attempts to distribute said butter on room-temp toast inevitably results in tearing the bread.

(I see you giving me the same blank stare that Husband, our friends and the waitress did.)

Before you Google “how do I get someone psychoanalyzed“, check out the exhaustive research that some UK scientists conducted to create “The Perfect Slice of Toast.”  As part of the survey, they toasted 2,000 slices of bread and interviewed almost as many people.  If you want a DETAILED recipe for creating the perfect piece of toast, read this article. At the very least, note a most important line:  “[Toast] should then be buttered as soon as it pops up, before the slice loses the heat required to melt the spread.”

I love you, British toast-science guys!

I’ve been conducting my own little research project at restaurants and diners in the years since “the incident.”   The question is, upon clearly enunciating my order (without explanation –  wouldn’t want to skew the data!), how often would the order be delivered as requested?

The results?

Buttered Wheat Toast – 25%

Butter AND Wheat Toast – 75%

Sigh.  They must not have a chapter on “toast” in culinary school…

By the way, over 86,000 people can’t be wrong.  That’s the number of folks who have “liked” the Facebook page “The Race Against Time to Butter Toast While It’s Hot.”  I think one can only be labeled as “High Maintenance” if they are the exception, rather than the rule.  So I refuse to accept the award.

Buttered Wheat Toast2

P.S.  For a little entertainment somewhat related to this topic, check out this cute movie called, you guessed it.


Buttered Wheat Toast


7 Responses to {High Maintenance} Buttered Wheat Toast

  1. Sally Leivermann March 4, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    OR…..you could just use Land O’Lakes all-natural SPREADABLE butter! I know you’re health conscious, Morgan, and don’t like preservatives. Land O’Lakes spreadable butter is made with 3 ingredients:

    1. Sweet Cream
    2. Canola Oil
    3. Salt


    Perhaps this will help you to become a little less high-maintenance!

    Your culinary friend,

  2. Bob N. March 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    OK Morgan, I am with you on this one. Toast must be buttered before delivery. They can do in the kitchen with the quick swish of a brush of melted butter. I imagine we the victims of those people who think they have to have all the “fattening stuff” served on the side.

  3. Elaine March 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Having just enjoyed two slices of Milton’s Multi-Grain bread, toasted and slathered with butter in my own kitchen this very morning, I heartily concur with Morgan. Interestingly, ‘back in the day’, I was a counter waitress at a little company in Detroit, Sanders (you may know their chocolates). On my very first day of training, an instructor held up a piece of recently toasted bread, pointed to the four corners and said ‘… butter all the way to the edges and corners – our customers prefer it that way’. (well, really, who doesn’t?). So began my ‘advanced’ high maintenance peeve – if you’re going through ALL THE BOTHER of actually buttering the toast (sigh….), kitchen staff, why not do it properly?
    P.S. Have you tried Milton’s bread? Delicious toasted!

  4. Marge March 6, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Laura probably gets this from me. Toast needs to be buttered right-out-of-the-toaster HOT.
    But I have to add – it has to be buttered clear to the edge. ( You wonder why kids don’t
    eat the crust on their toast!?) I make cinnamon toast for the grandkids, but they call it
    “to-the-edge-toast” – plenty of butter, cover with brown sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon.
    Don’t think about the calories.

  5. Kristin March 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! ;)

    Just discovered your blog via a Victory 44 tweet — I love your writing style and your beautiful photos! It’s an inspiration to me, as I usually just take my iPhone with me when dining out and slap on a filter or two before posting to the blog ;)

    • admin March 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Kristin, thank you for the kind words and the encouragement! Would love to check out your blog too! Help me know where I can find you.

      • Kristin March 26, 2013 at 8:45 am #

        I run a blog with three girlfriends: http://www.minneapolites.com. We write reviews of restaurants and happy hours, mostly! Loved your write-up on Victory 44; can’t wait to get myself over there to try it for myself :)

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