The place //
The Nose Dive
The order //
In the beginning, there were three square meals per day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. We ate these meals at regular intervals and we were satisfied. We were industrious because our hunger was sated, and the world was good.
But then came weekends — Saturdays and Sundays — when we did not have to be as industrious. Our days of leisure — and the possibility of sleeping in — were disrupted by the demands of our three square meals, namely breakfast. And on these days, though our hunger was still sated, we could not sleep in as late, and as such, our world was not as good.
And so weekend brunch was invented — a way to circumvent the tyranny of breakfast early in the morning. This combination of breakfast and lunch — consumed anywhere between late morning and early afternoon — became the rallying cry of lazy Saturdays and hung-over Sundays. And because we could sleep in late without missing a meal, the world was good again.
But then brunch became Brunch. It turned from a simple celebration of leisure into a full-blown pageant replete with bottomless boozing and menus that preferred extravagant, decadent and obscene cardiac arrests bearing little resemblance to the original crossover hits of brunch. And though the world was not bad, it also was not necessarily good.
Because although there is a place for thick-sliced French toast stuffed with caramelized apples, goat cheese and maple syrup, a caloric gut-bomb like that pretty much guarantees my day of leisure turns into a full day of recovery from overindulgence — and that’s before adding in my mimosa or Bloody Mary intake.
Which is why I was excited to spot the avocado toast on The Nose Dive’s brunch menu last Sunday. It’s simple: three slices of grilled French toast each smeared with fresh avocado spread, a couple of poached eggs, all resting on a bed of mixed greens.
The avocado spread is generously applied, and while it’s mild and smooth with all that “good” fat, the spread manages to keep from being bland. There’s cilantro and jalapeno blended in, and also a hit of acidity, which no doubt keeps the avocado from turning an unappetizing shade of brown. The eggs are nicely poached as well, with yolks ready to ooze more richness onto the plate as soon as you dig into them. The green salad is almost an afterthought — more garnish than anything else — but it’s a nice balance against all the richness in the eggs and the avocado.
The only thing I found wanting was the bread. The slices of French toast were too thin and narrow for my liking, wilting under the weight of the avocado spread. And though grilled, the bread didn’t have enough of the crunch or crustiness that would have provided a nice counterpoint to all the smooth, creamy textures. Furthermore, there wasn’t enough bread left over for mopping up golden yolky goodness — a definite waste, and very nearly a crime in my book.
But bread shortcomings aside, the avocado toast was a revelation. I spent the afternoon on my feet instead of in a coma. It was a reminder of a simpler, less calorically catastrophic brunch. And so my world, at least, was good again.
+ Simple, refreshing brunch option.
+ Is there anything not made better by an egg? How about two poached eggs?
+ Still creamy, rich and satisfying, without absolutely overloading your system with heaviness.
– Needs more bread. The toast wilts under the avocado spread, and there isn’t any left over at the end to mop up the creamy yolk from the poached eggs.
The Nose Dive
116 S. Main St., Greenville
Avocado toast, $8
Andrew Huang is an editor-at-large of TOWN Magazine. Follow his food misadventures on Twitter and Instagram at @rooftoptales and #huangry.