Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cafe 222's Peanut Butter & Banana French Toast

What a shame to have to stay in San Diego for two nights longer than planned! I should be so lucky again! That is just what we were forced to do when our red eye flight out was cancelled on Thursday night last week. Since airlines have reduced the number of flights, the next flight that we could get on was Saturday morning. Neither of us was too disappointed; we checked into the beautiful Marriott in the Gaslamp Quarter and gratefully crawled into our luxurious bed for a good night's sleep.

In the morning I found Bob working at his laptop (it was a workday for him, after all) and so I went through my usual morning routine and then went downstairs to get some advice from the concierge. First on my list was to find a good place for us to have breakfast, and without hesitation the concierge suggested Cafe 222!

Cafe 222 is only open for breakfast and lunch. It feels really small because its seating for 75 is at small tables for 2 - 4 that are scattered throughout two levels of outdoor patios and a few tables inside. Nothing fancy here, but I loved the artful touches that always make me happy with these kinds of charming eateries. How perfect was this arrangement of artificial flowers stuffed into box graters and arranged on one of the two solid walls inside. (The other two walls are windows.)

Isn't this chandolier darling?

This was my breakfast. I know, not a very healthful breakfast, but this is what I usually get when I go out. I don't make Eggs Benedict for myself at home so it's ok to splurge. That is my rationalization. It also is a pretty good way to judge a breakfast place. There is, after all, an art to poaching eggs perfectly and making hollandaise sauce that has that perfect balance of lemon to offset all the butter and egg yolks in the sauce. This was delicious!

Peanut Butter & Banana Stuffed French Toast? They serve a lot of that here at Cafe 222. In fact, Bobby Flay came here and challenged the owner to a Throw Down with this signature breakfast. I heard that he lost, but then he usually does. He might be an Iron Chef, but how can he compete with someone who has made thousands of servings of Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast???

Here's the recipe by Cafe 222 owner Terryl Gavre. You can watch her make this here.

Peanut Butter & Banana Stuffed French Toast

Makes 3 servings

6 slices day-old white or wheat bread
1 to 2 ripe bananas
8 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Honey, for drizzling
4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash salt
Butter or oil, for frying
Powdered sugar, for topping
Maple Syrup, for topping

Remove crust from bread. Lay bread out on counter and spread a thin layer of peanut butter on each slice. Peel banana and slice enough to cover every other piece of bread. (You will be making 3 complete sandwiches). Drizzle a small amount of honey on each piece of bread that does not have banana on it. (These are the tops). Place honey drizzled piece of bread on top of a piece with bananas on it to make a sandwich. Repeat until you have made 3 sandwiches.

In a shallow medium sized bowl, gently whip, by hand, the eggs, cream, vanilla, rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Heat skillet to medium heat, around 350 to 375 degrees F, or until butter melts and begins to sizzle. Dip 1 sandwich at a time into rum batter and place into skillet. Cook until golden brown (about 3 to 4 minutes before turning) on each side. Remove from skillet and cut in 1/2 diagonally. Top with powdered sugar, butter and maple syrup.

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Debbie


Grace said...

I love the 'box-grater'decorating idea & chandolier! Thanks for posting your pics...just awesome and your breakfast has me salivating!!!!!


Lisa Brisch said...

Love the decor at Cafe 222 especially the chandelier. Thanks for the link to Cafee 222's recipes.

Lisa Brisch said...

I was just exploring Cafe 222's website and found that you can purchase that cool chandelier.

Oma & Opa said...

Hi Deb -

Thanks for taking us along on
your trip... kind of like
taking a mini vacation for the
rest of us!

Your posts are always interesting
and give a "much welcomed"
insiders view of places and
things to keep in mind if we're
visting the area's you've

Please "mark" Camarillo as a
must see on one of your
upcoming trips to Southern Cal...
we'd love to show you the city
in the country!


Chef Mary Jane

Chef Debbie said...

Every time I find a gem such as Cafe 222 in San Diego, I want to run right out and open my own little cafe. Oh, to choose the color scheme, the theme, to seek out the decorations for the walls, find funky miss-matched chairs and tables, and design the menu and wine list!

But then I realize that what I REALLY want to do is all of these fun things and then I want to sit at one of the tables and enjoy being there in my perfect little cafe where I will have all my favorite bistro dishes and a tidy little list of wines to go with everything. I don't want to ACTUALLY do all the cooking and bookkeeping and managing. I want the fun and not the work.
So, I'll just keep looking for these little gems.

Chef Debbie said...

MJ....Camarillo is now on my list. I'll give you a call before I come out there next time and will try to get together with you! Thanks so much for the offer!