Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

I usually find out about places old and new by word of mouth, driving along the roads of New Jersey, and by searching all my favorite local food sites, message boards, and social media pages.

When I was a kid back home on Long Island, we would enjoy my mom’s French toast. It was your basic white bread dipped in beaten eggs, cooked in a vat of butter in a frying pan. After mom plated up stacks of French toast, we would add more pats of butter, maybe a little cinnamon, a spoonful of sugar, and a stream of either Log Cabin or Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup. It was a diabetes and cholesterol festival.

These are things we didn’t think about as kids. All we remember was, how yummy it was.

I loved Mrs. Butterworth’s. I later found out as an adult that Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup didn’t contain any butter, nor was it real maple syrup. You live and learn. I miss the innocence of being a kid.

I also found out later in life that French toast wasn’t invented by the French. What the heck?

According to the Kulick’s French Toast recipes website: “The origins of French toast are found in a recipe for “aliter dulcia,” which translates to “another sweet dish.”

This recipe, the earliest on record reminiscent of French toast, was found in a 4th century Roman cookbook titled “Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome” by Marcus Gabius Apicius, a wealthy and educated man among the Roman elite who became famous for his passion for food.

While not a cook himself, he earned a reputation through his sumptuous feasts and impressive knowledge of food. The recipe for aliter dulcia calls for pieces of fine white bread to be soaked in milk and beaten egg, fried in oil, and covered in honey.”

The history of how it made it to American breakfast tables, and why it’s called “French Toast” is pretty cool.

According to a few sources, French toast was introduced to the United States in 1724 by Joseph French, an innkeeper in Albany, New York, who decided to name his creation “French’s toast” but inadvertently left off the apostrophe and the S; little did French know that this grammatical error would be celebrated in perpetuity.

Prepare to savor a variety of mouthwatering innovative versions of this breakfast classic

Here are 9 places in Ocean County that serve incredible versions of French toast.

  • Shut Up and Eat - 804 Main St, Toms River, NJ 08753

    I love this place and it’s insane menu. You need to study the menu online before stepping foot into this cash only restaurant. Their seemingly endless options of breakfast choices will make you dizzy. It’s going to be difficult to decide because one dish looks to be better than the one before.

    As far as French toast goes, my favorite is The Elvis, stuffed with peanut butter, banana, and bacon. It’s nearly impossible to finish because the portion is humongous.

    Wear loose clothes, or better yet show up wearing pajamas and you get a discount on your bill.

  • Grits & Grace - 507 Atlantic City Blvd, Bayville, NJ 08721

    The presentation: Beautiful! The taste: Marvelous. The thought and creativity: a solid 8.

    Of course they have an Elvis inspired French toast with peanut butter, banana, and bacon which is usually my first choice. In addition to the regular menu which includes, “The Smackdown”, a cinnamon sugar French toast topped with cream cheese icing, granola,  and honey, they have specials from time to time that may include Peach Cobbler French toast, Apple Pie French toast, S’mores French toast, and my absolute favorite special, The Tiramisu French toast, a total winner.

    This place has an excellent selection of breakfast and lunch dishes, along with some gluten free options. This place is a real gem in Ocean County.



  • Turning Point of Toms River West - 1311 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08755

    This is a fairly new place located in the same lot as the Marquee Cinema movie theater, and the Fortune Chinese Buffet. Can you tell we love this area?

    I have always liked Turning Point. I’ve been to a few of their locations. The service at this location is excellent, and so is the food.

    Their motto is: Breakfast, Brunch, & Lunch Elevated. They’re not lying. They do offer healthier options, but when  you are faced with choices like the strawberry cheesecake French toast, or the OMG – Thick sliced multi-grain French toast, chopped bacon, candied walnuts, caramel & sweet cream drizzle, do you really want to order the Health Freak Combo?


  • Dockside Diner - 2404 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, NJ 08008

    I cannot give you my personal review as I have never eaten here. However, I have been told by many, this place makes some top notch French toast and pancakes. The prices are reasonable, and the food is good.

    They offer a variety of French toast dishes, including customizable options. You get a couple of pieces of Texas style French toast prepared their way or your way. They have a cinnamon bun French toast that is the talk of the town, as well as a something they call, Funky Monkey – sliced French toast, drenched in our homemade banana foster, one scoop of ice cream, bananas and strawberries . 

    If you’re heading to LBI, stop here for a hearty breakfast.


  • C&G's Country Cafe - 213 NJ-37 UNIT 9, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Bruce and I have been here a few times. This is a place that you hear about via word of mouth because you can’t see it from the street.  The staff is very friendly and attentive. The breakfast options here are plentiful and very filling. The French toast is da bomb, especially the Nutella, banana, and strawberry stuffed French toast. They also offer gluten free options on the French toast and pancakes.  I don’t think it’s on the menu, but ask them to make you the Cap’n Crunch French toast, it’s a winner.

    This is a nice comfortable place to enjoy a meal.



  • Brownstone Pancake Factory - 979 Cedar Bridge Ave, Brick Township, NJ 08723

    Don’t eat for a couple of days before you step foot in this place. The portions are astronomical! Over the top offerings that are so satisfying. They use fresh baked challah bread double dipped in their caramel vanilla infused batter. Do I have your attention?

    So many different options available like the banana and cream French toast, the stuffed blueberry and coconut topped with a vanilla sauce and blueberries, no syrup needed.  If you don’t see something that appeals to you, they’ll be happy to customize a version that suits your taste.  Don’t get me started on the pancakes, they are beyond decadent.




  • The Cookie Lady's Cafe - 2501 NJ-88, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742

    You get to choose the kind of bread you desire for your French toast. White, wheat, or Texas toast are your choices.  Go with the wheat, it’ll make you think you’re making a healthy choice. The apple strudel French toast drizzled with caramel is a great choice at this cozy place. The locals rave about The Cookie Lady’s Cafe, and I suspect the tourists do too.

  • Taylor Sam's - 1643 NJ-88, Brick Township, NJ 08724

    The Grateful bread pudding may technically qualify as French toast, or even a dessert. It’s Sweet Challah Bread, Soaked for 24 hours, Griddled Golden Brown Topped with Fresh Bananas & Blueberries, Strawberry Coulis, Homemade Pumpkin Seed Granola, Vanilla Icing Side Warm Syrup. There goes my waistline, but who cares!

    You can get a ginormous portion of a basic French toast, It’s six slices of Fresh Challah Bread French Toast served with whipped butter, powdered sugar & warm syrup. Another place to come to with a hearty appetite.  The specialty coffees are a fantastic, so many to choose from. I love the seasonal selections.

    The food here is very good and always freshly made.



  • Fast Break - 1635 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08753

    The food is consistently good, and the prices are reasonable. It’s bound to become one of your favorite hometown eateries after eating here for the first time. It’s colorful. it’s  vibrant, and it’s a true throwback kind of place.

    Nothing super fancy, but the food is freshly made and satisfying.  They do have fresh squeezed orange juice and a great breakfast menu.

    The banana stuffed French toast hits the spot and so does the freshly brewed coffee. Don’t sleep on the chicken and waffles.





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