The Brunch Dish: Bananas Foster French Toast at Whym
When a dish associates itself with a classic flavor combination, it really ought to bring back the happy sensation it suggests. But that's not the case with Whym's Bananas Foster French Toast ($12.95). It doesn't taste like bananas foster, and it doesn't taste like any of the individual ingredients listed on the menu, either. What's up with that? Luckily, it's still a good dish—so long as you put aside your expectations of what you're getting.
Where honeyed mascarpone goes undetected, a melted pool of sweet custard floods the bottom of the plate, perfect for dipping and soaking and drinking by the spoonful. And subbing in for the few lone slices of caramelized (not-so-rummy) bananas is an ample heaping of barely-touched mango (not braised, as the menu says)--slightly out of place during winter months but a happy nod to summer regardless. A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream seals the deal, all atop well-prepared brioche whose crusty, crunchy ends stand up to its gooey, fall apart middle. Bananas foster? Not so much. But worth going back for? Sure, if you're in the neighborhood.
Those looking for a little less damage will be happy to know that Whym's whole wheat version is a surprisingly nice dish. The texture's a bit heartier but no less tender, speckled with berries and crunchy granola. The real reason to order it, though, lies in the syrup: fig-flavored and speckled with chunks of fresh fruit, I'd be happy to buy a whole container off of them.