To pamper myself on an early weekday or weekend, I've started going to brunch on my own. Sure, I could wake up the boy before 8 to come with me, but food isn't a huge motivator for him in comparison to sleep, and I enjoy navigating places and experiences on my own. During one of my brunch voyages, I checked out Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar, located in the old Cafe Fanny space and conveniently located next to Acme Bread.
I've been there twice now, and my first order of avocado toast coupled with a cortado (1/2 espresso, 1/2 milk) was so good that I ordered the exact two items the second time I went there. And I was so enamored with avocado toast that I've made it several times for breakfast, snack, and dinner.
My first attempts at avocado toast were edible, but not blissful. Partially, this was because I had no patience and I didn't wait for one avocado to ripen, and the other avocado I bought was a bit past ripe. Since the avocado is the star of this dish, it has to be just right. The other reason it wasn't so great was logistical: so many dishes for one piece of toast. I had a bowl, a cast iron pan (for the toast - no toaster here), a cutting board, a knife, a plate, and a fork to wash afterwards.
Subsequent attempts reached the bliss point because, the second time I went to Bartavelle, I had a seat at the counter and watched my toast being made. And now I will share it with you.
Start with a 3/4" piece of levain, Acme has the best, but any rustic loaf will do. If you have a toaster, throw it in on the "lightly toasted" setting. If you don't have a toaster, heat up a cast iron pan on medium and toast the bread on both sides. Once your toast is done, drizzle one side with olive oil, and mash 1/2 an avocado onto the toast using a fork. Squeeze some lemon juice over the avocado, and mash a little bit more. Finish by sprinkling some crunchy salt (I used Maldon smoked salt flakes), chili flakes (I have a stash of Korean chili flakes that are fruity and hot, but Bartavelle uses marash peppers), and drizzle with more olive oil. Done!