I wish I could just say “go here”. If you’re looking for a gourmet twist on Southern classics, eat at Toms. After staving off my hunger with an ice cream cone at the quaint Gelateria on Robinson (which I highly recommend, best Gelato in El Paso by far), I decided to take a little drive over to Boston Ave. and check out Toms Folk Cafe.
If you weren’t looking for it, you’d probably miss the building. Aside from the bright paint on the outside and the small sign on the street telling you where to turn, Toms blends in with it’s surroundings in the Kern District, almost looking like a house on the street. With a nice beer and wine list, and friendly staff, there’s bound to be something that keeps you coming back. Toms objective is to “recreate your favorite Americana dishes using classic French preparations”, and in this, they hit the nail right on the head. With menu items from Poutine and Shrimp & Grits, to sandwiches (fried green tomato or grilled cheddar-apple!!) there’s food to satisfy the appetites of herbivores and omnivores, alike.
I was promptly seated when I arrived. While there was no one eating inside I requested for a seat out on the back patio. It’s a small space, but with three other tables being used I didn’t feel like it was too crowded. I ordered a Shiner Bock ($3.50) while I looked over the menu a little more. To be honest, everything was described well enough to make me want it, but having never eaten here before I didn’t want to spend too much money on something that I wouldn’t enjoy. Some of the items are a little pricey (average price being $15), but I would soon come to find out that you get what you pay for. I decided to go with the Sweet Potato hash ($9). The hash is a medley of seared diced sweet potato, slow roasted pulled pork, spinach and onions, topped with two eggs any style (which isn’t mentioned on the menu) and mixed greens with a slightly spicy barbecue sauce.
My food arrived in a timely manner, and upon first looking at it my “plate” (which was actually a small pot, almost like a dutch oven) I though “what did I get myself into. At first glance it looked like I had gotten a large salad with barbecue sauce. After doing a little digging, I was gladly mistaken. Underneath the greens were my two over easy eggs cooked to perfection perched upon the spinach, pulled pork, and sweet potato medley. For a dish that’s called “sweet potato hash”, I thought there would be more sweet potatoes, they kind of got lost in all of the greens and pork. The sweet potatoes were tender and went well with the spinach. The greens on top were crisp and tasted fresh. Though the real winner here was the pork; tender, juicy and flavored to perfection. I thought barbecue sauce would be a strange addition to the party but it gave a little spice that you felt on your tongue while keeping the dish from being “barbecued pork.” The whole meal was a flavor combination I never imagined, but was so happy to have experienced.
It’s obvious that Toms cares about serving up a great meal using the finest ingredients
to create a unique experience, and because of this I will definitely be back again. I urge you all to go try it out if you haven’t yet.
Toms Folk Cafe
204 Boston Avenue