The newest French toasts around town include s'mores, foie gras, fried chicken and other unexpected ingredients.
1/7Hominy French toast at Big JonesThere is food that is supposed to taste like fall and then there is food that actually tastes like fall. The hominy bread French toast at Big Jones not only tastes like fall, it looks like fall. Thick slices of apple rest on stacks of citrusy hominy bread with smears of apple butter and a healthy drizzle of salted caramel. The only problem here is that the hominy bread can't withstand the weight of all these toppings (plus creme fraiche so rich and thick it tastes like vanilla ice cream) and starts to fall apart more and more with each bite. Aside from a bit of a mess, this French toast will have you wishing it were fall all year round. 5347 N Clark St (773-275-5725, bigjoneschicago.com).-Erin Delahanty
2/7Photograph: Galdones Photography11 City French toast at Eleven City DinerEverything is served in outsized portions at this nouveau Jewish deli, and the French toast is no exception. The base of challah bread is encrusted with toasted coconut and topped with sliced strawberries and bananas. It�s all showered with powdered sugar and served with a side of syrup. Despite its size, the fruit lightens things up considerably, and the coconut adds a welcome textural note. Get it with a side of corned beef and pastrami hash and you won�t be hungry till dinner.1112 S Wabash Ave and 2301 N Clark St, (elevenlincolnpark.com).-Amy Cavanaugh
3/7Huge GaldonesBull's Eye French toast at Little Goat DinerThe salty-sweet combination gets taken to new, absurd levels at Stephanie Izard�s diner. Let�s start at the bottom-first, there are two fried eggs. Then there are thick slices of onion brioche, and bits of crispy chicken and strawberries are scattered on top. It comes with a side of barbecue maple syrup. The chicken and strawberries are surprisingly good together, but is this dish too much? Yes. Little Goat is one place where restraint is rewarded. Ask for it without the eggs, since egg yolk only makes this combination weirder. 820 W Randolph St (312-888-3455, littlegoatchicago.com).-Amy Cavanaugh
4/7Photograph: Martha WilliamsBrioche French toast at Longman & EagleThere�s a surprising element to the brioche French toast-foie gras frosting. Even more surprising? The subtly to it. There�s a slight umami note to the sauce, which is slathered between two slices of bread, and a braised apple, bacon fat crumble and caramelized yogurt sauce top the stack. Overall, the subtle savory notes mixed with sweetness yield a balanced take on traditional French toast. 2657 N Kedzie Ave (773-276-7110, longmanandeagle.com).-Martha Williams
5/7S�mores French toast at Brunch�Yikes-have you seen it?� That�s how our server responded when we ordered the towering, gluttonous graham cracker-dusted French toast, which layers vanilla bean marshmallow between slices and comes drizzled with chocolate sauce. Overall, it's a pretty balanced dish and isn't too sweet, but its size makes it equivalent to about six campfire-made s�mores, so get this as a dessert to share with your table. 644 N Orleans St (312-265-1411, brunchit.com).-Amy Cavanaugh
6/7Photo courtesy DryHop BrewersThe Captain�s French toast at DryHop BrewersWe didn�t expect to find great French toast at a brewery, but that�s where you�ll find the Captain�s French toast, made with challah bread soaked in a rum and cream batter and crusted with Cap�n Crunch cereal. It�s served with liquid cheesecake, a handful of blueberries and warm bourbon maple syrup, yet it somehow tastes light and airy. And that�s a good thing, because it�ll give you extra room in your belly for a pint of beer. 3155 N Broadway (773-857-3155, dryhopchicago.com).-Amy Cavanaugh
7/7Credit: Grace WileyChocolate tower French toast at the Bongo RoomLet's get one thing straight: This is not a brunch dish-this is dessert. Three giant slices of chocolate bread stuffed with maple mascarpone get drizzled with banana cr�me br�l�e sauce, chocolate shavings and, in the sole nod to health, banana slices. Is it delicious? Of course. Will you be stuffed with as much calories as regret after you've cleaned your plate? Indeed. Will you order it again the next time you go to Bongo Room? Hell, yes. 1470 N Milwaukee Ave, 5022 N Clark St and 1152 S Wabash Ave (thebongoroom.com).-Laura Baginski