November 30, 2023

Birch & Maple’s French Toast Monte Cristo

By Anna Faller | Aug. 14, 2021

For your weekly breakfast fix, look no further than the French Toast Monte Cristo at Birch & Maple in Frankfort. Founded and co-owned by fine-dining veterans Nick and Natalie Crawford, this cozy kitchen and cocktail spot first opened its doors in 2018; since then, its modern take on classic mama-fare has put Frankfort squarely on the map of northern Michigan foodie destinations.

A healthy mix of classic-meets-eclectic, Birch & Maple’s seasonally rotating menu offerings and locally sourced ingredients speak for themselves. But perhaps none is more vocal — or popular — than the signature French Toast Monte Cristo.

A fresh take on the classic Croque Monsieur, Chef Natalie begins her sandwich construction by coating two thick slices of buttery Challah in a secret egg-wash of baking spices and almond extract before cooking. Once the bread has reached crispy-golden perfection, she adds smoked Black Forest ham and American cheese, then tops off the whole melty magnificence with a drizzle of maple syrup and a house “crispy” egg — i.e., a sunny-side-up egg with butter-fried crispy edges.

You’ll want seconds, but trust us, you won’t manage to eat again until dinner. Or possibly breakfast tomorrow. $13. Find Birch & Maple at 727 Main St., Frankfort. (231) 399-0399,


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