Let's take a moment now to let the ridiculous-sounding, San Francisco-initiated "artisanal toast" fad make us laugh, make us mad, or - my initial reaction - both. With that conniption out of our system, let's all go to Dan the Baker's Toast Bar, because it's incredible. Seriously, this place turned me from a skeptic into a fanatic in two bites.

Let's take a moment now to let the ridiculous-sounding, San Francisco-initiated "artisanal toast" fad make us laugh, make us mad, or - my initial reaction - both.

With that conniption out of our system, let's all go to Dan the Baker's Toast Bar, because it's incredible. Seriously, this place turned me from a skeptic into a fanatic in two bites.

Situated in an unlovely commercial complex in Grandview, Toast Bar is bright and cheery inside. When I visited, its EDM tunes, bare wood, blue and yellow color scheme and overall spare look made it seem like I could've been in Sweden.

Toast Bar is tiny too - I counted 14 seats - but its flavors are huge. Also immense is the commitment to excellence. And really, if you're going to fetishize foods like toast and butter by serving them ceremonially and charging a hefty price, your stuff better elicit epiphanies. Toast Bar's superior fare does exactly that.

Getting acquainted with a Toast Flight is a popular strategy. When my three selected bread slices (Country Sour, 2X Sesame and Einkorn) and three spreads (sweet, creamy and outstanding homemade salted butter; stunning lemon curd with Laurel Valley Cloverton cream cheese; mouth-jolting raspberry preserves) arrived on a wooden board, I thought it was pretty but, at $5.50, pricey. A couple bites into the intense flavors and textures, I eyed that board like it was the palette of an inspired artist.

It was worth the cost, but there were better deals. Such as the Hungarian Sprouted Lentil soup ($4.50 for a bowl-sized "cup"). Made with Thurn's sausage, the soup's explosively smoky, spicy and hearty accents were offset by silky creme fraiche.

I also loved the open-faced sandwiches on Danish rye called Smorrebrod ($6). One countered pungent St. Agur blue cheese and thick, double-smoked Bluescreek bacon with crisp goldrush apple slices. The other - a reworked deli classic - corralled soft Cloverton cheese with good smoked salmon, English cucumber, fresh dill and wonderful (but too many) pickled onions.

There are also great coffee drinks, homemade hot chocolate and chai, cookies and pastries. From the latter, I sampled an astonishing Lemon Bar ($5.25) with a flavor so vibrant and alive, it danced in my mouth.

Photo by Tim Johnson