Behind the Line: Pinch Kitchen’s Guava French Toast


Welcome to Behind the Line, your all access pass to the top kitchens in the game.


Photo courtesy @mrmiamimarvin.

Dynamic duo John Gallo and Rene Reyes, the OGs behind Pinch Kitchen, might be known for their killer pork secreto and unique roasted veggie offerings but these Pubbelly alums also know a thing or two about the week’s most important meal: brunch. And their spin on the meal staple, French toast, is about as Miami as you can get. It’s an ode to MIA’s favorite tropical fruit and bodega pastry, the pastelito.


Chef Rene Reyes beginning the toast-stuffing process.

It all starts with thick slices of brioche bread, dropped off every Saturday morning by a local Ft. Lauderdale baker, Flavio of European Bread. Cut diagonally, the bread slices are stuffed and filled to the brim with guava cream cheese before being stuck back together for their crème anglaise bath.


Pinch Kitchen skips straight to the good stuff, sugary sweet crème anglaise that the French toast marinates in from 2 to 5 hours depending on the day. “If you’re the lucky one at the end of service, it’s been in there about five hours,” Gallo adds with a laugh.

Once the Guava French Toast is ready to be devoured by a very lucky individual, it is seared on the flat top, which helps cook it through and warm up that cream cheese mixture to a perfect melted consistently. Then it’s dusted with powdered sugar and topped with even more guava, this time in the form of guava infused maple syrup (for that extra guava kick).

Word to the wise, brunch is served until 4:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, so here’s your protip. Do like the chef says and make your Resy for the end of service and experience the most crème-marinated bite of the day. Good things come to those who sleep in.

Taste it for yourself. Grab a seat.