Food & Culture

Cooking in Quarantine: Frosted Flakes and Brioche French Toast? Yes, Please

Cook something sweet and savory with a Vietnamese flair from Bainbridge's Ba Sa

By Tricia Romano April 28, 2020


It’s going on who-knows-how-many-days of quarantine and we figure that, like us, you are tired of your own cooking. We asked local chefs to share some of their favorite safe-at-home foods to cook during the isolation period. Interested in submitting a recipe? Email [email protected].

“It’s an emotional time. Between the restaurants (we also have our family restaurant, Pho T&N in Poulsbo), my mom’s health situation, my kids, and my employees, I feel like my world has been turned upside down. I had to quickly find a way to turn our restaurant into a takeout and delivery concept—from buying takeout boxes, updating online menus, finding a delivery partner, integrating our systems to online ordering, finding ways of giving back to the community, figuring out payroll, overhead expenses, the list goes on….. 

Being a small business owner, you wear many hats, but the pace at which we’ve had to adapt is insane. We decided that we needed to stay open, we had only been open for six months when the crisis hit, and we were fearful that we couldn’t reopen if we shut the doors. Every day I wake up telling myself today is a new day. I have to remember to practice extreme care for my family, my business, and my employees. We recently decided to reduce business hours to ensure that the little money we make can support keeping the lights on. We are grateful to be able to go to work and support the community. It’s just family now. 

My sons (ages 10 and 13) are helping as much as they can outside of their time spent on virtual school. I look at it as an opportunity to teach them life skills, work ethic, and what it means to have success. I watched my parents work as hard as they could to provide for our family. They saved every penny they made to pass on to us, in case something happened to them. They are not wealthy, but they have lived an intentional life. Our mom is high risk and in isolation, it’s been heart-wrenching not to see her, but we connect on FaceTime daily. On Sunday when we are closed, and we go and support other small businesses in the area instead of cooking. It’s funny!! All of our groceries are at the restaurant. Our fridge is completely empty at home.

We are doing all that we can to support the island community. We quickly switched to online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery, initially offering our full menu. We have scaled back the menu offerings and shortened hours to 12 pm-8 pm, Mon-Sat. We also created the Community Rice Bowl, with pork, sautéed greens, and an egg for $5. We want to make sure that everyone in the community is taken care of, so if $5 is too much, the bowl is on us. Order online at”

—Trinh Nguyen is the owner and chef of Ba Sa on Bainbridge Island which opened in September of 2019. Opened by sibling chefs Trinh and Thai Nguyen, Ba Sa serves modern Vietnamese food that showcases the abundance of local food found in the Pacific Northwest.

Ba Sa: Cereal French Toast

This is a fun way to spice things up and we figured most everyone would have the ingredients on hand. This is a very popular dish on our brunch menu, but I like it for dinner, too. I mean, why not? 


  • 3 large eggs 
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 2/3 cup of milk 
  • 2 cups your favorite cereal 
  • 1 loaf brioche bread 


  1. Whisk the eggs, milk, and sugar in a shallow dish. If you don’t have brioche, use what you have in your cupboard. Cut the bread one-inch thick. Crush your favorite cereal in a shallow dish. (We like Frosted Flakes the best) 
  2. Soak the bread in the egg mixture for one minute on each side 
  3. Deep fry at 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes 
  4. Serve with your favorite fruit and maple syrup or ice cream 
  5. To spice it up, make passionfruit butter syrup with 12 oz concentrated passionfruit, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Combine it in a small saucepan and bring it to a light simmer on medium heat. 

Taro Bubble Egg Waffle 

Waffle Batter: 

  • 1 can coconut cream 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup of sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 3/4 cup of milk 
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup of tapioca flour 
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons taro extract 
  • 1 cup of oil 


  1. Sift together the dry ingredients before adding the eggs and the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix well until smooth. 
  2. Preheat your bubble waffle maker, then lightly spray with non-stick cooking oil before pouring in about 2/3 cup of the batter (may vary depending on the size of your waffle maker). 
  3. Cook the batter for approximately 3 minutes (or until golden brown) Make a simple syrup of brown sugar, butter, and milk and serve with fried chicken or eggs. 


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