I have always enjoyed eating French Toast. To me, it's the centerpiece of an ideal weekend breakfast or brunch. But there are two components that can separate mediocre French Toast from sublime French Toast.
1. The first key is using the right bread. Like this one, most recipes for French Toast call for standard white sandwich bread. But this kind of bread doesn't soak up the egg-and-milk batter as well as other breads. Standard white bread is also so flimsy that it doesn't hold up as well as other breads. It is prone to get soggy unless you eat it immediately.
I think the best bread to use is brioche. That's what they use at the Boulevard Woodgrill in Arlington, Va., and it's enough to encourage me to drive across the Potomac to have brunch there.
Brioche produces a French Toast that is slightly crispy on the outside, but moist yet firm on the inside.
2. The second key to excellent French Toast is serving it with real maple syrup, not the gooey cane-sugar syrup that many restaurants opt for. Even if the restaurant doesn't use 100% maple syrup, it makes a big difference to use a syrup that is blended with maple syrup.