I love breakfast. I’m talking LOVE breakfast. I could eat it for lunch and dinner if I could. I think my love of breakfast comes from the fact that I am a HUGE morning person, and have been every since I was kid. Cereal, bagels, pancakes, bacon, omelettes, poptarts, oatmeal – you name it. B-R-E-A-K-F-A-S-T. Tyrone will probably say that I love it because it’s carbs, which is half true, but in all honesty, breakfast is just food you eat to start your day. So here they are; my favorite breakfast/brunch spots for the New Jersey Area in no special order.
Formally known as Doc’s Kitchen, Carver’s is your hole in the wall breakfast spot. And you can tell just from your first visit that this place wasn’t meant to cater to such volumes of people. Come here past 9am and already expect to wait for a table. When a restaurant like Carver’s says they made their bread in house, anticipate the fluffiest french toast you’ve ever had in your life. Why eat at IHOP when the prices here are just the same and the food is fresher!
Red Eye Cafe
This holds the #2 spot on my list in Montclair. The coffee here is excellent! The lady who sits me next to me on the train drinks their coffee almost every morning like her day depends on it. Their breakfast dishes are all solid winners for variety, freshness, and fun. You can’t help but linger here just to read the newspaper or grab a book off their shelf. And if you can’t seem to order anything on the menu, just get the s’more cookie.
Original Pancake House
West Caldwell, NJ
As much as I dislike the tacky Country 90′s decor in this place, OPH has some intimidating breakfast dishes. Their selection of pancakes takes up 60% of their breakfast menu and covers everyone from your healthy nuts to your over-sized eaters. Hung over or just plain hungry? Try their Hungry-man special. And I bet you’ve never seen omelettes the size of new born babies! You will here! Come here after 10am on Saturday morning, and expect a little bit of a wait. Come here around 12pm on a Sunday, and you’ll get the after church crowd. OPH is group friendly, kid friendly, and family approved.
The Turning Point
It’s breakfast with a view! Located right along the Hudson River with a view of Manhattan, it’s the perfect way to start the day. The Turning Point has several branches within Jersey, but I honestly think this is the best one. It’s all about the service and the details. Sugar crystal stirrers for your tea are extra points in my book. Their healthy dishes personally, are still very yummy and satisfying without trying to be too sacrificial. They are definitely worth your dollar and whatever you spent to park in the area.
It’s not quite like your Turning Point view, but if you’re looking for really good breakfast other than Diner food and IHOP down the highway full of strip malls, this is your gem in the rough. I can’t say that they’re in my top list overall, but they are listed on top for the Middlesex County area. Their pancakes are high on my list. Light, fluffy and slightly underdone. And if you have a liking for English muffins, it seems to be their choice of bread instead of toast. Dishes are of excellent value. And the turnaround time from placing your order to arrival is pretty quick.
You must be tired of hearing me rave about them, but trust me, they are THAT good. And I say this with a firm foot because people are blinded by Toast and Raymond’s in this town. Le Salbuen is in its own bracket. You will never have eggs the same away again until you’ve tried Le Salbuen. Rosemary in my eggs were a revelation for me. If you’re looking for rich and flavorful more than hearty and huge, this is your spot. Perfect for morning dates.
Quickfire Q & A’s:
BEST BAGELS: Bagel Pantry, South Plainfield
BEST SKILLETS: The Turning Point, Hoboken
BEST EGGS: Le Salbuen, Montclair
BEST BACON: Plum on Park, Montclair
BEST PANCAKES: The Stack, North Arlington
Happy eating everyone!