By SUSAN ERICSON
Grabbing a stool at the sturdy oak coffee bar next to a woman who had just ordered a big bowl of oatmeal for lunch, we weren’t the only ones seduced by the smell of fresh coffee, the breakfast-all-day options and the clever menu selections.
“I don’t know why,” she said, “but the oatmeal here always comes out creamier than at home.”
Ordering a mocha-chino ($4.50) while perusing the menu options, a dish called the Blunder Benedict caught our eye. Described as the “most delicious blunder our chefs ever made,” it includes two small pancakes, avocado, caramelized onions, smoked bacon, chipotle, and marsala topped with creamy hollandaise. A little too daring for this palate, maybe.
The salads are popular, waitress Jennifer Lito said. Then she mentioned the eggs Benedict, a particular crowd favorite.
Considering the ingredients, the Big Easy Benedict ($10.65) made more sense. A platter broken into three components came with an abundance of delicious food. The main event of perfectly cooked, runny poached eggs topped with a light hollandaise sauce was served over moist, sweet corn bread, sauteed green peppers and onions, and diced chunks of chorizo sausage. The Cajun seasonings in the hollandaise and the sausage added a lot of character to this tasty and filling lunch.
A small bowl of fruit salad consisting of fresh pineapple, honeydew melon and red grapes was one of two sides that came with this order. The second – addictive home-fried potato nuggets – was made more interesting with flavor-enhancing onions and peppers.
Soothing shades of cream and light green enhanced by country-style wainscoting and healthy bright green plants give both dining rooms at the Turning Point a sense of home-style comfort. Choices of booths in the back room or join-able tables for larger groups lend themselves to lots of seating options.
Beginning in Little Silver in 1998, Turning Point has grown into a small, but still family-owned, chain of ten restaurants across New Jersey, with four others in Monmouth County and one opening soon in Princeton. All open at 8 a.m. and close at 3 p.m.