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breakfast place in central NJ?

Looking for a place for breakfast especially one
that makes fresh pancakes and waffles with real fruit not like the stuff from IHOP.

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  1. The Turning Point is a NJ-only mini-chain that serves breakfast, lunch, and brunch. Acc. to their website, they have locations in four central NJ towns. I've never tried it, but I've read some positive reports about the food on another food forum. The menu appears to have what you are looking for.


    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      I've been to the Turning Point in Holmdel many times. While not outstanding, I find the sandwiches, soup, salads to be consistently good and fresh. They have some nice items, like loose tea served in pots. I have never had the pancakes. The staff is always nice. All in all, it's a good place for a good, relaxing meal. You can check the menu on the web site.
      The Holmdel location is very popular. If you go, expect to wait for a table. They don't take reservations.

    2. What part of central NJ?

      1. Central Jersey is a pretty big place so if you could be more specific about location it would help. The Turning Point locations are all in the eastern section.

        I actually had some good pancakes at the IHOP on Parsonage Road in Edison. The trick was to go when they weren't busy (I would stop on the way to work, well before the rush which seemed to start around 8 AM). I did notice that if I showed up later, or on a weekend, the pancakes were not that great. I guess the cook didn't work well under stress!

        1. Perkins in Freehold on route 9- get the omelet and pancakes special- it's great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mdog

            i personally didnt like the atmosphere but people rave about Le Peep in the Wick Plaza on Rt 1 South in Edison.

          2. We love the Canyon Creek Grill for breakfast. It's in Kingwood, on Rt. 12. Really great waffles.

            3 Replies
            1. re: flourgirl

              Jersey is pretty lacking when it comes to breakfast places. Most people "settle" for diners. Otherwise, I would have to agree with the above posters that Le Peep and Turning Point are two of the best choices in Central Jersey. A little bit north but worth the trip IMHO is the Original Pancake House in West Caldwell. Also, although not a breakfast place per se, the best breakfast I have ever had in NJ was the sunday brunch at the Short Hills Hilton. Food for thought. Good Luck.

              1. re: bgut1

                If that brunch was in The Dining Room at the Hilton, note that the restaurant has closed. The Terrace Room remains open.

                Your mention of Short Hills reminded me that not far from there, in Maplewood, is Verjus, a French restaurant with very good food. We've only been there for dinner, but they do serve Sunday brunch. It's a $20 prix-fixe, and the menu includes French toast with fresh fruit and a caramelized apple pancake. Service is friendly and the decor is very attractive.


                1. re: RGR

                  RGR - I read about the Dining Room on NJ.com restaurant forum. What a shame. As far as the bruch is concerned, it was in the Terrace Room. Thanks for the info anyway. Verjus sounds interesting. I'll add it to my list.

            2. In North Long Branch, North Beach Grill. Best breakfast place ever. In Monmouth Beach, the Kitchen Witch on Beach Road. In Little Silver, Felicia's.

              35 Replies
              1. re: fershore

                fershore - Wow. So many places right nearby that I've never heard of. Thanks!!! If North Beach Grill is your favorite breakfast place, I will definitely try it real soon.

                1. re: fershore

                  In Little Silver I have always gone to Edies. Although pretty much a dive its still my go to breakfast place.

                  1. re: taboni

                    Wow......never heard anyone describe Edie's as a "dive". Not many places such as Edie's left in Monmouth County. Not a bad breakfast served....simple but good.

                  2. re: fershore

                    Now this is embarassing. I live mere feet from North Beach Grill and have never tried it. I pass it on the way to Amy's. Next time I'll stop in. Do they do brkfst and lunch?

                    Is Felicia's across the street from the A&P?
                    Kitchen Witch is that in the small shopping center with the chinese place and dry cleaners? Businesses come and go in there.

                    1. re: tom porc

                      North Beach Grill is one of those places where you feel at home. You can go healthy (fresh-squeezed veggie or fruit juice, fresh fruit, homemade granola, egg white omelet) or not (potato pancakes, loaded waffles). My husband loves the loaded bagel w/salmon. They'll make whatever you like. Go for a blackboard special quesadilla (maybe lobster and spinach). They're open everyday except Tuesday, from very early to 2 or 3 and serve breakfast and lunch.

                      Felicia's is across the street from A & P near the back by LS Seafood. It's got that old-world coffee shop vibe.

                      Kitchen Witch is not in the shopping center, but across the street, next door to Wachovia. They have tables outside. You park behind it or on Beach Road. I'd call it gourmet comfort food. Last summer, they opened a tiny takeout market next door, which was very convenient on the way home from work.

                      1. re: fershore

                        Thanks very much. I will definately try North Beach Grill soon. I imagine it gets crowded in the summer.
                        We usu shop at the A&P in LS so I will take note of Felicia's next time we're there.

                        1. re: fershore

                          fershore, thanks for pointing out North Beach Grill. After a mountain bike tour at Huber Woods a few miles up, we checked out North Beach Grill this morning. And yes, I fully agree with your statement that you feel at home. Nice outside seating, friendly and efficient service and reasonably priced. The fresh squeezed orange juice is really tasty. I had an omlette that was fluffy, just the right texture with ingredients sauteed just to the point. Coffee is good but nothing special.
                          Certainly worth coming back.

                          1. re: FoodFetish

                            We are always looking for places with nice outside seating and, of course, good food. We don't generally do breakfast out, so presuming North Beach Grill serves lunch and dinner, has anyone tried it for those meals? What kinds of things are on those menus?

                            Googling around, I did not find anything about NBG, but I did come across a place called Charley's Ocean Grill. Has anyone been there?


                            1. re: RGR

                              I think you would like it. It is a "local" place, no outdoor seating or views of the ocean. I usually order the sea bass which this is the only place I usually order it from. They give you a salad with your meal, and one of the choices is a salad with all chopped hard boiled eggs (that I love!)

                              Simple food. Nothing outrageous. My husband enjoys the steaks there. I just hate when they serve the baked potatoes, and then they come back with one of those 1970's tray with sour cream, chives, and bacon bits on it. That is such a thing of the past! That is the only thing that probably bothers me.

                              Other than that, I still like it. More for casual food. Don't go there thinking it is on a high caliber, just good standard food in a warm setting! :)

                              The service is very good also!!

                              1. re: Angelina

                                Thanks for the info, Angelina! I wasn't expecting Charley's to be haute cuisine. I'm all in favor of solidly-prepared casual food, good service, and pleasant atmospherics. Since it isn't easy to find restaurants with those traits very close to our house, we may give Charley's a try. Oh, and a major plus -- it's not Italian! :-))

                                P.S. I just took a closer look at the menu. They've got "real" Key Lime pie. That settles it! We're going....

                                1. re: RGR

                                  RGR - Since your a fan of key lime pie, I was wondering whether you would like a copy of my "ultimate" recipe. Its not too hard and I have been told its the best that anyone has ever had ... even better than the world famous Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach. Let me know and I will email you a copy.

                                  1. re: bgut1

                                    Thanks for the generous offer, bgut1! Though I haven't made one in a very long time, I do have a couple of good recipes. However, since you say your "ultimate" version has garnered raves, perhaps you could post it on the Home Cooking board.

                                    P.S. I've never been to Joe's Stone Crab. :-o

                                    1. re: RGR

                                      Post it for everyone to make it ..... Never!!!!!! :)

                                      1. re: bgut1

                                        Well, then, maybe we'll meet one day in person, and you can give it to me then. :-)

                                  2. re: RGR

                                    I think you will like it! I forgot, we both live in this sea of bad restaurants, Charlie's will be quite the change for you! We actually enjoy thier cheeseburgers, too. It is right off of Ocean Ave.

                                    Have a great time, and please post!

                                    1. re: RGR

                                      A word of caution about Charley's. There seems to have been a change in the kitchen over the last several months. I think there is a new owner, at least that seems to be in my fuzzy memory. There used to be nice fish dishes on the menu, now few if any. The last time my guy ordered the monkfish and said it "lacked something." The piece I tried was plenty salty, buttery and sweet-ish. Not bad but not real good, either. No softshells either on the last several visits.

                                      Charley's has had is share of ups and downs over the years. I'm sorry to say that we seem to going into one of the down periods.

                                      1. re: Deb Van D

                                        Deb, It sounds as though you've been to Charley's fairly recently. Acc. to the website, a new owner took over in May 2005. Of course, it could have turned over again since then. If you've noticed a downhill slide, I may rethink going there.

                                        1. re: RGR

                                          R, I'm looking over my notes now, and it looks like it has been slipping for awhile. Last November my guy had a pepperpot soup and a pork chop and pronounced them "eh.' Another time his chicken marsala was "okay." In April I had a chicken, sausage and pasta dish that was perfectly mediocre. Ah, a bright note on May 19, I see that Bob enjoyed a "nice" chicken soup.

                                          That may not be enough to draw you there--and frankly I'm afraid you would be disappointed. The menu doesn't have a lot that appeals and if there aren't softshell crabs I'd rather not spend the entree prices. I usually opt for the $9 lasagna, which is, well, it's lasaga and for $9 I can take a joke.

                                          I sorry, I wish it were better, because it is just so darned convenient for us. But I sure wouldn't drive halfway across the county for it.

                                          1. re: Deb Van D

                                            Thanks, Deb, for that further elucidation. At this point, you know me all too well! lol I'll take a pass for now.

                                          2. re: RGR

                                            I'm not sure whether I've been to Charley's since May 2005 (its been a couple of years), but for a period from 1987-1995 I ate there pretty frequently with my in-laws who were regulars. I never, ever, ever order prime rib anywhere because nowhere could the prime rib stand up to the one served at Charley's -- it was really that good. The fish selections were also usually very fresh and good, although Deb's post puts into question whether this is still true. I'm way overdue for a return visit and, if I get there before you, I'll post.

                                      2. re: Angelina

                                        I just came back from dinner with the family at Charley's. With all due respect to Angelina, I must admit the meal was very bad. There were few redeeming qualities if any. A little background. There were seven people in my party. Me, my DW, my in-laws and my three young children. We reviewed the menu online and even called ahead to make sure our kids would not be a problem and that they had kid sized/friendly items. Although we were disappointed that they didn't serve fried items (no fryer) we decided we could make due. Off to the restaurant. First Impressions. The room was a little nicer than anticipated. I was thinking pub but in this case the tables had linens with white butcher paper. On the other hand I wasn't expecting the room to be so small and loud. While not a fault of the restaurant, some gentleman stood up for literally 15 minutes giving a speech to a large party as if it was a private function. I guess no one (including me) had the nerve to get up and tell him he was interfering with our meals. Before I get to the food, I do want to acknowledge the excellent waitress we had. She was exceptional. When you dine with 3 young kids you truly monopolize the waiter/waitress' time. We were very appreciative of her help. Okay - the food. In a word - horrible. Only two appetizers were ordered, the mussels with garlic bread and the chicken wings. While the mussels were plentiful and plump, the garlic bread that came with it was coated in that minced garlic that comes in jars. It was horrid. And what did they do to that broth? What usually is a white wine, butter and garlic goodness at the bottom of the bowl was this indescribable mess of chopped clams and some milky garlic sauce of some kind. How could they do this to those beautiful mussels? I didn't taste the wings however grilling or baking them no longer makes them Buffalo wings in my eyes. This was for my DW and she didn't comment positively or negatively about them. Next came the salads. Nothing remarkable. Fresh greens and cherry tomatoes with chopped egg and baby shrimp. My in-laws commented that theirs dressed with blue cheese dressing was inedible. Entrees. I ordered a Mahi Mahi special which was coated with a "spicy blend of seasonings" resting atop vegetables, My DW ordered sesame encrusted tuna while my in-laws ordered the crab cakes and chicken pot pie. For the good news, my fish was well prepared and tasty. The Creole (?) sauce underneath however ruined the fish. My wife’s tuna steak tasted funny and was send back (something I confirmed). My mother in law also sent back her pot pie. While it looked good to me, she complained that it contained dark meat only. I thought she should have inquired before she ordered and was a little embarrassed about the double return. While my father in law enjoyed his crab cakes, I tasted them and found them to be quite bad. They were overly seasoned and mushy. One final note, my sons’ hot dog was good with a nice snap. It seemed to be the same ones served at the windmill. My other sons’ lasagna was passable at best. I’m sorry but I found few things to like about Charley’s. I doubt if I will ever return.

                                        1. re: bgut1

                                          Well, that does it! Charley's is definitely off my possibilities list.

                                          So sorry you had such an awful meal, bgut1. The only saving grace is that you've saved at least one fellow Hound (moi) from a dining disaster. :-)

                                          1. re: RGR

                                            RGR - Always happy to be of service. :)

                                          2. re: bgut1

                                            I am SO SORRY, bgut!!! Honestly, I would have never went on about his place had I known what a bad experience you would have. I have never ordered any app. there, so I can't say anything about that. I would never tell anyone about a place thta was really bad!

                                            (I know now you must hate my pics..ha! ha! i.e. Le Fandy, Charlie's)

                                            Just kidding! Are you going to put me on your block list? :) :)

                                            I am so sorry you had a dissappointing meal, though. I promise, I will find the restaurant of all restaurants for you :) :)

                                            (Thank heavens we both enjoy Shipwreck!)

                                            1. re: Angelina

                                              Angelina - Don't worry .... I don't blame you at all. You provide a great service to the Chowhound community by providing your reviews and comments. Somtimes the stars don't align and things don't workout. Furthermore, we may have completely different tastes. Keep coming with the recommendations!!! Its all part of the fun in living .... disovering new places. BTW - do I still bother with Jake's (we almost tried it last night) and NBG?

                                              1. re: bgut1

                                                Thanks, pal! I am not familiar with Jake's or, I probably know this, what is NBG? sorry......too much sun yesterday!

                                          3. re: RGR

                                            RGR, North Beach Grill is not open for dinner. Their lunch menu includes a number of wrap sandwiches, called pipelines, and other traditional lunch fare. They always have a lot of specials with a wide variety of quesadillas with interesting ingredients, such as lobster and spinach. They'll put anything you want in a wrap or quesadilla. They'll create any type of salad you want. They serve breakfast all day. They're closed Tuesdays.

                                            About Charley's, I had the same thoughts as other posters: that you might be disappointed knowing your tastes and preferences. We've been regulars there for years and have never had a bad meal. We know our way around the menu. The kitchen staff hasn't changed, only the owner. Their steaks, burgers, muscles, and scallops are excellent. We love the Bermuda fish chowder and the sushi-grade tuna served over mesclun greens. The salad is served with a different homemade vinaigrette every day. I've heard the crab cakes are good. I avoid chicken and fish dishes that have sauces. I think they may use a chicken stock base that offends my palate. All the comfort food choices are very good if not exceptional: beef stroganoff, lasagna, meatballs and pasta, and my fave chicken pot pie (you'll take home half), all under $9. The house salad that someone mentioned comes with shrimp and egg. I had their ribs recently and they were good, not great (hard to compete with Jack's up the road a bit). All the specials come with soup and salad.

                                            If you go on the weekend, the host Pete will take your drink order as he seats you. We love this and it helps the servers out as well. If you order any type of martini, it's served with the shaker on the side. In essence, you get two drinks for the price of one at any other local joint.

                                            For us, the jury is still out on Ted the new owner. He values the regulars and hasn't changed the menu much though I've heard that he wants to renovate and put in a fryer. He says that he wants to have more fresh local seafood. The old staff has stayed on and that says something. Most of them have been there for a long time and are good at making recommendations.

                                            They have a nice selection of wines by the glass.

                                            We're usually too full for dessert but recently couldn't resist. The waitress assured me that all the desserts were homemade; the recipes are the previous owner's (Joanne) family recipes. I had apple cake with hard sauce that tasted just like my grandmother's.

                                            Regarding the potato fixin's, I'll bet the bacon is fresh.

                                            I hope you reconsider and give it a try.

                                            1. re: fershore

                                              Thanks, fershore, for your detailed post. As I've said many times, I'm not wedded to haute cuisine. In fact, most of the restaurants my husband and I go to do not fall into that category. What I do look for above all else is solidly-prepared, very tasty food. Your view of Charley's does seem to conflict with Deb's that it's gone downhill. At this point, I'm still not convinced that it's worth trying. But at some point, that could change.

                                      3. re: tom porc

                                        I'm also embarassed to admit that I've lived in the area for quite sometime and have never tried Charley's, Jack's or North Beach Grill. My "food" trips to Long Branch had only included Richard's, TastiDLite, and Amy's. It goes to show you how sometimes we live with blinders on. The next time I am lamenting the loss of the Southern House in P.P. (and maybe until that new BBQ place opens up), I'll suggest Jack's to my DW for ribs. Same thing for Charley's instead of the dreaded Chili's/Ruby Tuesday for the kids. BTW, will NBG be able to handle young kids or am I relegated to diners/amy's for breakfast? Thanks everyone.

                                        1. re: bgut1

                                          They can handle kids and the family pet (outside for the latter).

                                          1. re: fershore

                                            Feeling great about my meal the night before at One 53, I decided to push my luck and take the fam to NBG. While driving there my DW said, "oh no, not another Chowhound place!" Yup - sorry. I had to do it. :) Anyway, we arrived sometime after 9:30 AM and the place was full both inside and out. Luckily we got a table pretty quick. While I was disappointed with the meal, I must note that I was impressed with the effort put out by the kitchen. The fact that many of the items are fresh (the OJ) and homemade (the granola) is laudable. On the other hand the service was pretty bad. While our server was very nice, there were too many mistakes. For example, it took way too long for our food to come out. We ordered three omelettes and a waffle. What should have taken 10 to 15 minutes took a half hour. My kids were going crazy. Second example, while delivering the food, a server dropped our toast and it took three reminders to our server before we finally got it and well after we finished the meal. As for the food, my whole wheat waffle with granola and berries was excellent. My wife and kids omelettes were disappointing however as they were small and lacked sufficient filling. My DW's in fact was missing tomatoes and had only trace amounts of cheese in it. The final straw was the cost - $50 for two adults and two young kids. The reason - no kids breakfasts (odd considering we were presented with a kids menu containing only lunch items). We had to order adult sized portions for them. One other thing - do you realize they don't serve pancakes? I found out they do in fact serve them for kids but not adults. Almost a deal breaker for one of my kids before we were able to convince him to have eggs. My DW believes that they don't have sufficent griddle space to make them. So while I beleive this place has some potential, I think in some respects I like the food at Amy's better. I may give NBG another try on a week day and with only the spouse. Sorry guys,

                                            1. re: bgut1

                                              Sorry you had that experience. Another time when you are in the mood to try a place in the general area, check out Kitchen Witch on Beach Road in Monmouth Beach. They do a very nice job at breakfast. I've heard good things about the dinners, too (byo), and my nabes rave about the take away dinners, too. Haven't tried that yet, but she has a nice-looking menu.

                                    2. The Turning Point looks great, but a bit far from East/North/New Brunswick.

                                      Looks like La Peep may be worth a trip. Thanks.

                                      I'm thinking back to my college days where there was a place that was packed on Saturday mornings and known for their pancakes and waffles. Sigh.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ieee488

                                        ieee488 - Its been years since I've been to Le Peep but I recall they had these great breakfast skillet dishes. Enjoy and please let us know how it went.

                                        1. re: ieee488

                                          Well, now that I know your geographic preference I also know that I don't have many recs. for you! I too have heard good things about Le Peep though none of the comments involved pancakes or waffles.

                                          If you're adventurous and have some time on the weekend, drive west to the Cafe at Rosemont (in the New Hope/Lambertville area) and enjoy their weekend brunch. I don't know about pancakes and waffles but their French toast is outstanding! I have a friend who lives near Monroe and makes the pilgrimage twice a month.

                                        2. Edison Family Resraurant on Oak Tree Road in Edison...Very good pancakes, waffles served w/ fresh fruit....Eggs served many ways, also oatmeal w/ fresh fruit...Good coffee and service....A local favorite....

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: gudeatz

                                            Can you please be more specific about location. I'm guessing it's west of Wood Avenue but if it's buried in a shopping center it will be hard to find. Thanks!

                                          2. River's Edge in Red Bank makes a nice breakfast. It's cash only, though.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Pink Pepper

                                              What about Princeton--P.J's Pancakes is a local institution, there and if you want college life, you can't get any better than that!

                                              1. re: veganish

                                                If you can get to the Turning Point, go to the Turning Point. Their breakfast is awesome and in the summer at the Pier Village location you can sit outside(and Little SIlver too but only like 2 tables right on the street). There is also a Turning Point in Manalapan in the same shopping center on Rt 9 as Wegmans and Target. They make these pancakes with zucchini and apples and walnuts...omg so good. You can also get a waffle version.

                                            2. Not sure where exactly you are located in central jersey but you should try Sunset Landing on the border of Interlaken and Asbury Park, it's on Sunset Avenue. Cute place, interesting menu, fresh ingredients, overlooks a lake....

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: michelinaO

                                                Try The Dish Cafe in Highland Park. They expanded this year and their breakfast menu is the most extensive around, omelettes, breakfast burrito's, great home fries and coffee. Very busy place.

                                                1. re: sharpfried

                                                  In Brielle right before the Rt. 35 Bridge into Pt. Pleasant - The Mariners Cove Most people know it as "The Omellete Place" has the msot amazing breakfast creations, its teeny weenie and apcks up quickly but worth the wait!!! I second the Sunset Landing as well.

                                                  1. re: stack_c

                                                    Also try Amy's Omlette House in Long Branch - same owners and menu as Mariners Cove.

                                                    1. re: stack_c

                                                      Re: Brielle Omellete Place:

                                                      stack c, I think that you are referring to Eloise's Cafe, http://tinyurl.com/2tvnfe . I ate there recently, and, with all due respect, I disagree with the buzz about this place. I was there for brunch and ordered a fried fish sandwich with homefries. The fish was fried nicely, and the standard Kaiser roll was fresh, but the home fries were awful. First of all, they were deep fried, which means that they're not even homefries at all. Second, they must have been re-fried three times-rock hard little chunks of dark brown potato. As for the amazing creations. I seem to recall one or two somewhat funky breakfast specials. My wife had scramble eggs, which she said were just OK.

                                                      The waitresses were all very nice. I would give it another try.

                                                      Does anyone know about a little breakfast joint in a tiny strip center on Route 71, northbound side, between Sea Girt and Spring Lake Hts somewhere (just north of the Sea Girt Ave. intersection)? The name escapes me right now.

                                                      RIP Siderorff's.

                                                      1. re: soigne

                                                        I know which place you are talking about but it is def. different. The Mariners Cove is right at the intersection of 71 and 35. Bgut1 is right it is the same owners as Amys Omlettes.

                                                        1. re: stack_c

                                                          Cool. I will give it a try as good breakfast joints are so hard to come by. I can say this with some authority as I was an "eggman" for a year in a cafe in Salt Lake City that was (and still is, I believe) beloved for its breakfasts and weekend brunch.

                                                          Goo goo ga joob.

                                                2. I used to live in Woodbridge and the Reo Diner was the place to have breakfast. Incredible diner food. Very crowded on Saturday & Sunday a.m. though. Go a bit later and you have a better chance of getting seated.

                                                  Also, IHOP on Parsonage is better also a bit later. You come around 10 and you'll wait for 45 minutes easy, Worse on Sunday than Saturday I found. I always thought they were great.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: RisaG

                                                    I recalled reading on this board that the Reo Diner had new owners and things have gone downhill. A search found this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/413145