Turning Point restaurant chain, a breakfast and lunch joint with numerous locations in NJ, PA and DE? Never heard of it. Then this past summer, while hanging at the community pool, a review from my friend who had gone there with her husband, was not very promising, so I put it on the back burner. However, when son Dan and girlfriend Tina were passing through on their way back to Massachusetts the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I thought it might be an interesting place to meet up.
Seems like so did everyone else in town! It was spilling-out-the-door-and-beyond packed, and we were told there would be a half hour wait. Although I was dubious about that estimate, they were spot on. But then it was another 45 minutes before we got any food. Was it worth the wait? Hands down YES.
One big focus is their coffee. They brew a selection of regional coffees like Jamaican Blue Mountain, Hawaiian Kona Blend, Kenya AA, Costa Rican, and then then have their own blends, as well as a house coffee.
We caffeine on the mind, we all placed orders for drinks, a tremendous task in itself with a multitude of offerings from Heavenly Hot Chocolate, an Espresso Bar, French Press Coffee, to Loose Leaf Hot Teas; all served with a swizzle stick of candied brown sugar. And if that isn’t enough to get your interest, there’s a huge assortment of Cold Press Juices… although we didn’t go there.
If you want decadent, then Tina’s beverage choice of S’MORES Hot Chocolate, with toasted marshmallow syrup, whipped cream and crushed graham crackers, is the way to go.
Personally, I like it simple and unadorned and opted for the Organic Green Dragon—Organic wok-fired green tea with a delicate chestnut like flavor delivered in a nice little covered crock.
Dan and Dad had no qualms in choosing French Press Coffee. About a half dozen blend options, ground per order and infused with purified water, a coffee connoisseurs dream in regular or decaf.
Once we got our liquid nourishment, it took us quite some time to examine all of the menu options. It was early afternoon already so some of us couldn’t decide whether to order breakfast or lunch. With so many tantalizing breakfast selections, we all settled in that arena.
Not having eaten a thing yet, I was by now famished and decided on one of their three-egg omelettes served with english muffin and choice of breakfast potatoes or tossed greens in a light citrus vinaigrette. The TUSCANY with roasted red peppers, baby fresh spinach, spiced sausage and fresh sliced mozzarella (I switched my cheese option) was calling my name.
Daughter Julia had dined at one of the franchises before and was familiar with the menu so she zeroed in on a fave from the EGGS-TRA-ORDINARY DISHES. It was the LOW COUNTRY SHRIMP HASH BOWL comprised of Cajun seasoned potatoes, sautéed shrimp, chopped bacon, caramelized onions, roasted peppers topped with a sausage gravy and two poached eggs with a side of cornbread.
The EGGS-TRA-ORDINARY DISHES section was popular with the rest of the crowd too because Dad, Dan and Tina also ordered from there.
Dan chose the Classic Eggs Benedict consisting of a toasted english muffin with slices of Virginia ham, plum tomato and two poached eggs, then topped with hollandaise sauce and served with potatoes.Tina was on a similar page with BIG EASY BENEDICT assembled with cornbread topped with avocado, creole seasoned onions, peppers and chicken chorizo, then topped with two poached eggs and creole spiced hollandaise, also served with potatoes.
And Dad got the same as Julia, only his photo looks different because he already stirred in the eggs and layered on the sauce before a picture could be taken. I guess someone was hungry!
There are so many other “fresh, healthy, fun and decadent” choices beginning with Appetizers (Bacon Lollipops anyone?); a plethora of Pancakes (Bourbon/Walnut/Banana got your attention?); Waffles (Salted Caramel ring your bell?); French Toast (the OMG, seriously?); plus Salads, Bowls, Wraps, Sandwiches, Shakes and Smoothies, along with a Create-Your-Own. They also list gluten-free and vegan options.
Every item is made from ‘scratch’ from its soups to its salsa. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention a seasonal menu that changes quarterly. When we were there, the Fall Menu was still in play and offered a Pumpkin Pie Mocha Latte, Caramel Apple French Toast and a Crossfit Kale Omelette, to name a few.
Most of us wiped our plates clean, but Dad had to finally surrender. With closing at 3 p.m., it was just a few minutes beforehand when we finally shuffled off to our respective cars and agendas. While I wasn’t thrilled with the wait, the food was EGGS-TRA-ORDINARY and was a real Turning Point for determining brunch choices in the future.
In fact… Russ and I returned for breakfast about 10 days later and were seated immediately in the comfortable sunroom (although it was a rainy day 😦 ). I loved my omelette so much, that I got another one, this time the WESTERN. With diced Virginia ham, fresh peppers and red onion, it was scrumptiously smothered with a blend of cheddar and jack cheeses.
Because it was vying for his attention the first time, Russ ordered the EGGS BENEDETTO, once again from the EGGS-TRA-ORDINARY DISHES. It was a toasted ciabatta topped with plum tomato, fresh baby spinach, roasted peppers, portobellos, pesto glazed poached eggs with hollandaise, and served with cubed breakfast potatoes. For beverages, he again got the decaf French Roast and I chose a different green tea.
In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be baaaaack!”
Turning Point was founded in 1998 in Little Silver, N.J., by husband and wife, Pam and Kirk Ruoff, who wanted to open a restaurant, but be home at night at the end of a long work day. Inside, the atmosphere is reminiscent of the shore with fresh plants, a white wainscoting, a light blue to grey color scheme and high ceilings. Being it was mid-December, they were tastefully decorated for Christmas and Hanukkah.