Sometimes I am just awestruck by New Jersey. You haters can hate Jersey all you want, but you’re missing out. We have the beaches (which are alot cleaner than you’d imagine and oil-free for the time being), the elevated rock formations that we consider as “mountains” in the Northeast, blueberries, tomatoes, corn, and attendants who pump our gas. We’re also generally disaster-free from natural catastrophes. What more could you ask for in a state? Actually, lower property taxes, but since I have yet to buy property, that hasn’t affected me yet.
We also have, what I think, is the best spot for brunch, and that’s at Turning Point. A couple of weekends ago, we spent an overcast Saturday at Long Branch Beach. I’m lucky enough to live less than 30 minutes away, and I’ve been to this beach more times this summer than I have in my whole life. Turning Point sits on the edge of the boardwalk, and the sea salt lingers briefly in the air while dining al fresco. Friends may make a face when I consider this my absolute favorite spot for brunch, even considering those in NYC, but there’s something about the homeyness of the food, the consistency of the quality, and the country-house feeling ambiance. Plus, it’s also super cheap.
So what makes this spot so great? Their waffles. Their pancakes. Their crepes. Good god, their cream cheese stuffed french toast!
That… was taken from a prior visit like two summers ago with my point-and-shoot. DO YOU REMEMBER THIS, ALAN?! I just remember it being so rich and delicious, while introducing me to the world of cream cheese as stuffing.
A little bird told me that despite being labeled as “freshly” squeezed, she saw them pour orange juice from Tropicana containers?! If so, that’s terribly disappointing, especially for the price they charge. But even more disappointing is how we couldn’t taste the difference and pretended to notice the “freshness” by commenting to one another, “Oh yeah, see all that pulp?! That must be fresh.”
Now, onto the food. First the savory.
This… was totally not what I expected. I expected your traditional thinly sliced corned beef rueben stacked high on toasted rye bread (though clearly that was not the description). Despite my double-take, this was REALLY GOOD, but also really creamy. The first ten bites were just filled with awesomeness, but afterwards, all that coleslaw really gets to you. I loved the crusty edges of the bread and the dijon spread. The turkey was a bit chunky and it could have been shredded a more to better absorb some more flavor.
That was only like a quarter way through and I was getting stuffed! The worst thing about eating outside is that you can’t enjoy melted cheese because it cools too quickly.
Grande Huevos Rancheros: diced potatoes, chipotle peppers, chorizo sausage, onions, black beans, cilantro and avocado loaded on a toasted tortilla topped with melted mixed cheeses, salsa, and sour cream. Your choice of 3 eggs ($9.25, chef recommended)
Jungyon ordered the Grande Huevos Rancheros and it looked like a burrito that was too bloated to be wrapped. Three eggs is ALOT and by the end of the meal, it looked like she barely made a dent. She assured us of otherwise. I’ve had this dish before and I can affirm that it’s a hearty meal and perfect if you’re in the mood for the savory side of breakfast.
Now onto the sweet side.
Angela ordered what seemed like fluffy patches of goodness, drizzled with melted chocolate, and carelessly topped with sliced strawberries. In other words, it looked absolutely divine. She commented that it could not compare to Pancake on the Rocks, this pancake house in Sydney as that was an epic fail and this an epic success.
You probably can’t tell, but three pancakes is a bit too much to handle. Angela couldn’t finish it so I had to help her. She ought to be ashamed. I was, of course, was very happy to lend a helping hand to a friend in need.
Those are also some darn good pancakes, ordered from that brunch I had with Alan awhile back. I can’t believe I still have these pictures. I can’t tell you must about the pancakes, except that I just remember the meal being exceptionally good.
And now, the very photogenic waffle. Jenny’s reaction was anything but- “Wait, why does it look like I have the least amount of food?” I predicted that even though it looked small, the waffle’s density would make up for it. Of course, I was right. Jenny was the only person able to finish her whole meal but she was stuffed. It may look small, but it’s loaded.
Turning Point has yet to disappoint, and I plan on going back whenever I go to the beach. In fact, I already know what I’m going to order next- their seasonal Cubano French Toast! The service is always really friendly but the wait can get a bit long if you don’t manage to snag a seat before 10:30am on a Saturday. Make that 9:30-10am during the busy summer season. They do have several other locations, but this is the only one at the beach.
A word of advice: brunch often works this way, but I think this applies to Turning Point even more. If you’re with a group of friends, you should order the same amount of sweet and savory dishes. They tend to overdo it on each end and you need the other to balance it out. So if it weren’t for Angela’s un-persevering stomach, I probably would have gotten really sick of my Rueben Melt by the third bite.
92 Ocean Ave
Long Branch, NJ 07740