by Sydney Barber & Kate Helander
Two girls. Ten dollars a dish. Ten a.m. Westfield is known for its rich history, charming neighborhoods, and, of course, its downtown: a shopper’s haven and food lover’s heaven. With more than 50 places to eat and an overwhelming variety of cuisines, it can be difficult to choose where to spend your time and money on your next meal. Because it was 10 a.m., we decided to scout out Westfield’s best breakfasts without breaking the bank,allowing ourselves to spend just $10 each at every breakfast joint
Our first stop was Turning Point, an upscale, chic restaurant that specializes in breakfast, brunch and lunch. The ambiance of Turning Point is cozy yet sophisticated, featuring a fireplace along with a coffee bar. The staff seated us right away and accommodated us when we needed more seating. While they weren’t particularly friendly and hesitated when we asked to split the check, the staff brought our food to us relatively quickly and offered to wrap up the leftovers.
Turning Point’s menu offers unique twists to classic breakfast favorites such as Hawaiian Wheat pancakes and multiple gluten-sensitive options. The menu is great for people looking for something that’s different from the everyday diner options. The dishes we chose were the Classic Benedict for $9.89, the Bananas Foster waffles for $9.15 along with the Seasonal Fruit Bowl for $4.89. The Classic Benedict was underwhelming. While the egg was cooked to satisfaction, it was only lukewarm. The two eggs were placed on top of a slice of plum tomato and a large pile of Virginia Ham. Nothing about the dish was warm, which really detracted from the flavor, a disappointment. The hollandaise sauce was too runny, and a bit too tangy. While the Eggs Benedict was a letdown, the rest of the meal did not disappoint.
The Bananas Foster waffles were delicious, perfectly cooked as they were crispy on the outside and extremely fluffy on the inside. They were served at the perfect temperature and slathered with a dark rum sauce and topped with crunchy pecans and a perfectly ripe banana. It was a truly decadent choice, perfect for someone trying to satisfy their sweet tooth.
The final part of the meal was the Seasonal Fruit Bowl, a huge bowl that was comprised of strawberries, grapes, blueberries, honeydew, banana and pineapple. The serving was huge, a great option for anyone that is looking to split a dish with friends. The fruit was extremely fresh, and according to the menu it is delivered daily from a market in New York. The fruit bowl was the dish that left us the most impressed, ensuring that we would be back to Turning Point.
Next, we headed to Rock’n’Joe Coffee Bar, a spot that is the quintessential cool hangout for someone looking to just hang out and grab some breakfast grub. The decor is laid-back, a bohemian mixture of couches, plush chairs, bar stools and different sized tables. The rock’n’roll vibe is completed with classic rock records hanging on the wall such as The Eagles’ Hotel California and several electric guitars.
The vibe was extremely relaxed and attracted all different sorts of people. There was a large group that seemed to have just finished working out, multiple people working fervently on laptops, someone grading papers and a woman who had taken off her shoes and kicked up her feet to read a book as she sipped on her drink. Rock’n’Joe is the type of place that’s perfect for socializing or just going to by yourself to relax and get some work done.
The joint features gourmet coffee concoctions as well as a full breakfast and lunch menu. There was a case of freshly baked cakes and pies in the front as well as big jars of assorted biscotti and cookies begging you to satisfy your sweet tooth. We ordered a small iced latte ($3.29), a hot vanilla chai tea ($2.95) and a small iced Van Halen ($3.65), an iced coffee drink with vanilla and hazelnut flavoring. The roasts were satisfyingly strong and not for the faint of heart. The tea was served hot with foamed milk in a homey blue mug. Whether you’re in the mood for a cheap brew on the go or want relaxingly sip a hot drink for hours, Rock’n’Joe is for you.
No trip downtown would be complete without making a stop at Westfield’s most quintessential, all-American diner for a breakfast bite, Vicki’s Diner. Walking into this classic diner was like taking a step back in time—walls were furnished with chrome accents and bright red cushioned booths provided large and small groups with comfortable seating. The staff greeted us with warm smiles and engaged us in friendly conversation, making us feel right at home.
The menu was extensive, spanning multiple pages, serving everything from classic NJ taylor ham and cheese sandwiches to full dinners. Many of the items on the menu were priced under $10 giving us many options to choose from. We settled on a cheese omelet for $8.45 and french toast with strawberries for $9.41.
The omelet oozed cheese with every forkful and came with a heaping side of homefries, which were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. It also came with your choice of toast (we chose rye) which was perfectly toasted and buttered. The french toast came hot and was paired with strawberries that had been sweetened with sugar. The toast was comforting and the batter had a hint of cinnamon.
Vicki’s served us large, tasty portions for such a small price tag and the exemplary customer service made the meal well worth our appetite and money.
You might be on the search for a great breakfast to start of your day, or maybe you’re on the search for the best meals for deals. In any case, each of these restaurants will be sure to satisfy your m