My mother collects turtle items. Turtle jewelry, turtle light switches, turtle stuffed animals, turtle tables. My mother has them all! So, when I saw a sign for the Turtle Café in downtown Westbrook, CT, my sense of filial piety kicked in. The place was packed when I ended up visiting on December 28.
The place itself is not exactly a café, but rather a classic diner. In addition to a lengthy menu, there was also a quite generous list of daily specials. It actually took us longer than expected to put in our orders. I got the Tex-Mex breakfast burrito, while my significant other, Ms. R, ordered an egg dish called the “Salmon mess.”
The Turtle Café is not a particularly large establishment. People either sit at tables with chairs, or at the counter on fixed stools. Behind the counter, all of the food is prepared and cooked. While it is interesting to watch one’s order being cooked, we were shocked that the chefs do not use gloves. While any harmful bacteria is likely decimated due to being cooked under intense heat, it was unsettling.
When the food arrived, Ms. R and I were shocked at the portion sizes – they were gigantic! We both ended up needing to take doggybags home. The “Salmon mess” was salmon, ricotta cheese, home fries, and spinach cooked in something resembling a mix between scrambled eggs and an omelet. Ms. R enjoyed the richness of the flavors, but wished that they had used smoked salmon.
The Tex-Mex breakfast burrito was delicious as well. In the United States, breakfast burritos are usually wraps with egg inside. While I handle spicy foods particularly well, a woman sitting next to us inquired numerous times as to how spicy the item was. In reality, it was incredibly mild. If anything, the variety of flavors would have been improved by some jalapeños.
The restaurant seemed to serve a number of regular customers. I struck up conversation with one man who sat next to us. He was in his 80s, but still drives an ambulance. The old timer told me that he has breakfast at The Turtle Café every day, to the point where he sometimes forgets to pay. Aside from a few unprovoked insults aimed at President Obama, he seemed incredibly congenial.
The Turtle Café is a cute, small -town diner. While its food was delicious, the chefs should really wear gloves while cooking. The portions are gigantic, the regulars are friendly, and the atmosphere was very cozy. I would love to return for brunch again at some point in the future.
Tasteless | Bad | Okay | >> Good << | Tasty
Name: Turtle Café
Phone +1 (860) 399-1799
Credit Cards? Yes
Apple Pay [?]? No
Take out? Yes
Outside seating? Yes
Wheelchair friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? Yes
Bike parking? Yes
Car parking? Yes
Monday: 06:00 – 14:00
Tuesday: 06:00 – 14:00
Wednesday: 06:00 – 14:00
Thursday: 06:00 – 14:00
Friday: 06:00 – 14:00
Saturday: 06:00 – 14:00
Sunday: 06:00 – 13:00
Address (Korean) Not available
Address (English) 4 Westbrook Place, Westbrook, CT 06498, U.S.A.