Off the Beaten Path

A Marvelous Way To Start The Day At This Toms River Café

A Marvelous Way To Start The Day At This Toms River Café. I finally made my way to the Morningstar Café at 1001 Fischer Blvd in Fischer Bay Plaza. If you were driving down Fischer Blvd, you wouldn’t see this eatery from the street. It’s tucked in the corner of Fischer Bay Plaza between Hair Candy and Ken’s Hardware. My first in-person experience made me want to stand in the middle of Fischer Blvd with a sign saying, “Eat Here.” Morningstar serves Breakfast, Brunch & Dinner. If you're a coffee lover, visit Chef Alex's Coffee Bar where you can choose from a variety of espresso drinks, lattes, tea of all kinds,  and hot chocolate I’ve been meaning to visit Chef Alex since she and her wife, Samantha opened Morningstar Cafe in July of 2023. Thanks to my friend, Jimmy Roland for getting me out of the house early on a Sunday morning. Extra special thanks to local artist, Alaina Joy Elsis for being the biggest cheerleader for Morningstar Cafe. Alaina Joy was the very first person to let me know how incredible the food here is. Jimmy and our friend Dave McTernan joined us for this Sunday morning feast. The 3 of us belong to some of the same food pages on social media. It really is true, food brings people together. Look At This: 10 Ocean County Casual Restaurants Suggested By Locals Jimmy and I live in town, Dave drove all the way from Union Beach and It wasn’t Dave’s first time here. Imagine, driving over 40 miles just to eat breakfast. It wasn’t any ordinary breakfast, it was a masterful meal created by a passionate chef. I got there just before 9 am this past Sunday and was greeted by Autumn, a server who’s been working with Chef Alex and her crew for the last 6 months. Autumn (pictured above) sat me in a booth and served me a piping hot cup of coffee while I waited for Jimmy & Dave to arrive. I noticed a few tables occupied by couples who were enjoying their breakfast and engaging in conversation. A few minutes later, Chef Alex came out of the kitchen to say hello. She was beyond thrilled and greeted me with a warm hug. She told me that I had been with her on the radio throughout most of her culinary career journey. Alex used to work as a cook at Shipwreck Point and she and her kitchen colleagues always had 95.9 The WRAT on in the kitchen during my 10 am to 3 pm midday radio show. I truly had no idea that she knew who I was. Our conversation warmed my heart. Her food would later warm my stomach. Jimmy and Dave arrived and Autumn took our order. Jimmy ordered one of the specials, a Croffle. The Croffle is a salted pretzel croissant made into a waffle with house-made blueberry cheesecake filling, sprinkled with almond granola and whipped cream. Dave ordered a sausage and Swiss cheese omelet, breakfast potatoes, and a side of bacon. I was going back and forth trying to decide between the Foraged Frittata made with farm fresh eggs, local mushrooms, onions, truffle, and parmesan cheese, or the chicken and waffles. Jimmy insisted I order the chicken and waffles. The chicken and waffles are a fluffy Belgium waffle, crispy fried buttermilk chicken coated with cornflake crumbs, harissa honey, & a fried egg with yolk intact. Never has a Sunday morning been so tasty.  Before our orders arrived, Autumn brought us a huge plate of Chef Alex’s famous Crispy Bacon Brussels Sprouts coated in harissa honey, a gift from the chef. If you’re not a fan of Brussels sprouts, this dish will change your mind. It was the perfect balance between savory & sweet with the crunch of both the sprouts and the bacon and a hint of sweetness from the honey. When our order arrived, Jimmy sat there and marveled at his gorgeous Croffle before digging in. I did the same with my chicken and waffles topped with a perfectly fried egg. Dave dug right into his hearty omelet, sourdough toast, and breakfast potatoes accompanied by a hefty side order of perfectly cooked bacon. The three of us couldn’t say enough about our beautiful bounty of food. As we were getting ready to leave, Alex’s wife and co-owner of Morningstar Café, Samantha came out to introduce herself. I did see another server named Kat pop in before we left. [caption id="attachment_992399" align="alignnone" width="917"] PICTURED L to R: Dave, Robyn, Chef Alex, Samantha, & Jimmy. Pictured in the back row: Servers Autumn & Kat[/caption] As we finished exchanging goodbyes and taking photos, a couple seated in a booth were looking on. During my exchange with Samantha, a gentleman named Ralph, said, “Excuse me, are you Robyn from the WRAT?”  ‘I could tell from your voice.” It turns out that Ralph & Lori Esposito eat breakfast at Morningstar every Sunday after church. It’s their favorite place in Toms River. [caption id="attachment_992381" align="alignnone" width="904"] LORI & RALPH ESPOSITO OF TOMS RIVER[/caption] The whole morning was such an incredible experience. Between the food, the people, and the warm friendly vibe, I will make sure to visit Morningstar Café a lot more often.