The heart of downtown Milford is home to a true, all-day breakfast gem: the Corner Restaurant on River Street. Its breakfast menu is full of what the restaurant calls gourmet-brunch dishes such as quesadillas with crab meat and pecan-crusted French toast. (The restaurant serves lunch, too, but who passes up the chance to eat breakfast food for every meal?)
This place is no secret: It has had dishes featured on local cooking segments and national food shows, such as WFSB's "Better Connecticut" and the Cooking Channel's "Road Trip," and had a visit from celebrity chef Robert Irvine earlier this year.
As I walked up to the front door, I heard a passerby tell her companion, "You have to wait an hour on the weekends to eat here." We visited on a weekday around 1 p.m., a relatively quiet time.
The African Hash is one of the Corner's most popular breakfasts. It's an English muffin topped with a spicy beef and lentil hash, poached eggs, crispy potato strings and Béarnaise sauce. The hash is flavorful and just a touch spicy, and probably the best breakfast food I've ever eaten. I managed to save a few bites for my foodie friends back in the newsroom (truly a personal sacrifice and test of self-control), and they raved about the leftovers.
We also tried the stuffed French toast, which has that perfect consistency of crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and is stuffed with strawberries and bananas.
The Mexican breakfast is a burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, black beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes and cheddar cheese, served with home fries and salsa on the side.
The fresh squeezed orange juice is refreshing and just slightly pulpy. Our server mentioned that the restaurant is BYOB, and people often bring champagne and vodka for the ultimate mimosas and screwdrivers on the weekends.
Just as great as the food is the friendly atmosphere, which the staff works hard to cultivate. I've heard from a regular that when the restaurant isn't so busy, the servers have customers play games, like carrying an egg on a spoon throughout the restaurant.
Our server was one of the friendliest I've ever had anywhere. She made a point to show us what specific dishes looked like as she brought food over to the tables around us. And when she mentioned that customers love the spiced island duck tortilla, she brought over a little ramekin of the spiced duck for tasting.
So is this the best brunch in Connecticut? CTNOW readers seem to like it — it has been voted the best breakfast spot in Milford for two years running. This place makes me envious of the people who live and work closer to Milford, but I'll be making the trip back.
The Corner Restaurant, at 105 River St. in Milford, is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 203-882-1150, thecornerbrunch.com