Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There Will Be Brunch (New London CT)

Dear Mouse,

I miss Summer Camp. Remember those days where all we did all day was rehearse plays, eat inedible food off plastic trays, go swimming, crash on a narrow bed in a stuffy bunk next to a fan, and then get up and do it again? Those were the days. One can never go back.

Unless ... one happens to go spend a week at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center for the summer Playwrights Conference. Which is basically Summer Theatre Camp with a stipend and an on-site pub. (Cheap drinks and a van to take you home to your dorm.. "Long Van's Journey Into Night"; I kid you not.) I just spent a week there working on the latest from the pen of this wonderful playwright.

Remember also, how, no matter how much we loved being AT camp, which we did, kind of the best part was when you got to leave? A scheduled outing, a parental visit...all knowing you'd be able to come back...and how the best part of said outings was usually that you got to eat real food?

One outing which I'll never forget was our cast's tour of the 'Monte Cristo Cottage', Eugene O'Neill's boyhood home and the setting for that cheery crowd-pleaser, "Long Day's Journey Into Night". You can visit the very room where Eugene O'Neill's mom dosed herself with morphine, and sit on the very porch where young Eugene would contemplate how "the fog is the ghost of the sea".

And what better to do after all the fog, morphine, and anguished ghosts than ... go for brunch?

May I suggest this place? You can't see it here, but the cartoon rooster is standing over a broken egg and smiling gleefully.
What up with that.

The Broken Yolk Cafe in New London CT, offers, to quote their web site, "Spectacular breakfast and lunch diner fare with some creative sprinkles and off-the-beaten-path sides."

Like, say, mini-marshmallows, shot from a powerful (plastic) gun at your head, that land in your coffee. Pieces of toast that sail by you and land in the street. A bullet-like blueberry landing with startling precision (and audible "whack") on your collarbone. And the piece de resistance:

Doreen, Warrior Princess, the proprietress of the Broken Yolk,
with trademark watergun. Shooting, yes, me.

The spirit of the Wild, Wild West is alive and well and living in New London. (The Wild East?)

Doreen, WP, with mini-marshmallows. (They came out of a gun too.)

I mean, I've heard of themed restaurants, specialty restaurants.. I mean, there must be people whose idea of a good time is to gnaw on a giant turkey leg while watching people poke each other with blunt pieces of metal, right? Otherwise, wherefore 'Medieval Times'? And how can we forget the phenomenon of Conni's Avant-Garde Restaurant, for those who like their food served by a fictional subversive theatre troupe?

This place, however, is not called "The Broken Yolk Boundary-Crossing and Visceral Culinary Warfare Emporium", so the experience comes as complete surprise. When we arrived at the modest outdoor picnic area with visions of omelets dancing in our heads, we didn't expect to have menus flung at us like frisbees, or to have one of our party enveloped in an immense bear hug by Ms.D herself. ("Do you know her?" I whispered as we sat down. "Nope", he replied, quietly, as she was now perched on his knee. )

So maybe I'm ruining it for everyone else by blogging, but then again I can't imagine how I could. For one thing, I have no doubt that Doreen has a gazillion props and torments up her talented sleeve, and for another thing....

the FOOD
from the basic (eggs, bacon, perfectly buttered toast) ...

is INCREDIBLE. the divine. An order of Chocolate-Cranberry Pancakes, for the table.
Also stunning; "Pina-Colada French Toast", not pictured here.

The menu is staggering; both the plentiful offerings on the actual thing itself and the wide variety of 'creative sprinkles' listed daily - ! - on the blackboard at the door. Doreen cooks everything herself, with one helper; you can watch her through the window. Now, this results in kind of a long wait for your food, and in people getting it at different times, whcih kind of drives me crazy... but also in careful, beautiful, delicious presentations that render all forgiven. Also, if you complain, she might shoot you.

In between lovingly battling guests and frying up eggs, Doreen also comes out to dish up philosophy and wisdom, as when my cast-mate/fictional love interest put his arm around me and asked DWP "Do you buy us as a couple?"

After a moment, this was the priceless reply.

"Sure - it's the Millennium. But you gotta hold hands. That's how you know couples that are really in love. They hold hands."

After which, she made everyone practice.

So, Mouse, let this be a lesson to you. Summer camp is still an option, always chase your morphine with pancakes, and remember to hold hands. If you don't, I'll shoot you with a mini-marshmallow.

The Boo
P.S. Photos in this post are all (I believe) by David Ross.


Xan said...

I drink you mimosa! I drink it up!

Xan said...

Er. I drink *your* mimosa.

Anonymous said...

What a wild mix of ingredients. The marshmellow teeth truly frightening. The food sounds awesome. Fear must be conquered I do believe. Max