6/25/2008 Update:

Phone Number: 201-222-3797

Here’s some good news for those that love the Turning Point, but were a bit bothered by the previous long wait times. Their outdoor seating (very comfortable, I might add) is in full effect now. Here’s what Manager Matt Alkon had to say:

More seats, less wait

“Now that we are in summer season and we have added the additional 10 tables in the outside cafe, it has helped to decrease the wait for the customers as the demand is still very strong on the weekends. I thought it would be good information for the folks that maybe shyed away on the weekends due to the large waits around opening season. On a Saturday or Sunday waits have been down to about 15 minutes at the peak of business. Having the extra seats has surely helped the restaurant and more importantly the guests.”

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See previous updates, including new menus, after the jump…

5/15/2008 Update:

While still a very busy restaurant, it appears that service over at The Turning Point has improved since they opened!

hoboken-turning-point-new-menu-may-2008.jpgIn addition, they’ve also modified their menus, making them easier to read, as well as adding many new items.

Selections such as:

  • honey breakfast crunch
  • grande huevos ranchero
  • florentine benny
  • the breakfast combo (the most popular new item)
  • huevos blanco ranchero
  • pacific french toast
  • o’pear pecan pancakes
  • shrimp salad stacker
  • chips and chili appetizer
  • A scratch turkey burger made in house, crepes and more!

Some folks might be disappointed that the Carrot Ginger soup is no longer a regular item, but will still make appearances as the Soup of the Day. Newcomers to the soup menu are Tomato Basil Cannelini and Turkey Chili (which was delicious!)

10/11/2007 First Review:

Opening day review, to summarize:

Food: A
Service: B+
Value: A-
“First Day” performance: A+

Stopped by Turning Point this afternoon to immediately sample a couple of items on the menu, and I am glad I did.

See the quick review/recap after the jump!

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October 11, 2007- Turning Point Opening Day:

Here’s the quick nitty gritty style review.

First impressions:

Clean, well staffed, friendly, open feel. I found the booths comfortable, with a nice view. Pitcher of iced water with lemon immediately on table. “Unlimited Ultimate Coffee”, $2.25 lets you have as much as you want, and even a to-go cup. Additionally, if you purchase from the News Cafe up front in the morning (say on your AM commute), you can have another cup on the way home at NO charge. Excellent flavor, and tremendous value. Try it for yourself.

Food:

Ordered several items to taste. A Bacon, Egg, & Cheese (which isn’t on the menu exactly), but you can “build your own”, choose bread, egg style, cheese and meat. A Pavo Cubano sandwich (almost like a regular cuban, but minus the pork and added cilantro based sauce plus tortillas and salsa), and the Crab Cake Benny (eggs Benedict with crab cakes).

Oh, and don’t forget the bacon, which I personally found it to be A+ perfect. Crispy, but melted in your mouth. Perfect. My dining companion preferred a little softer, but you can request that. Speaking of, they totally encourage dish customization. Pretty much if they have it in the kitchen, they can make it for you. You’ll never hear the phrase “no substitutions allowed” at The Turning Point.

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On to the food. The ingredients on the egg sandwich were very very good. They’re still working out the kinks in the bun-offerings, but they can provide you the sandwich any way you like. Sour-dough, hard roll, english muffin, bagel, cuban bread, wrap, etc. I asked for Hard roll, but mine had rosemary in it.. the only mishap of the day. The home fries that came with the sandwich were perfect in my book. Small little cubes, hardly any grease, and very well seasoned. Three slices of quality well-cooked bacon. Yay! Grade: B+
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The Cuban sandwich I tried was out of this world. Heads and tails above any cuban sandwich I’ve had. Packed with ingredients, and loaded with flavor. That cilantro-based mustard/sauce was tangy and complimented the sandwich perfectly. The jicama cole slaw was delicious as well. They have no deep-fat fryer there, so the plate comes standard with white and blue tortillas, and a wonderful salsa. Grade: A+

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My friend ordered crab-cakes Benedict. The quality of the cakes was wonderful. Lump crap, with not-too-much breading, and minimal “filler”. No fishy taste at all. She regretted getting the eggs with it, and preferred the crab cakes alone. Staff indicated you can have it your way, you just have to ask. It was also accompanied by 4 pieces of shrimp, which much to her surprise, were peeled, thus avoiding the dreaded “shrimp tails”. Grade: A

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Service:

Owner Kirk Ruoff has an excellent hiring process. He hires friendly people first and foremost, and is willing to fine tune their skills on the job. He’d much rather have an excellent fast learning customer service oriented employee, than a seasoned 30-year diner veteran who is disgruntled and unfriendly. It immediately showed, as the vibe was noticeably pleasant and welcoming.

Part-owner and Manager Matt, accompanied our waitress Heidi, and taught her the ropes on her first few orders. Nice to see such openness and support at a restaurant.

Conclusion:

Well-done for day number 1. They had no need to fall back on the “oh it’s a new restaurant, let’s give them a chance” excuse. They hit a home run on opening day, and I’ll be a season ticket holder for the Turning Point team!

Other notes:

While the Turning Point restaurant is open from 8am-3pm 7 days a week, The “News Cafe” portion up front is open from 6am-9pm. They have a separate grill for quick items like sandwiches, etc. Over the next few weeks, they’re going to analyze the purchasing trends and have frequently purchased items ready for quick pickup. Regular coffee drinkers can establish “pre-paid” credit and form a “house account” so they can quickly buy their coffee without having to pay or wait in line. Future promotions such as frequent buyer cards and other incentives to come. Gift Certificates available as well.

10/11/2007 Update:

They got their C.O., and should be open in six hours! The “News Cafe” (coffee, quick bites, magazines, newspapers) plans to open at 6am, and the Restaurant will open at 8am. North Hoboken Ferry riders rejoice!

Mmmm. Bacon.

9/10/2007 Update:

Had a chance to spend some time last week with Kirk Ruoff, the owner of upcoming The Turning Point (located at 14th & Sinatra Drive uptown).

To start things off, I believe this will be an enormously successful restaurant in Hoboken. The sheer sincerity behind who runs the establishment is amazing, and the fair prices, quality ingredients, and welcoming atmosphere will be a great addition to our dining choices.

They’re getting close to opening, and will hopefully be unlocking the doors some time by the end of the month.

The establishment, while it has a slight “diner” feel, also reminds me of some kind of Country Inn. Very inviting and comfortable. Turning Point is divided into two operating venues. The restaurant, is only open from 8am – 3pm. They’ll serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch. There’s about a 90 seat capacity plus outdoor seating. The second part is the TP News Cafe, which will operate from 6am – 10pm. The standard coffee shop choices, plus magazines, newspapers, seating for 10 and free Wi-Fi access points. You can also get either ready made items such as egg wraps and pastries, or even have them whip up a selection of your choice fresh on the spot.

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Turning Point offers some excellent items, such as giant fresh squeezed orange juice to go (did you know that it takes 32 oranges to make a pint of juice?) and organically grown coffee ground on the spot. Additionally, they’ll have giant pitchers of ice water with lemon ready for you to drink at each table (rather than having to order a water).

The Turning Point is also very mom/family friendly. Available high-chairs and kids menus will definitely make this a “hot spot” for many of the local moms in town.

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They’ll have interesting items on the menu, such as crab cake eggs benedict, and a “Bandito Burrito”, which is a spicy egg sandwich. Three different kinds of soup, all made fresh on the premises.

Much to my delight, they’ll definitely have bacon, which will be one of the first things on the menu that I will try. While they have no deep fryer (yeah no fries, bummer), each sandwich will get a plate of white and blue tortilla chips and fresh salsa to enjoy.

Other great treats include fresh waffles (like the Waffle Banana Foster – for about 6 bucks!)!

TP also has a private room in the back that can be rented out for various events, such as corporate meetings.

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They’re also very up on hygiene. The bathrooms are very accommodating, with baby changing stations in both the men’s and ladies restrooms. Private stalls for comfort, and hand sanitizing stations setup throughout the restaurant.

I will be one of the first people to eat there, and luckily since I’m uptown as well, will hopefully be a regular (provided the bacon is up to par).

Let’s get ready to welcome a great new establishment to Hoboken!

(Air conditioned kitchen! Any other place have that?)
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2/23/2007 Update:

turning-point-uptown-sm.jpgBack in October, they optimistically thought they’d open Fall of 2006. Well, it seems like their run-in with Hoboken permit hell may be behind them. Here’s word from the owner:

“Dear Hoboken 411,

My name is Kirk Ruoff I am the owner of the Turning Point restaurants. After many months of trying to get approvals to begin the construction of our new restaurant at the Sovereign in the Shipyards we have finally begun construction!!!! Our builder has committed to us a delivery date of June 1st provided all of the inspections go well. We should be open within a couple of weeks after that. We are really looking forward to opening in such a great and exciting town. My sister and her new husband just bought a place nearby and they seem to think that the Turning Point will be a hit in town. Lets hope so! Thanks for getting the word out!

Kirk Ruoff”

10/31/2006:
Hot off the presses, we just got word that a very popular South Jersey eatery is coming to Hoboken!

Turning Point, which currently has four other locations in Little Silver, Holmdel, Manalapan and Long Branch, is slated to open up their fifth location within the Sovereign building on 14th and Hudson. They’re still in the very initial phase of construction and should open up sometime in the next several months (even though they hoped to open this fall). The parent company is Ruoff Restaurant Developers LLC, which also runs the TP News & Cafe in Long Branch.

Great waterfront property and peaceful uptown location should give this place all the ingredients to succeed, provided they give Hoboken quality products at a reasonable price. Hopefully there are enough people around during the day Monday through Friday.

Description – Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch establishment. Will be open from 8:00am – 3:00pm daily.
Services – Waffles, eggs, toast, crepes to fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps. Coffee, tea and specialty beverages as well.
Address – Two 14th Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone – TBD
Website – www.theturningpoint.biz

See some photos below and company info from their website.

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From their website:

The Turning Point breakfast brunch and lunch started in 1998 in Little Silver, New Jersey. In 2002 we opened our 2nd location in Holmdel New Jersey. We pride ourselves on offering the highest quality and freshest daytime meal in the area. Every menu item we sell is made from “scratch” soups, dressing, salsa etc. We crack hundreds of eggs a day because we know it’s the best thing for our customers. Every item on our menu is cooked to order to your requests. We will make it how you like it just give us a little time. Our philosophy is fresh is always best.

The atmosphere at our restaurants is comfortable and relaxing. We apply the same principles of a nighttime restaurant to our daytime breakfast and lunch establishments. Our restaurant’s interiors are decorated tastefully with natural wood floors, bright traditional colors and real plants creating a pleasant dining room. The staff is committed to providing a 100% satisfied dining experience. We hire friendly people first and then train them to be servers and baristas.

Customers often ask us why we are not open in the evening. Our answer is always the same; we serve the best breakfast and lunch meals we know how from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. then we go home to our families. Work To Live Don’t Live To Work.

If you are looking for a unique breakfast or lunch restaurant come give The Turning Point a try. You will be glad you did.

Hoboken NJ

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