Kitchen Little is littler than my kitchen, so it doesn’t take that many customers to fill up the place on a Sunday morning. If the restaurant were attached to a house, it would be called a one-car garage. But even if it were the size of a Ford dealership, I’m willing to bet there’d still be a line out the door. This legendary breakfast destination along the banks of the Mystic River has been packing them in for nearly three decades, and, if the eggs Benedict are any indication, it shows no signs of slowing down.
The Portuguese Benedict, for example, is Bucket List-good, as in, you ought to make sure you eat it before you die. It has everything that eggs Benedict devotees salivate over—poached eggs ready to burst and a buttery Hollandaise for starters—but with a spicy twist. Instead of an English muffin, a soft Portuguese sweet muffin forms the foundation. Rather than ham, a slab of fiery chorizo, roughly the diameter of a hockey puck and pushing a half-inch thick, lies smothered beneath the runny yolks and the spicy Hollandaise, which is flecked with the kitchen’s homemade salsa.
At $12.95, the Portuguese Benedict is worth every penny in terms of the pleasure, but it isn’t as filling as I’d like at that price. Throw in a side of home fries and this is a perfect breakfast. The menu also includes three other Benedicts—a traditional version with Canadian bacon, another with avocado and tomato, and a California Benedict with asparagus and crab (which is next on my list).
Crab plays the starring role in the Mystic Melt ($9.95), a mouthwatering scramble with two eggs and cream cheese. Tender, plentiful chunks of lump crab, fluffy bits of egg, and gooey globs of cream cheese seem to melt together, making it difficult for the mouth to know where one ingredient ends and another begins. This dish presents a quandary: Eat it straightaway, one shovelful after another, or spread it onto the warm raisin toast? (Either method works, but I especially enjoyed smearing it on the toast like a glammed-up, gourmet-caliber, drop-dead-fantastic crab dip.) Again, a side of home fries would make my day, but this dish is worth the price and the wait.
With coffee, tax, and tip, the above meal rings up around $32, just over budget for a $30 review and surely not the cheapest breakfast around. But for more than a generation now, this little restaurant has been creating big flavors that people don’t mind lining up for.
135 Greenmanville Road (Route 27)
Mystic, CT 06355