On a Sunday morning, Edison Family Restaurant on Oak Tree Road is swarming with hungry customers. Anyone who comes to the restaurant is sure to receive friendly service and leave well-fed.
The booths are filled with regulars who have a favorite menu item they order every time they come, and who are on a first-name basis with most of the waitstaff. The waitresses are very friendly. They don't just bring food to your table and fill your coffee mug; they stop to have a conversation with you and make you feel welcome.
For newcomers, the menu may be a bit overwhelming. The restaurant prepares a large variety of omelettes, pancakes, French toast, and waffles to order, and that's just breakfast. The lunch and dessert menus are just as long, if not longer, than the breakfast menu. All lunches are served with a cup of homemade soup (world famous in Edison) like the popular pea soup or cream of turkey soup.
Luckily, I only had the breakfast menu to mull over, and I still couldn't decide between the Athenian poached eggs, the old fashioned homemade blintzes, and the cranberry walnut pancakes on the specials menu. My server, Lisa Didolce, was nice enough to suggest the Athenian poached eggs if I was interested in trying something different, something I'm always ready to do.
Two poached eggs are served atop a toasted English Muffin and are topped with a homemade tomato sauce, jalapeno peppers, and feta cheese. The poached eggs are very delicate. My fork only needed to prick them for the golden yolk to pour out and mix with the tomato sauce and feta cheese. The English Muffin absorbs all the sauce and the yolk and is transformed into a sponge of flavor. The jalapeno peppers add spice and tang, while the sprinkle of feta adds a salty bite to the other layers of flavor.
Edison Family Restaurant is also one of the only restaurants in the area that serves scrapple. A friend of mine from South Jersey is always raving about scrapple, the food of his childhood. When I saw scrapple on the menu, I decided to give it a try. It certainly doesn't look appealing, but this Pennsylvania Dutch dish was my favorite part of the meal.
Scrapple is a mushy pork loaf that is made from the scraps of a pig combined with cornmeal and flour, and then panfried. Dutch colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries created the dish in America after settling in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states. At Edison Family Restaurant, the minced meat is seasoned with spicy and savory herbs and is encased in a crispy, grainy, dark brown crust. I found the flavor to be similar to sausage, but its texture and appearance were more akin to meatloaf. Scrapple is a delicious find that I'm sure to order every time I go to the restaurant. The breakfast meat can be ordered as a side or comes served with eggs any style, toast, and home fries.
The breakfast menu at Edison Family Restaurant serves classic, traditional dishes, but also incorporates unique flavors and ingredients into the dishes, like the New Orleans style omelette filled with shrimp, cheddar cheese, and scallions, the bacon and egg burger, or the sweet potato pancakes. Let's not forget to mention the selection of waffle and pancake sundaes, and also the old fashioned oatmeal that sticks to the ribs, feeds the soul, and is superb with brown sugar.
The Edison Family Restaurant is located at 1900 Oak Tree Road in Edison. They are open daily from 6:30 am to 3 pm. To contact them, the phone is 732-906-2272.