It’s a new year, and we started with a new idea. Let’s have lunch/brunch, and just wait until you do the same at Comfi in Belmar. This place is bubbling with charm, fun, and the food is off the hook! From the block letter, multi-colored logo to the overstuffed menu that is filled with great named dishes like “I’m Sexy and I Know it”, “Pick Me! Pick Me!” and “No Surrender,” you are in for a joyful and quite delicious experience.
Comfi lives up to its name. It is the comfort food capital with a super welcoming feeling and a big bunch of menu choices. Every bite tastes slow-cooked and like it was made from family recipes. The Belmar location is the second Comfi. The original in Old Bridge has been packed since it opened, and Belmar is equally busy, especially on the weekends when there are lines to get in, though you never feel rushed or short-changed.
The interior looks like a resurrected luncheonette, though this is all new, just designed to look vintage. There is a long lunch counter with the old-fashioned milkshake machines. The walls are covered in fun art with uplifting messages. The friendly energy starts with the staff who seems excited for you to try whatever you pick. Dennis, the manager, is always patrolling the floor, frequently paying most welcome visits to the diners. His big warm demeanor and smile to match make you feel like your visit means a lot to him. Even the customers carry on the open vibe, often striking up conversations with fellow diners as they show off their impressive plates.
Comfi does things in big way. The portions here are plate-busting, and the presentation makes you want to inspect each dish. Check out some of the photos and believe the dishes look the same or better in person.
We warmed up our tastebuds by trying the oatmeal, served steaming with sliced banana, cranberries and brown sugar. It was done to a turn, creamy with a hint of chew and so hot it stayed warm for half an hour.
For our main selections, diner one selected the healthier, more lunch-style dish called Forever Young, which is a perfectly seasoned combination of asparagus, grilled chicken cubes, hard-boiled egg whites, tri-color peppers, red onions and scallions, served over brown rice. She flipped over this dish, remarking that the flavors were well-balanced, and the many vegetables were just tender enough without being mushy.
I had the “I’m a Keeper” Benedict. It starts with a base of mashed redskin potatoes, topped with a fried chicken cutlet, then ham, melted Swiss, topped with three poached eggs and covered in chipotle hollandaise. It’s warm and flavorful comfort food, and halfway through, I knew the other half would be my breakfast-for-dinner later that night. Wow! Part two was just as good.
It’s not often I call on my Eastern European roots in a review, but I know a great deal about pierogi and take it from me, Comfi’s are in their own category. People rave about them, and they’re worth every bit of praise. Making a perfect pierogi takes time, which is why you don’t see them on many menus. These are massive, palm-sized pockets, perfectly cooked, and then pan fried to a crisped brown, topped with sautéed onions. They reheat beautifully, so if you like pierogi, these are not to be missed.
They have one item on the dessert menu called the Sweet Snazz, although many of the pancake waffle or French toast dishes like the Fluffernutter French toast stuffed with Reese’s Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff would do quite nicely too. The Snazz is a grilled croissant bathed in Nutella and covered in sliced bananas and blueberries and dusted with powdered sugar. It is a beautiful thing to see, and with all those blueberries, how could this dessert be called anything but healthy?
Comfi has all kinds of hot chocolates and beverages, served in charming mason jars and big mugs.
We give it 5 Js. This is not a fine dining, white linen restaurant, however in its breakfast/brunch category, it’s the best around. Have some fun and some great flavors!
Street parking is available.
Cost – inexpensive
What we liked – The quality ingredients served in huge portions, the super friendly and fun staff, manager Dennis, the massive menu, the home-cooked taste in each bite, the charming décor, and the cool glasses and tableware.
We give it 5 Js
Comfi is located at 707 Main St. in Belmar. 732-749-3583. It is open seven days a week from 8 am to 3 pm.