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Breakfast and Baking in Middletown

I realized that I had never written about my favorite diner in Middletown, CT. O’Rourke’s Diner is a Middletown establishment and Wesleyan students have been frequenting it for years (I have to graduate from Wesleyan so that I can order an omelet on the menu that is designated as “Must be a Wesleyan graduate”). O’Rourke’s burned down a few years ago but the community rallied and the diner was rebuilt. If you are ever passing through Middletown, stop at O’Rourkes. This isn’t just your average East Coast diner. O’Rourke’s serves up innovative dishes and you will regularly be handed samples of baked goods fresh out of the oven while you wait for your actual food.

O’Rourke’s is small on the inside so you may have to wait outside. But, trust me, the wait is always worth it. During my time at Wes, the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives stopped by and filmed a segment. This past Sunday when I ate at O’Rourke’s I got some poached eggs on top of asparagus with shrimp on English muffins. And for those brave of heart, there is the occasional special that Brian O’Rourke offers up: you have no idea what it is and you can’t send it back.

As far as my own culinary endeavors, this year I signed up to be a part of Wesleyan’s Fruit and Veggie Co-op. You use your meal plan points and once a week you pick up a variety of fruits and veggies. I’ve encountered some interesting veggies that I hadn’t cooked with before such as rainbow chard. Oh rainbow chard – we’ve met twice this semester and so far I baked it into a quiche and added it to a soup – tomorrow I will be sauteing the chard on its own.

The fruits have not caused me as much contemplation. A few weeks ago we got a lot of pears. I love pears. So I decided to bake a tart that went something like this.

The last few weeks at Wesleyan have been loaded with great speakers. Bill Cosby was here during Homecoming – I wrote an article you can read here. Last night I went to a talk by Lt. Dan Choi who was kicked out of the US military for saying that he is gay, tonight NYTimes film critic A.O. Scott is here, and last week Elie Wiesel was here. Alright must do thesis reading!

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