If you’ve been on a “wild goose chase” for a hospitable, satisfying breakfast in southern Rhody, look no further. For the past 15 years The Cooked Goose in Westerly has attracted a loyal following of locals and summer tourists who don’t mind waiting to enjoy a hearty breakfast in a rustic, country setting across from the Rhode Island/Connecticut line.
The place was crowded (as usual) one recent Sunday with a 40-minute wait to be seated and the dining room was abuzz. Wood beams, whitewashed wainscoting, and a stone fireplace set the stage for a delicious experience. You might mistake owners Andrew Nathan and wife Jennifer Jacobs for waitstaff as they scurry around serving, picking up plates, and seating people. “We do everything because we love to,” says Jennifer, who also cooks prepared food for takeout. Formerly a “service station” in the 1930s, in some respects the breakfast spot still is. The staff is friendly, attentive, and accommodating in the 50-seat dining room with counter service and seasonal outdoor seating, where dogs are allowed. I left Sadie, my rescue dog, at home with a delectable elk antler.
Occasionally I indulge in classic eggs benedict, that are eaten best with crunchy English muffins, Canadian bacon, and perfectly poached eggs topped with rich, flavorful hollandaise. The Goose’s “traditional” version – a nicely poached egg and thin slice of country ham on a thick, soft slice of Italian toast topped with a savory hollandaise – was not quite classic, but tasty nonetheless. My guests and I also tried the lobster benedict with lemon, tarragon, and small chunks of lobster. The dish was delicious with a harmonious melding of flavors. Our plate-sized, blueberry buttermilk pancakes were fine, but the daily special, an apple fritter with fresh whipped cream and maple syrup, was crunchy and sweet! Most egg-based dishes include home fries: chunks of new potatoes If you like your coffee strong, order an espresso or cappuccino.
I returned the next day, surprised by another wait, albeit much shorter, so I sat at the counter, where I met a Springfield, Massachusetts couple, who’d been surfcasting for stripers around Misquamicut. They love the atmosphere and are regulars when in town. They offered a taste of their apple walnut coffee cake, one of the best things I’d eaten yet, until I met Leslie Montagne from Matunuck, another regular, who offered a taste of her cream of wild mushroom soup and broccoli cheddar quiche – both hot, delicious, and satisfying.
“This is where I’ll eat if I’m in the area,” she said. “The food is fresh and the staff cares.”
Charlestown residents Lorén Spears and her husband, Robin, both of the Narragansett Tribal Nation, are also regulars. Lorén, executive director of Exeter’s Tomaquag Museum, enjoys the vanilla almond French toast, which she special orders gluten- and dairy-free. “They mix the batter individually for each order,” she said. “This is my favorite breakfast place.” Robin likes the chunks of sausage in the biscuits and gravy, two eggs with creamy sausage gravy on a grilled buttermilk biscuit with home fries.
If you go, be prepared to wait, and if you’re too hungry, grab a quick cup of Joe and a snickerdoodle at the counter, or a piece of that delicious apple walnut cake while you’re waiting.
The Cooked Goose
92 Watch Hill Road, Westerly • 348-9888