SOUTHINGTON — The owner of a Wallingford juice bar recently opened a farm-to-table breakfast and lunch restaurant on the north end of Queen Street.
Rowdy Rooster opened in early November at 1173 Queen St. Restaurant manager Grey Marquez said the focus is on fresh, local and quality ingredients as well as a fun experience for customers.
Dressings, muffins and biscuits are made at Rowdy Rooster every day. The restaurant has a juicer and each glass of orange juice is squeezed fresh for each customer.
“We have a few (police) officers that come in just for the orange juice,” Marquez said.
Rowdy Rooster has many classic breakfast foods such as pancakes, biscuits and gravy, egg platters and waffles. Its lunch menu includes paninis, salads, burgers, soups and sandwiches.
Eggs are a major component of the breakfast menu and Marquez said the restaurant wasn’t successful in getting eggs from farms in New Haven, Southington or Meriden. That could change in the future, though, once eggs aren’t as difficult to find.
“We are constantly looking for ways to incorporate that farm-to-table,” Marquez said.
Rising costs, particularly with eggs, has also impacted the restaurant.
“Every week it feels like food costs are going up,” Marquez said. “Two weeks ago, 15 cartons of eggs cost $65. When I went to purchase them last week, they cost $92.”Former juice bar location
Colleen Morgan owns Rowdy Rooster and started Wild Alchemy Cafe in Wallingford eight years ago. In 2021, she opened another Wild Alchemy location at 1173 Queen St. The location closed around Christmas of that year due to staffing shortages, Marquez said.
The restaurant space was redone for Rowdy Rooster and murals added that greet customers.
“It’s brand new in there,” Marquez said.
Marquez worked for Morgan at the Wallingford location and lives nearby the Rowdy Rooster so began working there last year.Tasting a difference
Bristol resident Catherine Schilling tried the restaurant for the first time on Friday.
“I was excited to find out it was all farm to table, and you could definitely taste it in the food,” she said.
Schilling was impressed with the quantity too and the restaurant’s take on biscuits and gravy.
“The sausage and gravy over biscuits was not your typical southern white gravy, but it was delicious,” she said. “The sweet potato mash was a nice change also since I’ve never seen it on the menu anywhere else … The homefries were seasoned fingerling potatoes and were probably the best I’ve ever had.”
Schilling, who had heart surgery last year, is also looking forward to trying Rowdy Rooster’s heart healthy options.