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The Statesman

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Sweet Mama’s is pricey pitfall of taste and service

The Croissant French Toast featured a satisfying balance between sweet and tangy but ultimately failed texture wise. Sweet Mamas offers a disastrous food experience for your tastebuds and wallet. JUSTIN LEE/THE STATESMAN

Few things are as comforting as a classic New York City diner breakfast. Stacks of steaming hot flapjacks drowned in maple syrup just warm the soul. This craving enthralled my mind when heading to Sweet Mama’s Stony Brook location. Little did I know what I was signing up for. 

As first impressions go, it wasn’t desirable. Just from mere seconds of sitting at the table, my elbow was drenched in sticky, gooey syrup. “But no big deal,” I thought. “Starting on the wrong foot, but they can recover.” In hindsight, it seemed like wrong feet were all this restaurant stood on. 

If a meal is only as great as what you wash it down with, I should have just headed for the door. Asking to confirm if the chocolate hazelnut latte was decaf, as it had been ordered, left our server puzzled. They left to double-check and never came back with an actual answer. Furthermore, calling this a “latte” is incredibly generous. It seemed as if the barista whispered “coffee” into a cup of milk and sweetener and called it a day. If I wanted a mouthful of sugar, then I could have resorted to the free Sweet’N Low packets on the table.

At this point, my head was in my hands, and it was precisely then that the dishes began arriving. It was here that the most profound disappointment of the day would be unveiled. Their hot honey chicken and waffles were truly in a league of their own —- though not in a good way. The anemic chicken wings tasted like the chef dumped a whole bag of salt on top of them. 

Biting into the waffle, I wondered if I had bit into cardboard by accident. Their chili-infused honey, a beloved condiment of mine, was sour, and fortunately for me, they skimped on the quantity.

However, there was a light at the end of the tunnel: the next dishes were relatively edible. The croissant french toast featured a tangy cream cheese filling which nicely contrasted the sweetness of the sugar coating. However, the bread tried to mimic the flakiness of a croissant and failed miserably. It was chewy and dense, and while still enjoyable, it didn’t do the dish justice. 

Overall, the croissant french toast had merit, but the portion size was a letdown considering the $16 price tag. I hoped for a more substantial serving on my plate. 

Now, it’s time to roll out the red carpet for the California eggs benedict. The poached eggs were cooked well. Speaking from experience, poaching eggs to order can be a nightmare; but in this case, the whites were set with the yolks nice and runny. The combination of avocado and tomatoes is a match made in heaven, and both were visually stunning. The ripe avocado had a lovely jade hue, and biting into the tomato coated my palate with its juices. 

All of this crowned a warm, soft and toasted English muffin topped with a silky, eggy hollandaise sauce. This was definitely the highlight of the meal. 

However, the existence of one good dish doesn’t save this dining experience. The poor service, painfully average food and hefty price tag proved to be extreme drawbacks. If you’re in the Stony Brook Village Center, I recommend you skip this restaurant. Both your wallet and your taste buds will express their gratitude for this decision.

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