Sweetness_7 – Both of Them

It’s been over two years since Sweetness_7 Café opened on Grant Street in Buffalo’s West Side and nearly a year since Sweetness’ second location opened on Parkside. Since then, I’ve heavily frequented the Parkside location but had never made it over to the original café. However, that changed this past Saturday; I walked over to Grant St. after my weekly trip to the Farmers’ Market and enjoyed a great brunch with a few friends.

The two locations – while not identical – share a variety of similarities. Both are decorated with dark woods and mixed antique furniture, have display cases showing off different pastries, quiche, baked goods, etc., and carry an identical drink menu. Each location has cozy but ample seating and, most importantly during the summer months, outdoor tables and chairs. Even the service is the same across the board: it’s not excellent or perfect, but definitely not bad – it could just use a touch of fine tuning and speediness. The only real differences lie in the food menus: the Parkside location’s consists of solely crepes while the Grant St. one offers a more typical selection of breakfast and lunch foods.

Over my trips to the Parkside location, I’ve admittedly ordered the same thing (maybe too) many times: the Nutella crepes. Why? They’re simple, but amazing – and consistent. On my first time or two ordering these last Fall, the crepes were a little off; something was wrong either with the batter or the cooking execution. Ever since then, though, they’ve been flawless. Clearly, any kinks have been worked out. I’ve also tried the Afterglow crepe, which is filled with lemon curd and kiwi; it’s a refreshing option. Sweetness_7 also offers savory crepes, served with things like chicken breast, spinach, and béchamel. One of my favorites was actually a special that I haven’t seen offered again since I had it at the beginning of this year: it was essentially a pierogi crepe, filled with mashed potatoes, onions, and peppers. It was outstanding, and I’d definitely order it again.

No matter which location, Sweetness’ drink selection is impressive and authentic. I’ve tried their frappes (blended coffee milkshake), iced coffees, and espresso. The frappes are very good, much like those from Caffe Aroma, SPoT, or even Starbucks. They’re nothing extraordinary but certainly fine. Likewise, the iced coffee is strong and fresh – made interesting by options such as “American”, “Italian”, or “Vietnamese” which change the drink slightly; my favorite is the Vietnamese iced coffee which comes mixed with sweetened condensed milk. Most memorable is the espresso menu; my favorites are the “cubano” (espresso brewed with cane sugar) and the “romano” (espresso brewed with lemon zest). Each are beautifully potent with their personalities altered by the additions of the sugar or lemon zest. The cubano in particular is a great shot for any first-time espresso try-ers, as the sugar somewhat tames the potency of the espresso.

But before the Parkside location even existed, the food at Grant St. was raved about – especially the breakfast sandwich. When I finally went over there, it was only fitting that I should try it. As I watched the barista make my sandwich for me, I realized it was pretty simple: a sausage patty cooked on a panini press, an oven-toasted english muffin, two eggs cooked on the griddle, and a slice of tomato. In the end, it tasted exactly as expected; it wasn’t groundbreaking or truly innovative and memorable like my breakfast sandwich at Francois Payard Bakery in SoHo, but it was surely good – made the same way I’d made breakfast sandwiches before at home. The only thing that disappointed me? The hype surrounding the sandwich; at least, not after I’ve had such a better version of the same thing.

Our other selections fell in the very-good category as well. The cinnamon bun was large, fresh-tasting, and not cloying but with good cinnamon flavor. And the chocolate French toast – served with fresh whipped cream, berries, and pure maple syrup – was described as “amazing – easily one of the best French toasts I’ve had”.

Overall, the atmosphere at Sweetness_7 mimics the food: it’s inviting, cozy, and homey. Nearly everything about the two locations is very good, with some items – like the Nutella crepe – nearing perfection. And, it must be said that Sweetness_7 has become a cornerstone of its neighborhood: something that, in the end, might be even more important than the food it serves.

Sweetness 7 on Urbanspoon

Sweet_ness 7 Cafe on Urbanspoon


2 Responses to “Sweetness_7 – Both of Them”

  1. 1 Aidan August 15, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    when you go to Chicago to visit Maggie, go to Meli’s and try the crème brûlée french toast and review that.

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