Read our feature profile on Sweet Life owner Alisha Kandola, previously on Qween City.
I cannot overstate the joy I had when I was given the gift of doing a food review at Sweet Life. I was in absolute heaven. I had dessert for dinner! That’s right — no regrets, and no “real” food eaten when I got home later that evening. Why ruin a perfectly good meal?
Strawberry Shortcake Crepe
The crepes are delicious, thin but not too thin, with a hint of sweetness to them. They have a little chew to them, but aren’t crunchy at the edges (just how I like them). There was a delicious vanilla cream that practically melted inside the crepe. It managed to have body to it, so it was another texture to chew, but wasn’t overly sweet. The fresh strawberries, which were cut just minutes before this creation was done, are my favorite accompaniment to crepes: Adding tartness, moisture, and a hint of crunch. They also had fresh whipped cream, made with a CO2 charged canister and everything. The presentation was beautiful as well, with all its drizzles and designs. I feel a little bad for the servers trying to maneuver those plates without ruining those drizzles that go to the edge of the plate.
Bananatella Belgian Waffle
This bad boy featured one of my favorite flavors of all: Nutella. The custom made Choco-Tella-flavored ice cream was a subtle hazelnut flavor mixed with Nutella, which really helped the waffle slide down flawlessly.
Alisha didn’t know it at the time, but hazelnut (or nocciola in Italian) is my absolute favorite flavor of ice cream. The scoop managed to keep its cold shape for a long time, while I slowly ate this beautiful creation. I think it’s partly due to the fact that the scoop of ice cream was so big, it was able to stay frozen on top of that piping hot waffle much longer than a tiny scoop would. Atop the ice cream, sprinkled around the plate was a praline croquant, which is a crunchy and delicious caramelized sugar and almond topping. It’s a nice change from just having nuts sprinkled on top of ice cream — another sweet surprise.
This presentation was drizzled with Nutella in their signature style. Sliced bananas were artfully arranged, and it seemed like there was a whole banana on there. Typically I do not like bananas on anything, and I’ve never, ever stuck a banana in my Nutella, let alone ice cream. But as usual, with each review, I’ll try anything, and stepped outside of my comfort zone. This was no exception, and I was delighted to find out that this is actually a delicious combination! How come I didn’t know that bananas with Nutella (and ice cream) was SO delicious?!
Nutella French Press
Why on Earth did I never consider putting Nutella in my coffee? I always get a mocha, for goodness sake, so WHY have I not thought of just plopping some Nutella right in there, with my milk and sugar? The French Press (which comes in regular and decaf, as well) is a great size to share, or to savor yourself while you sit for a spell. I love being active in my dining experience, and the little part of pushing down the plunger just makes me giddy. The Nutella flavor was not overpowering, but was definitely a great spin on a classic.
Brownie Points Sundae
I had to sample Alisha’s favorite flavor, the Proper Chocolate, which is a dark chocolate ice cream with chunks of brownie bites in it. This sundae comes with a homemade waffle cone, Belgian dark chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.
The waffle cone part was so surprising — I typically get sugar cones when asked, so when I went to bite into this cone I was amazed that it was slightly warm, chewy — not crunchy — and sweet. I hate the super hard waffle cones that are sometimes used, but since this was made fresh, it didn’t get that stale crunch. It kept its chewy soft texture, and had a delicious sweet flavor. It made me change my mind on the whole waffle cone industry.
The dark chocolate ice cream was wonderful. It was rich and creamy, but just like the Choco-Tella, not overpowering. It remained bright and refreshing, and the fact that it was dark chocolate didn’t even register — it was just a less sweet, more subtle chocolate flavor. As a milk chocolate fan, this was wonderful to taste — it was a refreshing take on chocolate ice cream. The brownie chunks that were in it balanced out the tame flavor of the ice cream with their chewy sweetness, leaving you with a perfectly balanced ice cream experience. If the ice cream was any sweeter, it wouldn’t work.
Now that the food has been described, let’s talk decor. This place has exactly what I love: modern design that’s full of vibrant colors. This is not an old-fashioned soda shop, and it’s not a boring cookie cutter place that you can find at the mall.
Everything here has been thoughtfully chosen and custom-made. You feel like you can take a break from the world; no matter where you sit, each seat feels plush and luxurious. It manages to tread the line between cozy and private seating, while still offering inclusion into the larger space itself without feeling cut off. I think this is from the carefully chosen high back couch seats, tucked away corner booths, and the highboy tables on the side. You can even take a look at your creations as they are being made, behind the long glass counter. Everything is within view, open kitchen style, and that part of the restaurant is kept sterile white, giving it a clean, hygienic look.
I cannot recommend trying this place enough. It’s the perfect post-date spot (or the whole date), post-family dinner spot, or ‘get away from the family when you’re back in town but don’t want to go to a bar’ spot (you know, like we just had). Come out and try something you wouldn’t normally have. If you’re a chocolate person, try one of their fruity flavors. If you’re not a waffle person — I dare you to try one. It’s dessert, after all — you can’t go wrong. But be sure to bring a friend, because the only thing better than having dessert is having a piece of someone else’s dessert, too.
Photos by AlanAdetolArts, L.L.C. – Birdcage Studios – Buffalo, N.Y. 14213 –[email protected]
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