By Sophia Ricco
The buzz of chatter and smell of the fresh coffee filled the air, as Monday morning blues disappeared at Sweet Hollow Diner.
The lively place was packed for a weekday, and after sampling their cuisine it’s clear why customers choose it for a quick pick-me-up. Whether they’re craving breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, Sweet Hollow Diner delights with an expansive menu that delivers on variety. Make breakfast sweet or savory, with an array of eggs, griddle specials and bagels. Or satisfy any night time appetite with an assortment of soups, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, Italian specialties, Greek delights, steak and seafood entrees, and munchies.
Sweet Hollow Diner serves up classic dishes in a family atmosphere. Children’s drawings adorn the walls of the restaurant and give the old-school establishment a youthful touch. Longtime wait staff greet regulars like family, instantly recalling names and favorite orders.
“It’s a friendly, neighborhood place, where everyone knows each other,” co-owner Chris Arvans said.
Sweet Hollow has a history of warmth and community since 1977 when Arvans’ father opened the Melville diner. He previously owned another diner in the area but jumped at the chance to purchase the location.
“He thought it was a good opportunity,” Arvans said. “This was prior to having the Marriott hotel, when the area was still developing.”
As the surrounding neighborhood grew up around them, Sweet Hollow Diner has evolved to meet the demand. Despite the chaotic scene that took over the restaurant on Monday morning, staff moved speedily like a well-oiled machine to make sure dishes came out piping hot.
Nothing says breakfast like eggs, especially when they get a fun twist on bagels and lox. The Nova Scotia lox, eggs and onions omelette ($12.95) served with toasted bagel and home fries was everything it promised and more. It turned the classic on its head with eggs being the perfect protein that brought the meal together. The lox had a wonderful, light taste that found balance with the onions.
Sweet Hollow Diner omelettes have become a favorite with many, who enjoy the diversity of fillings.
“People like the create your own omelette, where you can put whatever ingredients you want,” Arvans said. “It’s a breakfast staple.”
Another breakfast classic, Challah French toast with fresh bananas and whipped cream ($9.85) was a sweet sensation. The soft, spongy bread absorbed the thick syrup and oozed with sweetness, while the ripe bananas brought in a pure, natural flavor.
Sweet Hollow Diner uses fresh ingredients to craft their entire menu. It is important to them that everything is made in-house. Instead of purchasing turkey slices from a supplier, the restaurant cooks and slices their own.
“Everything is made on the premises from the soups to sauces,” Arvans said. “We have an in house baker that makes fresh desserts throughout the day. It’s important for things to taste authentic.”
No detail is neglected by Sweet Hollow Diner, which hopes to deliver a delicious dining experience every time. Even a simple wrap, like the buffalo chicken wrap ($11.95) served with French fries was a smash. The loaded wrap had a heaping amount of tender buffalo chicken, that was complemented by a tangy blue cheese dressing. Crispy fries tied the meal together.
Sweet Hollow Diner delivers huge portions that often fill both a customer’s belly and a to-go box. The jumbo deluxe beef burger ($10.15) is quite the undertaking with a 5 oz. burger on a toasted bun stacked with bacon, onion rings, cheese, lettuce and tomato. The juicy burger was well cooked and superbly seasoned. Arvans describes the restaurant’s offerings as wholesome, comfort food.
“A lot of people want to have food to take home with them,” Arvans said. “I think the value is really worth it.”
Sweet Hollow Diner
100 Broad Hollow Road, Melville
Atmosphere: Vintage and casual
Price: Griddle specials: $7.65-10.40, Eggs: $6.55-12.95, Sandwiches: $4.85-14.70, Entrees: $8.35-21.95, Salads: $9.95-16.95
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 6 a.m. - 1 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 6 a.m. - 2 a.m.