Sweet Hollow Diner

100 Broadhollow Rd. Melville, NY 11747 • (631) 549-0768

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Ya know those pathetic diners in movies where the criminals are on the run and they stop to get bite? Or the place bad buys meet up to talk over a plan? Or the place where undercover cops meet with informants so as not to draw any attention to either of them? That’s this place. No, you won’t even find Guy Fieri caught dead at this joint, because it’s even below his standards, appealing to the absolute lowest common denominator possible. Granted I’ve eaten there twice, so what does that say about me? Although the pickens are pretty slim in Melville and I was outvoted the second time.

In terms of what to get, I recommend getting as far from here as possible. But if you’re like me and find yourself stuck here by reasons beyond your control, than I’ll tell you what not to get, the only two things I’ve ever had here, which are a grilled chicken sandwich and a Greek salad, both of which were like eating a nightmare. Chicken so dry you could use it as chalk to write “Help!” on the menu board, served with your typical, soggy diner plank fries. Or you can opt for the over ripe fruit salad, depending on your mood. And should you go for salad-salad, like the Greek, you can look forward to limp lettuce, bitter grape leaves, canned olives and a dressing that almost makes matters worse.

If you respect yourself, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and avoid this place at all costs. Even jump out of a moving car if you have to and head to the Starbucks down the street. You’ll thank me for it. After the abrasions heal.

1 tooth

Sandfly BBQ

8413 Ferguson Ave. Savannah, GA 31406 • (912) 356-5463 sandflybbq.com

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If it weren’t for word of mouth and Yelp, you’d probably never think twice about stepping in here. Not only is it located in a tiny strip mall, but it looks almost like a poor man’s fast food joint on a respirator- not unlike several of the centurion patrons who managed to gobble down bites in between sips of oxygen from the air hose under their nostrils. I’m guessing they are either try to get into heaven quicker, or they just want a little taste of it before they settle down there more permanently.

Now I’m not sure I would go as far as to call Sandfly’s BBQ heavenly, but there are clearly those who would. That said, it most certainly is worth the visit, provided you don’t mind the Diners, Drive ins and Dives type decor. And to be fair, I’m not even sure if it’s enough of a dive to even make it onto Guy Fieri’s radar.

But the food doesn’t disappoint, after all, it doesn’t get packed by 6pm because it’s bad. To be fair it’s only about 8 tables, but I’m guessing the case would be the same even if they had twenty. So what’s all the fuss? Well, the brisket is solid, as is the pulled pork. And they offer three sauces on every table, one hot, one sweet, one mustardy. All three are good, but my favorite was actually the sweet.

The stars for me were the sausage with peppers and onions, which went killer with the mustardy sauce and the baked beans, which needed nothing but a mouth to call home. A distant third worth getting is also the fried okra. Nothing special, but since I’m a Yankee transplant, I’m a bit of a sucker for the dish.

On the mediocre side of things were the onion rings and the collard greens. And bringing up the rear was the abysmal, watery coleslaw. Sorry, I feel the need to be especially harsh on the slaw because Savannah is the site of two of the best slaws I think I’ve ever had, between Elizabeth on 37th and The Collins Quarter.

And last but not least, the biggest disappointment of the night was the one thing I never even got to try. So hyped up was their infamous coconut cake, “made from scratch everyday.” Well, apparently not EVERY day, because they didn’t bother to make it the day I went. Grudge holder? Perhaps. But not enough to keep me from going back.

3 teeth

 

Swine

531 Hudson St. New York, NY10014 • (212) 255-7675 • swinenyc.com

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I definitely think Swine is a solid 3.5 knives, but like I said, halvsies is an operational bitch so unfortunately I have to round down based on a few misses below.

But first let’s start with decor. Swine, as one might expect from the name, is a wonderful dive. And I mean that in the best, Guy Fieri sorta way.

As for service, it was excellent. Our waiter was very attentive and helpful with recommendations- plus, he gave us two free glasses of Muscat with dessert, because it was the wife’s b-day.

Now, as for the recos, he was mostly on point. For example, his reco on the Six Point Crisp beer was spot on. LOVED it. So was his call on both apps. First, the watermelon salad- yes, we got a salad, because we needed some form of escape from the rest of the fleshy gluttony that ensued. And besides, it was AWESOME. Best I’ve ever had. The parm is such a nice salty contrast with the melon. Plus, with the peppery arugula and cayenne spiced balsamic- it was WAY better than the feta versions you see everywhere else.

The other app was the nacho potato chips, smothered in three cheeses, jalapenos and pork belly. In a word, “heart-attack-inducing-yum.”

As for the burger, it’s definitely good, but I actually found that its accoutrements overpowered it. I liked it better clean (like Minetta Tavern). Otherwise it’s virtually impossible to taste the marrow- much less to discern that it’s brisket vs. ground beef. Also, the potatoes/fries that come with it are also awesome, not that I needed anymore after the “nachos”- but let’s not be judgey right now in the middle of my review.

As for Wifey, she didn’t fare as well. First, her Pinot Noir by the glass was a bit blah. And the pork porterhouse she ordered was a touch overcooked/dry. Still good however. Especially with its accompaniments.

And tlast but not least, dessert. Only one to choose from on the menu, but you only need one if it’s good, and this was killer! And by killer I mean I think my cholesterol was over 400 by the time we strolled out of there. -Oh, what was it, you ask? Basically french toast topped with Guinnesss ice cream and homemade cinnamon frosting. I think my arteries are pissed at me, but at least it was worth it.

Oh, and best of all, the value. We got a ton of food and drinks and barely broke a hundred. Hard to do in the NYC.

3 teeth