Huber’s Sweet Home family restuarant: a surprising delight

Photo: Sweet Home’s 4-piece broasted chicken meal

By Paula Johnson

People’s food preferences are as numerous and vast as the number of people on the planet, but there’s one thing nearly everyone loves—simple comfort food. People (me included) love a good mom and pop family restaurant, sometimes affectionately referred to as a greasy spoon. (That term has morphed since its inception in 1902 from indicating lousy food to connotations of beloved, classic, an institution, and of course, comfort food). However, many mom and pop family places, which made their beloved reputations on home made food over the years, yielded to the convenience and low cost of mega food service companies. What was once made fresh was made fresh no longer. It’s why I am always a little jaded when someone tells me to try a diner style family place. Most often there is nothing there that isn’t the same as anywhere else I might go, and in that way these places are very much like casual chain restaurants. So, when you find one that makes—really makes—their own food, it’s a real treat.

I found such a place recently when I visited Sweet Home Family Restaurant in Huber Heights. Admittedly, I was skeptical, especially with that name. It almost dared me to doubt, challenge that it was. Were they really making food that your mom would make at home? Turns out yes, a lot of what I ate for lunch that day really felt like home cooking. Open from only 7 a.m. till 3 p.m. every day except Mondays, Sweet Home serves breakfast all day, sandwiches, soups, daily specials, and broasted chicken, something I am crazy about.

Boasting About Broasting

Now that I’ve talked about home cooking, I’m going to talk about broasting, which is anything but. You can’t broast at home. Why not, and what is broasting anyway? It’s a process that was invented in the early 1950s marketed by the Broaster Company. Broasting equipment, accessories, and ingredients are marketed only to service and institutional customers, not available to the general public. Broasting essentially combines pressure-cooking with deep-frying to pressure fry chicken that has been marinated and breaded. And broasting is dependably delicious, always a safe bet in a place you’re unfamiliar with, so I ordered up a four-piece platter (dark meat-my favorite, $8.49) Along side I selected mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans, which is about as home-style comfort food of a combination as you can get. And it was delicious—all of it. The scoop of potatoes really tasted homemade, slightly lumpy in a good way, none of that fake institutional processed flavor and mouth-feel. Even the green beans, though on the soft side, were bright green and sweet, not the gray mushy kind I expected.

I visited with two Dayton City Paper co-workers, who looked to me for ordering advice. I looked to our server, a lady who seemed to know a thing or two about what was going on back in the Sweet Home Kitchen. She assured us that we wouldn’t be sorry with the Lasagna ($9.49) or the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls ($8.79). I took her at her word and she was right. We were well pleased with both. The lasagna was a thick, bubbly slab of noodles and cheesy goodness with a fresh tasting tangy tomato sauce, and the cabbage rolls—I admit to some snobbery here being from the Slovak steel town of Pittsburgh where stuffed cabbage is king—were terrific. The cabbage was amazingly still slightly crisp, and the meat filling was peppery and delicious. These were bundles of cabbage joy and not to be missed. Order them with some mashed potatoes and you’ll be in comfort food heaven. Also on the menu are venerable favorites like Swiss Steak, Liver and Onions, and Beef Brisket. Though we didn’t sample these dishes, I’ll post a fair wager that Sweet Home Family Restaurant puts out some pretty solid versions of those diner classics.

Cash is King

One thing that wasn’t made in house was the pie, so we skipped dessert. And one additional note: If you pay with a credit card you will pay an extra processing fee of approximately 70 cents. I’ve written before about cash being preferable to small businesses, and it looks like this place was, until recently, cash only. So be forewarned to have the cabbage in your wallet if you don’t want to pay the added charge for the cabbage on your plate.

Sweet Home Family Restaurant: 95%
Cuisine: 47%, Value 24%, Service 24%

Sweet Home Family Restaurant is located at 4480 Powell Rd. in Huber Heights. For more information, please visit https://tinyurl.com/yarszaes or call 937.235.0770.

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Paula Johnson
Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at PaulaJohnson@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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