More Happenings on South Avenue and the Demise of Planet Smoothie

A few posts ago, I talked about things happening on the South Side of Westfield. Today I drove down South Avenue towards Plainfield and realized that the little deli next to Peterson's Wine (see earlier post about Peterson's) has placed tables, chairs and umbrellas out in front of the shop and quite a few people were sitting outside seemingly enjoying breakfast. I didn't have time in the morning to stop, but decided to walk over in the afternoon from where I live to check them out.
I had noticed that place several years ago, but it always looked like an unremarkable neighborhood convenience store so I never felt the need to go in. The fact that they have quite a few comfortably arranged tables outside now tells me that they are getting more serious about people wanting to have good food and eat there.

The place is called MaMa Lou's Deli and it does have a web site that claims it to be an Italian deli. I was still in the mood for breakfast and luckily they serve breakfast all day. I ordered the egg, cheese and ham on a roll sandwich and took an Ice Tea from the fridge. The menu is standard deli with a focus on typical hot and cold deli sandwiches, wraps, etc. a few salads and a variety side dishes. They have a few Italian type meats on the menu, but in my opinion that alone doesn't make it an Italian deli. On the outside they also have a sign announcing pasta, but I couldn't find any on the menu besides the pasta salad.

The breakfast sandwich is below average. The roll is basic and too fluffy. There is only one egg and minimal cheese on it and two very thin slices of almost tasteless ham. Considering that the premium for meat on a breakfast sandwich is $1 I had expected a little more. Overall an very unremarkable breakfast sandwich and for $3.50 clearly overpriced. I will certainly not repeat this experience. For the same amount of money you get a really good double egg, double meat breakfast sandwich on better bread at QuickChek or on a fresh tasty bagel at Manhatten's. Nevertheless, service was friendly and attentive and the atmosphere is pleasant for a deli. And the outside seating is really a high point.

I don't want to dismiss them based on just one visit. I will go back at one point to check out the lunch type sandwiches and report back at this blog. This is another of these place at an off-prime location. To thrive they need to provide something special or a particular value to make the customer come back. So far I haven't found that special thing.

Walking further into town I saw more activity at Mario's Italian Deli. I look forward to their opening, although, looking at the state of their construction activities, I believe the opening of this place is still some time away. I hope Mario's will turn out to be a true Italian Deli, beyond what Italian means for MaMa Lou's. With a variety of Italian meats, real good Italian type bread, specific Italian toppings and some Italian dishes that go beyond just sandwiches. I believe there would be enough demand for this in Westfield.

With the weather getting quite hot, I really start to miss Planet Smoothie. A real well done refreshing Smoothie is a good meal on a day like this. Unfortunately, with the demise of Planet Smoothie there is (to my knowledge) no other place in Westfield that serves real fruit smoothies.

At one point this summer we will be doing a test of smoothie equivalents. Several of the ice cream places in Westfield offer fruit shakes that could be considered equivalent to a smoothie. We will compare taste and value and report back here.

Signing Off - The Westfield Blogger

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Westfield Blogger,

I really enjoy reading your posts about Westfield. One correction: On the Smoothies you are wrong. There is actually a place in Westfield that continues to have real fruit smoothies: The Windmill Restaurant has a good selection of freshly made fruit smoothies.