Sweet Bay Meal-Atta-Glance: $4.99 Lunch Special

Sweet Bay by the Park (plus 3 other locations)

3400 Rogers Ave.
Ft. Smith, AR 72903

We love Sweet Bay. We really do. If you’re looking for a nice Fort Smith place to sit and chat, or read, or work or people watch, it’s hard to beat the Bay, especially the flagship Creekmore Park location with its cozy fireplace den in one part and its open garage-door-window sunroom area overlooking the park. But one of the few complaints we have about our favorite locally owned full-service café is the prices can really add up.

We totally cribbed this picture from Google Images. Don't tell.

We totally cribbed this picture from Google Images. Don't tell.

Individually, paying $5.49 for a sandwich, or $1.25 for a one-time-refillable glass of iced plum tea, or $3.70 for a large frozen peanut butter mocha or $1.99 for a muffin don’t seem like much, perfectly reasonable. Together, though, or when you’re paying for more than one person? We inevitably get a little sticker-shock. We’ve never figured out how it happens that every time it seems like it’s about 30% more than we had expected. (You guys never realized how cheap we are, did you?)

Until now. Sweet Bay this summer started running lunch specials. Here’s what you can get:

For $4.99

  • ½ wrap and salad
  • ½ wrap and chips with roasted corn & black bean salsa
  • Three-cheese melt and cup of soup
  • Soup & salad

For $6.99

  • Chipotle Beef & Cheese Wrap
  • Quiche of the Day and salad
  • Sweet Bay Combo

We were mildly excited about the specials until we realized they ALSO came with a 16-oz drink. Holy moly. For Sweet Bay, that’s just an incredible deal.

How’s the food? $4.99 of awesome*.

*Quiche not included in awesomeness. Usually rubbery w/ flavorless moist assembly line crust that falls apart but not in the good way.  You’ve been warned.

Being, well, certifiable cheese addicts (Here’s lookin at you, @cheesecar!), we’re especially partial to the Three-Cheese Melt and cup of the soup. It’s simple. Reminds us of a lunch Mom might make for us as we sat at the kitchen table, legs dangling in our chair. Except instead of grilled cheese & Campbell’s, it’s grown-up food: here, a sandwich of subtle shades of cheese complementing a cup (really a bowl) of Chicken Enchilada Soup.

Three-Cheese Melt, Chicken Enchilada Soup, 16-oz Raspberry Iced Tea: $4.99. Being able to feel good about not breaking our bank as we sit by the park and peoplewatch? Priceless.

Three-Cheese Melt, Chicken Enchilada Soup, 16-oz Raspberry Iced Tea: $4.99.

We don’t know if Sweet Bay makes their own soups or if they come out of some bag like most places’ do.  We suspect the latter. But frankly, we don’t care. Bagged Soup Company didn’t get where they are by making crap soup. It’s tasty and warm and full of flavors and does right fine by us. The Chicken Enchilada Soup was just spicy enough to make us glad we ordered an ice water as well. And look, it had actual veggies and stuff, hearty.

Yeah, that’s zucchini. Did we expect it? No more than we expected the soup to be this brilliant hue of Tuscan Autumn Orange, but it works.

Yeah, that’s zucchini. Did we expect it? No more than we expected the soup to be a brilliant hue of Tuscan Autumn Orange, but it works.

So kudos, Sweet Bay. You’re doing your part for helping us meet the budget, and we love ya even more for it.

That’s just our opinion, though. Now tell us yours.

2 responses to “Sweet Bay Meal-Atta-Glance: $4.99 Lunch Special

  1. This is all true about Sweet Bay, but BUT… the coffee. In recent months, I have turned into a coffee snob as I have learned more, sampled single source coffees, ground whole beans at home and generally educated my brain and palette. Their coffee is OK, sometimes less than OK. I truly miss Rockhouse, which had their own roaster and had fantastic coffee. Sadly, they never quite got the hang of consistent service and relaxing, retail atmosphere that Sweet Bay has in abundance. If I could somehow marry the quality of product at Rockhouse with everything else at Sweet Bay, then Fort Smith would have the most awesome cafe for hundreds of miles, rivaling the legendary Pacific Northwest. Let me say this for Sweet Bay Cofffee though, they do a good job with flavored brews — lattes, caps, froofy whipped cream-topped coffees. I could go on and on here with advice and constructive criticism, but I will sum it all up and just say, “Hey, Sweet Bay, buy a roaster, start ordering fresh, green coffee beans to roast and train a manager in roasting. With that, you will DESTROY any competition.”

  2. Pingback: Mexican Monday Meal-Atta-Glance: La Ranchera Tortilla Sopa (con Pollo) at Rolando’s « Fort Smith Eats

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