Sweet Briar Cafe took over Ambler’s beloved Coneheads this past May, and the name change was meet with some harsh criticism. I say name change because Coneheads actually had several different owners over the years, but no one seemed to notice as the name, and everything else, stayed the same. I’m going to be completely honest, I was initially one of the “outraged.” Coneheads was an Ambler mainstay, a tradition, and who would do such a thing?! After the nostalgic dramatics wore off, I learned quite a bit about the new owners and their vision, and I love it!
This unbelievably tasty treat to the right was my first taste of Sweet Briar, usually I’m a peanut butter vanilla on a waffle cone kinda gal, but owner, JT, talked me into trying this brand new to the menu, ice cream sandwich. Holy cow, this puppy was good; so good that I didn’t even long for my ushe. Cookies and cream ice cream between two freshly baked chocolate cookies from their neighbor next door, Homemade Delights (at the time). On my next trip, I went back to my ushe and was happy that nothing had changed (contrary to some facebook grumblings); it was the same ice cream and as delicious as ever. While there I noticed some new signs in the ice cream window for creative and interesting new treats, even themed treats for 4th of July.
It turns out that Stephanie, daughter of owner JT Talese and her husband Frank, was the one behind some of these creative new ideas. Sweet Briar truly is a family business, and you can feel that vibe when you’re there. They are so family oriented that one of the motivating reasons behind taking on this new adventure was to give neighborhood kids a place where they would feel welcome and invited. The Talese family has lived in Ambler for years and the girls grew up with Coneheads and the library across the street being a big part of their lives. It was a safe place to go with friends and JT wanted to make sure that continued for generations to come. This is evidenced in their After School Happy Hour, which runs Monday – Friday, 2 – 4:30pm, and features special pricing on kid friendly foods. The menu consists of items priced at $2, $3 and $4 and is a great bang for your buck! Kids can expect to find fresh, made to order quesadillas with homemade guacamole, fresh (not frozen) chicken nuggets (fried in canola oil), smoothies, of course ice cream treats as well as other great items.
Also great about Sweet Briar is that they are committed to using locally produced foods and ingredients, and supporting the local economy as much as possible.Their wheat flour (ground on site) comes from JT’s parents farm, SweetBriar, in Bucks County. Seasonal produce comes from local farms or their own organic garden. They support Nelson’s Ice Cream of Montgomery County, also Dietz & Watson, Herr’s, local bakeries, and more. Growing up on a farm has clearly had quite an impact on JT, as the farm to table concept is very important to her.
They have been taking things one step at a time and have just recently released their new breakfast and lunch menus and as of last week are now serving Sunday breakfast as well. The menus may take you by surprise if you think Sweet Briar is just an “ice cream joint.” Breakfast and lunch cater to everyone; you can get a burger or hoagie, but you can also get grilled chicken lettuce wraps or quinoa mac & cheese. Sure they’ve got eggs benedict and meat cakes (yes, I said meat cakes- any breakfast meat dipped in pancake batter and grilled), but you’ll also find fresh ground whole wheat pancakes and smoothies. Healthy options abound at Sweet Briar, including daily specials like Cheddar, Kale & Mushroom Quiche or Grilled Chicken Wrap with avocado, tomato, lettuce, and a side of homemade tortilla chips.
Dinner is on the horizon, possibly making a debut in October. Dinner will reflect the same family feel with entrees like pot roast, cooked all day, homemade soups and the like. JT said to expect meals similar to something that she would serve at her own dinner table at home, healthy comfort food.
I could go on, but I think I’ve gone on long enough, it’s time for you to check out Sweet Briar Cafe for yourself!Sweet Briar Cafe 11 Lindenwold Avenue 215.542.0272 facebook Hours: Mon – Fri: 7am – 2pm, Breakfast/Lunch, 2pm – 4:30pm, Kids After School Happy Hour, Open for ice cream until 9pm (10pm on Fri) Saturday: 8am – 2pm, Breakfast/Lunch, Open for ice cream until 10pm Sunday: 8am – 2pm, Breakfast Only, Open for ice cream until 9pm Breakfast Menu Lunch Menu