Coffee, Breakfast, Luncheonette
An outpost of a beloved cafe comes to Stony Brook, where it serves food amid lipstick red retro decor and other whimsical touches. Crazy Beans is a cheerful dining spot that serves over-the-top comfort fare in a happy and feel-good atmosphere. Though perpetually crowded, it's clear that dining here is well worth the wait.
Monday to Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wheelchair accessibleAdd an event Correct this listing
It's the middle of the day in the middle of the week and Crazy Beans is crazy crowded. Every seat at the counter is occupied; eaters hunkering down at booths and tables take their time with overstuffed sandwiches. The wait is estimated as 10 to 15 minutes; the real wait turns out to be closer to an hour.
Fortunately, this cheerful cash-only spinoff of a Miller Place cafe has a few couches and armchairs ready for the overflow. Flop down and check out the cool lipstick-red decor -- sort of retro, a bit ice cream parlor-ish. Wacky salt and pepper shakers top each table and, over the restroom sink, in lieu of a mirror, a flat screen plays a perpetual aquarium scene. For sure, co-owner Callie Brennan has put her whimsical stamp on the place.
To keep four stomachs from rumbling, a single raisin-studded scone is ordered from the counter display case. It's surprisingly light and moist -- much better, in fact, than the dry, overbaked lemon poppy muffin encountered at breakfast the week before. At that meal, dryness also undermined a huge panko-crusted chicken cutlet served atop a waffle. Much better was the dish called cheesy biscuits: flaky Cheddar biscuits crowned with soft scrambled eggs and a savory gravy speckled with bits of sausage.
That kind of over-the-top comfort fare is what Crazy Beans does best. Witness the irresistible pulled pork panino, a rich confluence of pork, pepper jack cheese, fried pickles, coleslaw and a spicy Cajun sauce on grilled sourdough. And the meltingly good head honcho, a sandwich of grilled steak with fried onions, Cheddar and ranch dressing on a rustic roll. A hit, as well, is a barbecue chicken quesadilla in a whole-wheat tortilla.
But a ranch pesto wrap, which stars grilled chicken, turns out to be misnamed, since instead of the expected basil puree, it features a red pepper pesto -- hardly a pesto by many definitions. A side order of crinkle-cut fries, although the previously frozen sort, comes out piping hot, crisp and nutty-sweet.
The appropriate Crazy Beans finale: an iced chocolate latte, both cool and sweet.