5:30, May 29th, 2010 • Lockport Canalside • 210 Market St Lockport, NY 14094 • (716) 433-6155

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where to Eat in WNY

Those of you who have never been here before, the Buffalo staples you should have are wings (of course) and beef on weck. Weck is short for kimmelweck, a kaiser roll topped with salt and caraway seeds.

1) If you're only going to come to this area once, you really should go to the birthplace of the wing, the Anchor Bar on Main St in downtown Buffalo. Be sure to order some of their yummy Italian bread to dip in the leftover wing sauce. Also, they have an artery-clogging but delicious Chicken Wing soup. Don't worry, if you start to have chest pain, the Buffalo General ER is a block away. Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9PM you can enjoy live jazz while drinking beer and eating wings.
2) Locals frequently debate who makes a better wing, the Anchor Bar or Duff's. Duff's recently won by one vote on the Travel Channel's "Food Wars." The original Duff's is on Sheridan Drive in Amherst, near UB's North Campus.
Update 5/13/10: Another location recently opened on Dick Rd in Depew, and President Obama stopped there and had medium wings for lunch during his recent trip to Buffalo! They have specials where you can get 20 wings, fries, and a pitcher of beer for about $20.
3) Dwyer's bills itself as an Irish pub. It is in walking distance of András's house, and during Happy Hour and Sabres games Dwyer's offers $0.25 wings. Dwyer's is good because of the 30+ delicious, unique flavors they offer - wasabi plum, Jameson BBQ, honey garlic, etc. Our personal favorite is the Raspberry BBQ. Dwyer's also has a nice beer selection to accompany your wings.

Beef on Weck:
1) I think there is a general consensus that the best beef on weck is at Schwabl's in West Seneca. The only debate is how to pronounce the name...Shwa-bull's? Shway-bulls?
2) Anderson's is a local chain that specializes in roast beef sandwiches and frozen custard. There are 7 locations across WNY, including 6277 Robinson Rd in Lockport. I recommend sharing an order of curly fries or onion rings with your beef so you have room for a custard cone for dessert.
3) Swiston's is another spot withing walking distance of András's house. They have 2 things, period - roast beef on weck and beef chili. You can munch on popcorn while you're waiting for your sandwiches, but you won't be waiting long. Your sandwich will have enough meat for 2 or 3 people. Swiston's is great for it's 1950s supper club facade and the prices; we'll go have 2 sandwiches and 2 beers for less than $20.

1) Like Schwabl's, the Bar Bill is a bit of a haul if you are staying in Lockport. It's in a very cute town called East Aurora that is home to Fisher Price, the Roycroft Inn, and a shop that still calls itself a five and dime store. The Bar Bill is one place I can honestly recommend both the roast beef and the wings. Like Dwyer's, there are multiple wing sauces to choose from, but even the traditional hot/medium/mild wings are a delight. Go on a nice day so you can enjoy the patio.

Other favorites:
1) If you want to dress up and splurge on a "fine dinning" experience, we like Bacchus and Papaya, both in downtown Buffalo. Hutch's on Delaware is the place you're most likely to run into the Bills or Sabres trying to entice a prospect to come to Buffalo. Curly's is a bit further in Lackawana, but one of the best fillets I've ever had (with crab meat and crumbles blue cheese - yum!) was served to me here.
2) Pano's used to be my go-to open 24 hours Greek diner in college, and now it is so much more. The breakfasts, souvlaki, gyro, and all your diner favorites are still excellent, but you can also have great dinner of steak, lamb, etc, all at a pretty reasonable price. I've never been disappointed with a Pano's dinner special. Pano's in on Elmwood Avenue, in an area of Buffalo known as the Elmwood Village, which is where I live. I'm going to miss it.
3) Kabab and Curry in on Transit Rd in Williamsville isn't too much of a haul from Lockport and is my favorite Indian/Pakastani place in WNY.
4) Peal Street Grill and Brewery is where András and I met! Before or after a hockey game, this place is always packed. You can enjoy a selection of microbrews made in house and a menu of great pub food as well as pastas, sandwiches, etc. This place is home to my favorite spinach and artichoke dip.
5) We have a few good BBQ places in WNY, but we particularly like The Brickyard in Lewsiton. One of your side options is bourbon...yes, you can have a platter of ribs, baked beans, and cornbread that includes a shot of house bourbon. Lewiston is on your way to the falls and a cute town to explore. Particularly if you have kids, Artpark in Lewiston is a fun place to go.
6) We love going to the Shannon Pub on Niagara Falls Blvd for a beer with friends, but it turns out their hearty stews and meals are good, too. We love their lamb stew!

For our veg/vegan friends:
1) For brunch (or any meal), I recommend Betty's to both our carnivore and vegetarian friends. There is meat on the menu, but they they do such good things with veggies, beans, and tofu, that I often order the veg entrees! Betty's is located in the eclectic Allentown section of Buffalo. Other veg options are
2) Merge on Delaware is a new restaurant that features only veg and vegan dishes.
3) Palace of Dosas is a South Indian all-veg place with a good lunch buffet, on Millersport in Amherst.

If there is something else that you are looking for, check out Bill Rapaport's comprehensive guide to Buffalo restaurants. While you're at it, read his "Good things about Buffalo and WNY."
Buffalo does pub food, Indian, Thai, and Italian food well. At most of the Italian places, you can expect enough food to take home and get 1-2 more meals out of. If you think you're going to want Chinese, bring your passport and we'll tell you where to go over the boarder in Canada. Chinese food tends to be pretty greasy and generic around here. Pizza in WNY is a thicker crust, mid-western style. Long Islanders and New Yorkers, the only place you should bother going for pizza is Zetti's which now has 3 location and a nice selection of slices. Anyone coming from a coastal area should just steer clear of seafood and sushi. Yes, we have a few outstanding places, but it can't beat what those of you closer to the ocean have access to!
If you really can't decide where to eat, go to the café at Wegman's, the best grocery store ever :)

Bon appetite!

Update 5/20/10 - I went to Betty's for lunch with my mom and had one of their specials: curried chicken salad wrap. It was fabulous; I highly recommend if it's an option!

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