Friday, August 17, 2012

Great food in Buffalo

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much from Buffalo, but we’ve had some great food, and stellar service while visiting recently.

First, the important bit: coffee.  SPoT Coffee is a regional chain of coffee houses, with great coffee (they roast their own) and good food.  Their “Mike” sandwich is a great way to start the day (if your cardiologist doesn’t find out): two eggs, provolone, cream cheese, ham/bacon/or sausage, on your choice of bread.  I’ve only visited the Delaware St. location, it is comfortable and funky, with space to work, or relax, or have a conversation.

Our first night in town we wandered into Bacchus (warning, Flash website with auto-playing music- they are worth forgiving for that, but whoever does that to restaurant websites needs severe punishment).  Bacchus is a wine bar and restaurant in the central business district.  The food was great, we had wonderful fresh tomato soup (with local tomatoes, this tasted like fresh tomatoes, not tin cans) and I had an outstanding bouillabaisse.  The service was very good, attentive without being annoying (a hard balance to achieve).

We also enjoyed Sinatra’s (named for the owners, not Frank- but Ol’ Blue Eyes’ music was playing).  The service was great here, too- and the food was even better.  The best lasagna I’ve ever had, followed by the best tiramisu I’ve ever had.  Seriously, the best, and the best.  It seems to be a place popular for gathering, there were more tables of five or more than there were couples, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

It is worth noting that neither Bacchus nor Sinatra’s are inexpensive.  They aren’t outrageous, and they are a good value- but not places for bargain hunters.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Buffalo NY: I found the dive bars.

They really aren’t hard to find in Buffalo, dive bars are all over the place- but I found a cluster of them worth special mention and a quick post.  On the 200 block of Allen St. you will find a handful of interesting places, two I can recommend as classic dives, complete with cheap booze, unreliable service, questionable hygiene, poor lighting, and everything else you want in a dive.  The others may be great, too, I haven’t tried them all.


My first stop was Nietzsche’s, a dive, and music venue.  I was too early for music, but the place looked ideal for grungy blues and local jazz.  $4 Jack Daniel’s on the rocks were a definite bonus.


Across the street and down a few doors is the Allen Street Bar and Grill (aka the Old Pink). One look and you know you are in for funky- and you get it.  I think the prime attraction here may be the folks you meet inside, quite an interesting crowd, even when it is nearly empty.  Oh, and $4 JDs here, too.  I don’t recall paying less than twice that much for one in many years.

I have a backlog of places to write about, maybe this will jump start my travel/drunkard blogging.  Maybe not.