As I mentioned in the previous review, over our various trips driving through Buffalo, we’ve hit most of the major “benchmark” restaurants. We’ve been to multiple places for both beef-on-weck and wings. But there was still one classic Buffalo joint that I haven’t reviewed, and hadn’t visited for several years. And that’s the birthplace of the Buffalo wing: the Anchor Bar.
One of the things I enjoy about our (somewhat rare) driving trips to the Detroit area is that, whether we are opting for the US or Canada routes, both take us right through the Buffalo area. Buffalo’s a bit of a run-down metro area, but it’s got quite a good set of culinary traditions, so every time we visit I try to hit up one of the classic spots. For this trip, that was Schwabl’s, so we could get some beef-on-weck.
Duff’s wasn’t our only visit in Buffalo, however. After a good round of wings, you find yourself with some fire in the belly (and, if not careful, on ones lips and fingers as well), and I always find it’s good to follow up with some ice cream. Well, Allie’s family is of the same general belief, so when we finished up at Duff’s, they suggested heading a few miles west on Sheridan to check out Anderson’s Custard. Anderson’s is one of the more prominent Buffalo-area custard chains, with about a dozen locations scattered through the Buffalo area. And they aren’t just a custard joint, they’ve got a full food menu as well, with various sandwiches, fries, and the Buffalo-obligatory beef-on-weck.
Since this year’s holiday vacation drive to Michigan via the US route is around 13 hours, this gave us a good excuse to break the drive up into two pieces, with a night in Buffalo. I rather like Buffalo as a food destination, since while it’s not exactly known for haute cuisine, it does have quite a few interesting regional specialties that I rather like. One good example is the beef-on-weck sandwich, one of my favorite variations of the roast beef sandwich (and you can read about one such beef-on-weck joint with my review of Charlie the Butcher’s). Another is Buffalo-style hot dogs, with Ted’s Hot Dogs being one of my favorite hot dog joints (although I usually visit their location located in the far, far distant suburb of Tempe, AZ). And, probably most famously, Buffalo is home of the Buffalo wing, with the Anchor Bar and Duff’s being two of the more-regaled places to get wings. Well, our stopover in Buffalo gave us another opportunity to check out Duff’s (the last two times I tried to go we got there after closing).
While returning from our Christmas vacation, we again passed through the Buffalo area around lunchtime, making it pretty much obligatory that we stop and try one of the classis Buffalo foodstuffs. After debating the relative merits of Buffalo wings, Ted’s Hot Dogs, and Beef-on-weck, we decided to do the last of these, and picked Charlie the Butcher’s since it’s quite close to the Thruway. Charlie’s is one of the places that has a reputation as being a good place for Beef-on-weck. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s a fairly Buffalo-specific food: roast beef and horseradish piled on a crusty roll resembling a kaiser roll, but topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds.
This year for Christmas, we decided to visit Carol’s relatives in Michigan, which means a long drive across VT, NY, and ON. To break up the drive, we spent the night in Buffalo, NY. While I have several places in Buffalo that I like (such as the original Ted’s Hot Dogs, or Schwabl’s), and several that I’d like to visit again (Duff’s, Anchor Bar, …), a Monday night at 11pm isn’t the best time, sice most every place is closed. So we punted and went to Denny’s, while deciding for find a good breakfast joint. Consulting my Buffalo-area contacts, two people recommended Demetri’s Family Restaurant in Buffalo as a good, cheap, Greek breakfast joint, so we went by to check it out…