Grapevine: Cheap Eats Just Around the Corner



There are some restaurants only a handful of people can patronize, depending on location, selection and price. Luckily for Buffalo, the Grapevine satisfies both the casual eater and the big spender.

Fifteen minutes from UB's North Campus, the Grapevine offers both appropriate proximity and affordability in a quiet atmosphere, which many rivals could only dream of.

If one were to drive down Niagara Falls Boulevard at night, it would be difficult to notice the restaurant's white facade on the corner of Ellicott Creek Road except for the parking lot's beautifully lit pond, filled with green plants and fish.

Once inside, you discover that seating is ample, unless you arrive at either 12:30 for lunch or 6:30 for dinner, which are the eatery's busiest times. The dining area is beautifully arranged around fish tanks embedded in the walls.

The Grapevine's menu is chock full of delectable choices. A wide selection of appetizers, lunch, brunch, and dinner choices, as well as a menu for the kids, entice eaters. Lunch appetizers include soups, chicken wings and fingers, which each cost no more than $6.

They also have a salad section with a variety of fixings (grilled chicken, Cajun chicken or steak; Caesar, crab, and julienne, to name a few); and if sandwiches are your preference, options from tuna to meat loaf, all priced below $7, will make your mouth water.

Hot specialty choices are a bit more expensive, but equally delightful, with a choice of manicotti, spaghetti, and pasta with broccoli. The most costly of the lunch bunch is the fresh haddock, either filleted or fried, priced at $7.75.

Dinner is served with more detail, offering an array of appetizers and specialized main courses. Stuffed mushrooms or jalapenos, bacon-wrapped shrimp, loaded potato skins and a "vegetable hodgepodge platter" are a few choices added to the lunch version of appetizers, with a double order of wings topping the cost list at $7.50. The meal choices are broken down into four main groups: Italian, beef and chops, chicken, and seafood.

"Create Your Own Platter" allows customers to choose any two of the 16 featured dinner specialties (deep fried sea scallops, chicken delight, sole almondine and shrimp scampi are a few), served with salad or coleslaw, and your choice of baked potato, French fries or mixed vegetables with bread for only $11.75.

Also, the "Dinner Movie" package mirrors the "Create Your Own Platter," but offers two movie passes with the meal, all priced at $34.25 per couple.

The service is prompt and equally friendly. The staff obviously has enough practice to be good at what they do, considering the Grapevine tends to approximately 400 customers each day.