Grabbing a Bite Around Buffalo

The Spectrum

There are certain things to do when you go to a new city: sightsee, shop, and check out a local sports team. What seems to be everyone's favorite thing to do, though, is sample the local cuisine. There is one thing Buffalo does not have a shortage of: restaurants.

So while you tour the city that is soon to be your home, here are four restaurants worth paying a visit:

Anchor Bar

Buffalo is the home of the Buffalo Chicken Wing. No, the name did not come from the animal, as much as Jessica Simpson would like to believe. It was in the Anchor Bar kitchens that the famous wing was first created and if you'll be living in Buffalo, then you have to go to the Anchor Bar.

The restaurant, located on Main Street, has been serving wings since its creation in 1964 - mild, medium, hot, spicy barbeque, or, if you dare, suicidal.

It's not limited to wings, though; in fact the menu is quite extensive. The restaurant serves other Buffalo specialties like stuffed peppers, roast beef, along with the regular restaurant favorites like chicken alfredo, chicken fingers, and baby back ribs.

In 2003, Anchor Bar took home The James Beard Foundation America's Classic Restaurant Award and the Quality Institute International "Best of the Best" Award, for their quality food and delectable sauces, respectively. The food, whether you opt for the traditional wings or something else on the menu, will not leave you disappointed.

My personal favorite:Buffalo wings ($37 for a bucket of 50 wings, or $40 if you opt for the suicidal wings).

Blue Monk

In the city of Buffalo, Allentown is just a subway trip away from South Campus. The streets are filled with boutiques, bike shops, cafes, bars, and - of course - restaurants. Whether it's Greek, Japanese, or French cuisine, Allentown is home to dozens of places that can satisfy hunger, no matter what your taste buds are craving.

If you're looking to try something new, check out Blue Monk. Named after Belgian monks who have been brewing beer for centuries, as well as after Thelonious Monk, a jazz pianist extraordinaire, Blue Monk is home to one of the most extensive beer menus in the Buffalo area.

Although it's a bit expensive for a college student's budget, the food is worth it. The restaurant serves a variety of entrees, such as house-made potato chips (or Monk Chips), German Meatballs covered in blue cheese (or Blue Balls), mussels, and a duck reuben sandwich. If you aren't feeling adventurous and want to stick with something familiar, opt for their Blue Monk Burger, which is topped with caramelized onions and blue cheese, and is just as mouth-watering.

The lighting is dim, the ambiance is intimate, and the food is unique. Blue Monk is a great place to go for a first date, or if you're celebrating a special occasion.

My personal favorite:Poutine - french fries smothered in cheese and duck meat.

Pearl Street Grill & Brewery

This restaurant serves its own versions of Buffalo specialties: wings, beef on weck (which is roast beef on a Buffalo-specialty kimmelweck roll), and Loganberry soda to name a few. Pearl Street is located in the Old Canal District of Buffalo, right near the First Niagara Center, which is home of the Sabres. So if you're looking to grab a bite to eat after going to a hockey game, Pearl Street is a good choice.

The menu is huge, encompassing something for everyone, but almost everything has a Buffalo twist. It's a crowd-pleasing restaurant, and the menu includes Buffalo Chicken Dip, Stuffed Banana Pepper Pizza (stuffed peppers being another Buffalo delicacy), burgers, pasta, fish and steak. Also, while you're waiting for your food, the restaurant has an old-fashioned popcorn machine.

So if you're going out to eat with your family, or spending the night with a group of friends, the Pearl Street Grill has everything to promise a fun night out.

My personal favorite: Brewer's Burger ($10.25) - a half-pound burger with saut?(c)ed onions, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and Pearl Street's special Street Brawler Stout BBQ sauce that comes with a side of their pub fries.

Amy's Place

If there's one place that's a must-visit during your time in Buffalo, it's Amy's Place (a Lebanese and American restaurant). It's located right on Main St., only about 5 minutes away from South Campus, and is a fan favorite among people living in University Heights.

Amy's Place is known for its vegan- and vegetarian-friendly menu. Everything they make, even if it's made with meat or dairy, can be substituted to fit special dietary needs. Even better, it doesn't leave much of a dent in a college student's wallet.

Whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Amy's Place has got it covered. Omelets or French toast (even vegan if that's your style), salads or humus, falafel or shawarma, burgers or chicken sandwiches - no matter what time of day you stop in, you'll find something to satisfy your appetite. Their menu even contains specialty meals that the employees created themselves.

My personal favorite: The 2-2-2 Breakfast Special ($6.75) - comes with two eggs, two pancakes (or french toast), and two pieces of sausage (or bacon).