A shinin' diner

Lake Effect Diner is a must-visit for UB students

The Spectrum

It's Saturday morning - you stayed up a little too late the night before and now you've slept in and missed brunch in the dining hall. We've all been there, rummaging around the back of our cupboards, trying to pull out the stale packet of Lucky Charms that you purchased for these emergency situations. But that's not going to make you feel any better.

You need to make your way to the Lake Effect Diner on Main Street.

As soon as you step into the diner, located near UB's South Campus, you'll have a smile on your face. Stepping in the front doors is like stepping back to the '50s. If you donned a poodle skirt and a pair of kitten heels, or wide-leg trousers and a trilby, you wouldn't look a bit out of place next to the pale pink and grey diner booths.

The little touches are just as noticeable as the '50s sign that hangs above the door for all of Main Street to see - the art deco embellishment on the back wall, the old-school milkshake maker and the metal stools that adorn the bar make Lake Effect Diner a place to remember. The only modern spin that the diner inherits is its soundtrack - smooth and relaxing, but still current to subconsciously sing along to as if you were in your bedroom.

The atmosphere is picture perfect.

The menu is brimming with options. If the menu weren't enough on its own, the origins of the diner's food make it 10 times more impressive. Lake Effect Diner makes great American food from scratch in its kitchen. The burgers and sausages are all homemade, the bacon is cured and flavored on sight and the addictively light pancakes are made from scratch and come served with homemade maple butter.

This doesn't mean that the diner charges astronomical amounts for its food, though. Burgers start at $6, milkshakes stand at $5 (with a low-calorie option available) and the mountain of food that I'm about to mention comes in at $10. In my book, that's pretty impressive.

My pick of the bunch has to be the Blizzard Breakfast - two sausages, two streaks of bacon, three eggs cooked to your choice, home fries, toast and a pancake on the side, accompanied by whipped cream and maple butter. Just a little tip: Don't pour your maple syrup over your pancakes straight away - the maple butter is packed with flavor, and if you add too much more, you're going to be left with nothing but a mass pile of sugar. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to pancake toppings.

The best bit has to be the sausage. This isn't just your regular sausage; it's beautifully tender and meaty and obviously handmade. The plate is huge, perhaps a little overwhelming actually. But don't panic - you can take home anything you don't manage to finish.

There's actually a bit of science behind this, too. The bacon and the eggs contain natural cysteine, which is going to neutralize any alcohol left in the system. The bacon's a double hitter - it's also going to start replenishing the salts that faded out of your body the night before. Meanwhile, the sugar in the pancakes is going to give your brain a little jump-start - just make sure you drink a lot of water at the same time so you don't end up in a sugar slump an hour later.

A dollop of ketchup on the side will give you some Vitamin A, Vitamin C, the antioxidant lycopene and beta-carotene. Then the potassium-heavy home fries are going to soothe the headache that's beating on your skull. The same goes for the toast, which is going to boost your glycogen stores while omitting serotonin, which is going to help to put you in a better mood. And the sausages are just delicious.

This place is not nearly as busy as it should be. But don't let that discourage you - take it as your opportunity to have great food delivered quickly and with a smile. There's nothing worse than great food being ruined by a restaurant that can't cope when it's at full capacity, so take it as a huge bonus.

Take advantage of Lake Effect Diner now before the weather starts to turn and walking down Main Street turns into a cold, snowy assault course. In honor of fall, the diner is serving up some of the fluffiest pumpkin pancakes that Buffalo has to offer, as well as its seasonal "Oktoberfest" milkshake. Head down on a Tuesday and take advantage of its two-for-the-price-of-one milkshake deal. I highly recommend ordering a PB&J for a peanut butter treat with a subtle strawberry jam under-flavor.

Guy Fieri gave it his stamp of approval, and now you most definitely need to as well.

email: meganreb@buffalo.edu