This week sees the opening of a brand new member of the Bitters and Twisted family, Buffalo and Rye. An American style diner with a well stocked whiskey selection, Buffalo and Rye is a trendy and laid back place to eat out. Thanks to the lovely Vicky at Brumderland, some of us local bloggers got the chance to sample the menu before the doors officially opened on Monday. I went along to find out what Buffalo and Rye are all about (meat and whiskey, as it happens), and whether it is worth a visit as a vegetarian.
Slap bang next to one of it’s sister restaurants, Bodega, on Bennett’s Hill, Buffalo and Rye is a smaller venue right in the heart of town. The decor has a quirky diner feel to it, with stools for seating and low hanging lights. The presentation of the food had a similar ‘no-fuss’ attitude, which was fun but potentially cheapened the look of the not particularly cheap food.
I have it on good word, and a lot of empty plates, that the meat dishes went down a treat. These included hot dogs, burgers, chili topped fries, wings and BBQ-meat beans. The emental and onion hot dog looked like a winner, and I’m told the wings were perfect. Alternatives on the menu included a haloumi and mushroom burger (very ‘in’ right now, but I’m not complaining) and two salads. I tried one of the salads and it was to die for. On top of a kale bed was beautifully roasted butternut squash, crumbled goat’s cheese, chickpeas and candied pecans. This combo created a salad bursting with flavours and textures, and the honey dressing gave it a sweet aftertaste that went great with the goats cheese.
For dessert a selection of pancakes were the order of the day, including blueberry jam, maple syrup and bacon and bananas and chocolate sauce. These were everything you could want from classic American pancakes; thick and filling without being stodgy.
As well as the food, Buffalo and Rye boasts a wide selection of cocktails. Unfortunately due to lack of space there are no tables set aside for those that would just like drinks, but after food-serving hours at the weekend would be a great time to pop in for a cocktail or two. On arrival I had the Mountain Dew Collins: Beefeater gin, fresh lemon juice and Mountain Dew. This was a really refreshing cocktail, and the flavours allowed the gin to come through without it being too strong.
To finish the event we had a mini-masterclass from the head bartender, where we watched two cocktails being made. The ‘Apricot Smash’ created with honey Jim Bean, apricot jam and lemon was a short drink with fruity flavours and a definite kick. The second cocktail was made with Jim Bean, lemon juice, Angostura bitters and topped with ginger beer. Ginger was without a doubt the overwhelming flavour with this one (no bad thing for ginger lovers!), but the bourbon came through in the aftertaste.
Overall, though definitely more geared towards meat-lovers, Buffalo and Rye is still worth a veggie-visit if only to try the kale and butternut squash salad! The cocktails also offer something different from the other bars in the Bitters and Twisted family, so a definite one to try if you’re a whisky fan. Thanks to all the guys at Buffalo and Rye for having us, and for the two Vickys for organising the event!
*The food samples and drink at this event were complimentary. This does not effect my honest opinion.