Tucked in a mixed-use building adjacent to Hamburg’s Buffalo and Union Streets, it could be easy to miss Alchemy Wine & Beer as it sits back from the road. Not to worry – you surely won’t overlook the beautiful Chuck Tingley mural on display from the municipal lot between Union and Main Street, despite its efforts to be covered by the fence of a nearby business owner.
Opened in late summer 2018, the concept was born from a visit to New Orleans wine bar Bacchanal, and having visited myself earlier in the year, I could feel those laid back vibes channeled. I was lucky to visit Alchemy on a bright, breezy spring afternoon and take my choice of open-air indoor seating or sun-kissed patio.
Brunch is nothing new to their business, so on first impression combined with the ease of the self-service environment (you order everything at the bar and take a number for your food or any mixed drinks), I was ready to experience the next layer of Alchemy.
While I wanted to dive straight into the weekly wine flight, I couldn’t resist ordering the Bloody Geisha to start – Tozai Sake and house bloody mix topped with wasabi peas, olives and a fortune cookie. Albeit a good bloody overall, I was definitely expecting more of a punch to the sinuses from the bloody mix considering the wasabi garnish. Alas, wine is their focus, of which they are in abundance and variety.
I had a hard-time choosing between the house biscuits & gravy (cheddar & herb biscuits, fried egg, chorizo gravy) and the buttermilk fried pork belly (white gravy, fried egg, house home fries) but the kitchen’s availability of supplies allowed me to create a little plate of my own – fried pork belly w/ the cheddar and herb biscuits in place of the home fries. My brunch partner in crime ordered the huevos rancheros. Our food arrived less than five minutes after we ordered, which was great cause we had really lollygagged around that morning and I was ready to EAT.
The huevos rancheros touched down looking like the ultimate taco breakfast bowl with a puffy fried flour tortilla enveloping an egg scramble with chorizo sausage and pico de gallo, with chimichurri and sour cream dressing offered on the side. Once all scrambled together, it proved one of my favorite renditions of huevos rancheros yet.
The fried pork belly arrived sans white gravy, which I assumed was another item the kitchen was out of. I was happy to sandwich the egg and pork belly between one of the cheddar herb biscuits, which was delicious despite being a little dry. *Insert PRO TIP* I then requested a syrup to dip the remainder of my crunchy, savory fried pork belly strips into to offset the richness with a hint of sweet. The caramel syrup that the chef graciously fetched for me was mouth-watering and made me wish I had ordered one of the sweet menu items (next time!).
Overall, Alchemy hit all the notes I was hoping to and I’ll be looking forward to returning with a group of friends to kick back a few bottles of wine and indulge in some cheese boards and tapas on their gorgeous patio. Bacchanal style in Buffalo, baby!
Location: 20 Union Street, Hamburg, NY 14075
Hours: Brunch served Sunday 10am – 2pm, Sunday hours until 5pm