Garage Cafe and Lounge opened on Hertel in December and it’s been getting quite the buzz. I decided to check it out on a Sunday for a bit more low-key brunch experience (they don’t have booze – yet). They’re expected to have their liquor license in the next couple weeks, but for now, here’s the recap of my experience in this former auto-repair shop turned restaurant:
The Garage has great character and it’s very spacious. They kept the auto-theme going with their decor, which is represented most prominently in the form of a large mural of an old school car in the dining room. It’s evident that the menu at Garage was developed with care, with a ‘something for everyone’ mentality. A soup of the day, three salads, three to four breakfast items, seven paninis, and three specialty sandwiches, with a special or two thrown in each day – typically something sweet from what I gather from the weekend specials and their Facebook page.
When you walk into this little gem on a Saturday or Sunday, your eyes are graced with the presence of a tray of fresh-out-the-oven cinnamon rolls. I have no willpower when it comes to cinnamon rolls, so right away I ordered one to accompany my Americano, and the result was utopic. It was the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever had in Buffalo. I love a good cream cheese base for the icing, and they delivered. On Saturdays and Sundays only, they also offer home fries and a french toast casserole special. If the cinnamon roll is any indication, I’ll definitely be back for the french toast casserole.
From the regular menu, we ordered:
- ‘Italian Western’ breakfast sandwich: egg, cheese, ham, roasted red peppers, lettuce, red onion and mayo
- ‘The Cadillac’ panini: Turkey, ham provolone, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, lettuce, mayo and oil
- Nonnie’s soup: chicken broth, potatoes and poached egg
Both of the sandwiches featured fresh ingredients and good balance, all between two delicious carbohydrate engines. Nonnie’s Soup was just the cure I needed. The chicken broth and potatoes all made for a comforting, cold weather soup. It appears that Nonnie’s Soup runs as a soup de jour often, based on what I learned while Facebook stalking.
If you ask me, The Garage is an excellent addition to Hertel. Whether you’re just looking for a quick cup of coffee and a bagel or you’re looking to try a variety like we did, you have options and you won’t be disappointed. You must try the cinnamon roll on Saturdays and Sundays, if nothing else. I repeat, you must try the cinnamon roll. Along with getting their liquor license soon, the Garage has plans to host live music and open up their patio in the summer.
Garage Cafe & Lounge
Location: 1127 Hertel Ave (in an old auto repair shop)
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 8am – 8pm, Sunday 8am – 3pm
For your viewing pleasure…