Updated July 2015
3648 South Park Ave. / Blasdell / Southtowns | 716-240-9830
WEBSITE | SOB LISTING
Hours: Tues- Thurs 4-10; Fri & Sat. 4-12
A tribute to the steel industry, the Black Iron Bystro is a creative, funky little joint on South Park in Blasdell. In my mind if you like the art of food, not how it looks but the artistry and creativity of combinations and cooking, you’re gonna like this place.
The neighborhood is representative of the restaurant theme, hard-working, blue collar. Outside the restaurant there are a few subtle hints at the creativity that lies within. Open the door and you are immersed in lively Caribbean jazz, the chatter of exuberant customers and a decor that is as different as it is interesting. Monuments, reminders and artifacts of the steel industry are scattered throughout. They play off the cement floor and concrete block walls nicely.
Happily the Black Iron doesn’t rely on a cleaver theme or cool decor. Good food is what we came for, and good food we got. The menu, though not long, is ladled with interesting options. For appetizers we eventually landed on Steak Tacos (2 -$12) with pickled red cabbage and a small side of corn on the cob (a special,) and the Wild Mushroom Arancini ($10).
The tacos were filled with tender juicy slices of steak, and pickled red cabbage in a flavorful, crisp corn shell with a fantastic lime flavored sour cream. I believe these are meant as a meal, but perfect for a shared (or not) starter.
The arancini (3) – fried rice ball, with choice mushrooms, parmesan and home style San Marzano sauce were excellent. The marinara was outstanding with a real nice zest. San Marzano tomatoes make all the difference, topped with peels of parmesan- yum!
For entrees we ordered:
- The Sea Scallops – pan seared scallops, red wine reduction drizzle & warm black eyed pea florentine- $18.
- Grilled Pork Banh Mi’ – marinated pork sirloin, grilled & served on toasted roll w/pickled carrot & daikon radish, fresh cilantro, cucumber & sriracha mayo- $12.
The scallop dish was as good as anything you’ll get in the top restaurants in the city. The scallops were big, beautiful, fresh and cooked to perfection with a nice seared crust. They were served around a spinach and black eyed pea mix that was very enjoyable and played well with the seafood.
The pork Banh Mi came on a roll with chunks of seasoned pork, kind of souvlaki style. The veggies seemed less pickled than I’m used to on a Bahn Mi, but the combination with the sriracha mayo was first-rate. The house-made chips were equally good.
Beer selections were limited to four choices of Hamburg Brew, which I happen to love- White Corner American Wheat, Small Town Saison, Samurye Rye IPA, and IPA. I went with their superior IPA. We also sampled the Nero D’avola at $6 per glass.
Wines were limited to:
Chardonnay, Isle Saint-Pierre, France
Loureiro, Niepoort, Portugal
Pinot Grigio, Il Conte, Italy
Nero D’avola, Calea, Sicily
Malbec, Laposta Tinto, Argentina
Garnacha, Lurra, Spain
For dessert we had Rhubarb Pie ($5). Not as good as my grandmother’s but pretty tasty. They also have French Press coffee on the menu – nice touch.
We didn’t try it, but I’ve received reports since our visit that the burger might just be the best in town. Must have been a special because I didn’t see it on my visit. Generally they have 4-6 specials per night, and at least one vegetarian and gluten-free option.
Things to return for:
- Cheese & Charcuterie – assorted cured meats, cheeses from nickel city mercantile, oil-cured olives & crostini- $14
- Farmhouse Frites – hand cut potatoes fried & seasoned, served w/white truffle & peppercorn aioli $7
- Beet Farmer Grilled Cheese – chèvre, roasted beets & greens, crisped on the press w/extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & served w/sweet mustard sauce $10.
- Rancher Steak – ranch steak seared & filleted served w/chimichurri sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes & chef’s choice vegetables $15.
- Hopefully the burger special.
I can’t say enough good things about Black Iron Bystro- casual, creative, comfortable, reasonable with great food and attentive service. I’d suggest you get there soon before it gets too crowded, if it isn’t already too late.
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