In the interest of full disclosure, I’m inclined to love anything with Spanish roots, Catalan in particular. So feel free to take this with a grain of salt.
Mes Que, meaning “more than” in Catalan, opened in the spring of 2012 on Hertel Avenue as Buffalo’s first and only soccer bar. They’ve been showing futbol games at weird times ever since. And after having dinner there, I’d say it’s as good a place as any to have breakfast too.
While I love a good rally around a sporting event, I don’t know much about futbol. We originally planned to stop by Mes Que to check out their fall drink menu for our 5 Fantastic Fall Cocktails in WNY post, but after a glance at the menu, we quickly realized we could eat. (Think Joey Tribbiani…or was it Monica?)
On a Tuesday night, the bar was full and surrounding tables were occupied here and there. The atmosphere was cozy, dim and romantic. (No doubt the rowdy crowd was home resting up for the next soccer match.)
We grabbed an intimate table near the front of the restaurant (the bar was full) and were greeted by a friendly server immediately. There is a cute, covered patio out front, perfect for overflowing crowds on game days and summer shenanigans.
On the evening of our visit, the drink menu consisted of nine “fall libations” at $8 a piece and several Mes Que Classics. Our server kindly helped me narrow down the drink options on the seasonal menu based on my preferences. I selected Still Ballin’ a beautiful cocktail made with Pumpkin beer, rye whiskey, maple syrup, apple brandy and raw egg. As described by our server, the drink was almost like a variation of eggnog, but not as thick and more balanced, with a frothy layer and a sprinkle of spice on top. It had a touch of sweetness and kept me coming back for more, getting better with each sip. I’d highly recommend it.
The draft beer list is short and sweet including options like Smithwick’s and Hofrau Original. The list of bottles is long, including craft, domestic, local, non-local and imported with some really great options.
Mes Que also offers a nice wine list with ten whites available by the bottle and easily twice as many reds ranging in origin from California to Italy, Spain, Argentina, France, South Africa and more. You’ll find twelve options by the bottle and three sparkling wines, not including cava – which I have to say upsets me a little.
The fresh bread basket and dipping oil served to each table should help you get over the disappointment of the missing cava. Unfortunately you don’t see this gesture too often anymore, especially at the beginning of an inexpensive, casual meal.
The menu isn’t exactly Spanish, although it does have some Spanish/Italian tendencies that warmed my heart and added a little something to the menu. Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and chorizo each make a few appearances throughout the pizza, pasta, panini menu. Expect to find a mixture of American and European elements throughout the dishes.
For an appetizer, we ordered the charcuterie plate ($9) consisting of Chorizo – a Spanish-style double smoked sausage, Andouille – a Cajun-style double smoked sausage, Serrano Ham – a salt/air cured ham from Spain and Sopressata – an Italian Salumi, plus piles of dried cranberries, walnuts, jam and mustard. Available with or without an accompaniment of cheese, the charcuterie plate is gorgeous in its presentation and the surrounding candlelight. Everything tasted fantastic and I was thrilled to see the extras that basically make a charcuterie plate into a well rounded meal. The chorizo and andouille both had a kick of spice to them. My favorite was the chorizo.
I imagine it’s very easy to eat light or heavy at Mes Que. Everthing we ordered was easy to share. Whether you’re here for appetizers, a light snack or a nice meal, the menu has you covered. Our selection filled us up but keep in mind, we had been munching at a few places previous to this stop.
For the main we ordered:
- Panini – Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto, $9
- Pizza – Goat cheese, asparagus pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate balsamic glaze, $8
The personal pizza was full of flavor from the golden brown crust to the plentiful topping. Each bite was full of tomatoes, pesto and crumbly cheese. It had a sweetness to it from the sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic.
The panini was hard to bite off, but delicious all the same, full of layers of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella with a tomato here and chunky basil pesto there. The cured meat added a heathy dose of salt to the sandwich. Meat and cheese oozed from the pressed bread with each bite. The side ramekin of pistachios was a nice, if odd touch.
Menu items missed:
- Chorizo and beans with rice and slow roasted pork, $9
- Seared Duck Breast Panini with bacon, lettuce, tomato and basil pesto, $10
- Seared prime rib with roasted potatoes, asparagus and herb butter small plate, $16
- Pan roasted chicken with Spanish rice and parsley oil, $12
On our visit to Mes Que for a weekday dinner, we experienced helpful, attentive service, a relaxed, cozy atmosphere and very satisfying food and drink. If you’re looking for something casual and different from your usual burger and fries night out, Mes Que is absolutely worth a shot.
Mes Que Details
1420 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14202
Open 4 PM Daily.
Food Service: 5 – 11 PM Monday – Saturday and 5-10 PM on Sunday