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New: GG’s Diner Proves Less is More With Focus on Scratch Cooking

Brunch, Food & Drink, Food & Drink News

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Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on December 28, 2022
GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner

The winning formula of a good diner isn’t a secret: Serve cheap, delicious, processed food to the masses. But now, a new wave of diners is winning fans over with scratch cooking and one of the newest to do that is GG’s Diner in Hamburg.

“We do as much as we can from scratch,” says Abby Young, manager and the daughter of owner Susan Young. ”We make the salad dressing. We make the pancake batter from scratch. Many diners don’t do that.”


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GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner
GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner
GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner

Abby says her mother worked in hospitality management for many years, always wanting to open a place of her own. The family owns a building with a restaurant space, but it had been in use for years. When COVID caused the restaurant to close, Susan decided it was time to give it a go with her modern diner concept. Even though she’d managed in hospitality for years, Susan and her team were surprised at a lot of waste happening in the standard diner format. For example, most diners have dozens of menu options and Abby says having that many options just isn’t necessary to win over customers.

“Opening a restaurant opened our eyes to a lot of things that other restaurants make that isn’t really necessary,” she says “We just cut out all that extra stuff, and do a few things the right way. We don’t want to be a super busy restaurant that’s just focused on doing a large volume.”

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GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner
GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner
GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner

You can see the focus on quality over quantity in everything that comes out of the kitchen at GG’s Diner. Sunny-side-up eggs glisten and house-baked cakes rise up from their serving platters; tantalizing monuments to chocolate and buttercream. But there are also imperfections: somewhat irregular shapes and slightly uneven distribution of ingredients. Basically, the food was made on-premise, by human hands — not miles away by machines in a factory.

That human touch is in keeping with the fact that GG’s is a family-(and-friends-)run diner. Susan isn’t just the owner, she’s also the head cook. Abby’s cousin makes the pies. Yes, the food is made from scratch and there’s a big push to use seasonal ingredients, but the driving force is a passion for cooking “the right way” — not a desire to be Hamburg’s trendy diner. Abby says her mother even bristles at promoting the diner, hoping the food will speak for itself: “Getting her to say yes to this Step Out Buffalo interview was hard, but I told her the story and interview will be good.”


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GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner
GG’s Diner / Photo courtesy of GG’s Diner

Despite the lack of marketing to this point, people are loving the new diner and it’s already building up a base of loyal customers.

“I knew we were good, but surprisingly, the feedback has been very, very, very good,” Abby says. “We’ve only had a couple of groups of customers in the past 8 months that weren’t feeling it. And you know what, you’re always going to get a few people who don’t like what you’re doing.”

Hours at time of publishing (Subject to change): Monday to Friday 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Note: GG’s is currently CASH ONLY

Full Service

GG’s Diner

5833 Camp Road Hamburg, NY 14075 • $$$$$

South Towns

  • American

Open for breakfast and lunch with house specials, diner favorites, and local ingredients. Read Our Article About Their Opening [sm_anypost columns="1" ...

  • Breakfast
  • Take-out
  • Patio
  • Lunch

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/brett-smith/" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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