If you’re a fan of the Munchies series “Chef’s Night Out”, and you should be, you know that embracing tomorrow’s hangover and hitting up a few choice spots is one of the best ways to enjoy that well-earned night out with your friends.
In this new series, Step Out’s Night Out, I’ll be looking at giving you the best places to go in a neighborhood for a single night, and they’ll all be (relatively) within walking distance so there’s no need to factor cab fare into your budget.
This week, we’ll start with an easy one – Allentown. With so many good places to go in Allentown this one’s pretty hard to screw up Brett, you might say. Well first of all Mr. or Ms. Reader, there are good places, and there are great places in Allentown. Also, there are the things to get at said great places and that – as you’ll see – is what this series is all about.
Cocktails at Black Swan Lounge
Talk to a lot of people around Buffalo and they’ll probably tell you that Vera Pizzeria and Ballyhoo are the absolute best places to go for a great craft cocktail. However, Black Swan Lounge’s resident mixologist Jason Briandi has some serious game and the restaurant’s tendency to include sci-fi references in their drink names is a fun antidote to the headiness that always surrounds craft cocktails like wisps of smoke from a freshly-charred garnish.
In case you’re worried about alcohol overload cutting the night short, Black Swan’s Togolese head chef Maurice Tossah also has a number of small plates that pair well with the cocktail list. Some of our favorites at SOB include potato bravas and the black mission figs. More Info
Alternative: Next-door to Black Swan is Savoy, which has a respectable cocktail list of its own. More Info
BBQ Feast @ Fat Bob’s
Craft cocktails can pack a punch, so to soften the blow – you should head over to Fat Bob’s Smokehouse for their best-in-the-city (yeah, I said it) barbecue and award winning mac-and-cheese.
For years, people clamored for Syracuse’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que to put a franchise in downtown Buffalo and now that it’s been here for some time – I can confidently say that what we really needed was another Fat Bob’s.
You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the ribs are a must-have. Anyone who’s been in Buffalo more than a minute knows the mac-and-cheese is a must-get too and the only problem with it is that it sets such a high standard for all the other Fat Bob sides – which generally fail to impress. More Info
Alternative: Founding Fathers is the worst kept secret in Buffalo and many of us Allentowners wish outsiders had never found out about it. Food is cheap and very good. Bartender/owner Mike Driscoll is the best. More Info
Drinks and Jams at Allen Street Hardware Cafe
After gorging on meats, you have to put that massive amount of protein to good use and Allen Street Hardware consistently curates a best danceable live music and DJs from Western New York and beyond. Jazz, funk, reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, DNB, rock-n-roll are all possibilities and after 11:00 p.m. you are absolutely guaranteed to see people shakin’ their ass on the tiny dance floor.
Hardware also has an impressive list of beers, bourbons, scotches, and whiskeys – served by one of the best bartenders in town Pat Gilmartin. More Info
Alternative: Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar usually has great DJs and bands, but Duke’s tends to be more hit or miss so check the website to see who’s playing.
Late Night Munchies with Lloyd’s
Lloyd’s never needs a description and always has a truck in the Holley Farms parking lot at College St. and Allen, so faithful Lloydians can get their fix. We recommend a tricked out pork or beef burrito. They’ll know. More Info
Alternative: Like a one-night stand – Jim’s Steakout feels so right at night, less so in the morning.
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