We all know Buffalo is progressing, we’ve got tons of new restaurants and events to check out but, if you head downtown on an off day, you’ll see there’s still room for growth. This was very obvious to me on a recent visit to Rusty Nickel Brewing Co. for Sunday brunch. Rusty Nickel advertises well and frequently, and has a vibe that should be drawing crowds for Sunday Funday yet there were only a few heads in the building at peak brunch time. Think board games, bloody mary garnish bar, extensive craft beer menu, full lunch/dinner menu and brunch specials including waffles! Guys, come on – if WAFFLES can’t get you out and about to explore on a Sunday – what can?! ALSO – Rusty Nickel has an award-winning bloody mary. So what’s holding you back?
Anyhow, I’m not here to criticize our lovely city, it just gets me a little crazy when I see a nearly desolate downtown Buffalo on a weekend day. Alas, my parents and I headed downtown to check out the Rusty Nickel brunch. I got myself a delicious virgin bloody (thanks, dry January) and we ordered one of each brunch special – the yogurt parfait, the open-faced sandwich, the orange-vanilla belgian waffle, and the breakfast panini. It took a lot to not order pizza logs from the available full menu, but we succeeded. Had I been able to have a beer to wash it down with, well, you know the play.
The yogurt parfait was exactly what you’d expect for a $4 hit, a smooth cranberry-vanilla yogurt with multiple layers of berries (mostly blackberries – WIN) and granola. The open-faced sandwich wasn’t much to look at but my dad was all over it, a little garbage plate-esque brunch dish featuring an english muffin, breakfast sausage links, home fries, sauteed peppers and onions and topped with sausage gravy and a sunny side up. Take a minute to imagine yourself swirling all of that loveliness together and letting all of those flavors combine in your mouth… #sorrynotsorry you’re drooling now.
The breakfast panini could’ve definitely been bulked up on the cheese and bacon portions, but I was happy with the crunchy bread-terior (yes I’m making up that word) holding everything together. In true Buffalo Brunch fashion, I opened that baby up and threw some crunchy hash browns right on the sandwich to thicken it up. Each bite washed down beautifully with a gulp of bloody mary.
The orange-vanilla belgian waffle was definitely the standout menu item for me, perhaps because my winter sweet tooth is always super intense. But I’ll chalk it up to the orange maple syrup soaking into the soft, pillowy waffle and of course, the generous dollop of whipped cream. My dad noted how well the waffle paired with the Rusty Nickel brown ale. And that, friends, is why all breweries should have a brunch!
Location: 36 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14203
Hours: Sunday brunch served 10am – 4pm