Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can draw up all the experimental, madcap passing plays he wants, but if (insert name of current Bills QB) can’t execute the throws – even the most brilliant ideas are pointless.
Anthony Giangrosso, head chef and owner of Stack Burger in Lackawanna, knows all about execution, whether it’s putting together a crazy new burger or winning awards at the Taste of Buffalo. Stack Burger turned heads at the 2016 Taste of Buffalo with its deep-fried PB&J, and this year the restaurant won Best Overall Item and Beat Meat Item for its Demon burger.
Giangrosso directly credits his staff’s game-day execution for those wins.
“I think it’s because we don’t really cut corners,” he told us. “When we’re down there (at an event like Taste of Buffalo), I’ve got about 10, 11 people working. Nothing is pre-cooked. There’s a lot of prep, but it’s nothing crazy. We cook the burgers right on site. We cook the deep-fried PB&Js right on site. The way you would get it in the restaurant is the way you would get it at the Taste of Buffalo.”
In addition to racking up silverware at the Taste of Buffalo, Stack Burger has gained a reputation for serving hefty, flavorful burgers. We’ve previously reported on its X-treme Grilled Cheese, a cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches, and triple-stack cheeseburger, three all-beef patties and cheese balanced by a crunchy, sweet and tangy onion topping.
“When we first opened up (at their original West Seneca location, now closed), our menu just had regular burgers: single stack, double stack and triple stack. I would run a special board and as the specials became hits, they jumped on the menu. Now, all the popular specials are on the menu and I’m tasked with coming up with new all-new ones for the special board. And, I accept that challenge.”
Having outgrown its original take-out location, Stack Burger is now located on Abbot Road in Lackawanna, just south of Ridge Road. With a handful of booths and fluorescent lighting, she may not look like much, like the Millenium Falcon, the new Stack Burger has got it where it counts.
The bigger location comes with a bigger menu and all-new items, including gourmet milkshakes and new specialty burgers. We recently stopped by to sample the award-winning Demon burger and the new French Onion Soup burger. Both burgers were well constructed, with patties that had just enough structure to fall apart the moment teeth sink in. They also showcased Stack Burger’s attention to detail, as well as the proper execution of a good idea.
The Demon burger featured fiery jalapenos, melty cheese, a black pepper backbone and an undercurrent of cumin. Pickled banana peppers add a bit of acid. It was hearty and hot, but well-balanced.
Featuring torch-charred provolone cheese and a ‘crouton roll’, the French Onion burger was like biting into a bowl of the eponymous soup, replete with robust thyme and bay leaf flavors. We probably don’t have to tell you it was creamy, beefy and had the unmistakable crunch and flavor of caramelized onions.
Stack Burger does not have a liquor license, which sucks for those who like to pair a beer with their burger. However, the place is very kid-friendly, with boneless wings and grilled cheese dippers kids meals.
Giangrosso said he expects to incorporate a smoker into his lineup of kitchen tools so he can feature smoked turkey, pulled pork and smoked brisket. He also said he’s looking to expand his concept beyond meat patties between two buns.
“I’m really not tied to anything,” he explained. “So expect something crazy, like a dinner special: maybe a pasta special or roast beef. I’m going go beyond burgers as we get rolling here.”
We suggest you follow Stack Burger on social for Giangrosso’s latest burger creations and culinary explorations.
1506 Abbott Road, Lackawanna, NY 14218
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday CLOSED