With brunch being a newer concept, it’s not often that I get to write about a restaurant that opened pre-1970s. The Steer has long been a staple in the University Heights section of town, as well as Lake Effect Diner’s sister restaurant, so I knew I was in for a treat. Not to mention, I’ve heard from more than a few foodies that it’s a great spot for a burger. Fortunately for me, The Steer hopped on the brunch train a few years back, so I added it to my list and finally made it there recently.
For those of you that haven’t been to The Steer, it’s physically huge. It also won’t take you long to realize that it’s a college bar. I’ll let you figure that one out yourself, but let’s just say you might be able to sense a busy, late night when you walk in the next morning. No big deal – if I can be showered with greasy delights, I’m happy regardless of the smell of stale beer. The menu is indeed full of carbalicious, hangover-curing dishes. For example, FRENCH TOAST CHICKEN WINGS. You heard that right. Chicken wings fried in french toast batter and dipped in maple syrup and powdered sugar.
I couldn’t pass up the ‘Hair of the Dog’ burger on the particular day I visited; a burger cooked to temp and topped with a fried egg, pastrami, american cheese, caramelized onions and a half a shot of bourbon BBQ. The menu reads “must be 21, virgin options available.” That’s a first, am I right?! The burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare, and all the components balanced to create that mouth-watering savory bite with a hint of sweetness from the BBQ sauce. As you can see from the photo, the egg was a bit overcooked, but it didn’t hurt the overall combination of flavors, so I let it go.
My friend was in the mood for traditional french toast, so he got the french toast stack. You’re given the option to add strawberry or chocolate chips to your stack, but he chose to lean traditional and get his with maple butter and local maple syrup. Now, I’m not kidding when I say you wouldn’t believe the caliber of french toast coming out of The Steer’s kitchen. Thick and buttery on the outside but light and fluffy on the inside with just the right amount of density to avoid sogginess.
The Steer’s brunch menu has about fourteen other items that I’d be willing to try on another visit, including a variety of benedicts, a couple breakfast sandwiches, chilaquiles, bagels and lox, and more. You are also welcome to enjoy The Steer’s regular lunch menu during brunch time, which is exclusive to Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm. I can’t wait to go back!
The Steer Brunch
Location: 3151 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am – 4am, brunch served Saturday & Sunday 11am – 3pm