When you come in to eat at The Steer you will notice, the menu has changed a bit. Don’t panic! It will be ok. The menu now is a bit smaller, and more streamlined in order to focus on menu item crowd pleasers- what we do best according to our customers.
For the past 4 months we have been studying you. Nothing stalkerish I assure you, just keeping track of which items our customers ordered and enjoyed the most. We have also noticed the increased interest and excitement over our Weekly Specials Menu. A benefit on streamlining our daily menu is it gives us the ability to play with and come up with innovative and exciting weekly special offerings- new choices to try for both carnivores and vegans alike. We love using seasonal ingredients at The Steer, and we hope to offer quite a few weekly dishes that will be fun and delicious for our customers to try.
So what’s different? Well to start, looking at the new menu you will notice the absence of the separate vegan menu. Our vegan offerings have proved to be very popular, and are here to stay as a major part of our selection. They are NOT gone. We have just integrated them throughout the entire menu. For example, looking for the Marathon Bowl? Just look under Entrées and there it is. Falafel Wrap? It’s now listed under Sandwiches. Garbanzo Fries? Check out the Garbanzo Tots listed with in Sides. All Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free menu items are clearly marked- vgn, gf, or df- for your convenience as well.
Next up: let’s talk Brunch. The Brunch selection is no longer listed on our every day menu. This is because we have actually expanded our Brunch Menu offerings. Brunch Only will still be served both on Saturday and Sundays, but at a new time of 11am-3pm (instead of 4pm). After 3pm on the weekends, the regular menu will be available.
The same brunch favorites are on the new brunch menu along with quite a few more options. There are soup and chili offerings, salad options, our Classic and Hair Of the Dog Burgers, Wings and Fingers, Breakfast Plates- French Toast Stack, and a Vegan and Regular Breakfast Wrap to name a few. We have also added a Savory French Toast Dish: French Toast topped with our Spinach and Artichoke Dip, melted provolone and poached eggs.
Brunch Plates are also available- You will find Eggs OR Veggs Benedict, the Lake Effect Diner’s famous Eggs Chesapeake, a Meat Lovers Breakfast, Steak and Eggs and more…check it out!
Don’t forget to save room for dessert. We have added a new Pretzel Crusted Chocolate Torte to our regular Dessert Menu-the perfect combination of salty and sweet. We are planning on having a weekly dessert special as well. This week save room for the Pusser’s Parfait Special: Pusser’s Rum soaked pound cake, layered with chocolate ganache, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. (Must be 21 and older).
And what if your Main Menu items didn’t make the cut? Don’t you fret. Keep checking the Weekly Specials Menu- They will be showing up again, I assure you.
It’s November. This means it’s time to cut back on our national pumpkin obsession, and time to talk turkey. Thanksgiving is a mere 3 weeks away- a holiday that's original purpose was for the first Pilgrim settlers to thank the Native Americans who taught them how to hunt, farm, and basically survive when they landed in North America. It has now mostly become a holiday during which we are thankful as a nation for pants with stretchy elastic waistbands, or as I like to call them: relaxation trousers.
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce….mmmmm….just a few things that we look forward to for a traditional Thanksgiving Feast. At the Lake Effect Diner you can enjoy delicious Turkey With All The Fixin’s (House Smoked Turkey, Savory Stuffing, and Cranberry Sauce) off the main menu every day, but let’s be honest, as great as this famous holiday meal is, one of best thing about the excessive spread is what to make from the leftovers! Which is why the November Sandwich Special is such a fan favorite.
Come in to the Lake Effect Diner where you don’t have to slave away and cook a whole turkey dinner to enjoy turning one night's feast into the next day’s culinary creation. The November Sandwich features thinly sliced house smoked turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and cranberry mayo all piled high on a fresh homemade baguette griddled in garlic butter until crispy and served with fresh cut fries. For the full “day after Thanksgiving” experience, I usually substitute mashed potatoes with gravy for the fries and pile some of those bad boys on there as well.
So get on your relaxation trousers, pencil in a nap for later, and head to Lake Effect Diner for a slice of turkey heaven, because once November is gone- so is this indulgent treat.
The most wonderful time of the year is here! No, not Christmas, or even the kids going back to school- I’m talking about Halloween. In my book, it’s the perfect holiday- no gifts to buy, no big family gatherings (not that I don’t love my family), no big meal to make- just some good ol’ creepy fun.
Little kids can dress up as their favorite character and go door-to-door begging for candy and it’s totally socially acceptable, and no one thinks it’s weird if a grown person shows up to a bar dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. In fact, that person deserves some major props if the costume is executed even slightly well. Of course, it is also the night when scantily clad versions of just about any character show up everywhere. Brace yourselves for all the Sexy Donald Trumps and Sexy Pizza Rats you are going to be seeing this weekend.
Whether you are the type to go all out and get dressed up, or just prefer to have some grown up fun, The Steer has cooked up a couple of creepy cocktails to get the party started this weekend:
Let’s start with the Grave Digger: Martini-Godiva Chocolate and Vanilla Vodka with an Oreo Rim and Gummy Worms.
Too rich for your blood? Maybe a Venom-Rocks is more your poison: Melon Liquor, Grey Goose Vodka, a Splash of Orange Juice, and a Splash of 7-UP.
Feeling dead on your feet after a long week? Try the Zombie-Hurricane: Light Rum, Dark Rum, Peach Schnapps, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, and Blue Curacao.
The Kiss Of Death Shot could be the cure to what ails you or your untimely demise: Torched Cherry Bacardi Rum, Cherry Syrup, and a Crushed Smarties Rim.
For all you out there that love a good fall brew, there is the Southern Tier Pumking, Sam Adams Octoberfest, and UFO Pumpkin. Try them prepared with a cinnamon and caramel rim for a sweet treat.
If you are the type who would like something seasonal and spooky, but traditional, The Steer also serves a wickedly good Bloody Mary, a brooding Dark and Stormy, and a warm and cozy Apple Cider Hot Toddy (made with Laird's Applejack Brandy.)
And don't forget-just like all those Sexy Donald Trumps out there-these Creepy Specialty Drinks will only be around for this haunted weekend, so let's enjoy them (responsibly of course) while we can!
Sometimes it’s the simple things that can bring us the most pleasure. Take the combination of bread and cheese, for example. Of course people have been enjoying a version of this combo for centuries- but add the twist of creating a buttery, crispy and gooey delight from these basic ingredients… Hello Lovah!
I’m talking of course about the Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Melted cheesy goodness between two slices of crispy golden-brown griddled bread.
There are many ways to make a Grilled Cheese: broil it, griddle it, fry it, Panini press it. You can make it open faced or closed. The Lake Effect Diner uses a hot griddle and serves it as a closed sandwich, which is the tried and true method. Cooking one side of the sandwich first and then flipping to cook the other side so the cheese melts perfectly in between. On the Sandwich Specialty Menu is the Gourmet Grilled Cheese. Chose your cheese: American, Provolone, Swiss, or Cheddar to be griddled on your choice of house baked bread: White, Multigrain, or Rye with grilled Tomatoes. For a little extra, add ham, bacon, turkey, or Peameal bacon.
On it’s own, the Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a treat, but this being the good ol’ US of A, we have a built in drive to make things bigger and better. Popular sites like Pinterest and foodie blogs are blowing up lately with jacked up versions of the basic Grilled Cheese.
At the Diner there is also an option to make give any sandwich on the menu the “Melt” treatment. For a small extra charge, you can kick it up a notch with sautéed onion, melted cheddar cheese, and Thousand Island dressing all griddled on house made rye bread. The most popular request is the “Patty Melt.” (Lake Effect’s own Beef Patty in a warm melty sandwich…)
And don’t even get me started on the Diner’s Tuna Melt: Creamy tuna salad, tomato slices, and Swiss cheese griddled with between your choice of bread. By far my Diner sandwich first love.
This week my favorite melted sandwich does have some competition on the Specials Menu at the Diner. In celebration of the deliciousness and popularity of the American Grilled Cheese the Lake Effect has come up with a Triple Decker Bacon Melt Special with a Cup of Tomato Basil Soup. Three melted layers of cheesy goodness: American, provolone, Swiss, and cheddar cheese, house cured bacon, and sliced fresh tomatoes between three slices of house made white bread crisped and griddled with garlic butter. If that’s not heavenly enough for you, the Diner has added a cup of homemade Tomato Basil Soup on the side to complete the experience.
I have no idea why who came up with the idea to marry the Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup. Was it a top-secret marketing scam by Campbell’s Soup and Kraft Cheese back in the day? Maybe- but it’s genius and they deserve a major award in my book.
It’s October, crisp autumn days and winter winds are on the horizon, so let’s get melted America.
Italy is known for many culinary delights: Pastas, sauces, breads, olives, and cheeses are just a few things that immediately spring to mind. Another favorite Italian import is also sausage. (Much to the delight of women everywhere)
There are actually numerous types of sausages that are Italian, made from various types of meats. Many of which are salted, and cured and packed into casings in order to be preserved for a long shelf life. For example: Salami, Pepperoni, and Cotechino, which are called by name and not generally referred to as sausage.
In the U.S. we use the term “Italian Sausage” to refer to fresh pork sausage made from finely chopped or ground pork meat, usually mainly seasoned with fennel. It is produced either in sausage link form (inside a casing) or formed into patties and made to either be “hot” or “sweet” depending on the addition or not of hot pepper flakes in the spice mixture. Since it’s not cured and preserved, this type of sausage needs to be cooked before consumption. Traditionally grilled and served up on a roll with sautéed peppers and onions. It’s a s favorite go to meal at BBQ’s, ballparks, street festivals, and stadiums throughout America. You can even grab one on the go from a street cart or food truck on many bustling city streets.
While most markets sell ready-made Italian Sausage to consumers and restaurants, The Curtin Family Restaurants: The Steer and Lake Effect Diner make it in house. The fresh pork meat is ground, seasoned, and formed into a patty shape to make a generously portioned Italian Sausage burger. The meat is then grilled and served hot and juicy on a griddled house made fresh Kaiser roll topped with melted provolone cheese and sautéed onions and peppers with house cut fries.
This mouth watering take on a classic Italian Sausage Sandwich is a satisfying year round meal-but in the fall with a nice brew to wash it down? Perfection.
Usually when you are offered a knuckle sandwich, it’s not a good thing. Unless you happen to enjoy a good punch in the mouth… At The Steer however, when you order one off the Sandwich Menu, I assure you, the result will be delicious and your server will not slug you.
The Knuckle Sandwich at The Steer is a variation of the Buffalo Fan Favorite: the Beef On Weck. While the Chicken Wing is Buffalo’s most popular culinary claim to fame, the Beef On Weck is close behind in many a Buffalonians’ hearts and taste buds. What makes this sandwich stand out is the roll on which it is served. The particularly unique Kaiser roll is topped with pretzel salt and caraway seeds. This roll is called a Kummelweck roll or Weck roll for short. (also spelled Kimmelweck) It is believed that the roll was introduced to Buffalo by William Wahr, a German immigrant baker from The Black Forest.
The decision of what to put on the now famous sandwich is credited to pub owner Joe Gohn. Just before the Pan American Exposition in 1901, Gohn purchased a small saloon: The Delaware House. Looking to feed hungry patrons, he decided that a roast beef sandwich would go great with a cold beer. The German baker that supplied the saloon with breads suggested using the unique Kummelweck rolls. Gohn liked the idea because the salt would create thirsty patrons and help in the sale of beer. The thinly sliced rare roast beef was piled high on the roll and, like the original French Dip Sandwich was prepared, the topside of the roll was dipped in au jus. Unlike the French Dip however, the Beef On Weck was served with some sinus clearing prepared horseradish on the side. They say the amount of horseradish you add to the sandwich is an indicator as to what level of a true Buffalonian you truly are.
For a Classic Style Beef On Weck head to The Lake Effect Diner. The beef is slow roasted and thinly sliced in house. The Kummelweck role is homemade as well. The sandwich is served with fries and the traditional horseradish and au jus on the side.
In the mood for a more modern take on this old favorite? How does a Knuckle Sandwich sound? This version has the Steer’s house made braised beef brisket generously layered on a homemade fresh Kummelweck Baguette with horseradish sauce, au jus, and fresh cut fries on the side.
Or maybe you are feeling even more daring? The Beef On Weck Wood-fired Pizza is another way to go. Braised beef brisket and cheddar cheese on a salted caraway flatbread crust. The pizza is then fired up until hot and bubbly in a wood burning brick oven and drizzled with tangy horseradish cream sauce before serving.
So if I am at The Steer and someone asks me if I would like a Knuckle Sandwich- my answer would be "Why yes- that sounds delicious!"
The Reuben Sandwich is a classic: A grilled sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye bread. Who came up with this original sandwich combination? There are a few compelling stories which claim to document the creation of this lunchtime fave, but there isn’t any concrete evidence to support any of the claims to the Reuben’s origin.
One popular account is that the Reuben was created by Arnold Reuben; founder of Reuben’s Restaurant and Delicatessen, back in 1914. Food legend has it that he created the sandwich at the late night request of Charlie Chapman and his actress companion. Another version, from the same restaurant is that the sandwich was created for the owner himself by one of the chefs who thought Arnold ate too many hamburgers.
A second claim is that the Reuben was invented in the 1920’s in Omaha, Nebraska at a weekly late night poker game at the Blackstone Hotel hosted by the hotel's owner. Needing a late night snack, one of the players, Reuben Kulakofsky had some corned beef and dark rye bread brought over from his nearby grocery store. The hotel owner’s son, Bernard Schimmel was a chef and created the sandwich to feed the hungry group. The result, the Reuben Sandwich, was put on the menu at the hotel’s coffee shop.
Which version is true? Who cares? It’s a delicious indulgent sandwich that has made it to many a lunchtime menu across the nation. A diner menu would not be complete without a good Reuben. The Lake Effect Diner’s version includes house cured and roasted corned beef. The meat is thinly slice and piled on grilled house made rye bread along with sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and of course the Diner’s own Thousand Island dressing.
Corned beef not your thing? Never fear, Reuben’s sister Rachel is here too. For the Rachel Sandwich, the Lake Effect Diner replaces the corned beef with house smoked, thinly sliced turkey breast. The accoutrements are the same on the Rachel as the Reuben-they are after all, from the exact same family. Each sandwich comes with a side of fresh cut fries.
Personally, for me, the Classic Reuben is the way to go here. The saltiness of the corned beef, pared with the tang of the sauerkraut, the sweetness of the thousand Island dressing, and the sharpness of the creamy, melted Swiss cheese-all between two slices of crisped fresh rye bread, is something not to be messed with. No matter which Reuben the sandwich is actually named for, I will always be a big fan of this culinary creation. So thanks Reuben, whoever you are.
Growing up, Taco Night was always a fan favorite at my house. My siblings and I would feel like we won the lottery when we came home from school and saw that family sized taco kit on the kitchen counter. Mom would brown some ground beef in a large pan, add the Ortega or pass the Old El Paso seasoning packet, serve the meat in those hard, bright yellow taco shells, and we would top it with all the fixin’s: shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, onions, olives, taco sauce (there was always that squeeze packet in the kit to fight over), and sour cream. If we were feeling really adventurous, there may be some soft four tortillas offered as well. You know, to get real authentic and all.
Now I have to say, I still love this Americanized version of taco night. My own kids love it and get just as excited when they see that yellow and orange boxed taco kit on our kitchen counter, but let’s be honest, these aren’t real Mexican tacos. As an adult, and lover of all types of food, I have had the opportunity to taste the real deal and even attempted to replicate some real Mexican cuisine in my own kitchen.
If you want to try something a bit more authentic in the taco department, head to The Steer. A few years back, owners Tucker and Erin Curtin traveled to Mexico and sampled some local cuisine and, as usual, brought back some ideas to make the taco selection at the restaurant closer to the real deal.
First, lets start with the tortillas. They are soft, fresh, warmed, and always corn. (As fresh corn tortillas tends to be a bit more delicate, doubling them up seems make them easier to handle). Second, adiós lettuce, sour cream, and olives. For the cheese, expect queso fresco, which is a white crumbly fresh, mild Mexican cheese made from a combination of cow and goat’s milk, much more like feta than cheddar.
It is the meat that is the star of the taco, and I’m not talking hamburger meat. Think marinated and grilled sirloin steak as in the Taco de Carne or char-grilled marinated pork butt with sliced pineapple in the Taco el Pastor. There is also the Taco De Pescado: Mahi Mahi done either ceviche style or grilled and the Taco de Pollo: grilled marinated chicken. If you are feeling a bit more gringo, try the Taco de Frijoles: Cheddar and beans or the Taco de Americano: braised ground pork and beef with beans and cheddar. Vegan? Well, you’re in luck! Back by popular demand this week as a special is the Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos with mango salsa. Each taco plate is served with lime wedges, diced onion, cilantro, queso fresco, and pico de gallo. Please note, those lime wedges are not a garnish, squeeze those babies over your tacos before digging in! You can even add fresh guacamole for a small surcharge.
Of course, no taco experience would be complete without homemade hot sauce on the side. Try the The Steer’s own Pastor and Serrano hot sauces for an added kick to your taco experience. You wont be sorry.
In terms of food, Hash is any dish that starts out with diced up meat, potatoes, vegetables, herbs, and spices. It was considered a common poor man’s dish, with origins that can be traced back for centuries in England, Scotland and other parts of Europe. It was designed to fill as many empty bellies as possible with something warm, cozy, satisfying, and cheap.
In the colonial U.S. Corned Beef was a staple because it was preserved and had a long shelf life, plus it was very affordable. Thus, it became the traditional meat Americans used in hash. Corned Beef Hash was very popular along the railroad lines and on the chuck wagons during the 1800’s. During this period cheap restaurants were known as “hash houses” and the cooks who worked there were called “hash slingers” as well. It wasn't a compliment. During WWII, when fresh meat was rationed, Corned Beef Hash became a go to for feeding families. They were able to stretch the dinner leftovers from the night before into a filling breakfast the next day.
Well from humble beginnings to a whole new level today-Corned Beef Hash has been gentrified, so to speak. Nowadays there are entire cookbooks written by foodies dedicated to variations on this simple dish and even high end restaurants that serve their own upscale fancy versions.
At The Lake Effect Dinner we take pride in being a joint that actually slings hash. On the menu there are two versions to choose from: the House Cured Country Corned Beef Hash and the House Smoked Turkey Hash. Both versions are made with diced potatoes, onions, green peppers, and a medly of herbs and spices. The whole mess is sautéed up on the flat top until the potatoes are browned and crisped. Each hash plate comes with eggs done to your liking and your choice of white, multigrain, or rye house made toast. If I had to choose, my order would be the Corned Beef Hash, with eggs over easy, and multigrain toast. Mixing the warm runny yolk with the savory hash is the stuff my breakfast dreams are made of…
Labor Day has passed. School is back in session. Pumpkin spiced everything has hit your local coffee shop and beyond (Pumpkin spiced pet shampoo or conditioner anyone? Unfortunately- it’s a real thing). Fall is upon us. Or is it? With the outside temperature still hot and steamy our new fall sweaters and cozy boots need to wait a bit longer to make it into rotation.
Let’s not rush things. We have plenty of time before old man winter pays us a visit and overstays his welcome, as usual. Lettuce take advantage of the fresh ingredients still at our disposal and romaine within our salad days a bit longer.
At Lake Effect Diner and The Steer Restaurant And Saloon, we take greens pretty seriously all year round. All dressings are made in house, and fresh seasonal local produce are used whenever possible. Both restaurants offer an assortment of salad choices, many which are large enough to enjoy as a main meal.
Over at Lake Effect Diner the specialty salad selections are: House, Caesar (add chicken for a little extra), Hearts of Romaine, Falafel, Souvlaki, and Chopped. The most popular salad on the menu would have to be the Souvlaki Salad. Fresh romaine and leaf lettuce with red onion, tomato, black olives, cucumber, pepperoncini, and topped with imported Greek feta cheese. It is served, of course, with grilled whole-wheat pita. You may order it with The Diner's own classic Greek dressing or mix it up a bit and choose between the other house made dressings: balsamic vinaigrette, house honey mustard, ranch, or blue cheese, 1000 Island, or oil and vinegar. (I say if you’re going to go Greek, just go all out Greek) Also, for a small extra cost, you may choose to add on grilled vegetables, chicken, or beef. It is a hearty meal choice for dinner or lunch.
Another Lake Effect special salad is the Falafel Salad: The Diner’s own seasoned and fried chickpea patties atop a generous helping of greens with Tzatziki, hummus, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber and carrots. It is a huge portion. This salad may also be upgraded with a choice of Souvlaki chicken or beef- I would highly recommend sharing or planning on taking some leftovers home.
The Chopped Salad is my personal fave. It’s an explosion of flavors with diced leaf and romaine lettuce, house smoked ham and turkey, crumbly blue, cheddar cheese, green pepper, tomato, red onion, carrots, celery, croutons and bacon bits- all chopped and tossed in your choice of dressing. For this one, I usually go with blue cheese dressing. Who am I kidding anyway? This is not a slim salad, so why lie to myself and pick a vinaigrette? I love a good salad induced food coma.
For a few other choices in the mixed greens department-head on over to The Steer. Of course, like at The Steer’s sister restaurant the Lake Effect Diner, you will find a House Salad, as well as a Classic Caesar-plus all of the dressings are made in house as well. Craving a badass burger, but not feeling the carb heavy bun and fries? Try the Topless Burger salad. Three types of The Steer's Badass Burgers (beef, chicken, or veggie), any style (15 to choose from!), served on top of the Balsamic Dressed House Salad.
Maybe it’s been a long weekend of bad decisions and you need a remedy, or you are just looking for a powerhouse bowl of healthy fuel? Then the Detox Salad Bowl is for you: Quinoa, beets, Thunder Mountain Micro Greens, peas shoots, spinach, romaine, tomato, carrot, chick Pea, Sprouted white bean hummus, with The Steer’s Hemp Ranch Dressing. This is one meal that will get you on the right track.
Or maybe you are feeling a bit cheesy? Griddled goat cheesy to be exact. The one salad I can never get enough of is The Steer’s Griddled Goat Cheese Salad: Beets, house greens, tomato, carrot, onion, cucumber, croutons, griddled goat cheese (imagine, a medallion of fresh goat cheese that is tossed onto the hot griddle and crisped just on the outside, while the inside stays firm but warm…) topped with house made Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing. It’s my jam…or at least my salad…
So enjoy these final days of summer, eat a little greener, and feel a little healthier, because in no time at all we will be going from snacking on Pumpkin Spiced Oreos to passing the Eggnog flavored gum….