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Cheap Eats

It's a Sunday breakfast buffet and - if you sit near the back wall of the Gallery Grill inside the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome, as we did - it's a show, too.

You'll see golfers hitting shots on the driving range and toting clubs in every imaginable sort of bag, many with bright stuffedanimal club covers - a tiger like you-know-who, a sassy gopher like the one in "Caddyshack."

The Sunday breakfast menu is amusing, too, with its links-related meal names, although John noted, "I'd rather have a double bogey than a double eagle, food-wise, not score-wise." The double bogey is a three-egg omelet with hash browns and toast for $4.99; the double eagle is scrambled eggs with cheese, served in a pita for $2.75.

We glanced at the menu but quickly picked the $6.95 Sunday breakfast buffet, served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dan and Ruth, John and I grabbed plates and hit the buffet at the same time. We had to juggle a bit to serve ourselves, since the buffet table is fairly compact and crowded. But the selection made up for the awkwardness.

The pancakes, sausage and French toast got unanimously high marks. The pancakes, which were large and thick, yet light and fluffy, were perfectly cooked - the pinnacle of pancake achievement. The link sausages looked a bit greasy, but both John and Dan remarked on their tenderness and meaty flavor. The French toast impressed Dan, who, when pressed, admitted it wasn't quite as good as his mother's recipe, which apparently involves multiple sticks of butter. "I think I taste cinnamon in there," he said happily.

The drizzle of melted cheese atop the fluffy scrambled eggs was a nice added touch. Plates of rye, wheat and white bread next to a four-slice toaster allowed diners to toast their own, while platters held a wide selection of small danishes, muffins and even a few slices of poppyseed cake. A large bowl of canned fruit cocktail seemed superfluous, and the tiny chips of fried potatoes were dried out by their time in the buffet tray. Larger chunks may have held up better.

The food was hot, fresh and regularly replenished, even though there wasn't a huge crowd. We lounged and picked as long as we wanted, then, still thinking about those pancakes, we joined the crowd in the driving range and hit a few buckets of balls.

Gallery Grill

175 Brompton Road, Tonawanda (inside the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome)

504-4745

3.5 pennies (out of 4) - Anne Neville

The Gallery Grill serves breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, with the buffet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. It is handicapped-accessible.

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