Restaurant notes: Scharf's, Angry Puddem, Pizza Plant - The Buffalo News
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Restaurant notes: Scharf's, Angry Puddem, Pizza Plant

The wurst of the waiting is over. Scharf’s family German restaurant reopens in West Seneca today.

Having moved from its original Schiller Park location, the restaurant is at 2683 Clinton St., West Seneca, 895-7249. After two days booked by Facebook fans, today is the day the general public can walk in and get a table, Jerry Scharf said.

The menu is virtually identical, schnitzel and sausage and potato pancakes and such, though the new kitchen allowed the addition of steak. “Other than that, more of the same good German cooking you’ve come to know and love for 47 years.”

The patio is open for drinks only. The beer garden will have to wait for next year. Bring cash, because there’s no credit card phone line yet.

Prices haven’t changed, Scharf said. “I’m going to start off status quo.”

Open: If you’ve driven by the former Fera’s sandwich shop at 679 Niagara Falls Blvd. and wondered “what’s a puddem?” you are not alone.

Angry Puddem is the new sandwich shop there, opened by Greg O’Connell. It’s also the nickname he and his wife have for their infant son, who wailed in the background during a phone interview.

O’Connell said he’s open for business, selling sandwiches including specials built on house-smoked meats like turkey and sirloin tip. “It’s essentially a deli, except that instead of using a big chunk of processed meat, I’m going to be smoking my own,” he said.

He’s also got ideas like a meatball hoagie on Luigi’s bread with smoked provolone, basil-infused meatballs, meat sauce and Parmesan. The phone number is 837-3738, and the hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Open: The Meadow Café opened last week on the north side of Delaware Park, in the building that was formerly the Juicery. [Update: The Meadow Cafe temporarily stopped business on July 18 as it waits for City approval on its new pergola patio. Check the cafe's Facebook page for updates on its reopening, which is tentatively Friday.]

It’s a sandwich and juice place, open until about 8 p.m. The food is “sophisticated sandwiches that are tasty,” restaurateur Mark Goldman said. “If we do tuna it’s with a little olive oil and hard-boiled egg. No mayo.”

The café was the result of collaboration among Goldman, Angelo Ashker, Steve Halpern, Dan McCormick of Santora’s Pizza and architect Charlie Gordon, Goldman said. “We’ve done a lot of work to make a great place that is really attractive,” he said.

The Chapin ($7.50) is salami, chevre, hot cherry peppers, red onion, cornichon and arugula. That tuna sandwich (with red onion, tomato, cucumber and lettuce) is the McKinley. You can get mayonnaise if you ask, the menu notes.

There’s also an extensive list of juices and smoothies, including Ashker’s hits like the Upbeet (beet, apple, carrot, celery) and the Zinger (carrot, apple, lemon, ginger, orange) for $3.99.

It’s a seasonal place at the corner of Meadow Drive and Meadow Road. It’ll be open “ ’til as late as we can go in October,” Goldman said.

In negotiation: Pizza Plant is working on a deal to open a 120-seat restaurant in the 1 Canalside building.

“Canalside is the place right now,” said Pizza Plant owner Bob Syracuse. “All the events going on now, and HarborCenter coming in, have changed things down there.”

Syracuse warned that it’s not a done deal. Negotiations with Benderson Development continue, and financing and regulatory steps remain.

But the Pizza Plant interest is a sign that downtown Buffalo has become attractive to even conservative operators. Pizza Plant has been selling pizza in various forms, including its signature pods, since 1980.

Led by Syracuse and his brother Dan, Pizza Plant were forerunners in bringing craft beer selections to Western New Yorkers, not to mention gluten-free vegan pizza.

It has stores on Transit Road and in Williamsville’s Walker Center. If the 4,000-square-foot space does become a Pizza Plant, it would be the company’s first outlet in Buffalo. The building is already home to a Courtyard Marriott hotel and the Phillips Lytle law firm.

Planned: A former University Heights student bar is being recast as a neighborhood place focusing on gourmet chicken wings and French fries.

Owner David Carr said he’s turning 3264 Main St., formerly Third Base, into Nickel City Kraft House. He hopes to be open by October.

“It’s not going to be a college bar catering to 21-year-old kids,” Carr said, “more of a neighborhood place.”

The lunch menu may include other items eventually, but Nickel City Kraft House will focus on wings and fries at first. “It’ll be a gourmet wing place with hand-cut fries. Different wing sauces and dips for fries.”

The interior should have a community feel, with picnic tables with communal seating, he said. In should seat about 90, with a patio. He expects the bar to include 24 craft beers, half local, plus bottled beer and wine.

The limited menu means every item has to excel, he said. “It’s not going to be hot, medium and mild, deep-fried,” he said. “They’ll be prepared differently, and much better.”

After a career in finance and debt management, Carr moved back to Buffalo to open his first restaurant. He said he aims to put his observations from metropolitan restaurants across the nation to work.

Carr expressed hope that the new restaurant, his first, will be part of a neighborhood renewal. “We have a lot of momentum,” he said, “and it’d be great to keep it going.”

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