Roaming Dee's, the joint brick-and-mortar restaurant venture of Christopher and Valerie Taylor, owners of The Roaming Buffalo Food Truck, and Michael DiJoseph, of Mikey Dee's Catering and Food Truck, has served customers for nearly two months at 6831 Seneca St. in Elma.
Replacing Cobber's By the Creek, whose connected business, Cyber Creek Indoor Golf, saw its roof collapse during the November Storm, the Taylors and DiJoseph have blended their food truck menus, staffed a fully-stocked bar and restructured the dining area to allow for more seating.
The menu, pictured here, is a collection of wings, burgers, sandwiches and appetizers -- classic Buffalo fare with a few notable twists. Roaming Dee's has yet to follow through on its plans for over 30 wing flavors, but there's plenty of time for the Elma restaurant to evolve.
Note: Read about The Dizzle and the WTF Burger, staples of the Roaming Buffalo Food Truck and also available at Roaming Dee's, in this Cheap Eats.
The Dizzle (choice of cheese, sauteed portobello mushrooms, drunken onions, house-made garlic aioli, comes with choice of side), $9.99:
WTF Burger (bacon, choice between creamy or crunchy peanut butter, and house-made bacon jam, with choice of side), $9.99:
Here are the new items we tried during our visit:
Single order of Louisiana BBQ wings, $9
First take: Impressive in size and aggressively sauced, these are suitable for lovers of sweeter wings, which are relatively rare in Buffalo. Peach Bourbon is the other atypical flavor -- Taylor can be adventurous with his sauces -- while Cajun and garlic Parmesan accompany the usual hot, medium, mild and barbecue. Our advice? Choose simply with medium or hot.
Pulled pork grilled cheese (slow-roasted, Carolina-style pulled pork with pepperjack and American cheeses grilled on sourdough bread), $7.99.
First take: Creative grilled cheeses on Al Cohen's rye bread are DiJoseph's specialty, and this pulled pork version isn't far from exceptional -- it's just missing one thing. Neither of the two cheeses stick out prominently in flavor -- some bites give you a jolt of pepperjack -- and pulled pork is a more muted meat, which leaves the total package a little bland. Accompany this grilled cheese with tomato soup or a spicy dipping sauce, and we'd order it in a heartbeat.
The Roaming Dee's Burger (signature house burger topped with chicken wing dip, jalapenos and American cheese), $9.99
First take: Chicken wing dip on a burger? We had to try what was billed as the perfect combination of The Roaming Buffalo and Mikey Dee's, and where other dishes may have lacked in flavor, this was bold and exceeded our expectations. This isn't an attempt to mask an inferior burger -- there are options on the menu, like the B-Lo Classic Burger, that celebrate the basics -- it's appealing for the eater who demands taste-bud tingling foods.
The fresh jalapenos lend most of the spicy punch, while the chicken wing dip offers a little creaminess without making the whole experience painfully salty. The Roaming Dee's Burger will undoubtedly fill you up, too.
Fish tacos (Pabst Blue Ribbon-battered cod with a mango-jalapeno slaw, drizzled with a cilantro-lime aioli), $10
First take: Don't order these thinking they'll mimic Lloyd Taco's fish tacos; Roaming Dee's version is beer-battered, not panko-crusted, which means there's an initial crunch but more fish than batter, overall. The pros: a nice spicy kick from the slaw, the lack of batter and quality cod. The cons: far too much slaw, to the point where it hid the subtle flavor of the fish.
Onion rings, $5
First take: Customers raved about Taylor's onion rings on The Roaming Buffalo, and little has changed at Roaming Dee's. Like all onion rings, they should be eaten hot, but they're outstanding -- crispy outside, tasty batter and flavorful onions. Simple, but executed very well. Taylor's fresh, hand-cut fries are also better than average.
Here's a quick peek around the restaurant:
Email Ben Tsujimoto, whose favorite Roaming Dee's burger is the WTF, at email@example.com
Story topics: Ben Tsujimoto/ Chris Taylor/ Christopher Taylor/ Elma/ Elma restaurants/ michael dijoseph/ mikey dee's/ restaurants/ Roaming Buffalo/ Roaming Buffalo Food Truck/ Roaming Dee's/ Seneca Street/ Starters/ valerie taylor