Vegans, vegetarians and diner fans rejoice: Amy’s Place is your haven.
The unassuming Main Street storefront has been open since 1981 and serves all meals from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Amy’s is a no-frills, cash-only spot with all of the standards, as well as a large selection of meat-free choices. Most of the menu weighs in under $10 and is largely customizable.
On the breakfast end, even carnivores will enjoy the vegan breakfast, which uses vegan butter to stay completely cruelty free. Vegan versions of the classic French Toast ($4.99) and L.A. Cinnamon Bread French Toast ($5.99) appear, as well as lentils with broccoli, home fries and tofu or seitan ($6.99), a smoky and almost bacon-like meat substitute.
The tofu scramble is brightly seasoned and studded with toothsome white beans, red peppers and broccoli, served with home fries and toast ($5.50). Amy’s tofu comes in large, tender curds that whip up almost as fluffy as eggs and twice as filling. Try it with a side of grilled pita for a Mediterranean feel. Her home fries come crispy on the edges and thinly sliced for a hearty side.
At Amy’s you can really have it your way, with a long list of additions and sides. Build your own bagel breakfast with vegan tuna ($4.95), lox spread ($3.50) or the classic Lebanese cheese and tomato ($4.25) for a lighter meal. Omelettes can be made vegetarian, too, since tofu strips, lentils and seitan appear on the long list of mix-ins.
Leave an extra minute in your lunch break to read Amy’s extensive lunch menu. Chicken and hamburgers come in nine and 13 different ways, respectively, and that’s before the salad, pita and entree sections. While everything Amy’s makes comes out tasty, the Mediterranean and veggie favorites really shine.
Buffalo has no shortage of shwarma spots, but Amy’s are consistent, fresh and creative. For a twist on the theme, try the eggplant dip sandwich ($7.75 for a full, $6.50 for a mini). Roasted eggplant mixed with tahini, lemon and garlic, topped with lettuce. cucumber and tomatoes nestles in a rolled flatbread for a filling, umami burst.
The lentil berry sandwich is a bit pricier at $9.99 for a whole and $7.99 for a mini, but you won’t get hungry until dinner with this one. Chewy wheatberries and creamy lentils get dressed with hot sauce and house dressing, topped with lettuce, tomatoes and provolone and rolled in that flatbread for a messy, satisfying meal. I can never resist finishing it and always regret it.
The Crew’s Creations section encapsulates Amy’s family atmosphere, with dishes created and named for employees. The Biff Sandwich features barbecue seitan strips on a sesame seed roll with onions, spinach and tomatoes ($6.99). This is a vegan answer to the classic pulled pork sammie, and just as satisfying.
Finally, for Buffalo cuisine diehards who want to skip the meat, Amy’s serves the best vegan wings ($6.99 for six), beef on weck ($6.99) and Reuben ($6.50) in town. Take your herbivore out-of-town friends here and show them what all the fuss is about.
Amy’s food offers a rare combination of vegetarian and vegan-friendly cuisine in an affordable, welcoming atmosphere. This University Heights standby dispels the myth that eating meat-free has to be expensive. Forget dry frozen veggie burgers or gluey meat substitutes and try Amy’s Place for an affordable, delicious walk on the veggie side.
3234 Main St. (832-6666)
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Vegetarian and vegan: Yes
Gluten-free options: Yes