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Free meals, deals honor veterans

Veterans Day is a way to honor those who have served and with that in mind, some area businesses are offering free meals and deals on Nov. 11. Bring valid military identification. For chain restaurants, call ahead to make sure the establishment is participating, and to see if there are restrictions.

American Grille (7901 Seneca St., East Aurora) invites active and retired military to stop in for a free burger and fries on Veterans Day.

“With a wife, a son  in the Air Force ROTC program, a brother, fathers, grandfathers and uncles, we are proud to have a long history of military service at American Grille. There is no greater honor than serving the incredible servicemen and women or our countrym” said Patrick Staerker, chef and owner of American Grille.

Ru's Pierogi Restaurant (295 Niagara St.) will recognize current and former military personnel by serving a free pierogi entree lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Offering a free lunch to someone who has voluntarily put him or herself in harm’s way to protect our country seems like a small gesture, comparatively, but I hope in some way it conveys our gratitude,” said Rob Rush, general manager at Ru’s Pierogi. (Ru’s Pierogi entrees are valued at $11 for the Cheddar Potato, Banana Pepper and Cheese, Chicken Wing, Goat Cheese, Potato Ricotta and Pulled Pork varieties.)

Applebee’s (eight area locations) will serve free meals to vets on Nov. 11. According to its website, Applebee’s has served 8.3 million meals since it started the program in 2008.

Bar Louie  (One Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga) will serve a free flatbread or burger on Nov. 11 to vets.

Bob Evans (locally Amherst, Williamsville, Niagara Falls, Batavia, Dunkirk) will serve active duty military a free meal on Nov. 11, from a choice of six items.

Boston Market (2380 Delaware Ave. and 4185 Maple Road, Amherst) will serve a buy-one meal and drink, get-one meal free, Nov. 10-11. Get a coupon online.

Buffalo Wild Wings (locations Hamburg, Tonawanda and Niagara Falls) will serve Wings for Heroes all day on Nov. 11, for active and retired vets. Receive a free small traditional or boneless wing and side of fries.

Denny’s (14 locations nearby including Niagara Falls and also Corfu, Batavia, Fredonia and Geneseo) will serve a free build-your-own Grand Slam from 5 a.m. to noon for veterans and military personnel. Includes active, non-active or retired. Dine-in only.

At IHOP (50 Thruway Drive, Cheektowaga and 4003 Maple Road, Amherst) vets eat free red, white and blue pancakes on Nov. 10. All through November, $1 from every Red, White & Blue pancake meal sold goes to support Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, which helps military kids who have lost a parent in the line of duty with college funding.

Olive Garden (five locations Cheektowaga, Williamsville, Amherst, Blasdell, Niagara Falls) will serve a free meal to all active duty and veterans on Nov. 11.

Red Robin (3460 Amelia Drive, Orchard Park and 4080 Maple Road, Amherst) serves vets a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and free bottomless steak fries on Nov. 11.

Texas Roadhouse (3755 Union Road, Cheektowaga and 900 Young St., Tonawanda) will serve a free lunch to veterans from a special Veterans Day menu on Nov. 11. Does not include beer or alcohol.

World of Beer at the Walden Galleria will offer vets $5 off their check. The restaurant also will be selling $1 star donations for WNYheroes.org.

If a vet cannot make it out for these deals on Veterans Day, throughout the year, veterans with a “Thank A Vet” card can visit local businesses to receive discounts as a thanks for their service, including local restaurants. In most cases the discount applies only for retired and active vets, and food only.

The Thank a Vet program is through the Erie County Clerk’s office, which issues a complimentary ID card that is certified by the Erie County Clerk’s office. For details visit www2.erie.gov or call 858-4737.

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