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Cheap Eats

I thought our Friday night dinners at the Edge of Town restaurant at 2310 Genesee St. were a good cheap eat.

Then I saw the Daily Dinner Specials list our server gave us with the bill. Holy cow!

Every night except Friday, the Edge offers different all-you-can-eat dinner specials. Steak is $8.95, roast beef and veal $6.95, chicken, liver and pork chops $5.95, and ravioli for $4.95. Choices vary by night.

And to top it all off, the specials list we received is good for a glass or soda or draft beer with each dinner served. That's not to mention the frequent diner card we also received, which earns a free meal after 10 are purchased.

All this value wouldn't mean much if the food weren't good. But it is good, as the large crowd of regulars in the dining room indicates.
To get to said dining room, you enter through a bar door, and don't be surprised if everybody at the bar turns to see who's coming in. It's that kind of friendly neighborhood place. You get the idea that if they don't say hello the first time they see you, they will by the third time.

Ruth, Dan, John and I were seated immediately in a comfortable booth. When Ruth asked for a Pinot Grigot, the waitress made the cutest grimace -- a slow shake of the head no and a rueful smile/frown. So it was beer, Michelob for $2.50 and a Miller lite for $2.25.

The small soup and salad bar, included with dinners, offered a variety of high-quality choices, including flavorful cabbage vegetable soup, crisp green salad was crisp, and chilled and moist pasta salad, potato salad and coleslaw. Even the sliced rye was still fresh.

The meals arrived as we were finishing up our salads. Ruth's plate held a sizable pile of liver, which she said was good, if a bit stronger-tasting than calves' liver. With onions, the liver was $5.50; with bacon it would have been 45 cents more.

John went for a special, the Cajun fish (8.95), broiled with a sizable sprinkle of Cajun spices. The firm whitefish was "very mild," he said, and benefited from the flavorful spices.

I chose the beer-battered haddock fish fry for $8.95, not the jumbo fish fry for a buck less, which is another kind of fish. It wasn't the biggest piece of haddock I've ever seen, but it was of very high quality, sweet and moist inside its crispy crust. It was flanked by great warm German potato salad and crinkle-cut French fries.

The only disappointed party was Dan, who knew before he ordered the Scallops From the Sea ($8.95) that he was taking a chance. He judged them "a little overdone."

When we asked the waitress if the Edge has dessert, we got the same sad, apologetic smile/frown. The regulars know, and now you do, too. We went to Dairy Queen, right up the street.

-- Anne Neville

The Edge of Town

2310 Genesee St., Cheektowaga

893-4476

Review: 3 1/2 pennies (Out of 4)

"Good value, better food"

Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with dinner served from 4 to 9 p.m. daily and starting at noon Sunday. A few stairs to the door.

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