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Grill @ the Dome is a hole in one

The Grill @ The Dome is a year-round destination for those looking for a flavorful and filling meal in a laid-back, sports-themed ambience. Located inside the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome in Tonawanda, the Grill’s spacious indoor restaurant and bar has been complimented with an outdoor patio overlooking the batting cages that can seat about 20 people comfortably.

The Grill boasts a menu filled with both traditional and intriguing appetizers, salads, wraps, sandwiches and burgers all coming in at or below the $10 Cheap Eats threshold. There also is a dinner entrée menu and Friday @ The Grill fish specials, but those will set you back a few extra dollars.

We were there for lunch so we had plenty to choose from. As a frequent wintertime visitor, I usually partake of one of the homemade soups. The Crab Swiss ($3.99/$5.49) and French Onion ($5.49) are standard along with a Soup of the Day ($3.29). While the green pepper soup sounded pleasing, a hot day on the patio called for a different game plan.

We started with Erika’s Caramelized Pierogies ($7.99) from the appetizer section. Other selections included stuffed banana peppers ($8.99), deviled eggs ($5.99) and beer battered pickle spears ($5.99). The pierogies did not disappoint. The four homemade cheese and potato bundles were cooked perfectly and served in a sweet and savory sauce caramelized with red onion and brown sugar. The sauce set this dish apart. It had deep and developed flavors tempting me to try to replicate it to serve over a bowl of olive oil ice cream.

During past visits I have wanted to try the Stuffed Banana Pepper Burger ($9.99) but always detoured to a specials offering. This time I stuck to my plan and ordered what the menu boasts to be “Voted The #1 Burger in Buffalo.” A half-pound burger is topped with a three-cheese garlic stuffing and grilled banana pepper rings. Maybe it’s the fact I might be a stuffed banana pepper snob or the fact Buffalo has many tremendous burger joints, but this burger just didn’t do it for me.

Ordered medium-rare, it was served without a hint of pink. This may not be the result of the kitchen as much as the burger was a bit thin – almost too thin to be able to cook it medium-rare even by the most attentive chef. I also couldn’t discern the three different cheeses in the stuffing. The dish wasn’t a total loss though. The roll was fresh and held together well under the deluge of juices and condiments and the coleslaw was both tangy and crisp with a bite of sweetness.

There are so many other well thought-out sandwich choices I know now to cure a burger hankering somewhere else.

My friend, Irene, was the winner with her BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap ($8.99). Spotting the smoker at the back of the patio was a sure hint this sandwich would deliver.

The BBQ sauce was smoky and sweet and paired well with coleslaw in a jalapeno wrap. This sandwich tested the hold-power of the tortilla with a generous portion of the pork/sauce mixture oozing out of the cut-side. It was filling enough for Irene to take half home for later along with a few forkfuls of the satisfying potato salad she chose as a side. I have to mention the choice of sides because besides the typical chips and fries, you can also select baked potato, rice pilaf, seasoned vegetables and black bean and corn salad, all of which are made on premises.

Outdoor eating at The Grill @ The Dome in the Town of Tonawanda. (Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News)

Outdoor eating at The Grill @ The Dome in the Town of Tonawanda. (Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News)

The service is friendly and accommodating and the entire establishment is spotless. The indoor driving range, miniature golf course and simulator sports zone add a level of family-friendly activity to the dining experience.

The Grill is a good choice for watching sporting events or hosting a large group. If you are looking for food made fresh with attention to detail and a sporting atmosphere to boot, then The Grill @ The Dome is your hole in one.

The Grill @ The Dome

Where: 175 Brompton Road, Tonawanda (504-4745)

Hours: Open at 4:30 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Noteworthy: Daily food and drink specials with live music on Saturdays. Party rooms for large groups and drop-off catering.

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