With the start of fall, if you find yourself in search of pumpkins, apples, mums or late, homegrown summer produce, we recommend hitting up Braymiller Market, where you can enjoy a tasty meal, too, or grab something for a fall bike ride or picnic.
It started as a roadside vegetable stand opened by Stroh Braymiller more than 80 years ago and has become a Southtowns institution. It’s owned and operated by Bev DeCarlos, whose husband, Jack, is of the Louis J. DeCarlos family of the Clinton-Bailey Market. In 1963, the DeCarlos purchased the roadside stand, which suffered a major fire in 1976. The market was built back up, and Jack gave it to Bev as Valentine’s Day present.
Located on Route 62 South just outside of the Village of Hamburg, it features fresh produce, especially from nearby Eden farms, along with a sundry of grocery items, baked goods, preserves, honey, maple syrup and food for takeout or eating at one of the small tables in the front of the store or outdoors. The deli in back doubles as a sandwich shop.
Hot subs, like Philly cheese steak, chicken finger and cheeseburger come with chips or apple and a dill pickle spear. Cold subs (whole or mini) and sandwiches (whole or half) range from $3.75 to $7.50. A barbecued half-chicken dinner (you’ll see them in the roaster) comes with homemade potato salad, coleslaw and a roll for $7.99.
Wraps are $6.50 with the likes of Southwest chicken, turkey and chicken Caesar. Pitas stuffed with Greek chicken or tuna, seafood or chicken salad are $6.50. Gourmet and hot specialty sandwiches range from a $5 grilled cheese or $5.50 hamburger to a $7 Reuben, grilled roasted eggplant or honey mustard ham on ciabatta.
If that wasn’t enough, Braymiller offers homemade soups (priced by size) and gourmet salads sold by the pound ($6.99) including tabouli, couscous, pasta and marinated vegetable. French fries are $1.99 and homemade onion rings are $3.99.
Specials of the day are listed, and there is an online calendar with lunch specials. For early risers (and served all day) are breakfast sandwiches (running around $4).
Our lunch stop yielded excellent results. It was a little bit of a wait for our cheeseburger sub ($7.50) and special hot pepper hoagie ($7), but worth it. The place is busy, and items are made to order.
We started with two small homemade soups ($1.49): Buffalo chicken wing and corn chowder. The chicken wing was excellent with large hunks of chicken in a spicy, creamy broth. The chowder was nice and creamy, with diced red potato and super sweet homegrown corn. We added a little salt and it was perfect. Chili is offered in the colder months.
The full cheeseburger sub came on a beautifully toasted (and huge) sub roll with lettuce, tomatoes and melted American cheese. Half of it went home. Two could share a full sub.
My hot pepper hoagie was a split grilled Italian sausage link on a toasted roll with melted cheese and a fully stuffed hot pepper. I never would have thought it would work, but it did. It had just enough spice with each bite. Both items came in white deli paper with a dill pickle cleverly wrapped inside, but not touching the sandwich.
Breakfast sandwiches are unbelievably good too, as I discovered on another visit. Served on a bagel, croissant or in a wrap, one could skip lunch eating these breakfast delights. My egg, cheese and ham on a sesame bagel was hot and thick with ingredients, as were the other wraps and croissants. A good start to our day was washed down with nice help-yourself coffee.
For those who need a little something sweet, Braymiller features pastries and cookies from Gino’s Italian Bakery in Buffalo. There also are muffins, and pretty much anything you need to cobble together a tasty cheap meal. And the best part is you can get a little grocery shopping done. Always a bonus for those of us on the go.
Where: 6936 Gowanda State Road (Route 62), Hamburg (649-2356, braymillermarket.com)
Hours: Open daily at 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes.
Extra: Fresh produce, grocery items, baked goods and more. Fish Fry ($10.95) back for fall, includes macaroni salad, coleslaw, potato salad or french fries, rye bread and butter. Call-ahead ordering available.