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Good food, ice cream overshadow confusion at Adrian's Custard

With summer food comes lines. It’s life, but Adrian’s made it harder than need be.

“Where do you order food?” and “Is this the ice cream line?” were questions asked by more than one person.

Simple “order here” or “ice cream only” signs would suffice, as would more than a single menu posted with small type. When we finally made it near the ordering window, we felt rushed squinting to read over others’ heads.

After ordering, we watched workers yell out names at the crowded pick up window. A sound system would help, as would umbrellas for the picnic tables that leave customers to the blazing sun if all covered tables are occupied.

Marcy Barberic, an All-Western New York soccer player headed to UB, serves lunch at Adrian's Custard. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

We get it’s a stand, but places like Taffy’s in Orchard Park have a more comfortable and efficient experience. It’s unfortunate, because Adrian’s food was really good.

We had a small beef on weck ($5), small barbecued beef ($4.75) and grilled chicken sandwich ($5.79). Prices go up for more beef. A medium beef on weck is $6 (4-ounce), large $7.80 (6-ounce) and extra large $9.28 (8-ounce). Medium and large barbecued beef are $5.75/$6.75.

So sizes and price points for everyone.

The beef on weck was melt-in-your mouth tender and juicy, even at the small size.

Danielle Coats walks to her picnic table with her order from Adrian's. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

The barbecued version was a shredded sweet and tangy beef concoction that was way better than a sloppy joe. The grilled chicken sandwich ($5.79) was topped with leafy green lettuce and tomato, and just enough mayo. Our rolls were soft and fresh.

We saw juicy burgers ($4.19 single, $5.89 double, $6 turkey, $5.39 veggie) and grilled dogs ($2.69/$3.99 foot long) that looked solid.

Chicken sandwiches include crispy versions ($5.99 /$7.64). Italian or Polish sausage sandwiches are $3.49. Offbeat items include a BLT ($5.19), grilled cheese ($3.29) and a veggie sandwich (grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, lettuce and tomato) at $3.59.

Menu items can be made specialty with additional toppings. For example, add Swiss, mushrooms, peppers and onions ($1.45) for a Philly style roast beef sandwich.

Our side of “frings” ($4) — onion rings and curly fries — were hot and perfectly salted. Other sides include curly fries ($2.70), onion rings ($3.69), sweet potato fries ($3.75) and deep fried pickles ($5.25).

Everyday specials include 50 cents off items like Monday’s milkshakes or Thursday’s single or double cheeseburger with a side and drink, etc.

We went back for ice cream to the window. Perry’s flavors are large and visible, but the sundae/float/frosty information, etc., was on the original food menu we had squinted at. A nearby sheet of paper with small type listed milkshakes.

Homemade chocolate heather ice cream sandwiches from Adrian's. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

We got the old standby kiddie hot fudge sundae ($3) with delicious creamy custard and a kiddie Perry’s banana cream cone ($1.70). Custard is available egg-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free and dairy-free custard. We had to ask for napkins, as they weren't supplied and we didn’t see a dispenser anywhere.

If Adrian’s fixed the fixable — signs, a better system, etc. — we could see it as more of a destination like Mississippi Mudds, rather than just a place to stop if you're in the area, especially with Fantasy Island practically across the street.

Adrian’s Custard & Beef

2335 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island

Hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

Price range: Roast beef sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, sides, etc. $2.69-$9.28; extra toppings additional.

Parking: Ample parking.

Wheelchair-accessible: Yes; seating at picnic tables.

Gluten-free: rolls ($1 more), chicken fingers, ice cream cones

Adrian's Custard in Grand Island. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

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