When the temperature drops, Buffalonians turn to that which we know and love: pot roasts, casseroles, soups, and, let’s be honest, fried anything.
Ah, comfort food.
It may not be the healthiest, but it’s what sustains us through winter.
Taylor’s Tap & Grille offers diners praise-worthy, cooked-from-scratch comfort food. The establishment, which opened four years ago, serves as a culinary oasis in a mostly industrial stretch in the Niagara Falls/Wheatfield area.
We visited on a recent weekday after hearing good things about the pot roast sandwich. The menu includes your go-to pub fare — burgers, wings, a Friday fish fry — but also your not-so-average offerings, including a variety of salads and flatbreads.
We started with fried mozzarella ($9) and a goat cheese and cranberry salad ($14).
Inside, booths fill one side and tables the other, with the table side featuring an expansive bar. Wood paneling makes the interior feel cozy. Lunchtime brought a full house, with some who looked to be coworkers on breaks and others friends gathering for a bite.
The mozzarella arrived looking tantalizing. As I plunged in, I quickly realized the hand-battered triangles of cheese, coated with a pretzel/panko mixture, were a few notches above most iterations. The marinara made a sweet accompaniment.
The salad, heavy with cranberries, walnuts and apple slices, also proved impressive.
“I love these. These are delicious,” declared my dining companion of the fried goat cheese balls dotting the salad. “There is nothing about this salad that I don’t like.”
Then came the entrees. Our three platters nearly filled the entire table. Although Taylor’s may charge slightly higher prices than your average pub, the portions are enormous and could easily be split into two meals.
My beef on weck ($11.50) arrived with heaping mounds of hot beef piled on a kummelweck roll, with a requested side of sweet potato fries. The pot roast melt ($11.50) featured beef and provolone between slices of grilled white bread, with a side of fries. Homemade chicken tenders ($12), brought a pile of tenders with a side of fries and dipping sauces.
The pot roast melt was the clear table winner, proving true to its reputation. The perfectly seasoned, melt-in-your-mouth beef presented delightfully in sandwich form. The chicken tenders—crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside—also were exceptional. The beef on weck, however, was good, but not great. In Buffalo, a beef on weck must be extraordinary to shine. And, to our dismay, the sweet potato fries weren't crispy, a cardinal sin for a fry of any variety.
The pot roast sandwich was exactly the type of sustenance one would want on a wintry day. That sandwich alone would be enough to bring us back for more. Next time we’d like to try the house-made “pizza trunks” (i.e. their bigger, better version of pizza logs.)
We capped our meal with Kentucky bourbon pecan pie ($6) and NY cheesecake ($7). As we were finishing, one of the owners came over to inquire about our lunch.
“You get dessert,” she pointed out, smiling. “You’re my kind of people.”
2279 Niagara Falls Blvd., Wheatfield (216-6078)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 10 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
Gluten-free options: GF rolls available upon request.