Food Porn: Blackthorn Restaurant and Pub

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My love of South Buffalo has certainly been well documented on this website, and more specifically my love of Charlie O’Briens.  So when I decided to visit another South Buffalo establishment, I almost felt like I was cheating.  What prompted me to try the Blackthorn was a rumor I heard that the notorious Guy Fieri was planning on stopping by as part of his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Now I haven’t officially had any evidence that he was there but we all know that he was in town this Saturday to film the tailgating of the Buffalo Bills preseason game.

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Walking into the Blackthorn, the sights and sounds were what I expected.  The bar to your left was full of regulars watching a baseball game on TV.  Walk up a couple stairs and there is the dinning area (very casual); the tables and chairs are nothing fancy but something that made me think of home.  I walked in and immediately knew I was going to have a good meal, its something that I hope translates well on TV (if it really happened).

We started off the meal with a Harp for myself and a Chocolate-tini (pictured above) for Alli.

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Like with most meals we decided on having an appetizer.  Now I understand that in 1974 TGI Friday’s “invented” the potato skins and they aren’t a “traditional” Irish menu item, but damn I love them so much.  The potato skins were cooked just how you would want; the actual skin was thin and very crispy and as you can tell from the picture, was literally loaded with bacon.

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In addition to the fantastic Potato Skins, Alli ordered a bowl of Cheddar Beer soup.  She considers herself a “connoisseur” of cheese/beer soup…I will let her elaborate.  Alli edit: For a cheddar beer soup to be great you really have to have a strong cheese flavor and a smooth texture, which is hard when making cheese into soup form, if not done correctly it can be very grainy to the point where it feels like sand in your mouth.  Blackthorn definitely did not have the problem, the soup was remarkably smooth yet thick.  I prefer my cheddar beer soups to have an sharp aged cheddar (almost smokey) flavor and while Blackthorns soup was not the best I’ve ever had in that area, it was definitely not the worst (cough, JP Fitzgerald’s in Hamburg).  I think there was a hint of American cheese flavor floating around but otherwise I really enjoyed it, especially the addition of some potato chunks to give it some substance.  In the middle of August it’s probably not the number one thing you would want to eat, but I look forward to going back during a cold snowy winter evening and enjoying it again.

In addition, I hear their French Onion Soup is to die for….

photo (3)After eating a fantastic serving at Bar Bill, watching Anthony Bourdain talk about his enjoyment of WNY’s own signature sandwich (albeit a short talk), and seeing it portrayed on PBS’s special “Sandwiches You Will Like,” trying out as much Beef on Weck as possible in WNY has been one of my foodie goals.  Now, while the beef itself was delicious, I definitely cannot say that this version topped my East Aurora experience.  Overall, I would say it was pretty average as far as Buffalo Beef on Wecks go.  I would have prefered the roll to be slightly harder/crispier because within a few minutes it was very very soggy (as is the case frequently with this dish).

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Eating at a bar/restaurant on a Friday, it was almost like I had no other choice but to order a Beer Battered Fish Fry.  Plus, I have heard nothing but amazing reviews of Blackthorn’s version.  The portion was HUGE and the batter was thick and delicious; it was so crunchy that you could pull it apart and eat large bites with your hands.  The fish was juicy and flavorful.  Plus, add in the crinkle cut fries (my favorite “cut”) and I would say its on my top ten list of the best Fish Fry’s that I’ve ever had in Buffalo.

Overall I would give Blackthorn two thumbs up.  The waitresses were all very friendly and quick, even with a packed dining room.  And even though we went on a Friday night, we didnt have to wait at all for a table (if we did, however, their bar is not a bad place to have to wait).  And while I don’t know what exactly all of the signature dishes they have, I definitely can see the charm that this place has offer; rumor is it was one of Tim Russerts favorite places to eat..  The prices weren’t that crazy and the menu is pretty diverse, ranging from sandwiches, to wings and other pub favorites, to even some pasta/seafood options.

Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub on Urbanspoon

One thought on “Food Porn: Blackthorn Restaurant and Pub

  1. Roger McCardell

    When I visit Buffalo, the Blackthorn is a must. Friendly staff, great food and great cocktails. You’ve got to try it!

    Roger from Maryland.

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