Food Porn: Old Man River

With summer time finally here, Alli and I are going to try and visit more of Buffalo’s great outdoor, casual eateries.  We’ll be looking for those restaurants where you’ll see a lot of families, people lined up at a window placing their orders, ice cream cones and generally a wonderful smell of fried foods and grilled meats.  For some reason, last time we were in up in Tonawanda, Alli and I bypassed Old Man River and visited their neighbor Mississippi Mudds instead.  We had heard great things about Old Man River’s food from some of our twitter followers and were excited to try it out.  Here’s how our trip went…

Quick Fact Sheet:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual/Food Stand
  • Cuisine: Hot Dogs, American
  • Price: Under $10 for most menu, Shack menu $10-$20
  • Location: Tonawanda

We took a sneak peak at the menu online before we made our visit and I quickly noticed that Old Man River has a pretty awesome line up of hot dogs.  I’ve never been to Chicago but from everything I’ve seen on TV and read about online, a “Chicago Hot Dog” sounds like my perfect hot dog.  When Lucky Dog’s opened I thought I’d have my first taste but alas, their “Chicago Dog” is a good beef dog but with almost none of the proper toppings. I looked at the menu and Old Man River’s version had everything that I wanted.  Along with Buffalo Chow’s praise of their Sweet Potato Fries, Alli and I knew half of our order hours before we even got into a car.

The Chicago Dog (top) was everything I had hoped it would be, a large steamed beef dog (that part wasn’t too great) but covered in “neon green relish” that was sugary sweet, sport peppers that had a great bite, a large dill pickle, and some tomato all stuffed a large poppyseed roll.  I realize I’m not eating an authentic Chicago Dog at Hot Dougs or one of Chicago’s countless notorious hot dog stands, but this hot dog had everything I’ve been waiting to try.   It’s not an easy hot dog to eat and I definitely got myself pretty messy but I highly recommend it to anyone who wants something different.  All of the flavors work great together and even though the hot dog itself wasn’t the star of the show the ingredients made up for it.  Alli ordered the Rodeo Dog (bottom) a normal grilled Sahlen’s dog that’s topped with BBQ sauce, bacon bits and a fried onion ring.  Alli added some cheese sauce for an extra kick.  The dog was OK, nothing special, and the fact that there was only one onion ring was a bummer.

We also both got a few orders fries.  Alli ordered the traditional French Fry (pictured in the gallery) and I ordered their Sweet Potato Fries (above).  Alli has never been a big sweet potato fan in general, in fact she barely gagged down an order of yams as part of a dare a couple years ago.  However, after having a couple of these fries (with a good coating of honey and butter) she found herself a new favorite food.  These fries were almost perfect, they had been fried long enough to have a good crunch while still having the skins on them to maintain that strong/sweet flavor.  They are probably the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had and are worth every dollar.

We visited Old Man River on a week day and the place was still packed.  The line to get to the food was over 20 people long but the staff inside have really mastered getting the customers through as fast as possible.  I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to find a seat, but we managed to grab a table outside and watch the cars and people go by.  Across the street you can walk down to the river and watch the boats go by, or maybe enjoy your food to go on a park bench.  Old Man River and Mississippi Mudds may look identical on a quick pass by but what separates Old Man River would be their Seafood Shack in the back of their seating area (aside from minor menu differences).  The Shack is actually detached from the main building and specializes in seafood entrees like Clams, Scallops, Lobster and even Surf and Turf.  However these prices are much higher then most of the Hot Dog/Burger menu at the main restaurant.

If you live in the Southtowns and are looking for a great weekend destination to take the family and have a good time outdoors, take a trip up to Tonawanda and visit Old Man River.  The food was  very good, they have a decent ice cream menu and with their great view of the river, you really can’t go wrong.

Gallery:


Old Man River on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Food Porn: Old Man River

  1. that is actually called a rodeo dog not a cowboy dog

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