Food Porn: Nelson’s Ridge

Last weekend I was pretty excited that Alli and I managed to eat the majority of our meals in the South Buffalo area. We picked up some food from English Pork Pie Company, stopped by Nine Eleven for some delicious Chicken Wings (arguably the best in Buffalo) and started our Saturday off with some breakfast at the recently opened Nelson’s Ridge. Located across the street from Buffalo’s gorgeous Our Lady of Victory Basilica (the name is a reference to Father Nelson Baker), Nelson’s Ridge is a cozy diner on the corner of South Park and Ridge. We walked in on a Saturday afternoon to find the place packed. We were greeted right away and luckily grabbed the only open table. They have the all of the typical diner traits; a long bar with bar stools, a partially open kitchen, an early 6am opening time and a menu that includes lots of breakfast items that are served all day.

We first heard about Nelson’s a couple weeks ago thanks to our friend and South Buffalo native SJ. She mentioned a breakfast place that specialized in hotcakes and I was sold. Every time I watch one of those Food Network program about crazy places to eat, they always seem to feature a restaurant that serves gigantic pancakes in all sorts of flavors. I’m not a big fan of breakfast myself, but I can definitely get behind a really good pancake.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual Diner
  • Cuisine: Breakfast
  • Location: Lackawanna
  • Prices: Every breakfast item was under $10, most under $7

While Nelson’s has a very creative menu of ‘hotcakes’ (about 8 different styles), they aren’t serving anything too crazy. Kids will absolutely love the Chocolate Banana (pictured above) and will promptly have a sugar crash an hour later. You’ll also find Banana Spice hotcakes (pictured in gallery, thanks Dino!) that are essentially Banana Nut Muffins in pancake form, Apple Bacon hotcakes that are filled with diced bacon and apples, and even Golden Corn hotcakes.  Our Chocolate Banana pancakes were great, the slices of banana embedded in the soft, fluffy pieces of cake still had a firm bite and weren’t soft and slimy. The chocolate was not overwhelming and the pancakes were moist enough that syrup was really unnecessary. Topped with whip cream and chocolate syrup, this was more of a dessert than breakfast.

The Banana Pancakes were part of Alli’s Baker’s Breakfast Plate ($7) which comes with two eggs any style, two pieces of bacon and sausage, two triangles of their specialty french toast and two specialty hotcakes. The bacon, sausage and eggs were on par with what you’d expect to find at any diner. For her specialty french toast selection she choose the Strawberry Banana French Toast. The banana and strawberry compote weren’t stuffed inside the toast but instead piled on top with another dose of whipped cream. While it was OK, we weren’t as impressed with the flavor and texture of the actual toast as we were with the pancakes. We also tried a full order of the Krusted-N-Krunchy French Toast ($6), slices of thick Texas Toast that was dipped and coated in “krunchies” (corn flakes) and served with powdered sugar and butter. I wasn’t a big fan of the Krusted-N-Krunchy, the texture of the corn flakes was a little weird and the flavor of the actual toast didn’t do anything for me. I found myself piling on syrup to try to give the toast a little bit more flavor.

The cost of our entire meal was $19 and that included an extra side of home fries. I love having a reason drive into South Buffalo (or in this case “Lackawanna”) to grab a bite to eat. From our seats we had a great view of the OLV. We happened to be there as a wedding party was arriving and large snowflakes started to fall just as we received our food and it created a wonderful backdrop for our breakfast/lunch. This little diner doesn’t have the most convenient hours, they’re open from 6am to 3pm Monday through Sunday, but if you love a good pancake and a cool location it’s definitely worth a visit.

Photo Gallery:

Nelson's Ridge on Urbanspoon

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