The weather is getting colder which means corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides and apple picking are starting to pop up all over Western New York. When I think of this weather, I immediately think of Apple Cider. Last weekend Alli, Tommy and I visited Mayer Brothers in West Seneca, arguably the area’s most popular producer of Apple Cider. I actually never visited their Cider Mill/shop myself, so I was looking forward to checking it out.
Their store is pretty interesting, and you can find cider there in several forms (regular, hot cider, cider slushies, 6 packs of McKenzie’s Hard Cider) but you can also find an impressive selection of donuts (pictured above), candy, snacks and random odd’s and ends. I didn’t notice any difference in ‘freshness’ of their cider, it basically tasted just like a jug you’d find in Wegmans. What did surprise us was how delicious their donuts were, specifically the apple donuts that were covered in cream cheese frosting. We ended up ordering a variety dozen and most were pretty good, but the cream cheese donuts were so good we thought about going back into the shop and ordering another dozen. The donut line at the shop was very long, and for good reason.
We also picked up a 6pack of their McKenzie’s Season Reserve. We tried a couple bottles later on that day and had mixed feelings. Alli still prefers their tarty, crispy Green Apple, but I enjoyed the cinnamon/spiced flavor of the Seasonal Reserve. I don’t think I could drink a bunch of them at one time (still very sweet) but one or two would be great as a post meal drink in the fall.
When we started Buffalo Eats in 2009 we’d get pretty excited when restaurants would tweet/email us (to be honest, we still do). One of the first restaurants to reach out to us and invite us for a visit were the folks at Theodore’s Red Hots. They had just opened their first location in Grand Island but unfortunately we don’t find ourselves in that area too often. In the last year they have opened two additional locations. Last week we visited their Cheektowaga location near the Galleria but they also just opened a 3rd location on Transit in Williamsville.
The owners/operators of Theodore’s have a very strong connection with the Buffalo hot dog staple Ted’s, for the full story check out this great article by Christopher Schobert for Buffalo Spree. So when you walk into Theodore’s and have a sense of deja vu, it’s understandable. Their menu and restaurant set up are very familiar; they primarily serve Sahlen’s hot dogs that are char grilled and you place your order and add condiments in the same efficient system. We visited for an early weekend lunch and decided to get a couple hot dogs, and when we saw an advertisement for ‘Frings’ in their window, we knew we had to order those too.
The hot dog toppings are near identical to what you’d find elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean it was any less delicious then any other ‘Foot Long with Everything’ I’ve ordered in the past. Alli enjoyed her hot dog with cheese and my brother Tom said his burger was alright but nothing he’d go out of his way for. The “Frings” (gallery) however, were a little different and something you can’t find at Ted’s. It’s a half order of french fries (crinkle cut) and a half order of the signature thin, greasy (in a good way), crispy onion rings. Alli and Tommy were expecting some type of Onion Ring/French Fry hybrid menu item (they were sad to find out that was not the case), but I was pretty satisfied with the half and half order.
While it might not create that nostalgic feeling you’d get when you walk into a Ted’s location but the food is just as good and will satisfy all of your Sahlens hot dog needs.