Food Porn: Anderson’s Frozen Custard (Amherst)

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I was looking through our master restaurant list the other day and noticed that we were missing one of Buffalo’s biggest chain restaurants, Anderson’s. At first, I was shocked that we hadn’t written about any of their locations in four years but I started to realize that I’ve never really liked Anderson’s. They built a location in Orchard Park when I was in high school, but the only memories I had of the place were long waits, ‘meh’ food and expensive prices (at least for a 18 year old). Within a couple years the restaurant closed and was eventually torn down.

I’ve visited Anderson’s a couple of times in the years since high school, either grabbing a quick bite to eat or enjoying an evening trip for some ice cream. But I never thought the experience was that great and wasn’t sure what I was missing. I decided to go out of my way for my lunch break and visited their Amherst location twice. On my two visited I tried four of their sandwiches but stayed away from their homemade ice cream/sundae options, I just didn’t have the room and it was too cold outside to really enjoy them.

Quick Info:

This particular location has a drive through (I’m assuming more of a pick up window) and an outdoor ice cream window. On both visits the restaurant’s dining room was more then half full but I still managed to find a seat and order my food right away, the wait didn’t go past 5 minutes.

On my first visit I ordered their classic Beef on Weck (below), Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and a Loganberry (it had been a while). Food wise, their Beef on Weck is probably their most popular item and I knew that I had to try it. The Beef on Weck was not as pink as I normally like, but the beef was still very tender. The roll was toasted just right and didn’t get too mushy as I ate the sandwich. I asked for some horseradish and they really piled it on. A little too much for my personal taste, but I can’t really complain about anything else. It’s not the best Beef on Weck in Western New York, but it’s definitely not the worst. The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich was something that I would have ordered when I was a picky eater, a large crispy chicken finger that’s smothered in a moderately spicy wing sauce, blue cheese and served on a sesame seed bun. It was pretty delicious, but in an obvious pub food sort of way. I tried a Loganberry to see if my negative opinion….nope, still tastes like watered down juice. That’s not Anderson’s fault, I just don’t like Loganberry.

Beef on Weck

Cheeseburger

On my second visit I wanted to try more of their sandwiches, so I ordered a Cheeseburger and their Chicken in the Grass. The Cheeseburger was big and still cheap (under $4). It reminded me of a burger you’d order at a diner. The patty was very thin and greasy. The melted cheese was almost too salty but adding some ketchup helped mellow it out; I probably wouldn’t ordered again. The Chicken in the Grass (one of their ‘world bistro’ sandwiches) was surprisingly great, the large chicken breast was still very juicy and not dried out like I was expecting. The melted cheese (provolone, I believe) was perfect, gooey and warm and there was just enough onion and spinach to not overpowering the sandwich. I ordered the sandwich on a whim, but it turned out to be my favorite.

I went into these two meals hoping to understand why people have such sentimental feelings for Anderson’s. Maybe if I had lived near a location that wasn’t crappy, I could have grown up with a love of their ice cream and some serious nostalgia about their beef on weck. I definitely don’t think the food is bad, I had an OK meal on both visits. That said, compared to similar options in the area (there is a Ted’s next door, John & Mary’s across the street), I would probably go to those other restaurants for slightly better offerings of the same menu options.

Photo Gallery:


Anderson's Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon

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