What We’ve Eaten: Mulberry’s, Pho Dollar and Dino BBQ

Even though we took a two month hiatus from blogging, we didn’t take a two month hiatus from eating. We originally thought we’d focus on cooking at home, scale back our events and just relax. That didn’t really happen. We tried new restaurants, were invited to several press tastings, did a little ‘celebrity’ judging and kept track of what was going on in the food world.

This week we are going to write a couple blog posts with short descriptions of some of these meals. Instead of taking several weeks to write full on reviews for each restaurant/event, we’ll write a couple sentences about some of our more memorable meals. After this week, things will start to go back to normal and we’ll write full reviews and maybe we’ll even start bringing our SLR to restaurants.

Here is part two of our recap. You can read about Kelly’s Korner, The Workshop and SATO in part one.

Mulbbery Gnocchi

Mulberry’s. It has been a long time since we’ve eaten at Mulberry’s. In fact, it’s one of our oldest restaurant reviews on the site so it’s been long overdue for a revisit. I’ll be honest though, we probably wouldn’t have gone back if it wasn’t for a Christmas gift certificate.

We made reservations for a Friday night and were barely able to get a seat at 8:45pm. Even with the reservation we ended up hanging out at the bar for about 20 minutes while we waited to be seated. The restaurant was absolutely packed and the waiting room was uncomfortably crowded, but we made it. I’m sure there is some lingering buzz from their appearance on Food Network a couple years ago but something tells me these were mostly regulars.

We ordered a meatball as an appetizer because it’s Mulberry’s and that’s what you do when you eat at Mulberry’s. Their meatball is very large but that’s the only compliment I can give. I thought it was a little bland and too dense, personally I like my meatball to fall apart as I eat it and have some flavor. Their homemade ricotta and tomato sauce was enjoyable and the house made fried mozzarella was a good call to split. Their gnocchi had a very soft nice texture and somehow paired well with spicy banana peppers but I could have used a little less melted cheese. While my dish was good, Alli was not pleased with her manicotti. She found the pasta itself to be a little hard and the dish overall to just be sort of so-so.

I’m sure I’d go back again with family members who would suggest the restaurant as a dining destination as the meal wasn’t necessarily bad. But with the large amount of Italian restaurants to chose from, I can’t see myself driving back to this weird residential street in Lackawanna any time soon. It’s a bit of a hassle to grab a reservation, the service wasn’t that great and the food ranged form ‘meh’ to just good.

Rare Beef Pho

Pho Dollar. I’m not sure I have too much to say that wasn’t already written by our buddy RJ Marvin back in January, but Alli and I really like Pho Dollar. It seems like the crown for ‘Best Pho in Buffalo’ may have passed from 99 Fast Food (which has been getting mixed reviews since their ownership change) to Pho Dollar Restaurant.

Alli and I have visited twice since they opened and have enjoyed the Pho (although our second visit had much better broth then the first time), their fried spring rolls, fried rice specials and their BBQ pork banh mi (which is a steal at $4). Their BBQ pork chop was fantastic and something I will probably order at every visit. The service might be a little slow and scattered but they are incredibly friendly and there’s absolutely no language barrier. I’m hoping they get their liquor license sooner then later and this place truly becomes the late night chef hangout that it could be.

Mac n Cheese

Dino BBQ. We were invited to a private preview event for the highly anticipated Dinosaur BBQ a couple weeks ago. It could be really easy to play the ‘to cool for school’ card and make it seem like Dinosaur BBQ is just some overrated restaurant that’s moving to the city. But after having some fantastic fatty pieces of brisket, trying several very good sides (mac and cheese, baked beans, coleslaw) and enjoying their dedication to not only good craft beer but good LOCAL craft beer, I was sold.

The restaurant is probably still packed and will be throughout summer, but I’m ok with that. It isn’t the best BBQ in the area (that title still belongs to Suzy Q’s) but it shouldn’t be written off. The event we attended was unique, so I’d like to go back for a ‘proper’ visit before we give them a final review. But with that brisket and craft beer, I wouldn’t be surprised if we really enjoy it.

Photo Gallery:

Mulberry Italian Ristorante on UrbanspoonDinosaur Bar-B-Que on UrbanspoonPhở Dollar on Urbanspoon

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