Quick Info: Located just down Main Street from UB’s South Campus, Brunner’s Tavern is a casual neighborhood pub that serves Buffalo comfort food. They are open seven days a week, serving their grill menu (burgers, sandwiches) from 11am to close. There is a parking lot behind the building and they only take cash (there’s an ATM inside).
Our Meal: We arrived for an early Friday dinner to a dining room that was half full (with almost all regulars) and a packed bar. Brunner’s looks like you’re usual Western New York pub; the dining room has wood paneled walls covered in beer signs, sports memorabilia and daily specials. As someone who’s eaten at his fair share of South Buffalo pubs, it felt very familiar. Our meal started with complimentary rolls with butter. Not a home cooked roll but a standard costanzo roll with packets of butter. Alli ordered a cup of French Onion to start the meal and that came out shortly thereafter. We were impressed by how much we enjoyed it, a good layer of melted cheese on top of pumpernickel bread gave the soup a unique touch. We also appreciated the broth not being the normal salt bomb that we’ve had around town. For our entrees, I decided to go with their legendary Steak Sandwich (loaded) while Alli embraced the day and ordered the Fish Fry.
From what I’ve heard, Brunner’s Steak Sandwich is basically the inspiration for the Steak Sandwich at The Pink. You can definitely tell from the preparation that it had some influence. The steak is an impressive 12 oz strip steak that was cooked medium rare and placed in between a thin (but toasted) roll. The cheese was a little thick, the bottom of the roll got a bit soggy but it’s a very similar sandwich to what I usually order at 2am on Allen. I was really happy with it and given how late the kitchen goes, I could see myself ordering another on a late weekend night. Alli’s fish fry was pretty standard for WNY. It was so big that it hung over the plate, was served with crinkle cut french fires, macaroni salad and coleslaw. The fish was very flaky and the outer batter had the right amount of thickness. They aren’t breaking any new ground, but it was satisfying.
Summary: In terms of food, this isn’t a ‘destination’ restaurant (although I really enjoyed that steak sandwich). But for people who live in the Snyder/Amherst area, this is definitely a place that can feel like home. It’s a place to enjoy a beer (decent list with a couple local options on tap) and some cheap but enjoyable pub food. We weren’t regulars but the staff and atmosphere made us feel like we could be.
Can’t Miss Dish: The steak sandwich