Cheap Eats 2012: Burgers

The French Pub's Burger Supreme

kc kratt

French Pub - French Pub Burger Supreme ($9)

The French Pub bills itself as “a good place for a good time,” and I can’t say I disagree. The patio is relaxing and inviting on a cloudless summer night, but even during the winter months, the dining room never feels overly crowded and the bar is a great place to catch a game. And despite the name, the food rises above your standard pub fare. On a recent visit, I ordered a Sam Adams seasonal brew and the French Pub Burger Supreme. Presented on grilled French bread, the juicy burger is topped with melted mozzarella cheese, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and bacon. Despite my usual aversion to bacon, it didn’t overpower and added some needed crispiness. Burgers here are served with housemade chips, and I ordered a side of seasoned fries, which meant some welcome leftover chips the next day.—Matthew Biddle

French Pub, 1250 French Rd., Depew, 716- 668-8080

French Pub on Urbanspoon


The Hollow Bistro & Brew - The Hollow Burger ($9)

Located in a remodeled building that once housed the first private school in Erie County, the upscale pub-vibed Hollow Bistro virtually sits on the fault line where suburbia fades into farm country; its Hollow Burger ($8 lunch/$9 dinner) reflects the local cross-currents. The generous Angus beef patty is boldly charred on the outside, sealing in the juicy flavor, and topped with a fried egg (perhaps a nod to the fact that the region’s largest egg farm, Kreher’s, is right down the road) and melted blue cheese. Served on a pretzel roll with lettuce, tomato, and red onion, it’s a combination that reminds me of a late-night dish you might whip up using random ingredients you have on hand, but the results exceed expectation. There are a variety of flavors and textures in between the Hollow burger’s bun, but the charred beef flavor is always front and center, where it belongs.—Bruce Eaton

The Hollow Bistro & Brew,10641 Main St., Clarence, 716-759-7351

The Hollow Bistro and Brew on Urbanspoon

Ruzzine’s Rock Bottom Eatery - Giant Grilled Burger ($9)

Rock Bottom is across the street from burger icon Grover’s on Transit Road, but I find its burgers to be superior to Grover’s in every way. They are charbroiled, they are deliciously seasoned and juicy, and they are cheap and simple. The bread-to-meat ratio is perfect—just enough bread to hold what’s in there, and nothing more. For $7.59 you get a massive twelve-ounce burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Cheese is an extra buck, and there are specialty burgers costing a bit more. You’ll stretch your mouth to wrap it around this delicious behemoth, and you’ll make good use of every napkin available. The burger is served with chips; fries will add a dollar. Cheap and delicious, this is the burger against which you will judge all others.—Alan Bedenko

Ruzzine’s Rock Bottom Eatery, 6261 Transit Rd., East Amherst, 716-204-4004

Ruzzine's Rock Bottom Eatery on Urbanspoon




Other wallet-friendly options in this category include: Grover's, Roaming Buffalo, Soho Burger Bar, and Vizzi's.

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