Friday, May 11, 2012

Merge Restaurant in Buffalo

When it comes to my food choices, some would say I’m the “anti-vegan.” I love a good steak or burger, and I have a pretty solid obsession with pulled pork. There was even that year or so where whenever I went out to eat somewhere new, I mostly ordered ribs because I needed to see who had the best. Don’t get me wrong, I try to balance those splurges out with healthy options, and considering heart disease runs prominently in my family, it’s very important that I do. But still, when I’m planning on where to go out for dinner, I’m not going to be the one who suggests a mostly vegetarian restaurant.

That being said, I was excited to check out Merge Restaurant on Delaware. When I walked in, I instantly felt relaxed after a busy day. My first impression was that this place was all about community, and I couldn’t have been more right.

The atmosphere inside Merge is hip and trendy, and I really felt comfortable. We were promptly seated, and our waiter gave us some time to look over the menu and explained a few of the items. We were seated near a small stage that was absolutely adorable; a great spot for musicians to perform! I enjoyed the local artwork on the walls, and overall thought the style was unique for the Buffalo restaurant scene, and I really appreciated that.

As for the food, we ended up ordering the smothered sweet potato fries with spiced lentils, spinach and cheddar cheese to share. For my meal I ordered the farmhouse quiche; farm fresh eggs, farmers market vegetables and a side salad” and my boyfriend had the spaetzel and sausage; mineo and sapio Italian chicken sausage, carrot spaetzel, gruyere, roasted garlic swiss chard, garnished with crisp New York State apples. 

The smothered sweet potato fries were pretty good, although I could have used a little bit more flavor, and some dipping sauce for it. It was a unique use of the lentils (to me anyway) and while it wasn't my favorite part of the meal, my boyfriend and I quickly finished the plate.

My quiche was outstanding and tasted so fresh. The side salad went perfectly with it, the portion size was just right for me, and it left me full. I only had a bite of my boyfriend’s spaetzel and sausage, but it was very tasty and he really enjoyed it.

The meal was a nice change from what I normally eat, and I really got caught up in the freshness of everything. I’d definitely recommend the food and thought the prices, while they might be a little higher than some local establishments, is worth it for the use of organic and local produce and products Chef Kate Elliott purchases. 

The owners, and sisters, Eliza and Sarah Schneider really turned the space into a great community gathering place, and have opened my eyes to healthier and more diverse meal options.

They are open Tuesday – Saturday and have lunch and dinner hours (lunch 1130-3, dinner 5-10). They also offer later hours Thursday – Saturday. You can find them online and they also have Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you are looking for something “different” from the typical Buffalo fare, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan, or need gluten free food options, you need to spend a few hours inside Merge! You will have a new appreciation for food when you do!  

For more reviews on Merge, click below:

Merge on Urbanspoon

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