Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pan American Brewery & Grill

When my Dad was back in town last week we planned a lunch date for Friday afternoon. He let me pick where, so I quickly suggested the NEW The Pam American Grill & Brewery inside the newly remodeled Hotel Lafayette. I’ve wanted to check it out since it opened and my Dad wanted to go somewhere “Buffalo”, so it was the perfect fit!

Before we ventured into the restaurant to sit down, we explored The Hotel Lafayette. Wow! The renovated space is absolutely gorgeous. From the “old” touches to the new modern feel in the furniture, to the simply stunning woodwork, it is truly gorgeous and a “destination” spot in Buffalo. Mike A’s Restaurant looks incredible, and I can’t wait to get over there for a special occasion. They brought in a handful of local businesses to utilize the space in the building and have apartment and hotel rooms completely renovated.

Once we were done snooping around (walking into unlocked banquet rooms, and my Dad even snuck back to the kitchen area), we finally grabbed a booth at The Pan American Grill & Brewery. The restaurant itself is one of the coolest spaces I’ve seen recently. It has incredible woodwork throughout the large space and offers diners a handful of oversized flat screen televisions (perfect for viewing sporting events!). There’s even a gorgeous fireplace separating two dining areas with oversized seating and game hanging from the walls. There is also an upstairs to the restaurant with mostly cocktail tables, perfect for a few drinks and appetizers after work. They incorporate the Pan American Exposition into paintings on the wall and the architecture is specific from the time period.

As we were escorted to our table, I got all wide eyed when I noticed the small plates on the tables were Pam Am prints. I’ve seen these plates before, and have been regretting not purchasing them for my boyfriend for Christmas (he got two gorgeous Pan Am prints framed instead). While they were literally just a small touch, they really set the tone for me and I was in Buffalove heaven.

The menu consists of many similar items Pearl Street (its sister restaurant) has with sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, etc…Something different from Pearl Street are the flat breads they offer. I was pretty stoked to see they had a Duck Confit with Goat Cheese one, so I selected that, along with a crock of their French Onion Soup. My boyfriend went with a bowl of their chicken chili and the Buffalo Chicken Wrap and my Dad chose the Fish Fry (a haddock fish, served with fries and coleslaw).

The soup/chili came out first, along with some breadsticks for the table. My crock of French Onion soup was outstanding. I consider myself somewhat of a French onion soup coinsurer, and the soup here is high on my list of favorites. They use their Roosevelt Red Ale as part of the broth for the soup, and it was seasoned perfectly. The chicken chili, on the other hand, was not that great, and came out looking like a big mess. It was slopped in a bowl dripping all over the place.

Our meals came out soon after and everything looked great at first glance. The flat bread (pictured below left) was different than how I pictured it, but was easily the best thing brought out. The fish fry looked good, it was a generous piece of fish with a decent amount of fries and a small bowl of coleslaw, but upon further review we discovered a gigantic hair running down the entire length of the fish. We promptly called management over and they were extremely embarrassed and apologetic and offered to substitute for anything else on the menu he would like. The Buffalo chicken wrap was a decent size but came out on a big plate, making the presentation a little sad (the soup was the side, so it was literally just the wrap on the plate).

My Dad and I ended up splitting the flat bread and it was delicious. It was topped with a citrus cranberry sauce and that easily made the dish. The duck was cooked perfectly and there was a generous portion of goat cheese. The flavors combined well and I could easily see myself coming back before a Sabres game to order a few different flatbreads and some local beer!  

The Buffalo chicken wrap was “good”, my chef of a boyfriend told me, but he wasn’t overly impressed. My meal, which happens often, was the winner for the day. It was extremely tasty and between the soup and just half the flatbread I was full, and satisfied for the entire afternoon.

If I was judging the Pan American Brewery & Grill solely on appearance, it would get an A++. It has the potential for becoming the new hangout spot before and after Sabres games. I was very happy with my meal, but plating and presentation still need some work. That being said, I walked out of there saying that I was looking forward to coming back for another meal.

If you haven’t stopped into Hotel Lafayette yet to look around, put it on your must do list before the summer is over. It is a redefined Buffalo gem, and I’m looking forward to hanging out inside the walls of the Pan American Brewery & Grill more this fall!

Duck Confit & Goat Cheese Flatbread, Buffalo Chicken Wrap & French Onion Soup

For more reviews on the Pan American Brewery & Grill, check out: 

Pan American Grill & Brewery on Urbanspoon


  1. I always fancy trying new dishes and desserts in town, well, especially sweets, cake in particular. Of course, apart from the food it also helps if the place is appetizing to eat in. I remember a garden wedding I've attended just weeks ago, everything was amazing, the place, the food, it's just perfect..

  2. Love the flat bread! Seems like it's easy to do, I might try it at home and create some when friends visit. Or perhaps I can ask to add this to a customized menu in one of the corporate events in the office.

  3. Duck confit and goat cheese is sumptuous and heavenly combination. Although duck meat has a high cholesterol level, it's just plain delicious to be not eaten, an ample amount is just right. The saltiness of the goat cheese' will definitely compliment well with the duck meat.

  4. A restaurant that has great food will be successful no matter what it looks like. The food is the winning factor here, as long as the area is clean, people will come back to enjoy their food.

  5. This review makes my mouth water. I especially would love to try that flat bread with cranberry sauce! How are the drinks?