Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Road Trip - Grover's Bar & Grill

My boyfriend and I left Toronto after work on Friday before the Family Day long weekend. We didn't leave work early so we fully expected the rush hour + long weekend traffic. After about a 2.5 hour drive, we checked into our hotel in Buffalo and immediately headed over to Grover's Bar & Grill, in East Amherst, New York, for our first Diners, Drive-ins and Dives ("DDD") stop. Thank goodness Grover's was close to our hotel because we were both extremely hungry by then O_o

I'm going to start off all my DDD road trip posts by posting the DDD episode of when the restaurant was featured. I strongly recommend that you watch the videos because for each DDD place we visited, we purposely ordered everything that was featured in the show. I assure you that you will appreciate my blog post so much more after seeing exactly what ingredients were used, how the food was made, and what exactly I was eating =D

There was a lot of people waiting when we walked in. We were asked to put our names down on the chalkboard. 

The bar was extremely busy. My boyfriend ordered a beer (or two) as we waited. 

Opposite of the bar was the main dining area. The tables are empty because this picture was taken when I was leaving Grover's. All the DDD restaurants we visited had the exact same poster of Guy Fieri, which you see up at the top near the ceiling at here.

The second dining area was beside the bar. This is where we ended up sitting.

I found it a bit strange how Grover's menu did not have a special DDD section for items featured on the show (all the restaurants we went to afterwards did). I guess Grover's didn't see a need as they are busy enough as it is.

Ahhhh there it is, "The Bruiser" burger. The DDD episode showed how The Bruiser was made and mentioned the "Cattleman Burger" briefly. We ordered both.

The other two items featured on the show, the Cheeseburger Soup and the Garlic Parmesan Wings weren't even on the menu! I had to ask the waitress for them. The waitress informed us that they make their burgers medium-rare at the rarest because their burgers are very thick. Wow. That's music to my ears. Right there.

Seeing all these plaques makes me so excited for what's to come.

Sorry for the low quality pictures as Grover's was super dark and you know me and my reluctance in using flash!

Cheeseburger Soup - The soup comes in either a cup or bowl. We originally wanted to just try it out and order a cup but when we saw that the cup was only 50 cents cheaper than the bowl, we had to order a bowl. This was like $3.25 or something.

This soup definitely lives up to its name - it really tastes like a melted down cheeseburger w/o bread! I was impressed with the fact that Grover's really tried to put everything that a cheeseburger has in this soup: shreds of lettuce, tomato chunks, burger chunks, and cheese (in sauce form).

Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Wings - I was really surprised at how average these wings were. Nothing special about them at all; they were good, a bit spicy with crunchy skin, but I guess I was deceived by Guy's reaction to them on the DDD episode (you would know what I mean if you go to the 6:17 minute mark in the video). I also wasn't feeling the pool of oily-parmesan on the plate. I think I'm spoiled by the numerous great wing places in Toronto.

Although we knew this was already a lot of food, we couldn't resist not ordering a side of onion rings; just ordering a burger by itself just doesn't feel right to us. These onion rings were unbelievably tasty. They were huge, lightly battered and crispy. You see that wide onion ring there? The actual onion inside was really that wide.

"The Bruiser" - Black & Blue Burger with Grilled Onions.

I know the burger looks thin here but believe me, it was really thick. On top of the blue cheese is cajun spice.

After piling on the lettuce and tomatoes, this is what The Bruiser looked like.

Cross section of The Bruiser, isn't it a beauty? Hopefully you get a better idea how thick the burger was from this picture - The Bruiser really had some good height!

Look at those layers! I'm sooo happy ^_*

The Bruiser had all the elements of a great burger. The burger was so juicy, moist, and tender; not dry at all. The blue cheese added saltiness to it which was great, but in my opinion, I thought they put too much blue cheese so it became too salty for my taste, and I love blue cheese! Surprisingly though, my boyfriend didn't seem to have a problem with the amount of blue cheese. Soooo I dunno O_o

Cattleman Burger - Bacon, Cheddar, and BBQ Sauce.

Another beauty.

I had difficulty assembling the Cattleman Burger. Not only was there big slices of tomato and lettuce to put on (they gave me a lot too, see picture above), there was also onions, which The Bruiser didn't have (it already came with grilled onions on top). As well, the BBQ sauce on top of the cheddar gave it a very slippery surface. Not as pretty as The Bruiser as I did a poor job cutting it in half too (both burgers were impossible to eat if not cut in half, too heavy). The top bun seemed thinner than The Bruiser too.

I ♥♥♥ the Cattleman Burger. A lot more than The Bruiser. BBQ sauce on top of cheddar, on top of bacon, on top of a thick burger? Or how about the sweetness of the sauce, with a perfect amount of melted cheddar, along with the savoury taste of bacon, all on top of a juicy burger? 'Nuff said.

The Damage. 

My boyfriend and I only ate a few of the wings. I couldn't deal with the bun at the end.

So full that we couldn't even eat that one onion ring that was left; it didn't matter how good it was, we just....couldn'

There is no doubt in my mind that the Cattleman Burger is the best burger I've had, with The Bruiser a close second. As for the wagyu beef brisket burger I had at Nota Bene, that burger is in a category all by itself. I mean, I couldn't even eat that burger with my hands. It was a gourmet burger, at a high-end restaurant, with a $45 price tag. I guess what I'm saying is that these two burgers at Grover's are the best burgers I've had at a bar / burger joint. The Cattleman, in particular, was extremely juicy and everything in it worked so well together.

I also want to point out the price of these burgers. In case you haven't noticed from the menu, The Bruiser was only $7.50 and the Cattleman Burger was only $7.95. These burgers had blue cheese and bacon in them, respectively, and most importantly, they were 12 oz Angus ground beef burgers. From my experience, a burger similar to these burgers would easily cost twice as much, if not more, in Toronto. 

Oh Grover's. How I miss you!

Remember to check back in next Wednesday for my next DDD post ^_*

Grover's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon