Buffalo binge on a budget

By Emyle Watkins

Features Contributor

It’s the weekend after Valentine’s Day, and that means one of two things: you’re either broke, or feeling like treating yourself after a week of #relationshipgoals posts. Maybe both. Either way, you’re feeling hungry and Iggy’s just isn’t hitting the spot. Look no further; here’s where and how you can get a bountiful bite and some bang for your buck at the same time!

Elmwood Taco & Subs

It wouldn’t do justice to Buffalo food if we didn’t recognize the brick-built goddess that is ‘ETS,’ or Elmwood Taco & Subs. Sure, you can go to Mighty Taco, but Mighty isn’t a mile and a half from campus. Plus, your Griff Choice work at ETS, so if you’re like me, that $25 that comes with the freshman meal plan was gone within two weeks of fall semester starting. ETS also has a drive thru for the days you need to pregame your presentation with a $1.50 taco, and is open until 5a.m. on Friday and Saturday for those nights you want to get a 3a.m. milkshake. If you do go to ETS though, save your money, and don’t get the wings. Go right for the tacos. It’s what they do best, and for ETS, the best of the best, is the Doso. The Doso is the alpha taco. The Doso is both a soft shell and hard shell taco, with beans in between the shells and true taco goodness in the middle. You can get a Doso for under $5 too, even with guacamole. So if you are looking to get tacos, at 3 a.m. on a Saturday, ETS is where you need to be and a Doso is what it needs to be.

Allen St. Poutine

If you don’t know what poutine is by now, you probably should give up on trying to make friends with anyone from north of the border. All kidding aside, your Canadian friends will probably throw you a high five if you call them up on Friday and invite them down to Allen St. Two level, graffiti on the walls, and lit by their classic red fluorescent sign, Allen St is a Buffalo take on the classic Canadian poutinerie. For first timers, take it easy and try the classic small fries, gravy and curds, because trust me, it’s a lot more filling than it looks and only $4.95. As far as our Canadian brothers and sisters, try the crossover creation that is their Buffalo Chicken Poutine, made of chicken, buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese, and green onions. Their small runs for $8.20.

Side note: If you are willing to venture into Canada for the real deal, check out Smoke’s Poutinerie in either Niagara Falls or St. Catherine’s. It’s the GOAT.


Take it from a former ‘Spotter,’ their menu is more than meets the eye. Take a chance and try something from the menu with a twist the next time you stop in for a Sunday coffee. During my time at Spot, one of my favorite lunch choices was ordering the Chicken Feta Wrap with a spinach tortilla, and substituting feta cheese for goat cheese and the dijon vinaigrette for an herb vinaigrette. Spot’s wraps all range from between $9 – $10. You can also level up your bagel game by asking for either avocado or smoked salmon. Really like veggies? Go with a plain bagel, toasted with veggie cream cheese and avocado. You won’t regret spending $3 – $4 on a beefed-up bagel.

Grindhaus Café

Grindhaus is the vegetarian-friendly solution to your Saturday spent studying. Tucked away from the main commotion of Allentown, Grindhaus is quiet, quaint, and full of character. It’s easily a great place to gather with friends and grab a cup of some of the best tea in Buffalo, but if you’re looking to treat yourself this weekend, make sure you try Grindhaus’ Chocolate Avocado Mousse. Made from cocoa powder, avocados, and a hint of maple, it’s a simple yet decadent treat for only $3. Grindhaus also offers a great selection of teas, coffees, and vegan and vegetarian dishes for less than $10.

Brawler’s Back Alley Deli

This is the place to be on a cold Buffalo night before a Sabres or Bandits game. Nestled below the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, bumping into this traditional New York-style deli might come as a surprise, but you’ll find a solid selection of “Jewish deli fare” and a sports bar with 13 televisions. Brawler’s is a great place to grab hearty sandwich or the homey breakfast you’ve been missing. If you get the chance, try their $5 beer cheese soup. Brawler’s switches up a classic cold night soup by trading cheddar for gouda, and it’s too good to eat all at once.




  1. Reblogged this on Emyle Watkins.

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