Gastropub (gas-tro-puhb, noun), is a bar that serves good food and high-quality adult beverages. Griffon’s Gastropub in Niagara Falls, NY is a great example.
Helen (adorable wife) asked the helpful ladies who checked us in to the Air Force Inn for dinner recommendations, they began listing the names of some fast food chains down the road. Well, we don’t do fast food on vacation, so we asked if there was something local that she would recommend. “Yes” she said, “but it could be crowded”. Local places with the potential to be crowded are our kind of places. We got directions.
Griffon’s is only about three miles from The Inn. When we arrived there were plenty of cars in the parking lot, so we were prepared to wait for an available table. Nevertheless, when we got inside there were tables available, as most of the patrons were gathered around a lengthy bar running down most of the left side of the restaurant. The customers were young-ish and were having a lot of fun.
We were met quickly by an attractive young hostess who seated us promptly. Helen’s southern accent made it easy for her to know that we probably weren’t locals, and when she learned that we were from Tennessee, she became even more welcoming and assured us that we were in for both good food and a pleasant evening.
Jordan was our server. He was a bunch of fun…great sense of humor and very helpful with our selections. I told him he would be great at stand up comedy if he wanted to take a break from his day job. He said he would pass.
Griffon’s has over 50 beers on tap and I wanted something local so I chose Blue Point Toasted Lager which was brewed in New York. I went back for a refill. Helen opted for a Blue Moon, a Wheat beer. Both were served in a frosted glass. Ciao!
For dinner, we decided to split our choices since Jordan said that they were generous. My choice was a plate of “El Macho Nachos”. This consisted of Tri-colored nachos smothered in Mexican cheese, black olives, black bean and corn salsa, fresh made salsa, cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. This mixture is baked in the oven, and topped with diced tomatoes and Mexican crema. These aren’t just any old nachos…this was an awesome meal.
Helen, at Jordan’s suggestion, chose Chicken Gruyere. This delicious dish consisted of two chicken breasts, coated in a seasoned flour and pan fried until brown. They are then topped with sautéed mushrooms, carmelized onions, and fresh gruyere cheese, then baked in the oven. The baked and topped chicken is served over smoked Gouda shells and cheese and fresh sautéed vegetables. Yum! We were glad we decided to split this meal because it was plenty, and plenty scrumptious!
While we were eating, a young lady named Michelle stopped by to see if we needed anything and asked if we were enjoying ourselves. We answered in the affirmative, then I told her that I write a Travel, Food, and Lifestyle Blog, and that this experience would soon be in it. Hearing that, she left and soon returned with the owner, a young man named Eddie Webster. We asked him to join us.
A really nice and pleasant man, we asked him to explain the meaning of Gastropub. Explaining in great detail, he completely outlined the concept of serving great and unique meals in a Tavern setting. What he said was very true as far as I am concerned. I prefer to dress casual, have a great selection of beverage choices and I want to eat well…the food has to be good. To me, good food, means well prepared and great quality ingredients. One tough piece of steak can guarantee that I’ll think twice before returning. I would return to Griffon’s…which we did the next night.
Eddie spent about thirty minutes with us. I love being around people who have a passion for what they do and Eddie was very passionate about his business. I left convinced that he would be around for a long time.
Helen and I send our sincere thanks for a wonderful meal and for being made to feel so welcome so far home. We also send our best wishes to Eddie, Jordan, and Michelle for continued success long into the future.