It was a nice and sunny early afternoon last Saturday, and I was having a quick bite to eat before I headed out to my church band’s practice session. I received a text from a buddy of mine asking what time the Super Bowl started. I responded back and asked if he was planning on doing something for Super Bowl Sunday. He mentioned that he was on his way home, and heard some Super Bowl ads on the radio, and got this idea to go to Buffalo and watch the game there.
I was crazy enough to tag along, but since it was a spur of the moment decision, I hoped I had enough US cash left from our previous trip. On Super Bowl Sunday, around 12:30pm, with passport and $80 cash on hand, we made our way to the border. I knew from previous road trips, that meal prices are not inflated compared to what we get here in the province of Ontario, but I was still wary of breaking budget.
It was a great drive for a Sunday in February, not a single snowflake in sight, and the temperatures were spring-like all weekend. We arrived at the border, and the border agent asked what the purpose of our trip was, and we said it was to eat and watch the Super Bowl at a bar. Off we went and made our way to our first food stop for lunch. After all, we had to make the most of our trip to Buffalo, so we had to check out one of the diners we have been planning on visiting for a while.
We arrived at Sophia’s Restaurant in Buffalo, NY and upon entering, you feel the friendly, casual atmosphere that you expect from a diner. The staff welcomed us, and told us to pick any seat and table we wanted. The back walls of the diner were adorned with boxing and mma memorabilia on one side, and another panel was all about Guy Fieri’s show Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives, in which Sophia’s was featured. As a side note, Sophia’s is open from 7am to 3am, Tuesday to Sunday. We made the mistake once, showing up on a Monday.
I ordered the skillet breakfast with gyro and feta ($7.95), which was made up of green and red peppers, onions, potatoes, eggs, and choice of meat and cheese all mixed together in an omelette, with a side of toast. The choice of gyro with feta cheese was a nice touch to the omelette, which was packed with the ingredients mentioned above. It was a great brunch meal, especially with a side of bacon ($2.00), which was crisped to perfection, and coffee ($1.20). Gotta love those diner blends.
We got to The Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub at around 5pm, and there were a few patrons watching the pre-game show as well as some golf. At kick-off, there were a few more people in the bar, and more poured in throughout the game. It wasn’t as packed as we thought it would be, but there were enough people to fill all the seats and tables in the bar area. They provided some snacks through the course of the game as well, so how could I complain about getting free food and $4.00 pints and $5.75 mixed drinks?
Although we got free food, we ordered a few items from the menu as well. My friend ordered the crab cakes ($8.00), which I tried as well. They were crispy, and didn’t have the fishy taste as some crab cakes have. The lemon butter dill sauce added more layers of flavour to the dish, and complimented it very well.
I ordered a single plate of chicken wings (10 pcs for $8.50), and had a choice between the traditional sauces, or the South Buffalo style sauce. I opted for the South Buffalo Style sauce, which was hot with a slight sweetness to it. The sauce had a little bit of vinegar to it, but not too much. The wings were cooked very well, it was crispy, but not breaded. The wing pieces were quite large, so I was very impressed by the value since I’m used to getting wings by the pound at Canadian bars, and they’re usually small and cost about $9.99 a pound. Overall, great food trip, fun Super Bowl experience, especially seeing those American Super Bowl commercials on TV, which we don’t get in Canada unless you go online. Best of all, I came home with $40.00 to spare.