For me and my friends, The Viking Lobster Company is a real treat. There's no restaurant quite like it in Buffalo, and for the most part it's still a hidden secret. Those who have gone to eat there rarely tell others, in order to keep it from becoming too popular. If you're not familiar with The Viking then you're in for a surprise. I first covered The Viking back in March of 2006 (see here
). At the time, the restaurant was even more obscure than it is now. Fortunately, most everything that Viking specialized in back then still appears on the menu. That's why we continue to head back. The only thing that has changed over the years is that there is more seating, lobster egg rolls appear on the menu and a brand new patio with raw bar has just opened.
The back patio is tucked away from the din of the restaurant, making for a relaxing dinner. Like the main dining area, the decor is nautical, with all sorts of random odds and ends hung on the walls. On the far wall is a 3-dimensional mural comprised of miscellaneous castings that were found in an old warehouse on Niagara Street. As far as patios go in Buffalo, this one definitely has loads of character. It also has its own menu. While the main restaurant's menu
boasts a delectable broiled haddock and a giant Viking paella, customers can also find chicken, a NY strip, crab, BBQ ribs, shrimp fry... and of course lobster. The dinners come with enough soups, salads and sides to sink a ship. Be sure to try the creamy clam salad dressing and the Portuguese chowder (two of the options that come free with your meal).
As much as I love the main menu, served inside, I have already become quite fond of the VLC Patio Menu. Anytime that I can find a rockin' raw bar, I'm pretty much in heaven. After all, what could be better than sitting on the patio sampling raw oysters and grilled clams? The menu also features corn on the cob, seafood salad, snow crab leg clusters, clams and oyster casino and a few of the entree items from inside.
Even though Viking has no beer and wine license, customers are allowed to bring their own. We usually stop by The Village Beer Merchant and pick up a couple of growlers of beer. The staff at Viking will put your drinks on ice, or you can even bring a small cooler. It can be a lot of fun to be able to bring your own choices of beers and wines. It just adds to the funky and quirky vibe.
Viking is one of those hidden treasures that continues to provide for a special dining experience each and every visit. There are restaurants that you hear about that are constantly creating a buzz. Then there are places like Viking that attract a solid following of people who seek out restaurants that might be a little off the beaten path. As I said in my original post back in 2006, "If you can find The Viking, then you have found Valhalla!"
366 Tonawanda Street
Black Rock, NY 14207
(716) 873-1079 - Reservation are suggested