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Papa Jake’s Saloon

A corner joint needn’t be a dive.
And Papa Jake’s doesn’t make its patrons choose between a laid-back bar atmosphere and delicious, fresh food. Scott Leary, the new owner of Papa Jake’s Saloon on Elmwood, knows how to provide casual comfort and a very satisfying dining experience.
“We don’t take shortcuts here at Papa Jake’s,” Leary says. He proves this with Papa Jake’s fresh and tasty menu. “I don’t want to call this a late night menu, because we have amazing food from lunch till 1AM.”
Papa Jake’s atmosphere is relaxed, and everyone here is at home. Even on a Monday night, the kitchen is busy pumping out food to both the bar and the dining customers. We couldn’t wait to join them. As appetizers, my guest and I had Clams Casino (1/2 dozen, $6.25), Crispy Calamari ($6.25), Papa Jake’s Fresh Cut Fries with gravy ($2.75), and Hot Banana Peppers ($6.75).
The Clams Casino was topped with bacon and baked in the oven. As our server set it down in front of us, not only was it steaming, but the sauce was still bubbling as if cooking the clams in front of our eyes. These clams were so clean and flavorful that they left me craving more. This dish paired wonderfully with the Honey Wheat beer from the tap.
The Crispy Calamari is not only fresh, but also hand-breaded before it is cooked. “From fresh fish to the shell fish,” Levy sais, “we always buy the best seafood. We always serve Fried Fish for the Friday specials, so every Friday morning, we get a fish order just for the specials.”
The Hot Banana Peppers were stuffed with chorizo sausage and cheese, with mozzarella melted on top. The delicious sausage stuffing soaked up all the tangy juices from the peppers, making the flavor just right. In a single bite, one can taste the fresh pepper, the sausage and the cheese in perfect unison. I am a big fan of spicy, and on this night in particular, these seasonal peppers managed to push the limits of even my heat-loving taste buds. Because heat varies with the crop, always ask your server how hot the current hot peppers are if you happen to be sensitive in that way.
Papa Jake’s Fresh Cut Fries were amazing, drizzled with thick, homemade gravy. They are definitely a must in terms of finger food. It’s a whole different experience from everyday, out-of-the-bag and into-the-fryer fries.
As, entrees we had Beef on Weck ($5.25) and the Meatloaf Sandwich ($6.50). The sandwiches were simply huge. The beef was thinly sliced and packed with flavor, he Meatloaf sandwich is their house special for good reasons. Toped with charbroiled barbeque sauce and sautéed onions, the meatloaf was sumptuous. Each of these sandwiches would light up a lunch, and your day for that matter.
There are daily specials at Papa Jakes, but like Leary says, “Everything’s special at Papa Jakes.” Stop by and check out their prime rib specials, fish fry Fridays and other fresh seafood dishes. Papa Jake’s is a great place to hangout during a Sabres or Bills game for some game-time drink specials. With room to host a hundred guests, the place is booking up quick for holiday parties. (Call for reservations.)
With its delicious and fresh food and a full bar, Papa Jake’s can be anyone’s favorite neighborhood bar.
Papa Jake’s Saloon
1672 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14207

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