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Victor’s Bar and Grille

Sometimes there’s nothing like an old world family business to put a smile on your face. So often we’re looking for the ‘new’ and the ‘different’ that we tend to underplay the ‘traditional’ and ‘old world’ businesses that act as the backbone of our neighborhoods. Many of those businesses have been around forever, while others occasionally open that reflect those same qualities. There is a new restaurant on Hertel called Victor’s (opened four weeks ago) that relies on select Italian family recipes, passed down from generation to generation.  It’s a family-owned operation with a father-daughter team at the helm.
Megan and Victor ‘Vic’ DeGeorge make a great pair, working well together in an atmosphere that has two sides to the story – on one hand there is family pride that can be seen as the two discuss the menu, while on the other hand there is a pride in past and present New York sports. The sports fanaticism comes from Victor, who has been collecting Yankees memorabilia for what appears to be his whole life. Thankfully, the Yankees collection is as tactfully blended into the decor as possible. It turns out that the DeGeorge family is also a big Buffalo sports bunch, and that means that the bar side of the operation has a sports bar feel to it. The bar area is divided from the dining room with the help of a clear display case featuring, you guessed it, Yankees collectibles. I have a feeling that it was Megan’s decision to relegate the back portion of the dining area to Victor’s prided team, giving him free reign to have a mural painted* of Yankees Stadium (along with a shrine to the team in the round).
Victors-Interior-Buffalo-NY.jpgThe Italian-American menu is an interesting mix of traditional dishes and recipes that have been repeatedly tweaked due to being handed down so many times. For example, you will find linguini and clam sauce: fresh chopped and whole clams, sautéed in olive oil, garlic and basil served over linguini in either red or white sauce. You will also find wieners and tomatoes: hot dogs sautéed with peppers, onions and mushrooms served with a chunky tomato sauce and Italian bread. See what I mean? Other items of interest are: hot cherry peppers stuffed with crumbly bleu and Gorgonzola or anchovies, pasta and peas soup, and baked braciole (flattened steak layered with prosciutto and hard boiled egg, simmered in sauce and served with side of pasta). Vic takes pride in just about everything on the menu, which is understandable considering that many of the dishes consist of the freshest ingredients, many of which he himself has preserved.
The food has got to be good at Victor’s in order to compete with the rest of the Italian restaurants in North Buffalo. “All of the businesses on these three blocks compliment each other,” Megan told me. “I grew up in the neighborhood and my Dad grew up on the West Side. He moved away from that part of the city for a long time, but now he’s back on the West Side, with a family-owned restaurant in North Buffalo… he’s loving life. I’m just glad that the neighborhood has been so welcoming – in three weeks we sold 60 orders of Meg’s Kickin’ Chicken (not to be outdone by her dad), and we’re seeing a lot of family and friends walk in who are happy to see us in business.”
Victor’s is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. There is a bar menu serving chicken wings and fingers, personal pizzas, etc. On the regular menu look for soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, steaks, seafood… and there’s even a dish called Mussels Masiello (that’s right, Mussels Masiello).
Victor’s Bar and Grille
1503 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo NY 14216


^Mural by Jan Ables

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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