After scoping out the The Western Door Bar & Grille at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino a couple of weeks ago, my friend and I decided to head back to try the food. Figuring that it was known primarily for its steaks, that’s the direction that we decided to head.
As luck would have it, we were assigned to an awesome waiter, who helped us to navigate the menu. We started off by ordering the Buffalo chicken style cauliflower, fried with chickpea flour WD blue cheese, and topped with carrot and celery slaw (edible garnish). Next, we opted for two starters – the Three Grilled Jumbo Shrimp and the Jumbo Asparagus. The grand finale was assigned to the 18 0z Kansas City strip (medium rare – $39) and the 12 oz Wagyu NY strip (rare -$65). We told our waiter that we would be sharing the steaks, and without hesitation he said that the chef could divide them for us. Nice touch. Another nice touch were the proper steak knives that were set before us – sharp with wood handles.
While we waited for our meals to arrive, we discussed the menu and the ambiance. (A con) I was surprised to see Chilean sea bass on the menu, because the last I heard the fish was still being legally and illegally harvested, and the numbers were dwindling enough that it was being listed as an endangered catch. I would hope that the Seneca Nation would be paying attention to this issue. (A pro) I thought that it was pretty neat that the wine menu came in the form of an Apple iPad. Even though we were not drinking wine on this visit, it drew our attention to the wine list, and some varietals to think about on another night.
It didn’t take long before our food started arriving to the table. The Buffalo chicken style cauliflower was a huge hit. It was bountiful and super tasty. The cauliflower was tender, and had the great taste of Buffalo wings. Because it was fried with chickpea flour, it was very light. This was a huge hit, especially with the carrot and celery garnish (slaw) – great idea. The three jumbo grilled shrimp were a big disappointment. They looked very small on the oversized plate, and the presentation was completely uninspiring. Plus, they were a bit rubbery. The jumbo asparagus were OK – nothing to write home about. They could have been seasoned a bit more and grilled with some char. So we had a home run, a strike out, and a man on base – we were pretty happy with the performance so far.
As for the steaks, the wagyu was the winner. It was seasoned perfectly and cooked to our liking. It was super tender through and through. We both agreed that we would have it again. The bone-in Kansas City strip was pretty good too, but did not measure up against the wagyu. To be fair, if it were not for the upper echelon wagyu, side by side with the strip, we would have been perfectly happy with strip. The strip was larger of course (noted by oz in the menu), and we were pretty hungry, which meant that we weren’t unhappy with our decision to opt for both types.
In the end, we felt that the the food at The Western Door Bar & Grille was quite good. I’m still thinking about that darn cauliflower dish. Aside from the menu items that we ordered, some other choices that looked rather interesting included the ahi poke, Key West smoked fish dip, daily selection of oysters and clams, a number of salads, deviled eggs, flatbreads, heirloom burrata caprese, house cut truffle fries, smoked gouda mac & cheese, Free Bird chicken breast (Pennsylvania Farms), beef stroganoff, burgers, oyster po’ boy, steak frites sandwich, crab cake, WD hash browns, surf & turf selections, and garlic parmesan potato wedges.
After eating, we took a stroll through the casino and observed all of the action. There was barely a seat empty in the house. I’m not a gamer, so to me the entire scene was a bit surreal, but at the same time, we had fun watching the various people playing their favorite games. We especially enjoyed watching a few lively guys at the craps table who were enjoying a good run. A walk through the casino is an interesting diversion, and offers a glimpse into a pastime that is unlike any other. The Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino has come a long way from the blue shack where it all started. The place is alive with activity, and everyone looked like they were having a good time. I will definitely be heading back again in the future, to try a couple of the other menu items… and maybe even pull a lever while I’m there.
Call 1-877-8-SENECA for reservations. Click here for hours and additional info.
The Western Door Bar & Grille is located in The Cobblestone District in Downtown Buffalo.