Oh man, my wife and I have found a restaurant that you just have to try. Although it’s been around for a few years, we were finally able to cross Winfields Pub off of our list of restaurants to visit. Winfields is a bit off the beaten path, but that’s what makes it so special. Located at 1213 Ridge Road in Lackawanna, it a short trip over The Skyway and a B-line down Ridge Road – nothing to it.
Upon walking into the establishment, we immediately headed for the bar seating. For us, it’s the best way to get to know a place, and if we’re lucky, the owner is usually hovering about if they are there. As luck would have it, Sheryl Daulton (owner/server/bartender) happened to be there, and before we knew it we were engaged in a conversation that lasted the entire lunchtime meal.
Before getting into the story of Winfields, let me first tell you about the lead image in this article. The sandwich that you see there, being held by Sheryl, is The Dagwood. Many of us are probably familiar with The Dagwood sandwich via the old cartoon strip. Over the years, I have come across a couple of “real life” Dagwood sandwiches that turned out to be underwhelming. Well, as you can plainly see, The Dagwood at Winfields Pub is nothing short of the real deal. After Sheryl described the sandwich to me, I just had to try it. When it arrived, I almost fell off my barstool. After staring at it for a good minute, I finally came to grips with what I had done. Adding insult to injury, Sheryl said, “Everyone that has ordered it has finished it – no one has ever left with a doggie bag.” That was when I realized that I was in it to win it – there was no going back.
The only way that I was able to finish the Dagwood was because all of the ingredients were top notch. The meats were smoked to perfection, the bread was custom baked for Winfields by Mazurek’s Bakery, the ingredients were all locally sources and fresh – and the sandwich was so big that every couple of bites the flavor profile changed. I also kept telling myself that if the sandwich was un-stacked, it would be just like a club sandwich… but bigger. I also kept thinking of Sheryl’s words of advice… “Don’t be the first to let it beat you… or your name is going to be mud in Lackawanna.”
My wife ordered (and loved) the Winfields Cheeseburger – house ground beef from chuck, steakhouse onion cheddar cheese, house made tomato jam and caramelized onions, served on house recipe potato bun.
Along with the daunting Dagwood, Winfields also has a wonderful menu filled with more reasonable-sized options. Everything is as homemade and delicious as it gets, thanks to Sheryl’s husband, Tab (owner/head chef). It turns out the Tab had spent 28 years at Delaware North, traveling the country doing his thing. Finally, he decided that he was ready to open his own place, which he says was mainly due to his want and desire to create his own dishes, without anyone else interfering (hence the ridiculous size of The Dagwood). These days, his home-cooked creations have landed him designations that range from ‘Best Fish Fry in Buffalo’ to ‘Best Fries’.
Tab bakes his jalapeño bread in-house, smokes his own bacon (and occasional pastrami and chicken) using 90% hickory, and the kitchen still has time to prepare chicken pot pie, pork and pasta, sea scallops and ragu, Kiki’s warm potato salad (sooo good), sweet & sour roasted beets, and housemade condiments – garlic aioli, tomato jam, beet ketchup, whole grain beer mustard, and jalapeño ketchup. Like I said, this place is a ‘must try’, sooner rather than later.
The vibe at Winfields is akin to an old country diner/pub, complete with a standup piano. Sheryl and Tab’s son, Thomas, manages the bar, where they have a surprisingly impressive craft cocktail menu and beer list (cans and bottles).
The original ice boxes are all operational.
The music is also unexpectedly progressive.
The place is nice and bright, and very inviting. It’s also two minutes from the thruway, Tab mentioned. That’s why there are so many out of towners that stop in. Apparently they have become known for the quality of their food in social media circles, and people traveling down the thruway have come to be big fans of the place. I can see why, as the food is out of this world.
Winfields is open for lunch and dinner. You can get many of the same items at dinner that are listed on the lunch menu, plus there are always some specials. Sheryl and Tab wear their love for Winfields on their collective sleeve. They both care so much about the place – it’s not that often that you find two owners running the front and the back of an operation. Along with their son, this truly is a family affair.