Owners of The Black Sheep have set out to make some changes at their restaurant, in order to accommodate more people during the pandemic. “We want to get back to normal,” Steve Gedra told me. “But in the meantime, we thought that a good solution was to drop the price point and rely on volume and mass appeal.”
To that end, the husband and wife team continues to do what they do best – Steve is smoking meats ‘under the hood’ in the kitchen, while Ellen is baking up a storm. What is different is their approach to serving their scratch menu. “We’re trying to do some stuff that people aren’t doing currently,” said Steve. “Customers can buy anything in bulk. We’ve set up our take-out service in the front of the restaurant, and our in-house service in the back, so that people have less exposure to one another. There’s a display case when you walk in, for take-out, or customers can eat in café-style. The big thing is that people can order a dozen bagels, or a pound of smoked brisket or tongue – if you love tongue, you’re really into it… it’s nature’s hot dog.”
Per usual, everything is made in-house, because Steve and Ellen want to do it right. Ellen serves up her breads, cookies, and coffee cake, while Steve whips up his smoked whitefish, salmon, lox, and burro di chianti (whipped pork lard). There are even a few vegetarian dishes such as borscht, or the BD Griddle (pancake sandwich available without the meat). And for those ordering take-out food, there are single-serve cocktails to go.
Steve and Ellen have thought of just about everything, to adjust to a very peculiar period in the history of restaurant dining. But if there is any restaurant that’s set up to pivot and cater to the masses – and their eclectic tastes – it’s The Black Sheep.
A sampling of deli menu items: Antipasto salad, sandwich platter, cheese and charcuterie, turkey melt, beef on weck, chateau blank sliders (White Castle style), grilled cheese and tomato soup, house bagels with schmears (assorted bagel spreads), house pickles, fries, chocolate mousse, Oreo crusted cheesecake, matzo ball soup, potato pancakes, croque-monsieur, pierogi…
The Black Sheep (Bo Peep Deli) | 367 Connecticut Street | Buffalo, NY 14213 | (716) 884-1100 | See menu – place order | Eat in, take-out (curbside pickup available), or home delivery (via Black Sheep) | Pandemic days and hours: Thursday – Saturday, 11am to 7pm