Author: Will Kawalec
Fitting perfectly into the resurgence of Buffalo’s West Side neighborhood, and “post” pandemic rebirth of Western New York, Mister Sizzle’s brings a welcome (and sizzling) flair to a community craving activity. Located at 346 Connecticut Street within the Horsefeathers Market & Residences building, and comfortably situated near local favorites like Black Sheep, and BreadHive, Sizzle’s fits perfectly into the Connecticut Street corridor. This new casual burger and bar spot adds another chapter to the ongoing story of the street, as well as our city.
I must say that my visit to Mister Sizzle’s exceeded my expectations, as this new spot is far more than a typical fast casual burger place, a la Shake Shack or Five Guys. First, the interior décor caught my eye immediately, with the exposed brick, potted plants, giant U-shaped bar, and a red neon sign proclaiming “Buffalo Since Always.”
As I took in my surroundings, I was greeted by the immersed-yet-tremendously accommodating owner of Mister Sizzle’s, Casey Casas who did not stop moving about my entire visit. While Casey and her husband Chris are first time restaurant owners, both have decades of experience in the industry. Of course opening a new restaurant in the twilight of a global pandemic has brought about its own uncertainties, but if the opening weekend is a reflection of Mister Sizzle’s moving forward, the Casas appear to be perfectly equipped to bring plenty of success to their endeavor.
Mister Sizzle’s menu, which is displayed centrally in the restaurant, is graced with options that any burger lover would drool over. Offering 10 burgers and 3 chicken sandwiches, there are choices that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Apart from the burgers, customers have their choice of a wide array of milkshakes, which are crafted right behind the main counter.
Mister Sizzle’s’ menu shows a focus on inclusivity, as vegan, vegetarian, and dairy free items all are represented. I must note that these alternatives are not buried in the back pages of the menu – instead, they are some of the highlights. Additionally, there is a notable conscious effort to make these items as tasty as the standard burger and milkshake combo. A patron mentioned to me that the vegan burger “was one of the best I have ever had,” thus proving to me that Sizzle’s is not just a destination for carnivores.
Diving right in, I went with ‘The Classic’ and an order of fries. I did add a second patty to my burger, which is an option that I love. My meal came out remarkably quick, especially for a restaurant during its opening weekend. My burger was made in the standard smash style, while my fries were reminiscent of the thinly cut version at McDonald’s, which will never get old as far as I’m concerned. Eyeing up the delicious-looking burger, I am happy to report that the taste was as good as anticipated. And the fries were gobbled up as quick as they came out. A true unsung hero of the meal was the bun, which was a perfect accompaniment to the stacked hamburger, condiments, and cheese.
Apart from the satisfying atmosphere and the dining fare, Mister Sizzle’s offers a robust drink menu filled with choices that are sure to make any visitor happy. I ordered from the draught beer list, though on my next visit I will be sure to try one of the 5 house cocktails, or even a ‘boozy’ milkshake. Keeping with their inclusive-focused menu, the bar offers several premium mocktails, as well as alcohol-free shots. With its lengthy drink menu, spacious seating, and knowledgeable bar staff, the Mister Sizzle’s bar projects to be a hotspot for lunch and dinner-time patrons.
A successful dining outing during the opening weekend at Mister Sizzle’s assured me that this West Side restaurant venture will be one that resonates with our community. From beginning to end, my experience within the space was cheerful, and that is where the true nature of Mister Sizzle’s shines. It’s aesthetic appeal was only surpassed by the staff and owners’ exuberance, which in turn was conveyed into the menu items. It is this soulful energy that helps set Mister Sizzle’s apart from other burger joints, but it is the authentic food and drink that will ensure that the place stays sizzling at the top.