SoBo Pub Shuffle, Stop 4: Blackthorn
blog by BuffaloDotCom • March 17, 2011 @ 11:11am
Everything about Seneca Street Irish pub Blackthorn cries out “homey”; even the owner’s first name, Hugger, makes you feel welcome to a tight-knit community that values its residents and treats them likewise. While the “we treat our customers warmly” cliche is often nominal, that’s not the case here—and we learned from experience.
In fact, when Buffalo.com chowed down there, we were introduced to a Florida resident who faithfully visits Blackthorn (2134 Seneca St.) each time he ventures north to Buffalo to visit family (why he does it during the winter season, it’s unclear—he must love Blackthorn THAT much). From an ex-pat from Florida to a second or third generation South Buffalo resident (to a curious and hungry media member), expect similar treatment and a tantalizing meal.
Before we could even utter our first question to Hugger, a customer, sitting in the eating area a few steps above the bar, hollered down, asking if we’d tried the Seneca Street Steak Sandwich (certified 10 oz. Angus strip steak covered w/mushrooms, roasted red peppers, onions & provolone cheese on a hoagie roll—$11.99). When we said no, he let us know that we were missing out on glory. Jameson steak marinade? Guess we’ll have to go back!
Customer favorites, in addition to that hulking steak sandwich, include stuffed banana peppers (filled with five cheeses, bread crumbs, and garlic/herbs), homemade jalapeno cheddar tater tots, and Irish Beer Cheddar soup. Asked how the beer cheddar soup originated, Hugger explained, “In the 1990s, we had a ton of potatoes left over and didn’t want to put them to waste.” As a result, the Blackthorn management let its creative, intoxicating juices flow, adding Harp lager for flavor and aroma as well as cheddar cheese. To me, the beer was more subtle, but it did a peculiar touch.
Like any Irish bar, there’s beer, too. Guinness, Smithwick’s and Harp are the cultural “musts,” but Hugger offers microbrews too—namely Flying Bison’s Aviator and a variety of Great Lakes. The wood from the bar is imported straight from Ireland, and the stained glass window only enhances the Irish feel.
S.J. chose the Turkey Reuben (topped with coleslaw and swiss cheese on rye, pictured right), while Ben T. eagerly opted for the Irish Beer Cheddar soup and a Cajun Turkey sandwich (turkey breast, jalapeno peppers, monterey jack cheese, lettuce, onion, and chipotle mayo for $8.50).
Plus, Hugger bought 45 kegs of beer for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities—so SoBo, be ready to guzzle. Be sure to munch on festive corned beef and cabbage egg rolls too. Yes, you read that right.