Zebb’s Review

2875 Niagara Falls Boulevard
Amherst, New York

Synopsis: Tasty basics (burgers, etc) in a comfortable atmosphere.
Rating: B+

Jamie and I went to Zebb’s about a year ago when we were in town looking for a place to live. We were not overly impressed, and got a bit sick—though to be fair, we don’t know if this was the fault of the restaurant or something else we had eaten. However, this had kept us away for a while.

We’ve been back a couple of times recently, with the express intent of re-evaluating the place. Zebb’s manages to be busy more often than it is not, and even 3:00 on a weekday afternoon, more than a third of the tables were filled. Zebb’s bakes its own breads and such, and they are smart to put the baked goods at the front of the restaurant: you often get a nice gust of fresh-bread-smell as you go in the door. The wait staff is exceptionally friendly, helpful, and efficient, which goes a long way toward a nice dining experience. The restaurant itself is clean and comfortable, though I could do with a better music selection (I don’t know that Rod Stewart should ever be played, let alone loudly).

We started off with the nachos, which were sub-par, on thick corn chips, too little cheese, and canned beans. They were passable, but only barely. We also had the potato skins appetizer, which was basic, but fine. The loaded fries are worth trying.

In all, we tried a cheeseburger, the chicken enchiladas, chicken fingers with honey mustard for dipping, and the “Carolina Pig Sandwich” on the second. The fresh buns (baked on premises) and high quality of the beef (cut and ground fresh), really made the burger, as did the perfectly prepared mushrooms. The seasoned fries are reminiscent of those from In-N-Out, floppy and seasoned: very nice. The pulled BBQ pork sandwich was likewise simple but tasty, as were the slaw and potato salads. There is a condiment bar for those so inclined. The pulled pork sandwich is also excellent, and I look forward to trying their Phili cheesesteak.

The enchiladas were a bit disappointing, though, again, edible. The chicken was juicy and well seasoned, and the tortilla was soft and fresh, but the dish failed to come together. The sauce didn’t quite make it, being to close to chili rather than ranchero. It was accompanied by what was very close to Lipton’s Mexican rice, which I left aside. Lesson: avoid the Mex dishes.

The Pepsi mix is good. I know this is a silly thing to comment on, but especially on a hot summer day, a big plastic glass of well-mixed Pepsi can help decide the spot. The Zebb’s margarita, with a Grand Marnier float, was among the best I’ve had in Buffalo, and reasonably priced.

Zebb’s is definitely worth returning to, but stick to the basics.

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