Few experiences in my life have been more distinctly American than sitting under a wall-sized portrait of the signing of the Declaration of Independence while chowing down on a burger and drinking a beer. The only thing missing was Lynyrd Skynyrd playing over the speakers. American Burger Bar and Beer Boutique (3208 Latta Road, Greece) is a joint venture between brothers Greg and Chris Joy and Tyler Cannan. "The Americana theme is based on the fact that we are all very proud to be Americans," Cannan says. "This country has helped us foster our ideas and turn them into reality, and we respect that a very great deal."
The small restaurant is located in a strip mall in Greece. Beer and soda coolers line the right side of the space, with a dining area to the left decorated with a few high top and regular tables. Food is ordered at the counter and brought to you packed in takeaway containers, even if you are eating there. "Our vision was to open an amazing take out joint that was unlike any you had ever been in before," Cannan explains. "What is so funny is that so far not many people treat it like one, they treat it more like a sit down restaurant."
The beer coolers are stocked with a wide selection of single bottles and packs of craft beer, and there are also choices on tap to enjoy while you are there. "Our eight tap lines change all of the time and are always rotating. It is an exciting time to be a beer drinker and we don't want to miss a thing," Cannan says.
Burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches make up the brunt of the menu. Those of us who remember when Food Network chef Paula Deen was more famous for her reckless use of butter and mayonnaise than for her controversial comments will find one menu item familiar: the doughnut burger. American Burger Bar's version of the Doughnut Burger ($8.99) is a beef patty, American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion sandwiched between two glazed donuts. Breakfast burgers have been finding their way on to restaurant menus lately and you will find one here as well — this one comprised of egg, American cheese, hash brown, Canadian bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and maple mayo ($8.99).
One menu item that I have never seen at any restaurant before is the Colony Cup ($5.99), which essentially takes elements of Burger Bar's version of the garbage plate, the Patriot Plate ($11.99), and stuffs it in a 32-ounce cup. Tater tots, meat sauce, mac salad, and more meat sauce, all together, ready to be devoured on the go (and it's free on your birthday). 'Merica.
American Burger Bar and Beer Boutique is located at 3208 Latta Road, Greece. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. All menu items are under $12. Find them on Facebook at American Burger Bar and Beer Boutique.
Canandaigua Inn on the Lake (770 South Main Street, Canandaigua) will host a Chocolate Auction on Friday, September 26, 7 to 10 p.m. In addition to chocolate dessert tastings, there will be silent and live auctions. The cost is $25 per person or $200 to host a table. To purchase tickets contact 393-0437.
Healthy Food for All, a partnership between local farms and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, will host a Farm-to-Table Fine Dining Benefit Gala on Sunday, September 21, at the Early Morning Farm in Genoa, NY. Executive Chef Patrick Higgins of Aurora Inn will prepare the harvest dinner menu, paired with wines from Bet the Farm. Tickets are $75 and all proceeds will benefit Healthy Food For All. Purchase tickets at healthyfoodforall.peaksmaker.com/early-morning-farms-dinner/.
The Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider and Beer Festival will be held at the Crete Civic Center in Plattsburgh on Saturday, October 11, from 2 to 7 p.m. This is the first time the festival has been opened to families with children. In addition to tastings, there will be live music, demonstrations, and art classes. Ticket prices vary. More information can be found at adirondackcoastwinetrail.com/adirondack-coast-wine-cider--beer-festival.html.
All aboard! The Niagara Wine Trail and the Medina Railroad Museum will offer excursions via the Niagara Wine Trail Winery Trains on Saturday, September 27, and Saturdays, October 4, 11, and 18. Each excursion will feature tastings from two Niagara Wine Trail wineries and a gourmet farm-to-table meal. Tickets are $45 for Coach and $63 for First Class. Trains depart from the Medina Railroad Museum at 1 p.m. To purchase tickets and find out more information visit the museum's website at railroadmuseum.net.
Unless you've been on a social media strike for the last few months, you should know that Hart's Local Grocers has opened at 10 Winthrop Street. "Rochester's Urban Grocery Store" prides itself on stocking its shelves with all things local. The store also features a sandwich shop and prepared foods.
Jeremiah's Tavern opened a new location in Penfield at 2164 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road.
Sweet Sammie Jane's Catering and Bake Shop opened at 701 Park Avenue. The shop specializes in French macarons, pastries, cakes and cookies.
Owners of Stromboli Express have rebranded themselves as Stromboli Restaurant and moved its location to 130 East Avenue.
National chain, Saladworks, has opened a location at 1100 Jefferson Road.
Taste of Japan Restaurant and Sushi Bar has opened at 3047 West Henrietta Road.
Wylie Chayote's (42 Nichols Street) in Spencerport has closed.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.