For over four decades, Buffalo Harbor Cruises ships have plied the waters of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, and the Black Rock Lock and Canal, inviting tourists and locals alike to take in the rich history of Buffalo's scenic waterways. Party boats ferry revelers past the city skyline with fully licensed bars and pumping music, and chartered cruises and tours send guests sailing on a relaxing lake trip on a double-decker ship.
The cooks at Scarlet populate their menu with creative seafood and steak dishes as well as an assortment of grilled pizzas. Diners can enjoy shrimp and grits with andouille sausage and a hot-pepper cream sauce or taste lobster tail with lemon and garlic shallot butter. Bacon and gorgonzola mashed potatoes accompany prime cuts of filet mignon, and grilled pizzas rest on housemade dough.
Jim's Steakout serves up a classic lineup of philly cheesesteaks, hoagies, and chicken fingers, silencing rumbling stomachs from high noon to high moon with locations throughout western New York.
From lunchtime until as late as 2 a.m. or 5 a.m., each of Jim's outposts fills stingers?or hot subs?with steak and cheese, bacon, and combinations of italian sausage and other meats. Hoagies meet nearly every appetite with three sizes, ranging from a lunch-appropriate four-inch Kaiser roll to an Italian roll that reaches an entire foot long. Whichever size diners choose, they can get their roll stuffed with chicken, provolone, and saut?ed spinach?known as the chicken-in-the-grass hoagie?or any number of other hot or cold ingredients. The menu also rolls out a red carpet for creative sides such as fries smothered in chopped steak and cheese, stuffed banana peppers, and fried mac 'n' cheese bites. To sweeten each classic meal, the kitchen fries up funnel cakes to order.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere.
Today, the company reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night at the Buffalo location, locally owned and operated by Jim and Virginia Materese, groups of foodies gather around tables to dunk warm hunks of bread in gooey cheese, delectable steaks and seafood in sizzling oil, and sweet fruits and desserts into chocolate swirled with peanut butter. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, splitting four-course meals that include cheese fondue, salad, entree, and dessert.
Foot-high flames erupt from a tower of sliced onions, and a collective “oooooh” leaves the lips of the patrons gathered around the table fitted with a hibachi grill. Chicken, shrimp, scallops, lobster tail, filets mignon, and veggies cook right before diners' eyes before a skilled Tokyo II hibachi chef doles out each browned piece to awaiting plates. In addition to dazzling displays of hibachi meals, the eatery houses a team of talented sushi chefs who work wonders with knives, thinly slicing yellowtail and salmon and whittling plates from the trunk of an oak tree. The staff has given rolls such creative names as Black Betty, White Lilly, and Black Dragon, and the entrees it prepares includes the May Flower, a spread of 18 sushi pieces, plus a spicy tuna and tiger roll. A handful of Thai dishes—pad thai, curry, and coconut-mushroom soup—rounds out the extensive selection of edibles.
On certain days, Papa Jake's Saloon dishes out prime rib or seafood specials, but owner Scott Leary doesn't want that to distract from the rest of the menu. As he told Buffalo Rising contributor Chao Li, “Everything's special at Papa Jakes.” Leary buys the freshest seafood available for dishes such as steamed snow crab legs served with drawn butter or clams Casino that Li says arrive in a still-bubbling sauce that seems to cook the morsels before your very eyes. For each Friday’s fish fry, chefs bread fillets of fish by hand and simmer pots of seafood bisque and New England clam chowder, whose rich scents attract both humans and sharks disguised as humans. Diners can also opt for the mainland taste of charbroiled burgers with fresh-cut french fries, washing it all down with frosty glasses of draft beers or mixed drinks from a full bar.