For Darrin Miles, co-owner of Buffalo's Chicken Shack, barbecuing began as a hobby. Using seasonings, sauces, and rubs learned from his mother, he grilled, smoked, and deep-fried meats for his coworkers and friends during cookouts. But his occasional culinary endeavors soon became a passion. First, he built a brick and mortar smoker in his backyard. When his dreams grew beyond his fence and swimming pool of Sweet Baby Ray’s, Darrin opened Buffalo's Chicken Shack with his wife, Tiffany.
The restaurant now serves up a full menu of southern-inspired dishes, all of which earned the approval of Darrin's assembled focus group of friends and local foodies. Popular items include jumbo buffalo wings, slabs of ribs, and fried chicken, which pairs well with warm buttermilk waffles and home-style sides such as cornbread, sweet potato fries, and macaroni and cheese. Buffalo’s Chicken Shack challenges diners’ appetites for these comfort dishes during annual eating contests: in 2012, Jamie “The Bear” McDonald became the newest Buffalo King after consuming 53 spicy wings in seven minutes without belching cartoon flames.
Rudy’s Pastry Shop whips up tongue-tingling baked treats in a variety of incarnations including cakes, pies, and tarts. Nosh on an assortment of freshly baked, sugary nibbles such as a black-forest or red-velvet cupcake ($1.75–$2.50). Other handheld flavor devices include danishes and tarts—imbued with the creamy fillings of raspberry or nutella ($2.50 each). A delectable pie ($8.25+) is sure to provide sweet satisfaction for an entire geometry class, or hours of edible enjoyment for one.
Unlike jerk-chicken pudding or fried-tuna Twinkies, ice cream makes for a delectable dessert that properly caps off any meal. At Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream and Treatery, patrons can sample a huge menu of ice cream and other treats that are sure to slap a smile on any face and massage taste buds with sugary strokes. Try ice cream in flavor combinations such as Strawberry Skateboard with sprinkles, gummy bears, and marshmallows, or Cotton Candy Ski Jump with M&Ms and mini-marshmallows. Prices range from $3. 89+ for a cup or cone, $4.99+ for a pint, and $6.99+ for a quart. Ice-cream cupcakes ($15.95 per 6-pack) can be enjoyed with a spoon or spoon-fingers. Dream cakes ($24.95+), on the other hand, come in appropriately oneiric flavors such as Maggie's Mud and Chocolate Heaven, and are generally available in 6-inch, 8-inch, and 1/4 sheet-cake sizes. Health-conscious hedonists can indulge in strawberry-banana, creamy mango, and mocha coffee smoothies (starting at $4.95), whereas ice-cream pizzas ($24.95+) topped with white-chocolate curls will perplex pizza-party attendees before blasting away reservations with deliciousness.
There's a low-key vibe to Smith Brothers Steak & Chophouse—its simple wood tables are surrounded by vintage liquor ads and a shiny granite bar that reflects the flat-screen TVs behind it. But the team here takes steak seriously. Each signature cut is made with certified Black Angus beef, including a 16-ounce flat-iron sizzler with mushrooms and their signature 6-ounce filet with caramelized onions. Aside from steak, you can also try the shrimp scampi, chicken francese, or center-cut pork chops. Live musicians play on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as whenever it's not Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
With five locations—spanning Brooklyn, Queens, and Deer Park—the restaurant and juice bar fuels patrons with a health-conscious selection of dishes and drinks that are low in both fat and cholesterol. Cooks never fry or cook anything in oil, including the lean burgers, which arrive on wheat pitas or 100-calorie buns. The menu also features a number of fruity or creamy beverages that keep patrons’ health in mind, including the café mocha made with coffee, fat-free chocolate, and skim milk.