Open since 1984, and seemingly crowded during the weekend morning hours since then, The Buffalo Grille is not a grill or a diner, per se. It’s a quaint and informal restaurant that serves regional diner fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The quality at the Buffalo Grille is generally higher than what you will find at a typical diner. The tariff is a tad higher than a typical diner, too. And, the crowd is also a lot more well-heeled and well-scrubbed than the typical diner patron, and one that does not seem to mind to pay for a little extra, such as for the extraneous “e” at the end of “Grille.”
The original Buffalo Grille, located on Bissonnet near Buffalo Speedway (hence the restaurant name), is across the street from West University Place. This location, especially, is packed for breakfast each weekend morning. A line usually stretches well outside the restaurant waiting to order food at the counter. Their breakfast business is pretty brisk during the week, too. The lengthy weekend line usually moves quickly because the friendly counter staff and kitchen are quite efficient at dealing with crowds.
Breakfast, served all the time, features the basic Houston-area morning meal options: pancakes, French toast, bacon, potatoes, a variety of omelets, and some Mexican egg dishes. Some things work better than others. The French toast, large whole slices of thick bread that is surprisingly light, is among the best in town. The pancakes and the create-it-yourself omelets with three very large eggs are generally good, too. The thick pecan-smoked peppered bacon is excellent, if not cheap. The pecan-smoked sausage is not quite as good. For the health-conscious there is also chicken apple sausage.
Buffalo Grille provides some nice touches that you would certainly not find at a diner. The syrup is heated. You have the option between regular coffee and that flavored with a little bit of cinnamon; both coffees are quite palatable. Though quaint, the old tables and chairs at the original location, an assortment of finds at garage sales and antique shops, can be a bit uncomfortable.
The lunch and dinner menu is not as enticing as the breakfast one, and the restaurant is less crowded during these hours, but the casual regional, American fare is generally well prepared and a fine value. They serve tasty one-third pound burgers, a few salads, sandwiches like grilled cheese and chicken salad, baked potatoes and entrees such as chicken fried steak, burritos, moist and piquant pork chops, grilled chicken breast, fajitas, red beans and rice, and catfish fillets.
3116 Bissonnet (east of Buffalo Speedway), Houston, Texas 77005, (713) 661-3663
1301 Voss (at Woodway), Houston, Texas 77057, (713) 784-3663
Copyright Mike Riccetti. Adapted from Houston Dining on the Cheap, and used with permission.
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