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Saturday, November 29, 2014

First Impressions: Buffalo Bar @ Brisbane CBD

Buffalo Bar on Urbanspoon
Through my early 20's the Belgian beer cafe was my staple for imported beer goodness and it opened up a world of beer that was never before in Brisbane, sadly though the Belgian closed it's doors in October this year.

Brisbane has seemingly made a shift from small craft beer venues towards much larger sized venues that have a tonne of craft beer and in most cases some really great food.

The American style food geniuses responsible for the excellent Mighty Mighty have been able to transform what was the Belgian into a mecca for American craft beer and food with the new Buffalo Bar.

The venue it self is relatively the same as it was with some nice little touches like an excellent Buffalo mural adorning the beer garden, but the atmosphere especially whilst busy hasn't changed it is a large restaurant with a pub like beer garden which works just fine for a venue of this size.

The beer list is impressive with 14 beers on top ranging from Coors Lager to Brooklyn's Saision "Half" to the 8.5% Dirty Bastard from Founders.

If you don't however find something you like on tap the bottle list is extensive with some of Australia's best craft sitting along side some of America's best as well as a long list of wine and spirits and beer-ientated cocktails called "Boilermakers" which are beer and spirits combined.

The food menu is massive and in some ways maybe it is too large because I think you could eat something different here every day for quite awhile with food ranging from 18 different flavour's of wings to 10 inch rolls called Hoagies (they looked impressive!) to more knife and fork meals like beef short ribs and New England clam bake.

We worked our way through 4 of the 18 wing choices trying Salted Cola Toffee, Bacon, Cheddar & Chive, Seasoned Jerk and the standout for me the Chipotle & Garlic Salt which had that familiar garlic flavour with just a hint of chipotle.

All wings come with a butter milk blue cheese sauce with celerey sticks as a palate cleanser which you will want if you attempt any of the hot wings.

For dessert we ordered Peanut Butter Brownie w/ Peanut butter Ice Cream and Shoo-Fly Pie with caramel cream, both were decadent and exceptional tasting with it being difficult to pick a favourite but I think my love of Peanut butter wins out over the toffee flavour of the Pie.

In general the service was really good although some of the bar staff seemed to be unsure of the beers but its early days and it was in no way quiet. I had a really good experience when asking about dessert in the beer garden as it is not on the bar menu but the staff member I spoke to happily and willingly went and asked the chef if it was ok and it was! I appreciate this type of service especially on an opening weekend when things can get super chaotic.

The standout beer for me was Rogue's 7 Hop IPA which was loaded with piney resin and hoppy flavour and well worth visiting Buffalo to try if you are an IPA fiend like I am. There is however a lack of an easily visible explanation of what each beer is on tap, you can look at the beer list but as far as making a quick choice goes there could be a board or extra tap decal that says the style of each beer to minimize decision based confusion.

A dark beer on tap would also be of benefit like a stout, porter, dark lager or even a black IPA of some kind although there is plenty of choice so maybe I'm being picky here.

If you work nearby or are adventuring out in the city, enjoy chicken wings and beer or want to have a more sit down dining experience then I'd encourage you to check out this new venue it certainly has the expected polish and incredible food that have made Mighty Mighty so great and pairing that with a big beer garden just makes sense.