PBFs - Home of the deep fried burger?
It was only a week ago that my doctor told me I should be watching my cholesterol intake. And it was just this morning that I got a phone-call asking whether I might want to check out Parkside Burgers and Fries - 'Home of the deep fried burger'. It's funny, this past Saturday we were hanging out over at Sunday Skate when JP, owner of the shop, told us that deep frying Mars bars was all the rage in England. So when the call came through this morning I figured that maybe the deep fried 'delicacy' should be examined a bit more closely.
I asked Kate Brinkworth, the owner/operator of the deep fried burger joint, how she came to open up such an... ‘unusual’ concept restaurant. "I was watching the Food Network," she told me. "And they were featuring fried patties. The host said that they were really good, so I decided to experiment with an entire burger... bun and all. Basically, we prepare the burger just like someone would order it at a regular restaurant. Then we deep-fry the whole thing. You need a note from your cardiologist that gives you permission to eat one. A side of fries, onion rings or potato wedges comes free with each order, and we throw in a bottle of pop too. If you're not in the mood for a deep fried burger, we also have a deep fried hotdog (served on a non-deep fried bun), and we're experimenting with deep fried pickles. We're also considering the deep fried candy bar concept... though we're drawing the line at deep fried Twinkies."
If you think that deep-frying an entire burger is easy, it's not. It's a special type of spiced-batter (top secret) that is used to create the final product. The burger may look like a variation of a Friday fish fry, but the ingredients and the process are a bit different. Kate even had to design special tongs to pick up the creation. If you're not in the mood for anything deep-fried, PBFs also serves deli ham and turkey sandwiches, grilled cheese, chicken melts, Italian sausage, chicken wings, regular burgers and dogs, and another unusual concept... a chicken wing sausage patty served on a bun with blue cheese dressing. This is quite a change from the former Parkside Café – a restaurant that opened for a short period of time last year. Kate figured that since there was a new pizza place just down the street, it was time to come up with a different concept. So she sold the pizza ovens and is going in another direction. Along with the concept burgers, the plan is to install soda bar equipment. Starting this spring, PBFs will be serving up shakes, Flurries, and sundaes... the burger joint will double as a full service ice cream and float bar.
I can tell you that I've never tried anything quite like a deep fried burger ... and Kate does not suggest that anyone eat her deep fried creation on a regular basis. Actually, I only managed to eat half, but didn't feel bad since only a couple of customers have managed to eat the entire thing. That's why she opted to add different sandwiches, grill items and even a kids' menu to the list of offerings. Or you can go all out and order The Ultimate - a triple cheeseburger made the classic way... I guess that's not deep-fried or it would have been named ‘The Ambulance’.
Kate is looking for artists who specialize in Buffalo-related photographs and paintings to display on the restaurant walls (for sale). If you are interested, just stop on in and bring some samples.
Parkside Burger and Fries is located at 2 Russell Avenue (the old Park Meadow), corner of Parkside - across from the Buffalo Zoo. The phone is 716-837-0601. Eat in or take out.