Sunday, December 14, 2014

American Burger Bar and Beer Bistro

American Burger Bar and Beer Bistro
3208 Latta Road, Greece
Visited Dec. 4, 2014
Written by Drew

Our journey began back in 2010, when Tyler and I stumbled upon a Democrat and Chronicle review highlighting a new place called General Hoock and Sons' All American Pizzeria and Breakfast. We were drawn to Hoock's due to the patriotic name… and the idea of enormous sandwiches with just about anything on them. The American Burger Bar and Beer Bistro, or AB4 as we will call it, drew us there for similar reasons.

AB4 has a great Facebook page which advertises many of the specials for that specific day. With different descriptions and pictures of its food, this is a great place to look if you want to answer the question "What should I eat for dinner tonight?"

Tyler and I were joined by our friend and frequent RWG eater Chad on this particular stop. We traveled into the land we call Greece on a Thursday night, shortly after 7 p.m. When we started toward the restaurant from the parking lot, we all made some sort of comment on how awesome the logo is. 

Upon walking into AB4, you are greeted by Americana. The restaurant is decked with all sorts of pictures and portraits illustrating American history -- portraits of past presidents, pictures of historic locations, and of course several pictures that show true American patriotism are all centered around a large mural of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. One of the more notable pieces of "memorabilia" was a Ronald Reagan napkin holder at one of the tables. 

"That's when it truly won over my heart... and (eventually) my stomach," Tyler expressed. We should also note that this place was adequately decorated for the Christmas season. That’s hard to beat.

As you approach the counter to order, you will walk past at least 12 feet of cold beer storage with what seems to be more than 50 different varieties. I did notice there was a considerable amount of local craft beers there, as well as a few on tap. Just beyond the beer cooler sits a small cooler for soft drinks. 

We were greeted at the counter, presumably by the owner of the business. He talked us through some of the menu items. After ordering, we made our way to a table. The restaurant was made of five or so four-person bar height tables and one long four-person table that bellies up to a window overlooking the parking lot.

Let's get to the food. I ordered a Patriot Plate. Despite being a Buffalo Bills fan, I can tell you that I was digging the Patriot Plate. For my base I ordered tater tots and French fries. The tater tots were well fried, had a nice crunch to them and the French fries were not I the generic fries you would get at any ordinary diner. As for my meat selections, I chose angus beef and pulled pork. The Patriot Plate was topped off with melted cheese and a ladle of Rochester-style hot sauce.

I enjoyed several things with my meal. When the waitress brought out my order, she handed me the plastic bag that my meal was in. Without a doubt, my meal weighed more than 3 pounds. Upon opening my takeout container, the smell of the hot sauce more or less punched me in the face. 

The Patriot Plate had a visually appealing assembly. My burger was medium and thick, which amazed me. Often it seems a burger in Rochester typically comes to you like a flat, textureless piece of burger -- but not here. 

The hot sauce that coated my meal actually had a nice bite to it. Unlike many local restaurants that merely dub to have hot sauce, AB4 actually made a sauce that can stand alone.

I do have to admit I could not even come close to finishing my meal. I most likely didn't even finish half of it. This had nothing to do with the quality of the plate, as much as the fact I wasn't that hungry going in. Next time I return, I will be sure to not eat anything hours ahead of time.

Chad also ordered a Patriot Plate. He ordered his with tater tots and macaroni salad for the base, angus beef and pulled pork for the meat, and covered with hot sauce and onion. AB4 offers both of these as the go to toppings for their plates, as ketchup and mustard are offered on the side at the condiment counter.

Chad finished a good three-quarters of his plate and brought the rest of it home. Chad returned to AB4 with his father a few days later, around the prime dinner time. He and Charlie weren't able to get a seat in the restaurant and the anticipated wait time for a table was more than 45 minutes. 

Tyler ordered off the grilled cheese portion of the menu. AB4 offers at least six different styles of this sandwich, and we are sure if you asked them to make up a new concoction for you, they would. Tyler ordered the Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich, which was compiled of grilled chicken with Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese and honey mustard all melted together between two thick slices of white bread. Arguably the least patriotic items on the menu, but as Tyler would say, "Hey!"

On the side, Tyler ordered an oddity, sweet potato tater tots. The side order of them contained at least 30 tots. Like the tots in my Patriot Plate, Tyler's tots were well done, with a nice crunch on the outside, and the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

About halfway through our meal, the guy (presumably the owner), the same guy who took our orders, came over to make sure everything was alright and to see if we would like anything else. This was a nice touch. It seems that in a counter-service restaurant where there are no waiters and waitresses, the customer is often forgotten about as soon as they get their food. AB4 checks in with you while you’re eating and will send you off with a huge "Thank You!" on your way out the door.

It's hard to top a place that's conveniently located, has a ton of options, good service, and a casual/comfortable-yet-patriotic atmosphere and delicious food. Few places have. 

It was a little pricey, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. We can't wait to go back and continue to take a stab at more of the menu. 

As Tyler said, "If you don't like this place, you're letting the terrorists win."


Atmosphere: One of the best atmospheres we have stumbled across, very patriotic, well decorated for the holiday season, even the beer selections match the time of year, only negative is the limited seating.

Service: Great service, very knowledgable about the menu and I'm sure about every kind of beer that they offer, very conveniently located for many on the westside of town, about two minutes off 390.

Food: Quality and quanity all at the same place, many different toppings and add one for any of their different creations.

Value: A little pricey, but definitely worth it. A lot of bang for the buck here.

Overall: With a close proximity to where we live, this may become one of our new pit stops along the way. We are all looking forward to our next trip back, and bringing more friends and family. Altogether, a top-five stop for RWG.

Grade: A-

Next Post: DogTown, Rochester

1 comment:

  1. It's a really good place to enjoy the evening and night with delicious food and lots of high quality beer. You can enjoy with friends here.