Appealing to Every Palate
by Dave Nevill Jr. of OrlandoFoodScene.com
Located on the corner of Church Street and Garland Avenue in the historic former Rosie O’Grady’s building in Downtown Orlando, Harry Buffalo is a venue that wears a number of hats. During the day, it’s a great spot to grab lunch with co-workers. At night, it’s a cool spot to watch the game with a cold beer. Open until 2 a.m. for the party crowd, this place really has everything you could want from a restaurant and bar. It’s also the home of the pre- and post-parties for Orlando City Soccer Club, with their upcoming stadium and the Citrus Bowl within walking distance.
Born in Northern Ohio with seven locations across the Cleveland area, Harry Buffalo opened its first out-of-state location here in the City Beautiful in 2012. The two-story location provides a variety of seating options for just about everyone. For those looking for a quiet spot, there are a handful of small tables around the outside of the bar area that offer a little privacy. For the bar crowd, there’s a ton of seating around the main bar, which is littered with flat screen TVs. For the big groups, you’ve got seating around the main dining area and plenty of flexible tables in the center.
All that, and we haven’t even mentioned the upstairs. The second floor is all about small tables and a small bar. It’s a miniature version of the downstairs, and is a cool spot for people watching. They’ve got a little something for everyone here, but it’s not just about where you’ll be sitting.
The varied menu truly caters to just about every palate. They feature a cool selection of daily specials, as well as seasonal and holiday menus. From starters like the Cheesy Garlic Bread and Truffle Fries to mains like the delicious and lean Bison Burger and Sesame Chicken Tacos, you’ll have no trouble finding a meal that suits you. Looking for gluten-free options? No problem! The menu currently has at least a half dozen items that are GF or can be prepared that way, including the very tasty and surprisingly bold Bison Chili. For the more health conscience diner, there are some nice seafood and salad choices (including a make-your-own salad option). Seasonal menu changes, house specialties, and great daily specials will give you the variety and value to keep you coming back.
During our last visit, I had to order the Bison Burger. I’ve had it before, but it’s one of the few places in town that do it right. I had mine medium rare with pepper jack cheese and bacon, but their available options could allow you to eat a different burger every day for weeks. The bison meat is ground fresh in house, and you can get it cooked to order. The servers usually recommend medium, but because of the leanness of the meat, I go medium rare. You can have it served on one of four buns: Honey Glazed White, Wheat, Pretzel Roll and Gluten-Free. Then you’ve got the normal cheese and extras selection to finish off your creation. For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of trying bison meat, this is a great introduction. The flavor is mild, and not at all gamey. In fact, I’ve been told by some people that they can taste a slightly sweet quality. Still not convinced? Bison meat contains fewer calories, less fat, and more nutrients than traditional beef.
Here’s a little foodie advice: If you are going for a burger, I would recommend skipping on the pretzel roll and go for a traditional bun. The pretzel roll is just too dense, and takes away from the ingredients and flavor of the meat.
If you’re out to have a good time, you’ll find an admirable collection of craft beers, the obvious traditional beers, and a full liquor bar. I’ve always had great service from the bartenders, but it can get a little packed at night. Thankfully there’s the upstairs bar, which is a little quieter and offers a good view of the TV’s and crowd below.
Do yourself a favor and stop by anytime for a tasty meal, a cold drink, and a great time!