“I’ve never wanted to go to Romania, but now I kinda do.” My boyfriend told me as we finished up our meal at The Gypsy Parlor, the newest addition to Grant Street on Buffalo’s west side.
When I say newest addition, I truly mean it. The Gypsy Parlor held their Grand Opening event last Thursday, with a soft opening about a month ago. Jumping right in to the Restaurant Week craziness was an ambitious and timely option for this new restaurant!
The eclectic and inviting space is small, but full of charm. With 12 tables (2 to 4 top) and a bar, the walls are filled with portraits of gypsies, in front of vintage wallpaper. Gorgeous and unique light fixtures add to the charm and really set the stage for a great meal. The restaurant also features a small stage area that hosts open mic nights, bellydancers, jazz music and more. Check out their website for all the details.
The Restaurant Week special is a great deal! They start you off with their Gypsy Juice (usually $5 for a well drink, more for premium alcohols). Gypsy Juice is a mixture of apricot, ginger bitters, lemon, black currant and any kind of alcohol you want. We chose vodka for ours. It went down very easy. The sweet drink was refreshing and full of flavor.
The next course included your choice of an appetizer; either Burmese spring roll, Samosas or Pastelillos (normally $5, and $3 each for the others). We chose the latter two, and my samosas were the winner. Filled with meat, peas, potato, in a crisp phyllo shell, they had more flavor than the Pastelillos.
For our entree options, we chose their Black Sheep Burger (8 ounce, house ground, lamb burger with a beet and cabbage slaw on their fresh baked rolls, served with fries, normally $12) and the chicken skewers (two skewers of chicken served with vegetables and mamaliga, normally $12). For those of you not familiar with mamaliga, it is similar to polenta. If you are not familiar with polenta, you need to try more types of food.
We brought our eight year old with us, and he chose the Classic American Burger (served with fries for $8.50 and we added cheese for another $1.00). They do not have a kids menu, not that we were expecting one.
The entrees were both delicious. My chicken skewers had an incredible flavor to them, were tender, and putting together a bite of chicken, veggie and mamaliga made, “my taste buds go crazy” (according to our eight year old food critic, Jacob).
The lamb burger was cooked perfectly, and the beet/cabbage slaw was a flavorful addition to the burger. The rolls were great, and we were impressed to learn they make them at the restaurant.
Even the “American”burger was one of the better burgers I’ve had locally, and at a restaurant that showcases Romanian food, too!
I should also mention we went off the Restaurant Week specials and ordered a small poutine ($6.00), based on a recommendation from Buffalo Eats. I’m not a poutine connoisseur, but it was one of my favorites. I may or may not have scooped up all the leftover gravy with my fingers!
The special finished off with a Papanasi (normally $4.50). The papanasi is a Romanian donut filled with a sweetened cottage cheese. The donut had the taste similar to a fried dough, and the cottage cheese filling was rich and tasty. It is served with fruit preserves and topped off with some powdered sugar. It was the perfect way to end an incredible meal, and a must try if you are heading there soon!
Our service was great, although when we arrived we were the only customers in the dining room (they don’t open until 5). A handful of people were also at the bar, and as our meal went on a few more groups came in.
It’s only Tuesday of Restaurant Week, so the good news is, you have time to get over to Buffalo’s newest hidden gem, before it’s not so hidden anymore!