A Hidden Gem (GF)

Buffalo NY has a diverse array of cultures and cuisine. At every turn you can usually find a restaurant that caters to every personality and every taste bud. And I finally found one that caters to the gluten free, vegan, lactose intolerant, gallbladder intolerant and the general healthy eaters all in one place!

Merge located at 439 Delaware Ave is a quaint restaurant; creatively utilizing it’s floor space to make customers feel welcomed and relaxed; tailoring it’s menu much the same way. A wide variety of groups and restaurants have been trying to figure out what ingrediants are the most important and the most flavorful to gluten free and healthy eaters; successfully Merge has taken healthy eating and made it enjoyable. With live bands to entertain folks and a menu that catapoltes the senses, this restaurant truly is a gem.

Sarah and Eliza Schneider founded Merge in January 2009 and created a menu that takes advantage of our locally grown produce and herbs.

From the minute we walked in, my personal experience was that of carefree and ditherless comfort. Instead of worrying about making requests and praying the chef’s will be kind enough to accomodate, my worry was replaced with sheer excitement about ordering anything off the menu as I so choose.

We started with apps which consisted of warm olives marinated in herbs with crusty italian style bread ($6.00) and a well prepared shrimp risotto mixed with fresh herbs and cooked al dente ($9.00).  Moving on to dinner our orders consisted of coq au vin: free range chicken slow cooked in red wine reduction, served with roasted red pepper mashed potatos and cinnamon glazed parsnips ($20.00).  Portobella steak, which was intriguingly paired with garlic smashed potatos, roasted tomato demi glace and roasted brussel sprouts ($14.00).  We rounded off our order with a vegetarian stroganoff paired with mushrooms, red peppers, smoked paprika and chicken (for an extra charge) ($18.00); all of which capped off this amazing meal.

All items were labeled V, VEG, GF, R which helps greatly for those who need to maintain a gluten free or vegan diet. And although I am not a gluten free customer I was/am a lactose free customer and was accomdated quite simply… hasselfree.

While my husband (a meat lover) went kicking and screaming, he was pleasantly surprised by the numerous choices. For the carnivorous can’t live without types, a selection of free range chicken and various seafood is offered. With a late night menu that caters to music lovers and an assortment of cocktails reasonably priced from ($6-12.00); Merge is an urban trendy hot spot that can’t be beat.

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