Grover’s Bar & Grill, East Amherst, NY

I’m developing a new rule of thumb: If it’s been on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” fuhggedaboudit!

Spurred by Guy Fieri’s raptures about cheeseburger soup, I dragged the beautiful and mysterious woman I travel with to East Amherst, New York’s Grover’s Bar and Grill.

Part of the mystique of Grover’s is that in a previous life the modest shingled building that houses the joint served as a hunting lodge for President Grover Cleveland. Nowadays, he’d be reduced to hunting for bargains at one of the many malls that line the route to Grover’s.

We arrived to find the place mobbed with eager diners, many of whom had spilled onto the pavement outside, drinks in hand. After negotiating an absolutely baffling chalk board sign up system and grabbing a cold brew, we repaired outside where we determined from departing guests that they had run out of cheeseburger soup. Damn you, Guy Fieri!

Actually, I probably shouldn’t be too quick blame Guy. Grover’s obviously has a loyal, not to mention patient, crowd of locals who keep the joint hopping.

We consoled ourselves with the thought that Grover’s is also famous for its mammoth burgers and garlic chicken wings and settled in for what proved to be a lengthy wait. When my name was finally called and we were ushered to a booth inside, I understood the mob outside. The place is tiny, a dozen tables, half a dozen booths and a bar that’s hard to see because it’s packed two or three deep.

The décor is tongue in cheek rustic with signs dispensing wisdom along the lines of “24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not,” and “Unattended children will be given sugar and a free puppy.”  Even our waitress’s t-shirt announced “I like my men like my wings: Greasy, sloppy and with some meat on their bones.”

If the wait was long, the service was speedy and friendly. After reassuring myself that the chef hadn’t whipped up another batch of cheeseburger soup while we waited, we ordered burgers and the garlic wings.

The wings were large and meaty, a point of pride for Grover’s apparently, but otherwise merely okay. The burgers were something else altogether.

Burger at Grover's

Grover’s obviously shops wisely because there is a sweetness to the meat that makes these burgers a cut above the average. And, at 12 ounces, they can easily be shared by two sensible eaters. At $6 to $8 each, they’re a bargain, too.

They serve about every variety you can think of, but their signature version is “The Bruiser,” which comes topped with bleu cheese and grilled onions.

Stomachs and doggie bags full, we paid our check and elbowed our way through the crowd to our car, still lamenting the cheeseburger soup that got away.
Grover’s Bar & Grill
9160 Transit Road
East Amherst, NY 14051
(716) 636-1803
Cash only.
Directions: Take Exit 49 on I-90 and drive north on State Route 38 (?) about 5 miles. Grover’s will be on your left.