Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Childhood Dream Come True ...

Once upon a time,  a long time ago in Buffalo, New York, a little boy named Michael Shafer used to respond to his four sister's torments by blithely tossing off the phrase, "B F D."  His mother overheard him and told him to watch it.  The  boy innocently looked at his mother and said, "But I was just saying Buffalo Fire Department." 

Today the Buffalo Fire Department is a restaurant at 1261 Cabrillo Avenue, Torrance.  Shafer was quoted saying that he always wanted to run a place where you could do a business meal and still have a damned good watering hole with beer, wine and a full bar. 

We ambled in yesterday, having found ourselves somewhat peckish after a morning at the Torrance Farmers' Market - tip:   it's much quieter on a Tuesday than on Saturday. 

There is a largish patio out front and another,  bigger on the left side.  The bar comes first and looks like a bar.  The dining room is off of it with mismatched tables and chairs.  Industrial-sized hanging lights bring needed light.  Because all of the wall and ceiling surfaces are wood with a concrete floor, I'm going to bet that it's noisy as hell at night.  Lunch though was quiet.

Among the appetizers (called "Fire Starters" - isn't that special?) I saw
Field greens with a ginger corn dressing
Crispy fried shaved onions - I wanted to trade out the French fries for them, but no go.

There are 24 burgers listed with varying contents and more than a few had the mysterious "L.T.O" listed after them.  I asked our server and she laughed and said, "Lettuce, Tomato, Onion - it confused me, too, when I started here."  I like it that you can substitute a chicken patty or a Portobello mushroom for the beef.  Study that list at 

I asked for the Garlic shrimp burger with wasabi scallion sauce ($16) which came with house fries (the salt/cayenne pepper dusted variety.)  Think "generously-sized  crab cake on a toasted bun."  I would have liked more of the sauce; it was just dabbed on the center of the bun.  Richie decided the Grilled Polish sausage with roasted peppers and onions would suit him and it did.

Shafer has gotten what he dreamed of but I wish he hadn't dreamed in Technicolor - it's all - décor, menu-as-place mat, food - trying just a little too hard... but we'd go back.

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