This July has been sweltering and yesterday was no exception. When I arrived home from work, the temperature was still around 90 degrees, but that wasn’t going to stop me and Amanda from venturing out into the heat to try the next stop on my summer food tour. The trip along Route 5 from Erie into Ripley, NY is a gorgeous one. The view of the lake, miles of vineyards, and plenty of trees and grass makes for a fantastic summer drive, one that I recommend making even if you’re not going to stop for food. A quarter of a mile over the New York state line is Plummer’s Tavern. The small bar area was filled with regulars laughing and talking; it had a very “Cheers” feel to it. We were told to sit anywhere we desired, so we grabbed a seat in the sunroom and the bartender, Keith, brought us our menus and drinks. The menu is filled with standard bar food; burgers, sandwiches, fries, wings, and, because of its close proximity to the lake, fried fish platters. Shortly after we received our drinks, Carmen, who I later learned is the cook, came to take our order. Amanda decided the chicken tender sub sounded good and ordered it with lettuce, tomato, and a side of mayonnaise. One of the menu items, a Firecracker chicken sandwich (chicken tenders tossed in hot wing sauce), sounded delicious to me, but I didn’t want to order chicken because Amanda already had that base covered. I asked Carmen if it might be possible to get their “Super Burger” made in the style of the Firecracker sandwich and she told me that she would make my burger any way that I requested. I should mention that did not tell her that I was reviewing the restaurant for my blog, which leads me to believe the opportunity to create this custom burger would be available to any patron.
When our food arrived at the table, in short time I might add, we were impressed at the size of both plates of food. Amanda’s Chicken Tender Sandwich was huge. Three meaty chicken tenders were fried to a perfect golden brown and placed on a toasted hoagie roll with fresh lettuce and tomato. Although chicken tenders are tough to mess up, the sandwich was really good. The chicken was super moist, not greasy in the slightest, and the lettuce and tomato were crisp and flavorful. A thin spread of mayonnaise on the toasted roll added just the right touch of creaminess and tang the sandwich needed to be truly satisfying.
My Firecracker Super Burger was incredible. A juicy, half-pound burger was smothered in the house hot wing sauce and topped with both shredded cheddar and creamy bleu cheeses.The wing sauce had a fantastic vinegary bite with a hint of heat and added great flavor to the already tasty beef patty. The combination of wing sauce with bleu cheese really is a tough one to beat. The melted cheddar added some texture, but it was the bleu that added an awesome punch of flavor. I asked Keith if the burger patty was made of fresh ground beef or if it was brought in frozen and he informed me that it was frozen; however the burger was cooked so well and the toppings were so delicious, that it made very little difference to me.
Both sandwiches came with a choice of curly, straight, or waffle fries. We don’t have them often, so we each ordered waffle fries. Hot, crispy fries with ketchup and cool ranch made for a great side dish with both sandwiches.
If you’re looking for an upscale, fine dining establishment or food that’s easy on your waistline, Plummer’s doesn’t fit the bill. However, if you long for that hometown dive bar feel where everyone smiles and says hello when you walk in the door, and the menu is made up of no-frills, pub food favorites, head to Plummer’s. Many thanks to both Keith and Carmen for the friendly service, hospitality, and delicious food. The drive along Route 5 in the summer and autumn months is well worth it and ending your journey at Plummer’s is a great treat. Plummer’s Tavern is located at 10689 W. Lake Rd. in Ripley, NY and they can be reached by phone at (716) 736-2312. They open every day at 11 a.m. and close around midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on the weekends.
Until next time,
Andrew — Beard vs. Food