Looking for that Sports Bar experience where vegetarians can actually eat? 716 Food and Sport is here to answer our collective prayers.
Sports bars are so much fun, but they can often feel like a vegetarians bane. We can all breathe a sigh of relief with the arrival of (716) Food and Sport!
This sexy new sports bar brings the flare of Big-City-Sports-Bars to Buffalo. Finally Buffalo has a sports bar on the same scale as NYC, Vegas, or LA. When visitors come to the Downtown area for pleasure or business, this is the place they’re going to and will be surprised with how updated Buffalo has become. Don’t get me wrong, Buffalo’s traditional small neighborhood sports bars are a pinnacle part of our charm and collective Buffalo spirit, but man is it nice to have (716) in the Downtown space!
Certain you’ve heard about this (716) Food and Sport: it’s a two story full bar with a ginormous HD TV (it’s not a TV and they don’t actually claim it is, but other reviewers have claimed it and rumors grew; it’s a projector, albeit a very high quality one) and over 70 HDTVs (including in the bathroom mirrors, which is fancy-schmancy). The space is massive, the interior is cutting edge modern, and there’s a full menu besides.
Following an event at the HSBC Arena, my husband and I made our way to (716) before the crowds let out and were seated in the upstairs section at a 2 person table along the balcony that faced the 38-foot screen. The fun part is the two person tables are set so you’re sitting side by side and facing the screen, not sitting across from each other so you have to turn your head to face the screen. It’s a nice touch; good planning.
Their beer menu is legit and their full bar is the very definition of the term. At this point in the evening, I needed water, so I stuck to that, but my husband ordered a draft beer. Our server brought us our drinks in good time and took our order. (716) Food and Sport’s menu offers several options that are meatless, and a simple request could turn a few of those options vegan. I decided on their #2 Signature Flatbread made with baby spinach, artichoke hearts, and roasted tomatoes topped with fresh chevre baked onto their thin and crispy signature dough. Flatbread seems to be offered at most sports bars nowadays, but I could have chosen from 2 of their ‘Spuds’ selections, the Signature Nacho, Stuffed Banana Peppers, 2 different pizzas made with homemade pizza dough, or several salads. The flatbread really seemed the way to go on this particular evening, and I was definitely very happy with it! It was very flavorful and crispy, but not super filling, so keep that in mind.
As I’ve listed, there are many things to chose from, but one thing most vegetarians enjoy that you cannot order? The Buffalo Mac and Cheese. Well, maybe you can, but I was thinking I could pick at the noodles from my husband’s order, but the crispy handbreaded chicken is diced and mixed throughout the mac and cheese. I did take a bite regardless because I could eat a noodle without meat, but if you’re the kind of vegetarian who strictly will not eat anything that has touched meat, you won’t eat this. While the Buffalo Mac and Cheese was good, I wouldn’t actually rank it anywhere on my favorite mac and cheese list anyways. In fact, to even call it Mac and Cheese is being generous; the cheese sauce wasn’t that cheesy, which might be what other diners are looking for, but not myself. The sauce is also significantly spicy, which I would be all over if it was just more cheesy. I absolutely love Buffalo sauce, so that flavor profile worked, it was just the texture wasn’t there for me. The noodles are cavatappi and definitely a win for mac and cheese dishes as they are very filling. So it’s a good dish, just not a great dish, and not really vegetarian/vegan friendly.
Once we were finished, we agreed (716) was a place to return to. Since we’re not die-hard sports fans, maybe this isn’t a kind of place we’d go out of our way for, but while we’re Downtown at Canalside, HARBORCENTER, or HSBC Arena, this is definitely a place to consider for pre- or post-event food. The service was perfectly acceptable, the restaurant is large, the ambience is very upbeat, and it’s just a sleek and sexy sports bar; I’m really a fan! It’s going to be perfect for visitors in the area who will be coming in for events or business and staying in the Downtown area. If you haven’t been to (716) Food and Sport, definitely keep this in mind and go eat there with confidence!