Alden, NY

Diving into the Tastes of Summer at Blackwater Tavern and Tap

J.M. Lesinski
A shot of the front entrance of Blackwater Tavern and Tap in Alden, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

Eating good and feeling good often go hand in hand and the importance of healthy dining cannot be overlooked for anyone this summer. Offering a great variety of health food options, some matchless area chicken dishes, and six-dollar burgers on Sundays, Blackwater Tavern and Tap in Alden, New York has become a much-loved favorite for Western New Yorkers.

The chicken piccata is some of the area’s best, featuring a perfectly fried and plump chicken breast made with capers and served with a tangy lemon gravy, while the chicken and stuffed pepper alfredo is the ideal mix of hearty and zesty.

Likewise, the chicken marsala comes lightly floured and pan-fried, served in a mushroom marsala wine gravy, and also includes choice of potato and vegetable, while the Mediterranean chicken features peppers, onions, and mushrooms all tossed in a butter wine sauce and served with linguine.

Chicken sandwiches feature exceptionally fresh ingredients, like the California chicken with avocado, spring mix greens, bacon, Italian mayo, and a side of fries. The chicken bacon ranch is a zesty treat too, or for the savory-lover, the barbecue flavor of the hickory chicken sandwich.

The Blackwater chicken wings are done right by Buffalo standards and come in singles of ten, doubles of twenty, triples of thirty, and a bucket of fifty. The staple free flavors include hot, medium, or mild, while the premium flavors cost a dollar extra. Premium flavors are worth it though and include BBQ, garlic parmesan, sweet chili, Cajun, Chiavetta’s, habanero mango, and a homemade extra hot. Chicken fingers and a chicken finger wrap are also available.

The healthy options really do speak volumes at Blackwater, like the vegetable primavera, which features a Californian blend of traditional veggies alongside linguini in alfredo sauce. The healthy choice entrees with protein include the grilled chicken, eight-ounce pub steak, or six-ounce baked salmon, which each come with rice and choice of vegetable.

The salads at Blackwater are playful creations. Additional flaunts of the superior poultry, the chicken avocado features craisins, walnuts, bleu cheese crumbles, and balsamic dressing, while the chicken Caesar comes with grilled chicken tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing alongside croutons and asiago and parmesan cheeses.

The mandarin salmon with coconut shrimp salad features mandarin oranges, bleu cheese crumbles, caramelized walnuts, and an orange ginger dressing for another fruitier dish. The Pittsburgh may not be the healthiest with waffles fries, nor the chicken finger salad either, but the flavor combinations in each make them stand-outs nonetheless.

For the steak-seekers, the Blackwater Delmonico Steak comes specially seasoned, served with choice of potato and vegetable, and weighs in at a hearty twelve ounces, while the Blackwater Pub Steak weighs in at eight ounces and features the same accoutrements. For a pasta and steak mix, the steak gorgonzola pasta features cubed sirloin, diced peppers, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, walnuts, and crumbled gorgonzola among an alfredo linguini that is simply beyond savory.

Pork chops are center cut, served in pairs, and share the side options of the steaks. Diners can also choose breaded of char-grilled for prep options, both of which are excellent, though the char-grilled is a personal favorite. Another pork favorite, the BBQ Hog Wings, are so tender they fall off the bone and come with the classic French fries side.

The burger variety at Blackwater is a healthy one, as are the sandwiches in general. There is the classic cheeseburger, a bleu cheeseburger, and a bacon, mushroom, and Swiss that are all solid options. The beyond burger offers a vegan option, the breakfast for a breakfast burger, and the rodeo for a classic BBQ burger. The Zenzi is the winner for most unique though, featuring bacon, jalapenos, peanut butter, and cheddar, and according to the menu, one dollar of each burger goes to local animal shelters.

The prime rib on weck and Reuben both come with horsey sauce and fries, while the shelly Reuben offers a giant version of the iconic sandwich. Where there is prime rib, there is bound to be a Philly hoagie, and Blackwater does a good one, ditto for the unique Philly quesadilla (chicken quesadillas available as well). The Blackwater steak sandwich is a must-try for the sheer flavor profile of the steak.

The Friday Fish Fry is always a solid choice for the pescatarian, as is the linguini shrimp scampi in an herb and wine sauce. The baked salmon is excellent too, coming in at a healthy seven ounces, and available in lemon pepper, sweet teriyaki, or honey BBQ flavors.

Appetizers are high quality at Blackwater and feature the industry standards alongside Buffalo favorites primarily. The stuffed banana peppers with garlic bread have a nice zing to them, as does the buffalo chicken flatbread pizza, which has an amazing herbaceous bite to it. The Philly Steak and stuffed hot pepper alfredo flatbreads are excellent too, as well as the uniquely spicy buffalo cauliflower.

French onion and lobster bisque soups are available year-round for broth-lovers, while chili is a seasonal guest. Between the soups and the fries, mozzarella sticks, loaded nachos, stuffed mushrooms, onion rings, cheesy garlic bread, sweet fries, Bavarian pretzels, fried calamari, pizza logs, waffle fries, and tater tots, the options are pretty much endless.

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With a mission to inform, my articles will cover a breadth of topics ranging from travel & leisure to music and entertainment, as well as local news coverage wherever this stone may be rolling. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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