Brunch and fall fare at Liberty Hound

Hopefully everyone got a chance to go down to Liberty Hound at Canalside this summer to enjoy live music, the warm breeze off the lake and good food and drink. According to owners Jason Davidson and Mike Shatzel, the restaurant business was better than expected, and therefore the decision to stay open year ’round has been made (despite the NHL lockout). When Mike and Jay first decided to open at Canalside, they were unsure as to whether they were going to attempt to operate during the winter months – at least until there were more developments such as skating on the canals and additional planned winter activities.

After such a successful first summer, the plans swayed towards staying open through the winter and capitalizing on the Sabres’ traffic. Then came the NHL lock out. “Even though there’s a lock out,” Jason told me. “We have a lot of momentum at this point and feel that people want to come down to Canalside to enjoy Liberty Hound because it’s a destination. Plus, there are a quite a few residents in the area that are returning customers, and we’re excited to keep our operation going to serve the fans of the restaurant. We have a new fall menu (see below) and this past Sunday we started serving brunch. Instead of scaling back, we’ve decided to put another foot forward and offer customers quality food and drink in an atmosphere that is cozy and warm.”
I stopped down to try out Liberty Hound’s brunch this past Sunday with my wife, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a decent sized crowd of people eating there. Word obviously travels fast around here. 
I must say that the atmosphere at Liberty Hound is cozy. With all of the wood, copper and brick detail, the place exudes a warmth that is only matched by the Bloody Mary selection. As I sat, trying to look over the menu, I couldn’t help but turn around to watch the boats in the canal. It was the perfect setting for a relaxing Sunday brunch. 
The menu was not overly complicated, which made narrowing in on a selection fairly easy. I’m a sucker for potato pancakes, and the house-made apple butter clinched the deal. My wife went for the chilaquiles (sans chorizo). We also ordered a couple of Bloodies – I went for the Bloody Buffalo and she opted for the Bloody Maria. We also ordered a couple of coffees.
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To start, the coffee and the complimentary corn muffins hit the spot. I later found out that a hint of chicory had been added to the coffee, which was so subtle and smooth that I couldn’t place the flavor… it just smelled and tasted full bodied and flavorful. Then came the Bloodies. Oh man, while I really enjoyed my Bloody Buffalo with crumbly blue cheese, my wife’s Bloody Maria with Tanteo jalapeño tequila was the winner. Once again chock full of flavor, with a nice bite to round it out. For that alone we will make a return trip. 
When my potato pancakes arrived, I found them to be crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and combined with the apple butter I was happy – although in hindsight the next time I order this particular dish (which will be sooner rather than later) I am going to ask for a couple of sunny side eggs thrown on top for good measure. That will make the meal, at least for me, the perfect Sunday comfort food. Once again my wife’s order, of the chilaquiles, was exceptional, with a medley of flavors that came together to create a flavorful, complex and soothing dish – the addition of cotija cheese (also known as Mexican Parmesan) really hit the spot. As an aside, the Crab Cake Benedicts (photo) not only looked amazing, the dish has become the signature brunch item at Liberty Hound.
I, for one, am happy that Liberty Hound will be open for fall and winter. It’s about time that we had some eating options at Canalside throughout the year. Remember, there is plenty of parking along the new cobblestone streets, and it’s a short walk from the Metro Rail. Here’s a restaurant that could have opted to be seasonal, but instead it’s expanding its offerings in order to draw more people to its door during the off-season. By the year 2013-14 there will be even more reasons to head down to Canalside during the winter, including skating on the canal and hopefully Sabres games (you never know). In the meantime be sure to add Liberty Hound to your list of brunch, lunch and dinner go-tos, and remember… the waterfront is open even when the snow flies!
Liberty Hound - Facebook
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner
1 Naval Park Cove, 
Buffalo, NY
1 (716) 845-9173

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Also, to give you an idea of what you can expect on non-brunch days, here’s the new fall/winter all-day menu.
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About the author  ⁄ buffalorising

25 comments
LI2Northpark
LI2Northpark

Well, that sucks about the Rare Vos. It's usually 7 bucks for 10 oz. I definitely would have complained. The only reason I compared to NYC is that in NYC it would be easily twice the price. I still dig this place. Hopefully the menumakeover steps it up for you.

FTheRedTape
FTheRedTape

Buffalo is not NYC. And next time you are there, have a Rare Vos; you will not be served a pint.

I get it that Rare Vos is a bit higher octain, but paying $15 for one 8-ounce beer and a less-than-stellar house wine left a bad taste in my mouth. As did the Chicken Sandwich I had in my one other visit, which was dripping with some dreadful goat cheese spread that was so heavily caked on there that it made it impossible to hold and completely saturated the roll.

With all that being said -- I'm hardly a hater, so much as I am a realist. I wish it well and certainly commend them for opening where they did, but unfortunately it didn't meet my needs. This, however, does not mean that it won't suit the needs of others. So, if you are a fan --- enjoy!

LI2Northpark
LI2Northpark

I don't know that you can really compare the two. One's an upscale lounge (and an overrated one IMO), the other a waterside reatauant/bar.

LI2Northpark
LI2Northpark

I had a great time at the Liberty Hound. The Banana Pepper dip and fish tacos were both tasty as were the drafts (which are pints, not 8 oz.) and it was still cheap compared to eating out in most other cities. Being from the NYC metro area, I was used to paying much more than 20 bucks for an entree and a drink when I moved to Buffalo 7 years ago.

I'm guessing enough people agree with me since it was crowded all summer and they are extending hours to year round so keep hating haters, they'll be more room for the fans.

Up and coming
Up and coming

I'd take Snooty Fox and the 35-45 year old cougars that go there any day of the week.

ivan putski jr
ivan putski jr

I don't thinks it's whining...

Buffalo has too many other options with better food .....and Buffalo eaters know it..they are pretty savvy.. If fact Buffalo Roadhouse wrote a song about the typical WNY food connoisseur which I'm sure you've heard before......."Buffalo people know how to eat, Buffalo people know how to have a good time"...sums it up perfectly

LouisTully
LouisTully

People in Buffalo cry about not having things then cry when they do have them. We don't have waterfront dining options, yada yada.... It's too expensive, the food is awful, the service is awful.... my diaper needs to be changed.

KenS
KenS

Based on menu...Hamburger, fries,& pop = $20+ tax and tip. I'll pass.

ivan putski jr
ivan putski jr

I heard that the former owner of Hertel landmark, Mike's Big Mouth, was planning something for the warehouse district (that area between the closed down WJ Morrisseys and all where all those artist lofts are).....can't wait

LouisTully
LouisTully

Honestly, do you know what it means? How does that make it a bad name? Was Flying Tigers a bad name for that restaurant? What should they have called it? Tom's Crab Shack?

Up and coming
Up and coming

If you tell someone that you're heading to the Libo Hound I doubt it would, "Evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way."

Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.
Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

If you don't get "lit up hammered", you might as well stay home and watch "Little House" with the rest of the squirrels.

Up and coming
Up and coming

It's named after a dog named Liberty, right?

Woods79
Woods79

Maybe I'm a rube, a Philistine, or both but I thought the food was really good. I only had the fries and the fish tacos, but I had them twice and they were awesome both times. Portions and prices were not totally out of line and the brews are pricey but its a pretty good selection of real beer. If you don't get lit up hammered its not a prohibitive tab at the end of the evening.

Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.
Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.

They should open up a Ted's inside of Liberty Hound, then the food would great. I would go there often.

cookiestastelikesomecookies
cookiestastelikesomecookies

I don't think the drinks are over-priced. I appreciate how creative they are and they are well worth $8 or $9 (aka very strong).

I think the cocktails are teh best part of this restaurant.

The food was mediocre so I am glad they are switching up the menu.

ivan putski jr
ivan putski jr

agreed.....I ate here a few months back and the food was terrible...over priced for the portions and not very good....maybe it has improved since the first month of opening but i'm skeptical....my theory usually is that in general, any restaurant on the water usually has bad food...whether WNY or elsewhere. You're paying for the view....the only exception I can think of is the Dockside on the canal in Tonawanda...a way better waterfront dining option..good, cheap interesting food and a lot more boating and people watching to keep you entertained

LouisTully
LouisTully

I wonder if the visitors here for Navy Week thought it was a good name.

FTheRedTape
FTheRedTape

I wish this article announced that Liberty Hound was introducing "fall prices." You know...instead of raping and pillaging for 8-ounce drafts and mediocre food. I get that it's an experience due to its location, and certainly commend them for taking the risk, but lets be serious --- the food is absolute garbage and the drinks are WAY overpriced.

BillyBobN
BillyBobN

Strange, I find it to be probably one of the most compelling restaurant names in Buffalo.

LouisTully
LouisTully

You say that knowing what it means, correct?

Up and coming
Up and coming

Liberty Hound is still the worst name for a restaurant I've ever heard.

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