Nick's Picks: Shmeg's

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Photo by Nicholas Abreu

There is an old notion in Rochester that says east side restaurants serve fancy, dainty food, while west side restaurants use simple ingredients and dole out hearty portions. To prove this stereotype correct, one might start at Shmeg's on Buffalo Road in Gates.

At Shmeg's, size matters. Here, the main attractions are original creations and diner classics that extend far beyond the typical boundaries of a plate. Though it does not have its own Instagram account, images from Shmeg's have spread throughout the local dining community via semiviral posts from satisfied customers.

One of the most photogenic options on the Shmeg's menu is the Wafflopolous, a gargantuan breakfast sandwich that puts over-easy eggs along with bacon and a choice of sausage, steak, or ham between two tall, fluffy waffles. A beautiful, sloppy mess occurs when cutting into this sandwich as runny egg yolk sprints downward past several layers of greasy meat before soaking into the bottom waffle bun. A half serving of the Wafflopolous, which is about the size of a football, is $11.29. A full order costs $17.29.

Shmeg's Big Bad Griddle Cake has also earned quite the reputation. This pancake, which resembles a tire in diameter and thickness, is available for $6.29. (Diners can add blueberries for $1.71.) Whereas most breakfast joints strive for a light, airy pancake, Shmeg's, to great results, opts for a thick, dense, and moist creation that is similar to a brownie in texture.

Open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, Shmeg's provides jaw-dropping lunch options as well. Served on a long, crispy, house-made sub roll and piled high with juicy hamburger, savory shaved steak, grilled onions, curly fries, meat hot sauce, and American cheese, the Curly Bomber, $11.99 for a half order, is more than enough for two, or three, or maybe four.

Shmeg's open kitchen, which is flanked by two small, quirkily decorated dining rooms, also offers plenty of perfectly normal, adequately sized breakfast and lunch options. But what’s the fun in that?

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