Uncle Buzzy’s closed last year and while it was a smart business move, the loss left its rabid fan base devastated. “Buzzy’s” wasn’t the “carnival food” extravaganza that it was made out to be in the beginning. That, at least to me, was more of a gimmick than the focus of the food. To me, the sandwiches, dogs and burger menus were the focus. I had never had, and haven’t since, as good a Philly as I had at Buzzy’s. The burger would have been in my top 10 list, probably top 3, had it been available when I did it. The footlong Nathan’s hotdogs were delicious. The sandwich menu brought a few things you don’t find around here. Like “Beef on Weck” (a Buffalo staple), the Italian Beef (Chi-town-inspired) and others were what helped make Uncle Buzzy’s a favorite among those who looked past the “carnival food” schtick and went for the real, may I say, damn good food.
Dave Hillman, the owner of Uncle Buzzy’s as well as Burke Street Pizza, Quiet Pint Tavern and West End Poke, told me that a lot of people had been asking about some of the offerings they loved at Uncle Buzzy’s being offered at one of his other restaurants. He’s been mulling options since Buzzy’s closed and he’s had some conversations with me about doing it for a while. But, the timing was never right. Until now.
This “Stay-At-Home” order and pandemic crisis has brought, along with the obvious bad things, a world of innovation and risk-taking to the restaurants of WSNC; everywhere, really. Dave, being a good businessman and restaurateur is no exception. Even before the pandemic, we got good, authentic poke in West End Poke and that was something this area, especially downtown, needed. Yes, there is another poke restaurant in town and, I will admit (and I think Dave agreed with me) that it was good. But, something about this is magical. But, that’s not the point. The point is Dave tries things. Some magic is being brought to Burke Street, hopefully, this Tuesday.
Now, let’s not get our collective hopes up for an Uncle Buzzy’s revival. That’s not what this is. But, it’s the best possible scenario and it offers the best of two worlds: Uncle Buzzy’s specialness to Burke Street Pizza’s solid food foundation via a new “Stay-At-Home” menu.
This new menu features some welcome favorites!
First, there’s the famous Nathan’s Foot Long Hot Dogs. The “original” grilled hotdog, for sure. The Classic Carolina with chili, onions, and slaw. The Swiss Mountain Dog with sauteed garlic and thyme mushrooms, swiss cheese, crispy onion straws, and horseradish aioli. The Smothered & Covered Tater Dog with, of course, tater tots, melted chipotle cheese, grilled onions, diced tomatoes, and green onions. The Chili Cheese Frito Dog with chili, melted chipotle cheese, Frito corn chips, diced tomatoes, and jalapenos. Is your mouth watering, yet? Wait, there’s more…
Double Stack Burgers are made with 6.5oz of fresh, never frozen, 100% choice beef on a potato roll. Featured is a Griddle Burger with pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion (you can add cheese for a nominal fee). The Sweet Luther: donut glazed bun, American cheese, spicy candied bacon, and chipotle mayo. Mushroom Swiss pretty much the way the Swiss Mountain Dog came. The Greek with tzatziki sauce, tomato, cukes, onion, and Feta cheese. Pork Belly Burger with a sweet soy glaze, crispy pork belly, Asian slaw, and wasabi aioli. Then… yeah, then there’s they Frat Burger which sounds like a dare gone deliciously wrong: FOUR patties. FOUR slices of American cheese. Caramelized onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard. Whew!
If you want to pull back on the red meat for a bit, there’s the new chicken options: A fried chicken sandwich with provolone, sweet bbq sauce, and a honey mustard slaw. A Sriracha Ranch Fried Chicken with pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion. A Three-Alarm Hot Chicken dipped in habanero hot sauce, topped with pickled jalapenos, provolone cheese, lettuce, and a side of ranch. Chicken! Bam!
Then it’s roast beef time! Beef on Weck, that lovely Buffalo-inspired sandwich that features seasoned au-jus dipped, rare roast beef topped with horseradish cream, served on a sea-salt crusted caraway roll. Now, some will say this is not from Buffalo, and they’d be correct. It’s Buffalo-INSPIRED. But, I’ve had it and it’s fantastic. I’ve never had the actual Buffalo sandwich. The Nacho Beef Sandwich, with melted chipotle cheese, jalapenos, Queso Fresco, sour cream, served on a sub roll. And, finally, that Chicago-esque Italian Beef. I have had an Italian beef at Portillo’s in Chicago and this was just as delicious. Roast beef in seasoned au-jus, with giardiniera Italian relish, hot cherry peppers (if you’d like) and served on a sub roll.
Some of these things were my favorite things at Uncle Buzzy’s. The only thing missing is the cheesesteak and since that’s already served at Burke Street Pizza and is their top-selling sandwich. I’ll just go with what they’re doing well, and be happy about it. My The Less Desirables co-host Danielle Bull said she’d put the Burke Street Pizza chicken Philly up against any in town. That’s a big ringing endorsement.
So, keep an eye on the Burke Street Pizza Facebook and Instagram page for when this becomes “official.” Dave told me he is definitely hoping for Tuesday. Note, too, that this is only available at the original Burke Street location. It will not be at the Sherwood/Robinhood location. As with everything else currently going on, you can get these selections for takeout, curbside, and delivery. Order by phone (336) 721-0011 or online.
Is everyone else as excited as I am? I know that you are. Take pics when you get these delicious items and send them to me. I’d love to see it.