BUFFALO, N.Y. - Call up Bailey Seafood and you're greeted with a message: "Thank you for calling Buffalo's best fish fry, Bailey Seafood."
It's a bold claim to make in the fish fry haven of Western New York, but the Lenten crowds that push this take-out spot's 18(!) deep-fryers to their limits every Friday would tend to agree.
The parents of current owner Michael Kontras started Bailey Seafood in a small corner of the big blue building at Bailey and LaSalle 32 years ago. Since then, it's expanded twice to keep up for demand for its fresh seafood and menu of fried comfort food.
"If you like seafood, this is the place," says Kontras. "You get anything you want here. Anything."
That's perhaps best exemplified in the popular $15, 5-pound "Belly Buster" meal (best for sharing): chicken fingers, hand-breaded shrimp, fried fish "tidbits," hush puppies (straight from a family-owned business in Georgia) and french fries.
The fish fry dinner also comes with shrimp, fries and chicken strips, and it gives diners the rather unique option of choosing their kind of fish from a dozen or so varieties. And if you want it all between two slices of bread, there's the most popular item on the menu, the Super Sandwich: fried fish filet, coleslaw, cheese, tartar sauce and fries.
Bailey Seafood also offers soups, house-made collard greens, and delicious sweet potato pie (and is working with Anderson's to make a sweet potato pie ice cream in the near future).