The Commerce Journal

October 6, 2011

Grazing Buffalo aims to please patrons with assortment of wings, barbecue, salad bar

Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Commerce residents have a new sit-down option for lunch and dinner thanks to The Grazing Buffalo, the most recent in a slew of small businesses that have opened their doors in Commerce during the past few months. The Grazing Buffalo, which is owned and operated by Laura Eichelberger, sits on Park Street where Blackjacks Barbecue used to be.

“I’ve been wanting a restaurant forever,” she said. “I was with Applebees in Greenville for 17 years and I’ve been in this business since I was a kid. We knew what we wanted, we went and came up with the name Grazing Buffalo almost two years ago and started looking for a restaurant.”

After looking around Greenville and Commerce for a restaurant, Eichelberger settled on the Grazing Buffalo’s current site.

“Our accountant works for the man that owns this building,” she said. “That’s how we found out about it, and he’s leasing to sell it to me.”

The Grazing Buffalo features wings, barbecue, a salad bar and a the Wavier Wing challenge.

“We carry 10 different flavors of wings, and those are true bone-in buffalo wings,” Eichelberger said. “Those are our own recipes. We also have a Wavier Wing challenge. You have to eat seven wings in eight minutes, sit for five without anything to drink and, if you make it, we’ll take a picture of you and put it on the wall. It’s the wall of pain.”

The salad bar was part of the inspiration behind the name.

“I’ve always wanted a restaurant with a salad bar,” she said. “A lot of the times you go to a restaurant and there’s no salad bar, or they only have a few things and half of them are empty. I have a 10 foot-long salad bar with 25 items on it; thus the Grazing Buffalo.”

According to Eichelberger, the Grazing Buffalo is intended to appeal to Commerce residents and Texas A&M University-Commerce students alike.

“We had a fraternity come in and do a wing challenge two weeks ago,” she said.

“After the kitchen closed down, I gave them this whole area and we had a blast.”

Eichelberger went to other Commerce restaurants to make sure that her prices were reasonable for the Commerce area.

“You don’t want to come in and slap a Chili’s or Red Lobster price on your menu,” she said.

Now that the restaurant is off the ground, Eichelberger is getting out into the community to make the Grazing Buffalo a well-known spot in Commerce.

“The challenge we have is to make sure that people know it’s not Richard’s anymore, it’s not Blackjacks. We were at the Commerce Bash, we did the Run for the Red. I’m just letting everyone out in the community know I’m here.”