Buffalo is filled with food traditions most cities don’t quite comprehend. We constantly have debates over whose corner pizza shop is the best. Does Sahlen’s or Wardynski hotdogs have the most flavor? Is Frank’s Red Hot sauce or Weber’s mustard the best condiment? Everyone here believes in their favorites, and they aren’t changing sides any time soon. Ask around for the best wing spot. You’ll get ten different answers.
Standing at the helm of Buffalo’s “comfort food” reign is our unabashed, long standing love affair with meat and alcohol consumption. One theory for why we desire these particular combos is the need for them to get us through the long, cold weather with some hopes of sanity. Another hunch is huge immigrant populations of the past brought their longstanding traditions and delicacies we simply cannot shake off after being passed down through generations. It’s what makes our community feel like a community. Drinking booze and eating meat is still in full force today. Look at Meat Raffles and how frequently one is held on a week to week basis around the city and its suburban counterparts. If you haven’t ever been to or heard of a meat raffle, it’s exactly what you are thinking; we drink while striving to win various meat products to take home. Meat raffles are the experts on this matter and have a calendar of dates.
Slider night Mondays! Tonight our selection is: Southwest chicken burger with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, roasted corn salsa and shredded cabbage paired with @resurgencebrewingco citmo ipa. Our beef on weck burger paired with @bellsbrewery octoberfest. Our thelonious monk burger with carmalized onions, balsamic drizzle paired with @cidercreekhardcider loganberry cider. This is amazing… #allenburgerventure #abvbuffalo
Veg Eaters Revenge
However, a newer trend has emerged as if to remind us there is another side of the antiquated food pyramid. It’s the one that may keep us alive longer without being preserved by liquor – vegetables and lots of them.
Buffalo now celebrates Vegfest annually and has many restaurants, cafes and diners catering to the growing vegetarian and vegan population of Buffalo. It has a long way to go compared to other major metropolitan areas around the country and even in nearby cities like Rochester, Syracuse, Hamilton or Toronto. Still, those in the area who have chosen an herbivorous diet are benefiting from a mini boom in food options. All you have to do is visit Perk’s Cafe, Grindhouse, Pizza Plant, The Lexington Co-Op, Merge and Amy’s Place to name a few for a wide array of Veg options. Hell, we even have an all Vegan donut shop in Fry Baby Donuts!
Buffalo Veg is a wonderful Instagram account documenting many of the new and old establishments around town and offer ideas of where to get vegetarian and vegan options.
While the carb and carne food traditions are woven into the culture so deep they won’t be replaced, Buffalo has been able to thread in additional food stock and ethnicities into the weave that is better for us all.
Do you have a favorite Buffalo food source and you can’t hold it in? Then feel free to comment below.