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mexican food [Western NY]

El Ranchito in Clarence is Number 1 with me. El Palenque on Niagara Falls Blvd in Amherst is my second choice.

La Tolteca, a distant third, but still a good time.

Cantina Loco and Don Tequila are popular urban hang-outs, but I think it's mainly for the bar scene.

Avoid Gramma Mora's, Moe's, and Cozumel at all costs.

Mar 02, 2014
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Western Canada Hound Looking For Buffalo Recs

Also, Ulrich's Tavern has closed but will reopen under new management. A shame, that.
And Bistro Europa will close sometime in March or April, to reopen in expanded form.

Mar 02, 2014
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

The Hollow Bistro and Brew, Clarence

I've never even noticed the Hollow Bistro, but recently I ate at the new Mexican restaurant in Clarence, almost across from the high school. It's called El Ranchito. It was marvelous and very reasonable. Most authentic Mexican food in Western New York. Of course, that's not saying much, but it's head and shoulders above the nearest competition (La Tolteca). Highly recommended.

Dec 05, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

best chicken wings in Rochester?

DinOsaur BBQ if including barbecue-sauced wings. Moist, flavorful, perfect size . . .

Oct 11, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo - Rehearsal Dinner

I like Bing's for catering. They're in Amherst, right on the outskirts of Buffalo, and they do catering all over Buffalo. Especially good for mouth-watering appetizers, like crab cakes.

More expensive and trendier (with a guarantee of outstanding food) would be Torches for either catering or the rehearsal dinner. On Kenmore Ave, towards the Northern part of Buffalo. Highly recommended.

BTW I have not heard good things about Templeton Landing (mentioned by another respondent), and I haven't heard of the other places, except for Pearl St. Brewery, which is the go-to pub after sporting events. So that would be OK if you want a very casual ambience.

Oct 05, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Trader Joe's coming to Amherst, New York!

TJ's is coming to Amherst, one of the most affluent of Buffalo's suburbs. Home of the North Campus of the University of Buffalo.

Aug 25, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Great Road Food between Niagara and Poughkeepsie area?

I'm sure they're all good, but I always go to the one on Transit in Williamsville (7018 Transit). That one is North of the one in Lancaster/Depew.

Aug 02, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Casual & quick late lunch in Buffalo

From the Martin House, it's an easy walk to Sweetness 7 Cafe on Parkside near the Zoo. They make luscious crèpes, with or without meat. Great tea (London Fog) and coffee too. It's nouveau hippy. With ten people you should be OK unless it's crowded. Bon appetit, wherever you go!
http://www.sweetness7.com/
The Darwin Martin is magnifcent. The Martins' summer home by FLW is Graycliff. It's right on the Lake, South of Buffalo, but has not been restored as meticulously yet.

Jul 22, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Great Road Food between Niagara and Poughkeepsie area?

For hot dogs and other grilled foods, I would recommend Ted's over the other local chains named above (Anderson's Louie's). Ted's uses local Sahlen hot dogs, as do most of the others. However, their grilling set-up is "bigger and better" than the others. Also, Ted's has the best onion rings anywhere.

I don't care for beef on weck, but I'm sure that for this (and other hot "sliced meat" sandwiches, as well as for chorizo and Italian sausage), Charlie the Butcher's is the best choice. Near the Airport on Wehrle at Cayuga.

Anderson's has its strong points, mainly for the frozen custards and shakes. For meals, I do go there often with my family because of the variety they offer. They have "something for everyone" (I often opt for soup), especially finicky kids who want something bland. But bland doesn't do it for Chowhounds.

Jul 21, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Great Road Food between Niagara and Poughkeepsie area?

I've read that Moon Star is good for Chinese in Binghamton.

Jul 20, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo (area) Fish Fry w/ actual fresh fish?

Hayes Seafood House, attached to Hayes Fish Market on Main Street in Clarence, is one place where you can make sure when you order that the fish they fry for you is fresh. Best variety and quality of fish and seafood in the region. As a dine-in experience it is no-frills. Still, the prices are high and the service is not always pleasant.

There is virtually zero commercial fishing for New York State markets from Lake Erie. It's all sport fishing in NY; only Ontario and to lesser extent Ohio still have Erie-based commercial fishing.

Jun 24, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Western Canada Hound Looking For Buffalo Recs

"Residential house" type eateries of Buffalo are fine if you want to feel like you're in a time warp, but I'm sure you will find their food very unremarkable. In this category: Schwabel's. Eckl's, Creekview.
Much more memorable in the "old-style" category is Ulrich's Tavern in the downtown. They have good German food and pub fare.
If the OP doesn't have the Cheesecake Factory or Hard Rock chains where they live, these are bona fide destinations for Canadians and other international tourists in Buffalo/Niagara Falls. Few Canadians hit the Galleria Mall (which is indeed open Labor Day, no problem) without sampling the Cheesecake Factory.

Jun 17, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo (area) Fish Fry w/ actual fresh fish?

Fish fries are out of season now. They're traditionally on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent. I don't go in for it, but locals seem to like McPartlan's on Wehrle in Cheektowaga. Out of season I'm not sure whether they have it.

Jun 16, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Western Canada Hound Looking For Buffalo Recs

Buffalo won't have world-class bbq until Din-O-Saur opens in October. Until then, you will find very good bbq at Kentucky Greg's in Depew (near the airport). Also fairly good (still better than Canadian—no offense but I've tasted your bbq) at Famous Dave's, a small chain-restaurant located just off Walden Ave. near the Walden-Galleria mall.

I am not a fan of either beef on weck or wings, so I'll let others guide you in that department.

One food stop that's popular with Canadians and does a somewhat homogenized version of several ethno-regional U.S. cuisines is the Cheesecake Factory, at one end of the Walden-Galleria mall. Killer desserts. Expect long waits on the weekends.

Shango specializes in Cajun/Creole and they do it pretty well and give you a fun experience, It's across the street from the University's South campus. Chester's on Transit in the suburb of Amherst does a more casual Cajun; it's a down-homey bar. Their blackened shrimp kills.

I would warn you to avoid all Mexican and Tex-Mex places, except perhaps for Lloyd's Taco Truck (you can find their location each day on Facebook--also consider hunting for Frank's Gourmet Hot Dog Truck using Facebook). For a true US guilty pleasure, head for Ted's for foot longs and burgers. Their onion rings must be sampled.

The true gems of the upscalish Buffalo dining scene are the ones that have little to do with US regional cuisine: Seabar for sushi, Bistro Europa, and Trattoria Aroma.

Enjoy your trip. If you are looking for a casual meal in the Niagara Falls area, choose the Hard Rock Cafe on the US side rather than the Canadian side. There's a big difference.

Jun 16, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Rochester, NY local candy?

Wegman's sponge candy would be an authentic Rochester sweet, and I'm sure Wegman's will ship it to you wherever. My favorite flavor is dark chocolate coating/orange-flavored filling. Children seem to like the milk chocolate best.

I think that Abbott's custard is also based in Rochester. A little harder to ship and serve because of its frozen state.

Best wishes!

May 24, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo weekday lunch? Family occasion

I've been to the Hotel Lafayette lounge/bar and it was poorly run, sad to say. I haven't been to Mike A's Steakhouse, but people seem to like it on Yelp.

Apr 13, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo weekday lunch? Family occasion

Hi, neighbors: Most restaurants of the "Hutch's" type in Buffalo are indeed closed for weekday lunch.
Here's what I can recommend, all in central/downtown Buffalo:

Trattoria Aroma, 307 Bryant Street in Elmwood Village. Fine Italian food; quiet and comfortable.

Bistro Europa on Elmwood. Creative Continental cuisine; may not be the most comfortable or quiet place since it is small and can get crowded.

Seabar, 475 Ellicott Street. Buffalo's best sushi.

I hope that you all enjoy the tour and lunch.

Apr 13, 2013
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo, NY

If you want atmosphere (good food, but atmosphere primarily) in a private room then I would recommend the historic Roycroft Inn in East Aurora (about 20 minutes Southeast of Buffalo; easy to reach on the 400). The Roycroft was central in the development of the Arts & Crafts movement in American culture. The architecture, with dark wooden beams and chapel-like features, is a fun/romantic setting for a family occasion. I am not sure of the cost per-person but they probably have an option in the $75 range. The event I attended was a bit large; maybe that's why I noticed some people were less than satisfied with beverage/wine supply. However, I had no complaints and I thought that overall it was charming.

Nov 15, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Lebanese/Middle Eastern in Buffalo?

Pomegranate at 4125 Transit (South of Main St. in Clarence) has nice basic Persian/Iranian dishes. They also have a convenient counter at the Walden Galleria mall Food Court. Highly recommended. http://www.pomegranateny.com/

For Lebanese, I recommend Byblos out in Getzville/Amherst (270 Campbell Blvd). It is upscale and comfortable, with lots of Lebanese entrees. It is a trifle dark inside at night, which makes me sleepy, but the service is very attentive and friendly. http://bybloscuisine.com/

Nov 15, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Blue Monk's food: how is it? (Buffalo)

I think people mainly go there for the Belgian-style ales, but they have an excellent reputation for food also.

Nov 15, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo question

Gosh, this is probably too late, but I would not recommend Bistro Europa for two 80-something diners unless they are remarkably spry. It is rather cramped and can be noisy. You may have to park far away as well. Also, reservations are a MUST for the weekends. Other than that, it is a tip-top restaurant for Buffalo in terms of food. I've lived and traveled extensively in Europe and I go to Bistro Europa to reminisce. It is a good value too.

Nov 15, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Corning or Elmira area restaurants?

As I recall, Elmira is kind of a wasteland for interesting food, but Corning has some good eateries along its main drag. I've enjoyed Brick-Oven Atlas Pizza and the Market Street Brewing Co.

Jun 22, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Dick and Jenny's on Grand Island - WNY

I've yet to find a really good restaurant/eatery on Grand Island. If you are in the Buffalo area and would like to try out its New-Orleans-style food, good places are Shango on Main St. in North Buffalo and Chester's on Transit Road in East Amherst. The former is more upscale and the latter is more casual.

Also if you like the NYC Hard Rock Cafe, the one in Niagara Falls compares well (and is definitely better than the one across the bridge in Ontario).

Jun 16, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Best Turkey Club in Buffalo, NY

BYOB (bring your own bacon)?

Jun 13, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Two weeks in Buffalo

I definitely second smooter on recommending Mulberry in Lackawanna. From what I recall it is all on ground level, with easy parking across the street. Fantastic veal, meatballs, ravioli, and lasagna, Their lasagna-of-the-day is not to be missed!

Also good for standard Italian, there are at least two Pasquale's. I'm pretty sure the one in East Aurora would be accessible by wheelchair.

And there is a small chain that is like Olive Garden but much better quality, called Carrabas. It's in a strip mall off of Niagara Falls Blvd in the Northtowns (Amherst). Senior citizens love it. Accessible as I recall. However, the wait for a table can be long.

Jun 12, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Best Turkey Club in Buffalo, NY

For sliced meat sandwiches, whether turkey or roast beef, Charlie the Butcher's is recommended. There are several locations, including 1065 Wehrle Drive in Cheektowaga (near the airport).

Schwabl's in West Seneca is also renowned for their sliced meat sandwiches. That's at 789 Center Road. They do everything the old-fashioned way; it's like entering a time-warp.

The third option, though I haven't tried it myself, I've heard good things about, is Eckl's, in the suburb of Orchard Park (4936 Ellicott Road). Also known for making sliced meat sandwiches the old-fashioned way. However, unlike the first two they are only open for dinner (4:30-11), and hence geared more toward hot entrees.

Jun 12, 2012
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Good place to eat along 90--around rochester?

In Batavia, between Rochester and Buffalo and close to the 90, there is Alex's, which is excellent for ribs and other barbecue foods. Greats sides too. They have won several awards recently for ribs and pot roast sliders.

It's a half-mile from Exit 48.

8322 Park Rd, Batavia, NY 14020
(585) 344-2999

http://www.alexsribs.com/home/

Dec 18, 2011
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo/I-90 to Niagara this weekend - best bets?

Both Obama and Conan O'Brien headed straight for Duff's (3 locations; Obama hit the one on Dick Road and Conan went to Millersport Hway) for wings. Jay Leno flies into town for the pizza and wings at La Nova Pizzeria.

Other down-home favorites include Ted's Hot Dogs (local chain; get the fried onions) and Jim's Steakout (also a local chain with many variations on the Philly Cheese Steak).

When Anthony Bourdain covered Buffalo he dwelled on Ulrich's Tavern downtown near the theatre district. It is very historic and has a good menu of German-style dishes.

The above are the most authentic Buffalonian down-home or "comfort" eateries. Seabar (for sushi, not exactly a Buffalo specialty) and Hutch's (fine dining) are good on the more upscale side of things.

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Jim's Steakout
2611 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216

La Nova Pizzeria
371 W Ferry St, Buffalo, NY 14213

Oct 14, 2011
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Good places in and around Canandaigua Lake area?

In Canandaigua itself, I don't know any restaurants; all I can recommend is Roseland Water Park. It's one of the best aquatic amusement establishments I have tried with my kids.

As for eateries, the closest one to Canandaigua I can recommend is just Southeast of Geneva, Emile's. It is Italian-based cuisine, very rustic and comfortable, with a good salad bar.

Aug 24, 2011
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)

Wegmans- Buffalo area

As someone who shops the various Buffalo-area Wegmans frequently, I can tell you that the one on Sheridan Drive in Williamsville/Amherst, near the corner of Hopkins/Evans, is far and away the best in terms of prepared foods and most of the fancier items such as cheese, deli meats, etc. It's both a gourmet specialty store, organic/health food store, and major supermarket all in one.

Their sushi is execellent; nice array of hot Asian foods, including Indian, as well as salads. The olive bar is not with the other bars, but rather at the back of the store near the cheese department.

One local product stocked by Wegman's that I would especially recommend is White Cow yogurts, in the refrigerated organic section. This is an artisanal yogurt and it's out of this world. My favorite flavor is the pumpkin.

Also, Minneo & Sapio sausages (hot or mild Italian sausage made with cheese) sometimes found in the Wegman's meat department (about 60% of the time) are outstanding. Enjoy!

May 23, 2011
Nadala in New York State (exc. NYC)