Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sayonara Buffalo

Well, after a long time of debating Brian and I decided to move back to the city that we love, Pittsburgh.  This meant we'd have to leave the place we called home for three years, Buffalo.  It was a bitter sweet goodbye.  There were so many places we enjoyed in Buffalo, especially the Elmwood Strip.  It was one of our favorite places because 1: we could walk there whenever we wanted to, 2: the restaurants were fantastic, and 3: the Bidwell Farmer's Market.  We would get up early on a Saturday morning, grab a cup of coffee, and walk with the dog down to the market to get our produce for the week.  We'd also grab a homemade cinnamon roll if they were available.  They always sold like hot cakes because they were so darn toot'in good!
Some of our favorite restaurants on the Strip were the Blue Monk, Pano's, Cecelia's (for the drinks), and most recently Sole.
The Blue Monk was where we had our last meal in Buffalo.  It's this amazing Belgian Beer restaurant/bar that offers over 30 beers and great frites that are fried in duck fat and served with a choice of dipping sauces.  Our favorite sauces were the aioli and Thai ketchup, at least I think it's called Thai ketchup but don't quote me on that.  I'm sorry to say I didn't have a favorite beer at the Blue Monk, but I can say I never had a bad one.  If you have the time you need to go and sample as many beers as you can.  They change every day!  I did have some amazing food though, besides the duck frites.  I can vouch for the Blue Monk Burger and the Roast Beef on Weck.  If you don't know what weck is please allow me to explain... It's basically a bun with salt on top.  Lots and lots of salt.  I'm sure that a true Buffalonian would be able to explain it better, but basically that's what it is.  Both sandwiches were awesome and I'd be happy to try them again.

Another favorite of ours was Pano's.  You could go there for any meal and have a great experience.  You might have to wait 20 minutes but it's well worth it. The last meal we had there was a Sunday Brunch.  I had their french toast piled high with fruit and filling.  It was so, so good; and to top it all off I had a cranberry mimosa.  Yummmmm!!  We had nice dinner dates there with great company and if I were to return to Buffalo I would definitely want to stop in.  As their commercial says, "How do you do it Pano?"  "I do it, I do it well."

Cecelia's is our next stop of Elmwood Strip favorites.  I have to say that the very first experience there was awful; and when I say awful I really mean awful.  Our waitress was nasty to us, we never got bread because they "ran out" at 6 p.m. on a Saturday (weird right?), and we waited an hour for our food.  To top it off, the owner was schmoozing a table right next to us and didn't do a thing.  He went around to check everyone elses' table but ours.  Needless to say it was the worst restaurant experience we had ever had; which was too bad because the food was good.  Our second trip redeemed itself a little bit.  The service and waiter were much, much better and the food was still excellent.  The drinks though were my absolute favorite overall.  Cecelia's has a martini bar inside the restaurant, so both times we went inside and had a drink before dinner.  I had a Cable Car Martini and a Berry Snapple Martini.  They were awesome!  I would have loved to have had another Cable Car but it knocked me on my butt!  But I guess 151 will do that to you.
So if you ever visit Cecelia's it will probably be hit or miss, but definitely have a martini!

Sole was the newest restaurant to the Elmwood Strip.  I'd like to think of it as a modern day Mexican restaurant.  The food was great, I had a chicken burrito wrap, and so were the drinks, AKA Mojitos!  My favorite part by far though was the guacamole.  It was actually made table side right in front of you.  The gentleman walked up to us and introduced himself and told us a little bit about what we were in store for.  He explained everything that went into the guacamole and how he was going to prepare it.  He even asked us how we liked it so he could make it to our liking.  It was served in these huge mortar bowls with a side of chips, and let me tell you we gobbled that up in less than 5 minutes it was so good.  Two thumbs up here!

The Elmwood Strip was good to us and we can't wait to visit again.  But I have to end this post with an absolute favorite of ours.  It's called Towne and it's on the corner of ElmwoodTowne!

Buffalo was very good to Brian and I, and we will miss it very much.  So until we meet again Buffalo, sayonara. 

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