Food Porn: Sun Food Market and Restaurant

With college back in session, I now have to figure out something to do on Tuesday nights when Alli is at UB in class until 10pm.  So, I’ve decided that my roommate Jay and I will try to find a cheap/weird/delicious place to eat for dinner each week.  Our first Tuesday adventure had us end up at the Sun Food Market and Restaurant, located on Niagara St. in Black Rock.  I don’t exactly remember how I found out about Sun, I think I was looking for one of the many other Asian Food Markets on Niagara and came across their website by mistake.  I’m glad I did, not only does Sun offer a pretty good selection of various seafood, vegetables and Asian sauces, but they have a really big menu that spans many Asian cuisines.  Their menu has Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese (more traditional and more American), Japanese and even some Thai.

Normally, I’m pretty skeptical of restaurants that serve more then one type of cuisine, but this isn’t a fancy bistro.  It’s a very simple interior with a few tables and chairs set up.  I actually really wouldn’t classify this place as a restaurant, it’s more of a grocery store and take-out restaurant with 3 tables thrown in for those who want to stay.  But after looking around, since this place isn’t winning any one over with a hip modern design/lighting or fancy drinks, I figured, if anything, the food had to be good.  Here’s how our visit went…

I knew before we arrived that I was going to order some Pho (the Vietnamese soup).  It was basically a given; I haven’t had a warm bowl of Pho in a long time and it seemed like the perfect meal for these cold nights we’ve been having.  But I didn’t want to just have a bowl of soup, I was in the mood for something more hearty to eat as well.

My roommate Jay was in the mood for some Chinese and decided to order their Kung Pow Chicken (pictured below) which was pretty darn good.  This dish wasn’t over powering with the spicy-ness but it just had a great compliment of heat.  The vegetables tasted fresh and crispy; I’m pretty confident we watched our cook pick out fresh vegetables from the fridges in the store to prepare our meals.  Jay pretty much devoured the meal himself but for only $4.75 this small order was a fantastic deal and was much fresher than any other Chinese meal I’ve had.

I ordered the Pork Bulgoki (pictured below) off the Korean menu.  I actually wasn’t 100 % sure what I was ordering but I had a feeling there would be some type of marinade on pieces of pork.  I was right; this small order ($6) was simply pieces of pork that were covered in a sauce that was part soy and part hoison.  The sauce was good but what really wowed me about this meal was the pork, it was amazingly tender.  Most of the pieces of pork had a good amount of fat on them, but it melted in your mouth.  There was no chewy-ness to the fat, it just melted like butter. And, again, the vegetables were very fresh.

Along with the Pork Bulgoki, I also ordered a small Rare Beef Pho ($5).  I was really hoping that this would be delicious, living in this city there aren’t many good Pho restaurant around.  Sure, I could go to Saigon Bangkok or 99 Fast Food but this would be a lot closer then either.  It ended up being pretty OK, I can’t pin point exactly what it was missing but the just flavor wasn’t there.  The beef was very tender and rare enough for me to enjoy but the use of cilantro was a little overwhelming.  The soup almost had a minty flavor to it. I tried to spice it up with some Siracha sauce and it helped.  The soup also came with some pieces of sausage which tasted like those prepackaged meatballs, so I wasn’t a big fan of those.  But, overall it wasn’t that bad and I’d definitely go back for another bowl with maybe a different meat (and ask them to relax on the cilantro).

This is a pretty awesome hidden jem for Asian cuisine in Buffalo.  While it doesn’t have that “pretty” look that other Asian restaurants have on the Elmwood strip, the food they serve would easily rival any of those.  If you are hungry for something but have no idea what you want this is also a great find, they literally have everything you could want.  If you sit “upstairs” near the fridges, you’ll basically be able to watch the chef prepare your food.  I really appreciated that because they are inviting their costumers to watch how their food is being made.  If you live in the city and are looking for a cheap place to try out, I’d recommend it.  Sure it looks like you may be “out of place” but the staff made me and Jay feel incredibly welcome and made sure we loved our meal.

Sun International Foods & Asian Feature Restaurant on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Food Porn: Sun Food Market and Restaurant

  1. Adam Pfleegor

    Don – Just wanted to send a message to you and the staff to say congrats. I still check back most days to see how the posts are coming along. The website keeps on getting better and better and its great to see. Im very excited you all decided to continue the Beer Porn section as well. I have only been back to Buffalo once since Ive moved down to the dirty south and it was only for a few hours when I flew in. However, I did make time to go and get a Black and Blue burger at Coles which I certainly crave all the time. Keep up the great work and continue to grow the website! I am working on establishing something similar here in Louisiana in hopes of getting people to eat more great food.
    Cheers!
    Adam

    • Don Burtless

      Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Yea my friend Adam (funny enough) has been keeping up with the beer posts. We’ve been increasing our traffic lately and working with some other sites around the area, so it’s been fun. But good luck with starting something down there, with such a big city I’m sure you could find some hidden gems there.

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