Not only is there a growing group of food bloggers covering Buffalo’s restaurant scene, but there are some creative home cooking bloggers coming popping up too. One of these bloggers is Emily Koenigsberg who has been writing Emily Bites since Christmas Eve of 2010. Over the last 9 months she’s gained a large following (over 1900 likes on her facebook page!) by providing simple recipes that taste really good and won’t ruin your waistline.
Emily has given recipes that cover everything from desserts, Italian food, vegetarian, Mexican and even frozen treats. I’ve been reading the blog for the last couple of weeks and have been considering taking an extended break from visiting restaurants so that I can hone my cooking skills. We got a hold of Emily and asked her some questions about her favorite places to eat when she’s not trying out a recipe at home, here’s what she had to say….
Right now, where are some of your favorite places to eat in Buffalo?
Emily: Oh wow, there are so many great restaurants to choose from. Left Bank is one of my absolute favorites. The food is consistently fantastic. I almost always order either the panko breaded chicken topped with avocado, cucumber, Gorgonzola and arugula or the pork tenderloin in Grand Marnier sauce. I highly recommend either one. The fondue for two is a fun appetizer to split as well.
JoJo Bistro & Wine Bar in Williamsville is another favorite. It’s the perfect place to go with friends to have a few glasses of wine, order a cheese plate and split some items off their “fare to share” menu. They have really good thin crust pizzas and I love their hummus and their zucchini fries.
I also recommend Shango, particularly their gumbo and their brunch menu. I could eat that gumbo every day.
Where do you like to grab a drink on the weekends or after work with friends?
Emily: I live and work in Williamsville and if I’m going to grab a few drinks I usually stay pretty close to home. I already mentioned JoJo, but I’ll give them another shout out for their great wine and beer lists and in particular, their flights of wine. I generally play it safe and order Riesling in restaurants, but at JoJo I’ll branch out and order a flight which helps introduce me to new wines.
The Irishman on Main Street in Williamsville is another great place to have a few drinks with friends. I go there every couple months with my girlfriends but they still manage to treat us like regulars. There’s a server there who always remembers my drink order, which is pretty amazing since I’m not there that often. The patio is great in the summer and they have live music every week year-round.
If you had a friend visiting from out of town, where would you take them for a good “Buffalo” time?
Emily: Visitors from out of town always want to try authentic Buffalo wings, so I usually take them to Anchor Bar, since they’re the original. In the Anchor Bar vs. Duff’s debate I land squarely on the Anchor Bar side. I did bring one visiting friend on a wing tour of Buffalo and after trying wings at several bars and pizza places she declared Sorrentino’s on Main Street in Williamsville the winner. I also love bringing out-of-towners to Wegmans. It may not sound like a great time to those of us who shop there every week and take it for granted, but people who have never been there before are always blown away. I usually bring my guests to Mighty Taco as well, because it’s something they can only get in Buffalo.
Besides feeding them, I love taking visitors to a Sabres game to show them what Buffalo pride is all about. I’ll usually also walk them down Elmwood so they get a feel for some of the city’s culture. If it’s summer time, my visiting friends also get to be submerged under water in the Niagara Jet Boat Tours. They’re so fun and feeling like you might drown every time a rapid goes over your head is a rite of passage, yes?
What are some of your favorite food memories from your childhood?
Emily: I think the food memory that stands out most is my mom teaching me and my sister to make Dutch apple pie. It’s something we used to have at my Grandma’s house at Christmas or Thanksgiving and making the pie is still something the three of us do together at holidays.
What do you wish Buffalo had more of, food wise?
Emily: Am I allowed to say food trucks that would come out to my office park in Williamsville? I hear so much about the Buffalo trucks and I want to try their food!
Have you discovered any new favorite foods or cooking techniques since starting the blog?
Emily: I’m not sure this is revolutionary, but I’ve discovered that making main dishes in muffin tins is great for portion control and everyone loves “mini” meals. I’ve made macaroni & cheese, tacos, meatloaf, lasagna, spinach dip bread bowls and cheeseburgers all in individually sized muffin cups and they’re wildly popular recipes. Besides the novelty of being cute, I think people like being able to choose how many muffin-sized portions they’d like to have. Plus, they’re fun and easy finger food to serve on game day or at a party.
We’d like to thank Emily for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. Along with bookmarking her blog Emily Bites you can also follow along on facebook and twitter. Make sure you follow along because not only does Emily provide really easy and tasty recipes but she also just recently had a giveaway of Wholly Guacamole, so maybe you’ll win some free stuff too!