Even though we took a two month hiatus from blogging, we didn’t take a two month hiatus from eating. We originally thought we’d focus on cooking at home, scale back our events and just relax. That didn’t really happen. We tried new restaurants, were invited to several press tastings, did a little ‘celebrity’ judging and kept track of what was going on in the food world.
This week we are going to write a couple blog posts with short descriptions of some of these meals. Instead of taking several weeks to write full on reviews for each restaurant/event, we’ll write a couple sentences about some of our more memorable meals. After this week, things will start to go back to normal and we’ll write full reviews and maybe we’ll even start bringing our SLR to restaurants….
SATO. We were lucky enough to get an invite to a private, pre-opening SATO tasting in January. Along with some other local bloggers, we enjoyed a nice sampling of their menu. Everything we tried at the preview night was very good, especially the pork belly with bok choy, the bowl of Sato Ramen and their creative Kasutera dessert. We then tried more of their food at the 2014 Soupfest and was even more impressed. Their braised pork soup had a wonderful intense pork-flavored broth that I could have drank by the gallon. We decided to go back the following day and again had a fantastic meal (we highly recommend the Kara Age Chicken -pictured above- and the Spicy Miso Ramen). Buffalo has been lacking in a quality ramen shop, but from what I have tried at SATO, it should scratch that itch.
We no longer live in the city, but having the option to get a bowl of ramen at 1am on Elmwood is a very good thing. If you’d like to read a more detailed review on SATO, check out our friend Donny Kutzbach’s guest post from two weeks ago.
The Workshop Pop at Delish. Taking a little break from making bitters, Chef Edward Forster put together his third Workshop pop up dinner. Alli and I grabbed tickets seconds after it was first announced and we were lucky, the event sold out within 30 minutes. We showed up to the secret location (Delish) on a cold and snowy January night and got comfortable with some wine and a playlist of old punk jams from the 80’s.
The event was a blast. We shared bottles of white wines with fellow attendees, made some new friends and hung out with some of our closest friends. Ed showcased his skills with creative dishes like fluke and frozen broth (above), a simple dish of Oles Farm local carrots and the best butternut squash I’ve ever had. There were 114 days between the Ed’s Lloyd pop up and the latest at Delish…let’s hope that we don’t have to wait that long for the next one. I highly suggest staying up to date with The Workshop on twitter/facebook so you can have a chance at attending the next event.
Kelly’s Korner. For any Buffalonian, ‘The Best Places to Get Wings’ conversation is generally a horrible experience. People pick their favorite places to get wings in this area almost exclusively by nostaligia and get really offended when you have a differing opinion. For the most part, everyone uses the same wing sauce recipe and at this point, most restaurants know how to fry a chicken wing properly. So when friends of mine wanted to try Kelly’s Korner because they heard about the wings, I was initially indifferent to the idea.
If you’ve never been inside, Kelly’s Korner looks like every dive bar/restaurant that you’ve visited in Buffalo. There are the standard Labatt and Molson signs hanging everywhere, old Buffalo Bills signs, an electronic dart board and the bar is often filled with a dedicated following of regulars from the neighborhood. Their wings are both similar and different at the same time. The actual wings are large and crispy and their medium sauce is good but standard. What really impressed me and what made me bring back Alli to this tiny bar was the ‘hot’ wings. They were covered in dry spices (chili powder and something else that I couldn’t put my finder on) that not only gave the wings a great flavor but added a touch of something different to the texture. I should also mention they are dirt cheap. An order of 50 wings is just $29.99. And ordering a double order of wings, two beers, a plate of french fries and a few pops was under $20.
Somehow we ended up watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympic games and the commentary from the locals was as horrifying and hilarious as you could hope for. I’ll be going back very soon.