During the course of 2015, Alli and I visited new restaurants that for one reason or another, we just never wrote about. So we decided to clean out our 2015 backlog and write some short pieces about some of those forgotten meals. Today we are writing about some meals we had at Home Taste in Kenmore and Bobby J’s in Depew.
Home Taste (3106 Delaware Ave, Kenmore).
We love dumplings and after finding out that Buffalo had another homemade dumpling shop, we had to check it out. We decided on an impromptu weekend dinner and brought our podcast producer/graphic designer Tom along to help make our way through the menu. A quick look at the exterior of Home Taste is deceiving. It literally looks like every other Chinese place in Buffalo. But once you take a look at their homestyle menu (it’s the one with Chinese and English translations) you’ll realize there’s more to this place than meets the eye. There’s about 50 items on the homestyle menu, sorted into categories like Staple Food (aka dumplings, steamed buns, etc), Cold Dishes, Hot Stir Fries and Soup.
The highlights from our meal were clearly the fried dumplings, both the chicken with leek and pork with cabbage were excellent. The spicy chicken with red peppers was very similar to Chongqing-style Chicken that we’ve had at Miss Hot Cafe and China Star. It’s essentially really spicy chicken nuggets. The braised beef sirloin noodle was a big bowl of spicy broth with plenty of thick noodles. It made for excellent leftovers the next day. The large steam buns were exactly that and incredibly boring, we’ll skip those next time.
Our hearts are with Miss Hot Cafe but if we are thinking dumplings first and foremost, Home Taste isn’t a bad idea. Tom has gone back since that visit and has converted several of his friends. This is definitely the best Chinese in the Kenmore area.
Home Taste Photo Gallery:
Bobby J’s Italian American Grille (204 Como Park Blvd, Cheektowaga).
Occasionally, certain cravings hit us and we drop everything to satisfy them. We were in the mood for some serious red sauce Italian the night we visited Bobby J’s. Run by the family that owned Desiderio’s, they definitely have a decent size following of people who used to be regulars at their old restaurant.
First things first, the restaurant has two completely different atmospheres. The dining room has white table cloths and feels more like a traditional ‘fine dining’ restaurant with servers who wear white shirts and ties. The bar however feels like your typical neighborhood sports pub with plenty of flat panel televisions and an impressive craft beer list.
The food menu is straight forward red sauce Italian (with the local twist of pizza grub and pub food), so we decided to stick to the classics. We tried out their tomato bisque, french onion soup, some cheese bread with spinach, chicken parm and ravioli’s with meatballs. The food was good but came at a higher price point then we were expecting. There are so many places to get solid red sauce in this town that nothing really stood out to us that made us want to go back for more. We didn’t walk away feeling like we found our local Italian joint but we weren’t upset about our meal either. We just felt OK, which is probably why it took over four months to finally write something.
Bobby J’s Photo Gallery: