It was only five years ago when I was that guy who would go to a restaurant and only order Chicken Fingers, who thought Chinese food meant Sweet & Sour Chicken and who had yet to eat Eggs or even a Grilled Cheese sandwich (crazy, right?). I’ve come a long way since then. Inspired by my best friend Mike and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, I decided to try everything I could find in Buffalo and figured I’d keep track of all these new restaurants with this blog. Well, that was in February of 2009, and since then Buffalo Eats has grown exponentially. We (and by we, I mean myself and my wife, Alli) have tried hundreds of new restaurants, met and worked with some awesome people and participated in some really cool events (Nickel City Chef, Taste of Buffalo, Chowzter Awards, etc).

I really want to stress that I don’t consider myself a food critic and, up until 2013 we called our reviews ‘Food Porn’s’ to let people know that I have fun with food and don’t really take myself that seriously. Traditionally, food critics will visit a restaurant 3 times, live in complete anonymity and have an extensive knowledge in food in general (history/preparation/etc). I really don’t do any of those things (although I’ve become better in the knowledge department). I am just a regular guy with a full-time non-food related job and a really deep love of Buffalo and food.

  • I eat at a restaurant once before I write a review because that’s what most people do and because I’m not exactly rolling in money and can’t afford to go back multiple times.
  • I don’t mind putting myself out there because I love meeting people and talking about food.
  • If we know the restaurant owner (which a lot of times, we do) or have a conflict of interest, we’ll mention that too.
  • I’m not an expert, I just love trying new foods and finding that little hidden spot that no one knows about (which is getting harder and harder to do in Buffalo). If I don’t know a lot about a certain subject, I’ll be the first one to tell you.
  • Over the years we have become very involved in the local farming movement and now spend a large amount of our time supporting and spreading the word on the importance and benefits of buying locally raised and produced food products, including humanely and naturally raised meat products.
  • My angle is this: if you think you’re a picky eater and you’re afraid to try a new restaurant, hopefully you can read about my experiences and expand your dining choices beyond your corner Applebee’s and support local Buffalo restaurants in the process. I was in your shoes; I know I still need to learn more and I’m constantly trying to soak in as much as possible.

I hope you take our posts with a grain of salt; I’m not a food expert, I just really love food. I wasn’t an English major and I’m certainly not going to win any journalism awards anytime soon; I’m always trying to improve my writing. I was born and raised in this city and want to see the people who work here do well and encourage everyone to shop and eat at locally owned and operated establishments. I hope you enjoy Buffalo Eats for what it is and continue reading. Even after trying over 400+ restaurants over the last five years, we still have a lot more to eat and a lot more to learn.

Donnie Burtless

Founder, Buffalo Eats

PS – If you’d like to contact me to suggest a restaurant, ask about advertising on the site or you’d like to join the staff, please email me: buffaloeats@gmail.com.

Kind Words:

  • “All of this food-centric activity is reflected to a larger audience through a robust online community of food bloggers and activists, who provide countless glimpses into the kitchens and eating lives of Western New York. There’s at least a dozen, but Donnie Burtless and Alli Suriani of BuffaloEats.org have set the standard, compiling a vast, detailed portrait of the local eating world, with reviews, photographs and more. Burtless has interviewed more than 50 chefs, critics, owners, purveyors and other denizens of the food world in “Eat it Up,” his chatty podcast, available on the site.” – Andrew Galarneau, The Buffalo News [2/10/13]
  • “Burtless and Suriani began their newbie foodie quest in Buffalo in early 2009, and now, through their tireless efforts, everything about the site—from the writing to the technical analysis of the food to the production values associated with the site’s accompanying podcast, Eat it Up!—has improved drastically. With its enormous backlog of content and commitment to trying new restaurants as soon as possible, Buffalo Eats has earned every bit of its position of authority as a Buffalo’s most prominent food blog, without sacrificing the completely unpretentious tone, sense of humor, and—above all—honesty that has made the site so popular.” – Buffalo Spree [7/2013]
  • Stay in the know on the latest restaurant openings in town by following Buffalo Eats, a blog run by Donnie Burtless, whose ability to hit up the city’s ever-growing list of restaurants is impressive. – Edna Ishayik, New York Magazine [8/1/2014]

Awards & Nominations

11 thoughts on “About

  1. elizabeth

    check out the new japanese/chinese restaurant, tokyo/shanghai bistro on elmwood.

    also other places to try….

    for greek mythos, panos, the towne, acropolis

    toro *one of my favs


    thirsty buffalo

    colter bay

    k gallaghers

    • Don Burtless

      i just read the piece in buffalo rising about the new japanese place, i’m anxious/curious the mix and match of buffet and sushi. but its close by and i’m definitely going to check it out. thanks for the suggestions, i really want to try toro and tabree

  2. elizabeth

    also try papaya *another one of my favs, torches, sahara grill, scarlet

  3. Hey, its Eatalo, Your blog is great, you’ve got quite a catolog!!
    Thank’s for your comment, I’m having a lot of fun writing and eating, maybe it will slow down for a bit when this baby comes (4 weeks or less!) but it is great to see other Buffalo food lovers giving real critiques about all the food we have to eat in this city!!

  4. Lee

    I just tried Thai Orchid in Williamsville. I am not a fan of Thai (but admit I haven’t tried much). I loved it! Loved the atmosphere and the food was beyond delicious. Curious fact though, it is bring your own wine. They open it for you, put it in a wine bucket for you and pour it as well. I had the veggies stir fry with chicken and my dining buddies had the sea bass. We also had pot stickers and thai cups for the beginging. Highly recommend if you have not tried it already.

  5. Melissa

    In your article dated October , 2010 you said that Texas Roadhouse closed all of our locations down here. However, you must have been thinking about Roadhouse. Roadhouse went bankrupt. As a Texas Roadhouse manager we only opened our first location in NY in Tonawanda on Young St. in 2007. By posting are name your giving us a bad eye. Texas Roadhouse is not closed nor have we closed any locations. Please remove our name and replace it with Roadhouse as we dont know need to be associated with that Roadhouse. Also you may want to check your information before you post your information. Thanks

    • Don Burtless

      thanks Melissa! fixed

  6. Just found your blog- I’m from Buffalo and am exciting to keep reading ( you are added to my reader!)
    buffalo roadhouse would be kinda cool 🙂

  7. I don’t know how YOU can do a CHICKEN WING Review without including MY RESTAURANT !!
    Best WINGS In WNY ” HAND’s DOWN” !
    40 YEARS in Business
    self proclaimed ‘KING of the WING’
    Better hear from someone 523-9879; 633-9630 !

  8. Sheila

    http://www.yourspca.org/page.aspx?pid=468 this is a great fundraiser coming up to benefit the SPCA

  9. Andy

    Check out Miller’s Steak and Crab House on Clinton Street in West Seneca. Fair Priced food and great specials. Head chef is young and his food is great.

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