Break Out the Elastic Pants: A 2011 Taste of Buffalo Wrap
by Brenda Alesii,posted Aug 30 2011 3:08AM
Hard to believe the 2011 Taste of Buffalo is already in the rear-view mirror. The 28th annual feeding frenzy drew the usual humongous crowds of hungry men, women, children, and mercifully just a few animals.
I had the pleasure of being a judge again this year. When I picked up my clipboard, I eagerly flipped through the sheets to see which restaurants I would be officially sampling. Would you believe the first sheet was for the Bavarian Nut Company, which I talked about last Friday on the Sandy Beach Show?
As Sandy and Tony know, I am a devotee of the Hot Nuts, peanuts with a kick of heat. They didn’t disappoint – neither did the cinnamon glazed pecans and trail mix.
Among the other highlights in my glutton tour: popping the meat out of the crawfish and sucking the juice out of the head, “just like a true Cajun,” according to the woman at Chester’s booth. She was patiently explaining to curious onlookers how to clean and eat the little mudbugs. As they say in the south, “Twist, Pull, Suck, Squeeze, Swallow.”
My hubby and I also enjoyed Chester’s shrimp and rice, a lovely dish that was perfectly seasoned. Tandoori’s has the best Pakoras in town for my money. Bursting with flavor,the crunchy veggie fritters are the perfect appetizer. I also loved the grape leaves, spinach pie and falafel wrap from first-time participants, Byblos.
The Sushi combo from Sakura, the crab cake with the Sicilian cigar from Bing’s, the sliders from Dinosaur BBQ, especially the Wango Tango sauce are all on my highlight list.
Papaya offered up a luscious Grilled Tofu, but I went calorie crazy shortly after with Truffle Fries from Encore. The Strawberry Goat Salad was a nice addition, as if I needed one.
Whew! No wonder I still have a food hangover. But I already have July 7 & 8, 2012, circled on my calendar when the next Taste waddles around.
In case you missed the official 2011 winners, here they are:
Chairman’s Choice (chosen by 2011 Chairman Mark Zawodzinski): Laughlin’s Hog Wing
Children’s Choice (chosen by Zoe Zawodzinski, daughter of this year’s chairman): Nick Charlaps Ice Cream Custard Ice Cream Cone
New York Award (selected by U.S Congresswoman Kathy Hochul): Alex’s Place Restaurant Pot Roast Slider
Pat Sardina Memorial Award for Best Comfort Food: Giacobbi’s Pasta & Pizza Steak in the Grass
Lou Billitier Memorial “Rookie of the Year” Award: Nitro Magic Ice Cream
Best Overall Item: Bings Goo
Best Meat Item: BW’s Barbecue Atomic Drop
Best Seafood Item: Bings Crab Cake/Sicilian Cigar Combo
Best Vegetarian Item: Molinaro’s Ristorante & NY Pizzeria Watermelon Salad
Best Dessert: Landies Candies Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake
Best Red Wine: Hazlitt Vineyards Schooner Red
Best White Wine: Glenora Wine Cellars Dry Riesling
Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options:
First Place: Sweet Melody’s Fresh Fruit Sorbet
Second Place: Encore Restaurant Strawberry/Goat Salad