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No Skinny Jeans This Week: A 2012 Taste of Buffalo Wrap

Serving up savory goodness from Saigon Cafe
As I recover from my food coma and try to get motivated to jump on the treadmill, I marvel that another Taste of Buffalo is already in the books. The 29th annual food fest, a holy day of sorts for me, started out ominously with thunderstorms but cleared up beautifully on Saturday and Sunday. 

Debbie with salmon and lobster gnocchi from Francesca's
I had the pleasure of being a judge again this year. When I picked up my assignment, I eagerly flipped through the sheets to see which restaurants I would be officially sampling. My 1st stop was the Bavarian Nut Company.  As Sandy Beach knows, I am a devotee of the Hot Nuts, peanuts with a kick of spicy heat. They didn’t disappoint – neither did the cinnamon glazed pecans and homemade trail mix. My hubby and glutton partner, Dan, brought several cones home for some healthy snacking.

Chester's Cajun ladies demonstrating how to eat crawfish
Among the other highlights at the Taste: 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 patiently explained to hungry onlookers how to clean and eat the little mudbugs. As they say in the south, “Twist, Pull, Suck, Squeeze, Swallow.” 

Delicious cuisine from Delhi Chaat, first time Taste participants
We also enjoyed Tandoori’s Sabzi Pakoras, the best this side of Mumbai for my money. The crunch veggie fritters are the perfect size and they burst with flavor. Rookies like Francesca’s with their delicious and rich lobster gnocchi, eggplant   and lemon sorbet and another newcomer, Delhi Chaat, serving up excellent fritters and spicy cauliflower, acquitted themselves extremely well.

Other favorites included Bing’s Artichokes Gratinee and Goo, the ice cream and fudge dessert, the dark chocolate banana and luscious chocolate dipped cheesecake from Landies.  

Orazio's offerings
Also enjoyed the creative variety at Orazio’s, including Brasciole Sliders, Sweet Potato Puffs and a refreshing palate cleanser, Lemoncello Sorbet.

Loved the offerings from The Cheesy Chick Food Truck, especially the healthy choice: banana and Nutella grilled on whole grain bread.  Here’s hoping the food trucks remain a regular part of the Taste.

Kudos to Jack Astor’s for my favorite healthy option, the Thai Cucumber Salad. This light, crunchy dish is one you could easily make at home and it fits the low-calorie bill nicely.

Shelly & her hard-working son from Bing's
I do have a minor beef about the Red Osier. Charging 3 tickets, or a $1.50, for a dill pickle is ridiculous. You can do better than that!

All in all, it was yet another fabulous Taste of Buffalo. Congrats to all the organizers, restaurant owners and their hard working staff, the countless volunteers and others associated with the biggest food fest in the country.

A tip of the hat to the entertainers as well, especially the All-Star Project, featuring Don Tomasulo, Dick Bauerle and Matt Young among other musical luminaries.

07/09/2012 4:00PM
No Skinny Jeans This Week: A 2012 Taste of Buffalo Wrap
What was your favorite thing about the 2012 Taste of Buffalo? Any complaints?
07/09/2012 4:58PM
Great time at the best event of summer
My friends and I loved the mea patties at Caribbean Experience and the lemon cake at Crushicki Bakery. Can'how much food we ate in one day. We noticed that pickle too. You are right on, Brenda!
07/09/2012 4:59PM
Sure hope they come back every year. Loved the salmon and lemon dessert.
07/09/2012 5:29PM
Layout of restaurants, etc. was good as were the trash/recycle bins. They really have done a nice job with this great annual event. Loved Francesca's lobster gnocchi, Fat Bob's mac and cheese, Deli Chat veggie thing with chic peas, Lobster bisque, the gelato was divine and I just had to bring home the chocolate covered strawberries from Landies. Needless to say, I did not eat dinner last night. Spot on about the lousy pickle. tpo
07/09/2012 8:16PM
Would like to see some Greek restaurants and more food trucks.
07/10/2012 8:32AM
The pricing should
The officials should review the pricing at the Taste of Buffalo starting ..Brenda, with the Dill Pickle & Red Osier along with a couple others . It leaves a bad taste for some people attending ! Otherwise Taste of Buffalo is Fabulous and the judges are right on target.
07/10/2012 9:44AM
Some Good and Bad Ideas This Year...
I know it's overpriced, but I do love the Taste and attend every year. I saw the pickle price, too, and thought it was definitely gouging (as opposed to gorging which is typical at this event) but I also saw some restaurants offer smaller sample sizes which I thought was an excellent idea which should be promoted more. It would give attendees a chance to sample more offerings. Addition of the food trucks was great but why cluster them into one area? The music was varied but way too loud in some (i.e.: most) areas. And this was by far the cleaniest of any of the previous Tastes. My compliments to the City.
07/10/2012 10:03AM
Vendor here for 16 years. Thought it was a well-run event this year, improvements were made in flow and cleaning-up. Music was tough for us, directly across the stage from them was deafening. Could not talk with customers while music played. Should be background volume...Need Improvement there. Hope all had a great time!
07/10/2012 1:03PM
I say- perfect. Had the classic grilled cheese and it brought me way back in time to a fav lunch while growing up. Perfectly made grilled cheese- crispy, not too greasy, just the right amount of melty cheese. Add some tomato soup and I'm back athome in Mom's kitchen.
07/10/2012 3:44PM
oh yes....
The pickle thing ...Some things were simply wonderful ..priced right etc. but others really gouged as stated above All in All the Taste cant come back soon enough for me! Good Judging Brenda and crew !
07/10/2012 3:49PM
Dont get me wrong here the location is fine and cannot wait for next TASTE....but wouldnt it be nice to have it on the waterfront ? Great judging Brenda and crew !
07/11/2012 9:51AM
Loved it...
I loved it all Nothing negative to say except for the dill pickle .... Maybe they will rethink it next year Great job Brenda Love your blog!
07/11/2012 8:42PM
Sandy Beach
Brenda, when will you be on again with Sandy? I like your Lebros commercial with him.
01/21/2013 8:52AM
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