Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A weekend in food

Sorry I've been MIA...we just got back from a long weekend (well, almost a week!) in Buffalo visiting family for our first annual "Christmas in January". It was a lot of fun, and felt a lot less hurried and stressful than normal Christmas-at-Christmas time travel.

But the purpose of this isn't to recap all the fun stuff we did, but rather, all the delicious stuff we ate. See, when we go back to Buffalo, we OD on all the local Buffalo food that we miss desperately. I don't know if I've got any Buffalo natives reading, but if so, you are so lucky to always have this food readily available!

So here's what we had:
  • Loganberry "juice". I've never seen this anywhere besides the Buffalo area, but it's an omnipresent lurker in the soda stations back home. It's SWEET and bright red and delicious!
  • Sponge candy. Okay, this isn't just a Buffalo thing, but it's everywhere in the Buffalo area, even the bulk bins at the supermarket. I could find it here, I'm sure, but I'd have to search. At home, I got three different flavors (milk, dark, and orange) in the bins at the grocery. Easy, peasy, and so yummy!
  • Duff's wings. First, if you're in Buffalo, they're not called "buffalo wings". They're just wings, or perhaps chicken wings. And they're awesome. I've never had wings as good anywhere else. In fact, I'd be hesitant to tell people to try "buffalo wings" outside of Buffalo. Or really, outside of Duff's. Oh sure, some of you are going to pull the whole "but Anchor bar is where wings were invented." Fine, but Duff's is where they were perfected, so head out to the 'burbs if you want the best. These are true HOT wings. So good, and just sopping in hot sauce, that's perfect to dip the fries in. Mmmmmmm....
  • John's Chicken Finger Subs. It's so simple: chicken fingers shaken in hot sauce, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing. I've tried to get restaurants to make it here in the Boston area, but no one comes close to the perfection that is John's. Their pizza is horrid (though we'd always go out to eat it after track meets in high school), but their subs are outstanding!
  • Elmwood Taco and Subs burritoes. It's nothing like "real" Mexican food...but it's still good. Their bean and cheese burritoes and meat and extra cheese burritoes are perfection. And that's about all that's on the menu (okay, fine, there's more, but just ignore it).
Things we missed this trip (hey, we can only eat so much!):
  • Ted's Hot Dogs. They know, as everyone everywhere should, that the only proper way to prepare a hot dog is grilling. Oh, and they have the most awesome onion rings and milkshakes. Why can't you find a good hot dog stand outside of Buffalo?
  • Mighty Taco. Well, this is a little embarrassing. If you're from outside Western New York, the best way I can describe Mighty Taco is that it's a regional chain kind of Taco Bell-ish. Except that doesn't do it justice at all, as you couldn't pay me to eat Taco Bell, but I still love Mighty Taco. Not like my brother and sister-in-law, who got this the minute they arrived in town, but the hard shell bean and cheese tacos at Mighty are just so awesome!
  • Beef on weck. It's a famous Buffalo food that I'm actually not too keen on. I find kimmelweck rolls kind of gross, what with all the excess salt and caraway seeds. So we often skip this, but it did need a mention since a trip to Anderson's for a roast beef and frozen custard (loganberry on the side!) is always a good Buffalo outing.
Isn't it weird how tied you become to local foods? I wonder, if we ever moved out of the Boston area, what food we'd miss?

What's the local food in your area that's not to be missed?


American in Norway said...

I think I just gained 10 lbs reading your post! Sounds like a great time!

Rhonda said...

Welcome home. Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself. I know what you mean about missing the food you can only get at home. I don't think we eat out enough to really miss any Boston foods except for maybe the ice cream. There aren't a lot of ice cream stands in VA and the ones that you find only serve up soft serve or frozen custard.

Luckygirl said...

Thank you for your post on CSA. It was so interesting and I'd never heard of CSA before and now we're thinking of doing it; actually sharing it with another family, so I sent her the link to your post today. There are a bunch in my area and I just didn't know it!

As far as local restaurants where I live? If you're ever in Portland and you like Asian food, you have to drive down Sandy and eat at Chaba Thai best. food. ever. Other than that, we go places for the microbrews, not the food :)

just me said...

ohhhhhhhh Buffalo how I miss your food. I'm not a fan of beef on weck either, but I'll take Duffs (gravy with the fries) and a supermighty and a loganberry any day! No exciting local food in NJ, just jersey tomatoes, cranberries, and salt water taffy.

Theresa said...

Ooh, that post made me HUNGRY!!

Hey, as a Buffalo resident, what's your opinion on Buff's Pub and their wings? Do they compare at all with the "real thing"? said...

Oh my gosh, it's crazy how tied to food we become. In Los Angeles I love Tito's tacos. Seriously, it's been 15 years and I crave them almost daily. In Brazil and Holland there are so many things. Strangely enough, I am currently in Oregon and there is little I "have to have" ~ probably because I have so much fun in my own kitchen! However, having read Luckygirls comment, I may have to try Chaba Thai. What a great post. I can't wait to hear what you would miss from Boston if you ever moved!

Jeanne said...

Funny how tied we are to the tastes of our childhood. Whenever I go visit my sisters in the South, I'm not welcome without a bag of Mike-Sells Potato Chips, but I know a couple who didn't grow up here who can't understand what the big deal is.

Maggie said...

mmmmmmmmm. but you forgot Bocce pizza. Everyone who visits us has to bring one, plus a loaf (or 4) of Dicamillo bread. Oh how I do miss the food...

Glad you had fun! I'll try and call you later this AM.

Threeundertwo said...

Yum! We have olallieberries around here, which I think are similar to loganberries. Best pie imaginable.

Nancy said...

OH man. Food - one of my favorite subjects! :)

From Vermont, I miss Tootie's (since been renamed) soft ice cream (called "Creamies"). And Maple bread that you can get only at the local fair. And fried bread dough from Martha's truck. (No one else comes CLOSE to the tastiness of this dough - and funnel cake is so not right.)

From New Jersey, I miss Tops Diner's gravy fries.

Man. I'm so hungry now. *sigh*

Welcome back!! :)

Epicurean said...

Welcome back!
Well hubby being from Buffalo too made me taste the frozen custard of Anderson's and I have to admit, that was great! Bocce's pizza (I agree Maggie) and Ted's hotdogs which I also had when I was in Phoenix (the only branch out of Buffalo. Also the Watson's sponge candy. I was also introduced to Chiavetta's marinade that is popular in Buffalo. And of course Wegman's market...not food but a place of food that is just amzaing!!!
How about in Atlanta, Surin of Thailand and Kool Korners who apparently just closed (I just found out right now and I'm so sad, you lived there...were you able to taste their cuban sandwiches??)
In New Mexico, the green chiles.
In San Diego the fish tacos
And now in Boston...we cant survive without Santarpio's Pizza and their barbeque...

Wolf said...

i can't say there are really any local foods in delaware...but...we don't have dunkin donuts where we live now, so every time i go back to delaware i eat at dunkin donuts...just about every day. i love their donuts and none of the donuts here compare.


p.s. i was interested to see what you had thought of eragon, etc. i'm glad you liked it.