Give Peace a Chance! a joint statement…

Posted on: July 31, 2009
7 comments so far (is that a lot?)

Every Buffalonian shares a common interest: we all want to see Western New York represented honestly, and as a great place to visit or live. We come from many ethnicities and races, cultures and neighborhoods, but whatever differences we may have, we all agree that Buffalo is a world-class city for food. Buffalo hosts the United States’ most popular two-day food festival, the Taste of Buffalo, and our local specialties — wings, Beef on Weck sandwiches, and pizza among them — are often duplicated, but rarely as great as they are here.

As two people who work hard to help Buffalo achieve the recognition and success it deserves, we have come together today to address a major, mutual concern. For too long, the people of our city and suburbs have wrestled with the challenge of how to properly portray ourselves to the country, and to the world. We have fought amongst ourselves over what the message should be, rather than unifying to get a message out. This week, with the airing of the latest of many television shows spotlighting our area’s unique charms, debates once again broke out amongst us, our friends, and thousands of others as to whether the coverage was accurate, positive, or negative.

Today is the day to put these old debates to rest — a day for the people of Buffalo and Western New York to come together, remembering our history, acknowledging our present, and preparing for our future. We are blessed with unique access to skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling in the winter, Niagara Falls to cool us off during the summer, local wineries to visit in the spring and fall, and more than a dozen different ethnic and neighborhood food festivals to keep us drinking and eating throughout the year. Our people love their neighborhood bars, their Friday fish fries, and their nationally top-ranked markets. This is truly a great place to eat. But it is especially great because of the people, those who are ready to move forward and build up this region, through honesty and hard work.

We have a lot to offer — more than any single TV show, article, or visit to our area can truly capture. But we welcome people to try, and will support them when they do. And to the extent that we have ourselves disagreed about the message before, it should be very clear now. Because of all of us — those who are in the city, the suburbs, and even those outside who know how great our people are — Buffalo is back, and the best is yet to come.

Jeremy Horwitz, BuffaloChow.com
Nelson Starr, TrueBlueBuffalo.com

Charlie O’Brien’s – Home Sweet Home Away From Home

Posted on: July 2, 2009
21 comments so far (is that a lot?)

It’s been weeks, months even, since I was invited for a jaunt over to the famous South Buffalo joint Charlie O’Brien’s (865 Elk St.).  I was invited by fellow food blogger and all ’round amazing guy, Donnie Burtless from www.BuffaloEats.org (the “Food Porn” guy).

Ever since I did “Episode 3” of All Access Pass, I’ve developed a keen curiosity about the classic places in the Old First Ward, South Buffalo, and anything that juxtaposes my rather provincial Northtown heritage.  And just past “the Ward”, heading east, you’ll find such a place.

“Charlie’s”, as some call it, looks kinda small but somehow manages to grow larger once you enter (wait, that didn’t sound right!?).  Anyway, they have a big-a** bar with a respectable collection of tap and bottled beers.  …which we got down to drinking, forthwith, once we entered.

Hanging out with us were some friends of Donnie’s and Nate, my “assistant” – who thinks he’s in charge frankly (and often is) – and some of his gal pals.  It was quite the entourage – and we partied like we were (HBO’s) Entourage.

After some consultation with Donnie and all the crew, we ordered up some recommended slash famous menu items.  Here’s the run-down:

Appetizers:
Stuffed Hot Peppers
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Bread Bowl of Seafood Chowder

Wings and Fingers:
Charlie’s Style (wings)
Smitty’s Style (wings)

Seafood Entrees:
Broiled Cajun Haddock
Fish Fry

Alright, let’s dissect it as well as we can (“we” equals “me”).  Shucks, I am an honest food critic, so I really am constitutionally unable to say something is great if it sucks.  Luckily, nothing did suck!  In fact, two items, for me, were pretty revelatory.  But we’ll get to those soon enough.

The stuffed hot peppers were spicy hot, which is as they should be – bravo.  I definitely needed some extra cold beer to mollify the heat.  They had a unique stuffing, a bit unorthodox, but that’s often good.  The Chef (whose name eludes the author because the author was drunk at the time and forgot to pen it down) confided that the stuffing is composed of a “white pasta sauce” (hint, it starts with an “a”), some “pizza cheese” (…an “m”) and some “cream that has gone…” (… an “s”).  If you can’t figure that out, you’re an… (starts with an “i”).

As for the spinach artichoke dip, it was that standard, good, so-super-fattening-that-it’ll-put-cellulite-on-your-toes kinda heap of glop (that’s a compliment, BTW) served with, I could easily tell and a perfect choice, Father Sam’s pitas.  Donnie’s pick, the seafood chowder, was a bit skimpy on the seafood part – but I’m picky about that.  For me, if there are not hunks of lobster, real crab, and jumbo shrimp, it’s not worth it!  This was more like the imitation crab, Neptune type thing mixed with a decent cream chowder type deal.  Not big on that.

I’ll side-step the wings for now and get to the fish.  Nothing fishy here except for lots of quality oceanic protein – one version beer battered and fry-o-latored, the other broiled with cajun seasoning.  The cajun one was well done but probably wouldn’t win any awards in the NOLA seafood tourney.  Just a good, well hung piece of haddock (I assume that species?) with some quality cajun rub plentifully applied to the fillet.  Nice!  As for the fish fry, now you’re talking!  A very sizable piece of haddock fried to perfection with crunchy-a** crust ready to crack off and emit vapor to melt your lip off.  When it comes to fish fry, Buffalo is the top of the crop – and this particular example is pretty near the Platonic ideal!  This fish fry was downright immoral in its succulence and opulence – one hedonistic-ally decadent piece of fish. As could be expected, it pretty near evaporated faster than a moonshine flambe – except down our now vastly swollen gullets.  (Take that Donnie – food porn poetry!)

Ever since I heard about this Charlie O’Brien’s place, I’ve heard about how great their wings are.  Sure, whatever…prove it!  Boy, I was in for a surprise!  So maybe their hot wings are just awesome – and that’s a pretty great and accurate assessment.  But they also feature two kinds of wings that, I have to say, fascinated the hell outta me for being way off-the-grid, preparation-wise.

First, the Charlie’s Style wings… Hold on people, I’d have to say that they’re not even Buffalo style wings (or are they?) his comment is here.  It’s become part of the Buffalo style wing canon that you can’t bread or batter wings.  I even snidely remarked about that on my original Travel Channel video for No Reservations.  Yet, I have to admit, when I was a kid (and that’s a long time ago… the 60’s, 70’s), we used to pretty regularly get wings with a batter on them.  Back in those “olden times”, there was far less of a formulaic approach to wing-making, like there is today.  Hey, it was before cable and the internet !  Now, it seems like “everyone knows” that you just deep fry ’em and mix them around in butter and Franks.  But no!  I remember a different time – was it just a dream?  No it was not just a dream!  …and in places like Rochester – yes that terrible place – they still kinda do the battered wing thing.

Going back to Buffalo, the Charlie’s Style wing IS just such a creature!!  But if I can divert for just another second with a new question?  Have you ever heard foodies dish on their definition of comfort food?  Well, it usually has a whole lot to do with what Mom used to make when you were a kid.  Mom’s this or that is usually people’s ultimate comfort food (and often people’s hypothetical death row meal).  Well, I have to say that these battered Charlie’s Style wings brought back images, feelings, cute cuddly little memories of childhood – eating wings at M&E’s on Military with my Grandparents and Uncles.  I haven’t had a wing like this in… probably thirty years.  How cool!!  What really made it extra-super-cool was that the sauce was a singularly unique blend of minced jar garlic, butter, hot sauce and …whatever else?  It brought my childhood reminiscence straight into modernity.  What a ride…or should I say glide?! …get it – wings!  So, yes, the Charlie’s Style wings are a must have, a wing-a-licious tour de force!

Another weird wing concoction is this Smitty’s Style wing thing.  I muttered, “Is that nutmeg I taste?”  Yes, as was confirmed by our fine, yet anonymous, chef!  It IS a touch o’ nutmeg!  Hmmm… that’s kind of an Indian (as in South Asian) touch.  “These hot, spicy, un-battered (i.e. – normal in that regard), nutmeg-ed wings are damned good!”  And yes they certainly were.  In fact, I might have to say these were my favorite – and easily the most unique, due to the original spice mix employed.

Well, there’s my official run-down; my experience eating at Charlie’s!  Wait, I forgot to finish talking about the drinking part!  Holy heck!  Wow, well, we proceeded to tie one on pretty properly – in a way that might make the Irish namesake of the bar, whoever that Charlie guy actually is, very proud.  During the festivities, the very classy and party savvy Dino Pinelli Jr. hosted us all to quite a few complimentary rounds of beer, shots, and other assorted cocktails – besides the gratis food presentation.  A heartfelt thanks to Dino!!!  …and the chef, the staff …and that Van Gogh dude with the great coffee vodka.

I’d have to say, judging from the vibe of this place, Dino’s generosity, and the ear to ear grins on rest of the gang, that Charlie O’Brien’s has a way of conjuring up devilishly good spirits any day of the week!  I’d come back in a heartbeat for the fish fry, the signature wings, or just a cold beer.  Charlie O’Brien’s is a place you don’t need a reason to visit.  Like home, it’s just somewhere where you automatically belong.  Cheers to that!!

~ Nelson

Buffalo Spree’s Best of WNY 2009 – Food Station Review

Posted on: July 2, 2009
32 comments so far (is that a lot?)

On Thursday June 25, I attended Buffalo Spree’s “Best of WNY 2009” event at Sheas.  For me, it was basically just another excuse to go pig out – and write about it!  Yes, it’s a tough job…blah, blah, blah.

On hand were around nineteen food stations – everything from fairly typical hors d’oeuvres, to fruit, wine and cheese, martinis, and smoked sausage (yes, and even these jesters pretending to serve, what was quite invisible, food).

For once, I figured I’d give a run-down of (almost) all of the tasting station’s offerings.  Alas, the Spree “Best of WNY 2009” issue has them listed on pages 110 – 113!  So much for me laboriously writing them all down on my little pad!  Why bother?!  Well, I did rate each place… and I did have some comments.  Oh well, I might as well offer those up myself!

As a quick summary, I’d say that, overall, some presentations suffered from a lack of effort, creativity, and, certainly, budget.  Those on the low end of my rating scale chose to offer things that were “lowest common denominator” selections and/or were too miserly with the main ingredients.  On the other hand, there were almost just as many proprietors who chose to step it up and feature class “A” ingredients, lovingly prepared and handsomely presented.  Let’s just say, I know where I’ll be booking a table soon.  But look, these chefs are undoubtedly giving this away for free as well as preparing the food on-site – with barely any tools of the trade.  So, this may or may not be any sort of real indication as to their culinary skills or the quality that you might find at their respective restaurants.

Skipping the desserts, the to-my-palate super-average cheese, the actually very potable wine, and edible fruit arrangements (ick), I will attempt to provide a comment(s) to all the rest…. that, plus a rating.  Let’s stick to the order in the Spree issue, minus the ones I just mentioned above (you’ll need to reference that on pages 110 – 113).  Oh, these ratings are 1 – 10, 10 being the best.  Lastly, all the dishes were rated while the food was still in my mouth!  So, no long term mediation occurred between my oral sensation and my graded assessment.  …ya get that?

Here we go:

Chef Binks: rating – 6.  “I love Chef Binks.  Check out his excellent TV show on Sundays at WNLO.   But, I hate to say, this penne is very much like something you might get if you mixed good al dente penne with Classico’s alfredo sauce.  Skimpy on the prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes.”

Fiamma:
rating – 8.  “Okay, it is a good salad – even with domestic blue cheese no doubt.  But what gives, I should take off two points for the fact that you’re a STEAKHOUSE… we want to taste your beef guys!!!”

Harry’s: rating – 7  “The bacon wrapped scallop is done correctly, minus a desired touch of crispness to the bacon which is only adequate.  But hey, it’s been cooked over a hotplate!  The scallop is just cooked through – which is how it should be.  Vodka-Leek fondue is bland but pleasant with no indication of vodka present.”

Joe’s Deli: rating – 9  “Really an eight with a point for creativity!  The soup base is a bit can-like but the solids are good quality and it captures the taste of a rueben quite well.  Nice effort!”

My Tomato Pie: rating – 7  “Very, very creamy – which is good.  But lacks tomato to a fault.  Nice rustic and buttery crouton though!”

The Old Bank Bistro: rating – ?  “Sorry, I missed this!”

The Other Woman:
rating – 9  “Almost a 10!  Vichyssoise shooter is very good.  I taste the watercress – a unique touch.  See, it’s not so hard!  Ahi tuna tartare, et al, could be spicier for me…but that’s just my predilection.  Well balanced, thought out, and executed!”

Red Coach Inn:
rating – 8  “Very solid offering.  Nothing earth shattering, but at least they’re giving us some very proper beef.  Chipotle aioli could have more chipotle (i.e. – smoke and heat).”

Salvatore’s: rating – 8  “Spartan in its parsimony, we’re offered a piece of steak on greens, on a Costanzo’s (I wager) roll.  Too simple, not very creative, but absolutely delish!!”

Sample: rating – 10  “A honey lavender martini made with gin…that says it all…and NO sour mix!”

Shango:
rating – ?  “Closed by the time I arrive.”

Spar’s: rating – 10  “PILES of assorted smoked sausages:  German, spicy or mild Hungarian, peppettes, chorizo, andouille…please, that’s a 10 any way you slice it!”

Tandoori: rating – 3  “that’s one point for each item and nothing more.  Look, I am an Indian food FANATIC!  I cook it myself.  It’s the hardest cuisine in the world to get right, and to make great!  I have a whole cupboard dedicated to Indian spices and ingredients – I am a nut.  I also go around defending Tandoori because, for some reason, folks around here find it fashionable to criticize it.  Yes, it is more expensive.  Yes, they do add a lot of heavy cream to many of their dishes …on and on, I’ve heard it all.  But, still, I do think they have some darn good Indian food and at least it’s not like all the others (who somehow manage to pretty much prepare everything the same as each other, with some exceptions).  OK, so why 3 stars??  Because they have these horrible, half cold fritters that were probably not even homemade (but frozen).  The chutney’s are always great but it’s like stone soup to me – no lead character on the stage.  Where is the lamb, shrimp, chicken, curry, something??  Poor, poor effort.  And the nice woman at the table is some non-Indian who seems to know nothing about it all.  Like she’s just tending the table, hired from a temp-agency or something.  Worst station at the event.”

Verbena: rating – 10  “BEST in show!  And we’re not talking dogs here but duck!  …confit that is!  Believe it or not, uber-Iron Chef America challenger, Bruce Wieszala, is actually serving the food – and with a smile!  This is duck confit strudel with cucumber and white grape gazpacho…topped with a combination hoisin/ duck bone demi-glace.  There’s an ‘A’ for effort right off the bat!  Why is it that this prized chef, hailing from one of Buffalo’s most demanding kitchens (his own), can find the time and muster the effort to bring the “goods”, the REAL deal, to a one-off, non-competitive event like this?  It shows some real culinary panache.  What a class act!  And the taste?  Sheer heaven.  How could it not be? …days in preparation, technique stretching miles on miles.  This is what it’s all about sir.  Bravo chef Bruce!

The REAL Rules for Iron Chef America…?

Posted on: June 3, 2009
711 comments so far (is that a lot?)
Did you ever wonder how the heck the chefs on the show can so quickly start preparing dishes …right after supposedly just being told what the “secret” ingredient is?
According to the internet stuff I looked at, this guy’s post seems to sum up the food cognoscenti’s general consensus:
“The high-end, hardback, by-invitation-only professional chef’s magazine Art Culinaire, explained the rules to this about a year ago. The chefs are given a list of 5 ingredients at least one month before they will perform. An hour before they begin, they are told which of the 5 ingredients they will actually be “surprised” with, so that they can consult with their sous chefs. In Iron Chef Japan, they did not have this advance notification.
More important, in Iron Chef Japan the chefs had to prepare and plate ALL of their food within the hour. In the Iron Chef America version, they only need to plate ONE of each dish, and also there are never more than four servings needed (one for the Chairman and three for the judges). Some of the Iron Chef Japan episodes required serving as many as seven—and everything had to be plated within the hour. It is obvious from watching Iron Chef America that they only plate one of each dish before the timer is up kamagra oral jelly.”
From watching the show myself, I agree that they absolutely must have been told the “secret” ingredient before-hand or at least have been provided 3-5 options – for which they would have developed recipes with their sous chefs for each possible contingency.  It is also true – and 100% clear from the broadcast (but never mentioned by Alton or anyone else) – that they only have to plate one of each dish…and then get time to plate the additional 3 required dishes, some time after the “battle” concludes…which is edited out or not filmed at all, presumably (to further shield it from being leaked to the public).
That’s just what I’ve dug up and/or surmised myself from watching the show so often.  …so there is some speculation here and some internet research.  …and I ALWAYS trust what I read online.  Well no, but it really seems to square with what makes sense, what is possible, and what I’ve seen with my own two eyes.

Standing Out in Clarence

Posted on: May 26, 2009
6 comments so far (is that a lot?)

It’s not that hard to stand out!  Really? Yes, it’s true!  If there is one thing I always preach and harp on about, it’s not to expect to get anywhere with your food thang (restaurant, etc….or even in creative/artistic endeavors, in general) unless you are doing something truly creative, innovative, interesting, different, enigmatic, compelling, singular…the list goes on.  It’s always surprising to me that so many places are seemingly oblivious to this obvious caveat.  Yet, I continually find the same predictable bistro fare on menu after menu…or the nausea inducing ubiquity (there’s that word again – and I disdain “ubiquity”, for the record!) of strip mall pizza/sub/wing shops littered throughout the region.  But I do LOVE buffalo food – and yes, that means our pizza, subs, and wings for that matter.  But people…get a clue.  A la Carla Bruni, let’s “evolve” a little bit too!  And that can mean something as small as putting your own twist on a traditional Buffalo food recipe or offering something just a cut above the standard issue blue plate.  C’mon Buffalo, I know you can!

This Memorial Day I was reminded of just how simple it can be to stand out from the competition.  We (the family) decided to take a drive into Clarence Center, to somewhere that might be okay to chill with a one year old kid on a hot day.  We found Clarence Center Coffee Company and Cafe.  What a cool little coffee house, in the dead center of…Clarence Center.  For the most part, this place is just like any other coffee house – good quality coffee, some fun and easy food offerings, shakes and smoothies, ice cream, you name it.  Alright, well it’s already pushing the limits of standard issue because they do offer a lot – and it seems well done (I did not eat, but the aroma of fried onions was tempting me for sure!).  But alas, there was nothing too earth shattering.  Except for one thing:  alcohol!!  Yes, booze…well, booze if you consider beer and wine boozy.  Yes, it’s that simple to stand out!
I’ve always been annoyed to no end that, in the US, we have this pathological fear of alcohol.  In Europe, they act like such bona fide adults about it – whereas in our ninny slash nanny state of panicked fear, we have to regulate it in such bizarre ways (google Utah’s “zion curtain” for details).  Thus, the age-old tradition of serving wine and beer in cafes (coffee houses) has always been, for the most part, a missing element of coffee house culture in America.  But not at this seemingly innocent little Clarence joint!
And they do it well.  They have a cooler full of assorted micro-brews – and about 30 open bottles of quality wine, ready to go.  What a refreshing sight!  And, low and behold, there was no disco, hip hop, or alternative rock blaring; no people puking in the bathroom; and no drunks bellied-up to a bar.  In other words, bucolic life as we know it in Clarence Center did not come to a screeching halt because “demon rum” was being consumed within its borders.  In fact, the place is a haven for families and kids.  If anything, my only issue was that there were too many middle school types there taking over the place.  (But hey, where else can a kid go these days.  And there is no place you’d rather have your kid go.  …though it’s a real hotbed of ice cream and soda pop if that troubles you.)
Other controversial items include: an open mic on Tuesdays and featured musical acts on Friday and Saturdays.  Did I tell you that the staff is also friendly, courteous, subversively attractive (the young woman who helped me was film starlet good-looking …but watch out, she shouldered a stereo pair of tattoos!), and intelligent (yes, physics was discussed).
All in all, Clarence Center Coffee Company and Cafe is nothing too out of the ordinary…or scary.  It’s just a good cut above – precisely because you can enjoy a fine Sauvignon Blanc or India Pale Ale while you’re there… if you dare.  Is that too much to ask from a coffee house? I think not!
visit:  http://www.clarencecentercoffee.com for more information

Mustard Seed

Posted on: May 12, 2009
9 comments so far (is that a lot?)

Have you seen the brouhaha over Pres. Obama’s choice of dijon mustard??  The haters (or is it just Sean Hannity?) just can’t get with his unapologetically French tastes!  Personally, I love it – a president who appreciates Maille…or was it Grey Poupon?  I love them both!!

For more, and a food quiz, see: http://food.aol.com/condiment-quiz

Check out our True Blue Buffalo sprouts and tweets for more links on this, including a mustard taste test contest:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Buffalo-NY/TrueBlueBuffalocom/75859183397?v=app_2373072738&viewas=602071336#/pages/Buffalo-NY/TrueBlueBuffalocom/75859183397?v=wall&viewas=0

and…http://food.aol.com/grilling/mustard-taste-test

Join us on Twitter! …and see my tweet on the mustard taste test! https://twitter.com/TrueBlueBuffalo

FINALLY – Does anyone know of a really hot mustard (hopefully somewhat readily available) that actually is …hot??  Most of the ones I bought for my own taste tests were pretty …not hot.  The exception is Colemans (and if you prepare it yourself using the raw mustard flour, it’s REALLY hot).   My benchmark for hot is the mustard they serve at McSorley’s Alehouse in NYC.  Now that is freakin’ HOT! …and delicious!!  C’mon foodies!!!

Zetti’s – The Best NY Style Pizza in WNY!!

Posted on: March 29, 2009
9 comments so far (is that a lot?)

With the opening of the second location of Zetti’s Pizza and Pasta, across from the Flint (main) entrance to UB North, WNYers are finally witnessing the just ascent of NYC style pizza in their region.  While I am a huge fan of traditional Buffalo-style pizza (La Nova, La Hacienda, Bocce, and Just Pizza are among my favorites), “New York style pizza”, as it is known, is simply so transcendent and so self-justifying that its emergence here in WNY is a welcome and inevitable turn of events.

Although I occasionally enjoy some of the pizzerias proclaiming themselves makers of NY style pizza (Buzzi’s – which is very good, Molinaro’s – which is reasonably good, and some others that I won’t mention), most of these pizza makers have been unable to succesfully cross that elusive threshold into the realm of, what true aficionados can easily sniff out as, real NY style pizza.  Before Zetti’s, the only real NY style slices that I knew of in the area were at a place (now closed and whose name eludes me) just down the street from the (also defunct) Molly’s Pub on Main St., near UB South; the raunchy but true-blue NY style slices on Allen, between Elmwood and Delaware (owned by Palestinian pie tosser Keith or is it Keef); and the excellent and sorely missed Leo’s/Leon’s in the Boulevard Mall, pre-food court!!  Other than these notables, WNYers have, on the whole, been missing out on one of the most savory incarnations of pizza since its inception.
Zetti’s is easily the best example of this artful, and yes, even delicate, approach to  pie making.  What sets true NY style pizza making apart from, say, Buffalo style pizza making are four basic things:  the overall size, the overall thinness, the toppings, and the emphasis on slices as opposed to whole pies.  In this grand tradition – which hails from the New York City area – and which is also distinct from other traditional New York City pizza traditions, such as Neapolitan or “margherita” coal oven fired pizza (Patsy’s, Grimaldi’s, Totonno’s, etc.) – pizza is not seen as a sloppy pile-on of excessive amounts of ingredients (cheese, sauce, and dough primarily).  Instead, NY style pizza has a delicately thin and, all importantly, crispy crust, with thin layers of sauce and cheese.  All this is accomplished on an oversized/overstretched  pizza crust (too often neglected by neophyte NY style pizza makers here).  It is precisely because the dough and crust are so spread out, and thus large, that the texture of the final crust can transform into the bendable yet barely crispy crust that is the sine qua non of the quintessential NY style slice.  The total diameter of a NY style whole pie is several inches larger than the average Buffalo (and almost any other region’s) pizza.  In fact, it is so large that it will not fit in a traditional “large pizza” box.  The resultant slice from a gigantic pie like this is predictably larger and is, again, a hallmark of this style of pizza making.
As for the toppings and other differences, these particulars make sense if your business emphasis is to sell individual slices to lunch goers rather than whole pies to families for, say, pizza night.  Because of NYC’s hustle and bustle atmosphere and active, healthy business lunch, the NY style slice reflects the need for a slice or two of quality pizza with a variety of toppings to satisfy a diverse clientele.  It’s logical then that the the Kings of NYC slice-dom (Ray’s chief among them), regularly have 10 or more different pizza pies arranged on a counter for the customer’s perusal at lunch.  Toppings often include, assorted meats, combination veggies, white pizzas, pineapple and ham, dollops of ricotta and red sauce, and an evolving lineup of often creative combinations.  Yes, the ubiquitous pepperoni pizza is presented – albeit with thinly sliced pepperoni, unlike the grease filled “cups” of thick cut pepperoni’s that we Buffalonians know …and love (I love them too and would encourage NY style pizzerias to experiment with this Buffalo style pepperoni twist!).
Zetti’s is so compelling a presence precisely because they are getting all these elements dead-on right!  The size is probably the biggest ever witnessed in WNY, even among those handful of other artisans who “get it”.  The toppings are well conceived, creative and well balanced – never sloppy.  And, the crust:  it’s the true sign that this rendition of NY style is in full bloom.  What can I say but that this crust is perfect and is not too soggy at the front or to hard at the back of the slice but, instead, is relatively consistent tip to heel with just the proper procession from soft to hard as one’s mouth wolfs it down.
So am I a traitor because I confess my love for this pizza?  No effen way!  It’s OK to love Buffalo style pizza and NY style.  They are so different – as each offers a wholly unique taste experience.  We Buffalonians need to embrace change and understand the new.  Our traditions all originally hail from places well beyond our own shores for heck’s sake.  It’s even more justified that a new kind of pizza  – from our very own State – should find a home here …and hopefully revolutionize the way we think about pizza and, perhaps, food generally.  It is these challenges to our way of seeing things that ultimately helps us to differentiate, as well as integrate, our particular foodways from and with all else. Go for it!!!

New Episode in Works – Pictures in the Meantime!

Posted on: March 27, 2009
4 comments so far (is that a lot?)

Hey truebluebuffalonians,

We’re hard at work getting Episode 3 (St. Patty’s Day/Old First Ward) done and uploaded.  It will be worth the wait!  It was one of the best shoots – and is perhaps the most conceptually taut so far.  It will probably be the longest Episode but that’s because there is so much cool stuff!  So… don’t give up hope!

In the meantime, our assistant/sound guy/all ’round talent, Nate, posted some cool pics from the upcoming Episode at Facebook.  To get a glimps of what’s to come, see:  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=37313918&op=1&view=all&subj=602071336&id=15719384#/album.php?aid=2229408&id=15719384

Of course you have to have a Facebook account to access them…but don’t we all by now???

Enjoy,

Nelson

Buffalo Rising surveys “Adventures” episodes

Posted on: March 15, 2009
7 comments so far (is that a lot?)

Buffalo Rising recently published a review of the first five installments of “Adventures in Buffaloland” (complete with a custom graphic for each episode)!  There is a good discussion happening on the comments there. Check it out.

Buffalo News spotlights TrueBlueBuffalo.com!

Posted on: March 8, 2009
30 comments so far (is that a lot?)

Grab a copy of this Sunday’s Buffalo News and check out the story and photos in the Spotlight section.

Read it online here:

http://www.buffalonews.com/185/story/600954.html