The past three days were the best of 2013, and I have so much to say. We ended every day so exhausted/satisfied/full and blogging just felt like an impossible feat. But how can I not blog two of my favorite meals in Buffalo? I may not get to say as much as I’d like, but at least this post will help put my memories all in one place. If I had to state the theme of this post succinctly, it would be – I really, deeply, emphatically love good food.
This weekend we were lucky enough to have a visit from some of my Maryland family, my aunt and one cousin. They are some of the best people I know and I loved getting to share and explore Buffalo with them.
On the way to the airport, I drank a Zico Chocolate Coconut Water,
and split a Cascadian Farm Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bar with the husband.
When we got home I put out a little meze spread for lunch.
Cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber with pink salt, baby carrots, Wegman’s roasted garlic hummus, and tamari almonds.
My plate, x2:
I also ate the bread ends off of a loaf I sliced up to make Adam a sandwich.
I need to do raw veggie spreads more often; this was a very satisfying lunch.
We took a wander down Elmwood to show the fam where I work and play, and stopped at Ashker’s for wonderfully velvety espresso.
With skim milk and sugar.
Then we were off to the falls!
We lucked out with the perfect weather – cold enough to scare away the crowds but warm enough that you could really take your time to appreciate Mother Nature.
Speaking of Mothers, that’s where we had dinner!
Mother’s restaurant is 10 steps from our old apartment but we never made it a priority because we thought it was steak house. The menu was mostly meat, but that didn’t keep me from having an absolutely fantastic meal.
Bread with salted butter.
Glass of wine, a Chablis that I enjoyed far more than I was expecting to.
My picture quality went downhill at this point but the quality of food kept shooting up.
For an appetizer we all split the gnocchi.
Potato gnocchi with portobello, lump crab, peas, and a white truffle sauce.
My portion, x2.
All of those components are great on their own but together they became something amazing. Best gnocchi I’ve ever had; it was pillowy beyond my wildest dreams.
For my entrée: “sautéed red snapper fillet with gulf shrimp, mushrooms, artichokes, scallions, lemon butter sauce, and microgreen salad.
It also came with asparagus and perfectly roasted potatoes.
The dish was wonderful and the portion was gigantic (Adam actually ate the other half of my fish for dinner tonight!). Certainly a meal worth going back for.
But the best bites I took were actually from the husband’s dish.
The black (squid ink) pasta I could live without, but the scallops – like the gnocchi – were the best I’ve ever had. They were cooked to perfection, with a nice crust and creamy middle. Adam must love me a whole lot to have given me as many bites as he did!
– . – . – I need to stop and do some foreshadowing here: the meal at Mother’s was not even the best meal of their visit!
Monday morning my aunt and I walked Webster to The Spot for some coffees. The baristas gave me a gorgeous drink and were super sweet about the dog in my arms.
Tall skim latte, to go.
Back at home, I had a big bowl of Cascadian Farms Berry Cobbler Granola with fresh blackberries and homemade vanilla cashew milk.
While it clearly couldn’t compete with our dinners, this meal was pretty flipping good. I’m thinking that the cashew milk may be worth the effort after all.
The weather had shifted back to winter by that point so we spent our afternoon walking around the mall. My aunt bought me a couple of new work pieces at Old Navy – – can you believe I start school next week?!
You have to do self-serve froyo when you’re at the mall. I did a small amount of plain tart and coconut yogurt, a medium amount of fresh fruit, and tons of popping boba.
Is it sick that both bubble tea and self-serve froyo make an appearance on my “must have” list for next year’s move?
For dinner, we met the husband at Seabar.
I could talk about how fun the decor is, but when the food is this awesome, who really cares?
I got a spicy bloody mary to drink.
I know keep saying this, but seriously – best blood mary I’ve ever had!
It came loaded with Tabasco, Franks, and Sriracha.
My impetus for dragging everyone to Seabar was simple – “Bourdain’s Last Meal.”
Marrow, foie gras torchon, (and pork belly which I requested come on a separate plate), and toasted bread for spreading.
***This post is far too long already for me to go into my food philosophy. In short – yes, I ate marrow and yes, I still won’t eat read meat. If you would like me to post more about it just ask and I gladly will.
Trying marrow has been on my life list for years and it was like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. I totally concur with its description as “the world’s best butter.” We all shared the appetizer but I will totally cop to eating a lion’s share of the marrow. Also, I spread marrow between two toasts and ate it like a small, ridiculously decadent sandwich.
And then I closed my eyes and swooned.
Actually, I spent most of the meal with my eyes closed tight, straining to help my taste buds make the most of every flavor. I hate to knock my favorite place in Brooklyn off of the top, but this meal was the best I’ve ever eaten.
My family raved about their sushi – inventive combos composed of incredibly fresh fish – but my entrée was by far the best plate at the table.
“Lobster Ramen – Handmade Noodles, Lobster Broth Poached Egg, Shiitakes, Pickled Vegetable”
None of us could get over the texture of the lobster and the noodles were out of this world. Also, the pickled vegetables were nothing to frown at, but they were hard to focus on with poached lobster sitting at the table. When I took my first bite of homemade noodle with egg yolk broken on top I was pretty sure I would die of happiness.
And I haven’t even mentioned the broth yet. I shared many bites and was more than generous with my lobster claws, all while threatening everyone not to spill a drop. Then when all that was left was broth, I sucked it up with my straw! I regret nothing.
I ate a dark chocolate peanut butter santa when we got home.
And I collapsed into bed, basically drunk on marrow.
This morning we pulled ourselves out of our food comas and drove over to East Aurora. I know I don’t actually live in EA, but I always want to bring visitors to Taste.
I had the Santa’s Sleigh with skim milk.
A peppermint tea latte with white chocolate and a hint of coconut. It was delicious!
We were just admiring the cool industrial vibe when… I dropped my camera on the concrete floor. Please note – I stayed amazing calm, but if my memory card had broken too and I’d lost the pictures for this post I definitely would have cried.
I’m going to end my blogging here, because I just can’t see tacking cell phone photos on the end of this lengthy post.
Broken cameras be damned, we had a nice day. I managed to get buffalo wings into my aunt and cousin before they had to head to the airport. I had a good day of work. Adam and I shared a Dole Whip at the mall. And many (many) hours later, I have a new camera. So tomorrow, we can start all over again.
What/where was your best meal? Have you ever tasted something so good you had to shut your eyes?