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The Something About Food? Blog

This is the Something About Food? Blog, where Chef Chris Clarke discusses new podcast episodes, travel, restaurants, and more!

A blog about food, family, and travel by the mostly-vegan Chef Chris Clarke.   

Sum It Up Sunday-Western NY Summer Festival Fun

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When winters are so brutal that you spend most of your days inside or digging your car out of the snow and ice, when summertime comes along you PARTY! And that is just what they do in Western NY. You can find a festival, concert and gathering every single day/night of the week. Once I landed in Buffalo I hit the town running with my College gal pal Jen.

Beans and Greens at a Buffalo Italian Festival, though the dish is more popular in Rochester.

Beans and Greens at a Buffalo Italian Festival, though the dish is more popular in Rochester.

The Buffalo City Hall is a 32-story Art Deco building was designed and built with a non-powered air-conditioning system, taking advantage of strong winds from Lake Erie. Large vents were placed on the west side of the building to catch the wind, which would then travel down ducts to beneath the basement, to be cooled by the ground. This cooled air was then vented throughout the building.

The Buffalo City Hall is a 32-story Art Deco building was designed and built with a non-powered air-conditioning system, taking advantage of strong winds from Lake Erie. Large vents were placed on the west side of the building to catch the wind, which would then travel down ducts to beneath the basement, to be cooled by the ground. This cooled air was then vented throughout the building.

The Italian Festival was first. And it’s a good thing I’m off sugar, beause I would have gone into a coma with all the pastries, cannoli and fried dough they had there. It was a sugar lovers heaven! I made do with some delicious Beans and Greens, which are much more popular in Rochester NY. The festival was held in Niagara Square right in front of Buffalo City Hall.

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We found out a college friend was in town visiting another friend so off we shot in the car to catch up. Buffalo is known as “America’s Friendliest City” and I can atteest to that. It isn’t just my college friends, but also their families and their friends who live there that have always been welcoming to me. I adore these people.

When I come back through in a week or so I will catch up with many, many more of these amazing folks.

The next day was a lazy morning and then we were off to a Barks and Brew Event at Resurgence Brewing Company. Not only were there plenty of folks there with their dogs, there were food trucks, friends of mine from Gilbertsville who’ve moved to the area to meet up with, but they also had some vegan items on the brewery menu. That is my kind of place!

That pug in a stroller looks almost as happy to see me as I was to see her!

That pug in a stroller looks almost as happy to see me as I was to see her!

Nothing to see here, just a full on bowl of vegan goodness from  Lloyds Taco Truck !

Nothing to see here, just a full on bowl of vegan goodness from Lloyds Taco Truck!

This is Paxton, he’s my new buddy.

This is Paxton, he’s my new buddy.

That’s Beyond Meat  in Meatball form. Delicious!

That’s Beyond Meat in Meatball form. Delicious!

We headed out to Canal Side after the time with the pups, babies, beers and food. Gorgeous day out at this park area that offers something for everyone either on water or along it. The next day it was a bike ride along the Outer Harbor. Again, a gorgeous day to wander along the bike paths. Yes, they have them even in Buffalo. Ride a bike people! Off in the distance you can see wind turbines gathering sustainable energy from the lake winds. You can’t quite see Canada from here, but it’s just over there.

Canal Side, where stuff is always happening.

Canal Side, where stuff is always happening.

Here is a great shot of Old and New Buffalo. The grain elevators on the left and the wind turbines on the right. They coexist beautifully don’t you think?

Here is a great shot of Old and New Buffalo. The grain elevators on the left and the wind turbines on the right. They coexist beautifully don’t you think?

We were getting a might hangry after the wander along the water. A quick Google Map search and we found Appletree Halal Restaurant. Don’t let the unassuming exterior and simple interior fool you. We fed well, as did several families around us and a crew from a youth group who came in for take-out ahead of us. Trust people, it’s not pizza and wings and it doesn’t need to be.

There was sooo much food! And leftovers are always encouraged.

There was sooo much food! And leftovers are always encouraged.

What did we do that evening after the bike ride and late lunch? Why grab a couple of chairs and go sit in a park for a free concert..as one does... Where we ran into another college buddy. Friends abound!

A great spot to sit with a great friend to listen to the music and people watch.

A great spot to sit with a great friend to listen to the music and people watch.

Hey! There’s this guy!

Hey! There’s this guy!

I am car-less on this trip so I’m trying to utilize bikes, buses and even trains while I’m wandering. I grabbed the train at the Depew station in Buffalo and less than an hour later I was hopping off in Rochester and my cousin was meeting me to get my wander on.

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I’ve been getting my wander on here in Rochester, I’ll put all of those pics and stories into another blog. Each of these cities is distinct and I want to give them the opportunity to speak for themselves.