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Judges honor festival's top 'Tastes'

A panel of honorary judges -- including representatives from the Buffalo Niagara media, political and business sectors -- were among the thousands Saturday who enjoyed the Taste of Buffalo, presented by Tops.

They also made 7/7 /07 a bit luckier for several vendors at the festival, which continues from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

The 2007 award winners are:

* People's Choice: Lafayette Tap Room -- BBQ pulled pork sandwich; selected by on-street polling.

* Chairman's Choice: Carmine's Restaurant, Clarence -- crabcake stuffed shrimp; selected by Lou Izzo, this year's Taste chairman.

* New York Award: Caribbean Experience -- jerk chicken sandwich; presented by Erie County Clerk Kathleen Hochul.

* Lou Billittier Memorial Rookie of the Year Award: Garris Bar-B-Que -- catfish nuggets.

* Best Seafood: Ms. Goodies -- JunkYard Dog fish sandwich.

* Best Vegetarian Food: Donnie's Smokehouse -- Southern cabbage and rice.

* Best Dessert: Sweet Tooth -- double fudge torte.

* Children's Choice: Panaro's -- mini cannoli; selected by several children from the Clarence area.

* Best Wine: Warm Lake Estates, Cambria.

* Best Overall Food: Eddie Ryan's, Lancaster -- pot roast melt sandwich.

* Best Meat Item: Mobay's Caribbean Cuisine -- jerk chicken with BBQ sauce in rice and beans.

* Carol Ann Roe Memorial Best Decorated Booth Award: Clarence Center Coffee Company & Cafe.

* Pat Sardina/Abby Stalker Memorial Award: Village Desserts, Williamsville -- summer delight cupcake.

* Independent Health Healthy Choice Options: First place, Niagara Cafe -- arroz con pollo guisado (stewed chicken with rice); second place, Orazio's, Clarence -- fusilli pasta primavera; third place: Suzz Cafe, City of Tonawanda -- cucumber cilantro salad.

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