When Food Network star Alton Brown visits a relatively unfamiliar city, he takes finding the right places to eat and drink seriously.
The "Eat Your Science" performer, who entertained at the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts Thursday night, sent a tweet Wednesday asking where he should get wings in Buffalo, prompting nearly 900 responses and even prodding the pen of News food editor Andrew Galarneau.
But Brown's quest was about more than just wings, though, as he made at least two other stops during the day. There was a little overlap between the national food personality's trip to Buffalo this year compared with his November 2014 visit to the same venue, but not in terms of his major destinations.
FIRST STOP: Public Espresso + Coffee in Hotel @ the Lafayette, where he also happened to run into local pastry chef Luci Levere (middle, below). Brown met the owners of Public back in 2014, too, and tried the Brazilian bean pour over:
— Public Espresso (@PublicEspresso) November 2, 2017
SECOND STOP: BreadHive was just a small takeout window at 123 Baynes St. when Brown last swung by in 2014, but the worker-owned cooperative has blossomed into a full-fledged bakery and cafe - with a patio! - three years later, at 402 Connecticut St. Thursday, Brown dropped in to see the new digs, then posed with owners and the previous photo.
When I met these ladies 3 years ago, they were baking out of a little store front. Now, they’ve got a full service shop and it's amazing. pic.twitter.com/rAJ7QkrMyC
— Alton Brown (@altonbrown) November 2, 2017
*Read more on BreadHive's worker-cooperative structure.
THIRD STOP: While this may not qualify as a true stop, Brown conducted a blind taste test of four different beef on weck sandwiches from the Buffalo area. He's thorough, descriptive and quite critical, even though we might challenge his pronunciation of kummelweck. His "That's like watching the last five minutes of 'Old Yeller'" line certainly compensates, though.
Buffalo: After asking where to find the best buffalo wings, you kindly let me know I should be conducting a beef on weck taste test instead. So I did...
Posted by Alton Brown on Thursday, November 2, 2017
FOURTH STOP: Brown's final destination was the one Buffalonians cared most about - where he'd go for post-performance chicken wings. In 2014, he swung by the inventor of the wing, Anchor Bar.
Given its proximity to UB North Campus, Elmo's seemed the logical choice for Brown's Thursday stop. But the final decision was all the way in the Southtowns; imagine the pressure of manning the Bar Bill fryer last night.
— Alton Brown (@altonbrown) November 3, 2017
Why did you avoid the sweets this time, Alton? While recommendations for Lake Effect Ice Cream and Churn trickled in through Twitter, it's unclear if the TV star actually ate dessert. We'll just assume he tackled a pastry at Public.