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Education

The reporting continues trickling in. And, the news isn't good. School district by school district across Western New York is discovering varying amounts of lead in their water. At one water fountain in a Fredonia classroom, for instance, a sample showed that there was 2,850 parts per billion of lead. That's nearly 200 times the state's threshold for lead in water…

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The spoils of FC Yemen's dream season in the Buffalo District Soccer League (BDSL) are still being enjoyed. As a result of capturing the 2015 Tehel Cup trophy -- by beating five premier division sides despite playing in a level below -- Taha Omar's team accepted Western New York Soccer Association's place in the Region 1 Werner Fricker Open Cup. FC Yemen's first cup match…

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It’s just after 7 in the evening on a bone-chillingly cold Thursday night and the Apollo Restaurant in Lackawanna is buzzing. A sign directs patrons to “seat yourself,” a challenge on this night, as most of the booths that line the walls are full with what is, in general, an older crowd. Passing by the tables as we make our way to the back, the smells are intoxicatin…

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Looking for a last minute gift? These Buffalo food ornaments are at Woyshner's Flower Market at the Hotel @ the Lafayette in downtown Buffalo. From the top is a golumbki (stuffed cabbage roll), loganberry, pierogi, sponge candy, butter lamb, beef on weck and chicken wings (drums or flats). We didn't see the Polish sausage at the downtown location, but Woyshner's Chri…

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Who doesn’t love a happy hour experience where hardworking folks have been kibitzing for years?The interesting past of Curly’s Bar & Grill is tied to Lackawanna’s former steel factory days. From a gin mill where steelworkers cashed checks at the bar and bartenders lied to wives calling on the phone looking for their husbands, to its more recent history as a great Car…

Erie County

My biggest problem with the Mess Hall is the name. It smacks of slop-on-a-shingle and surly men slinging pallid chicken a la king from steam-table vats, when the reality is much better. That is compounded by a smaller problem, its address. For years, the place was a neighborhood restaurant where nothing was a sawbuck, and Lackawannans have long memories. The place has new …

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Shea Zappia announced last week that he has left Curly’s, the Lackawanna fine dining restaurant where he was executive chef and partner. Zappia, along with his father Don, were part of a group that bought the restaurant last fall. Zappia declined to publicly detail his reasons. “There were many factors that have played in this decision, none being more important than…

Erie County

I have eaten a lot of wacky things on pizza. Fishsticks? Not on my repeat list. Corn kernels? Yes, please.Yet my first bite of ’nduja pizza at Lackawanna’s Mess Hall left me staggered. If this is an established dish, where has it been all my life? If it’s an invention, the world must know.’Nduja is a spreadable Italian pork salami from  Calabria that is loaded wit…

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There we were, ready for a rowdy, preholiday weekend bar experience. Notebook in hand, I headed to the Press Box sports bar on Abbott Road in Lackawanna – only to find that for most people, the weekend included a Monday off from work, not a Friday off. However, at the Press Box, the lack of crowds didn’t spoil the atmosphere. My boyfriend, David, and I strolled in and …

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The bargain hunters of Buffalo did not need Guy Fieri to tell them about Mulberry. The Lackawanna restaurant already had made a name for itself, dishing up coconut-sized meatballs and lasagnas that loomed over the table like the Matterhorn. When it takes a village to finish a plate of pasta, a place in Buffalo’s Red Sauce Hall of Fame is all but assured. After the spiky…

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When the owners of Mulberry Italian Ristorante and Brick Oven Bistro joined forces on a downtown Lackawanna spot at 717 Ridge Road, a couple blocks from Curly's, their aim was higher than hot dogs, chicken wings and fish fries. The resulting menu has burgers and pizza on offer, to be sure. But the we're talking about a chorizo burger, a Mess Hall burger with bacon-onion j…

Food and Drink

If the winter has left you thinking you need a dose of comfort food, consider Kiki’s warm potato salad at Winfield’s Pub in Lackawanna.It’s potatoes, bacon and green olives in a gooey Velveeta bath. Made to order, sprinkled with scallions, it’s soothing and carb-dense enough to power a driveway’s worth of snow shoveling. It’s $5 as…

Food and Drink

Curly’s Grill, the Lackawanna restaurant and banquet center, is changing hands – but its chefs and its menu are staying put.Executive chef Shea Zappia and his father, Don Zappia, will buy the restaurant, said chef-owner Kirk Van Wagner. Lawyers were working on the last details Tuesday morning.Shea Zappia said he’s keeping everyone’s favorite dis…

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Curly’s Grill, the Lackawannna restaurant and banquet center, is changing hands – but its chefs and menu are staying put. Executive chef Shea Zappia and his father, Don Zappia, will buy the restaurant, said chef-owner Kirk Van Wagner. Lawyers were working on the last details Tuesday morning. Shea Zappia said he’s keeping everyone’s favorite dishes. “The classic…

Food and Drink

Further construction delays have pushed back the opening of Lackawanna’s The Mess Hall until mid-November. “I’m going to play it safe and say Nov. 18,” said Joe Jerge, an owner. “That is the day I would say we will definitely be open to the public.” The weeks before Thanksgiving might be one of the worst times of the year to open, but “it’ll give us time t…