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A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS

When you talk about restaurants, some things never change. Looking back, here are some Western New York constants. No grades here, because these are part of our regional charm.

Italian forever. No question about it, our favorite ethnic restaurant is Italian. And probably always will be. Any kind of Italian, whether it specializes in spaghetti and meatballs or Osso Buco, scores high on our hit parade.

That's true by the way, not only of Western New York but everywhere in the country. But that could change. If trends on both coasts are any indication, Asian food is coming up fast.

Kummelweck, wings, charcoal hot dogs and, yes, fish fry with German potato salad. And Genny beer.

Big portions. Western New Yorkers equate them with value. How else to explain the popularity of buffets? The food may have sat on a steam table forever but it's all-you-can-eat.

And then there's that common server's question, "Are youse ready to order now?"

-JANICE OKUN

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