Although Orchard Park hasn't made recent headlines for new restaurants, the village and surrounding area boasts many eateries that have stood the test of time.
Their reliable quality - and surprising creativity - can be cherished in one place on Wednesday, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Four Corners of West Quaker and North Buffalo streets, at the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce's Taste of Orchard Park.
The food event is the biggest draw of Quaker Days, an eight-day village celebration that concludes July 29.
What should you eat at the Taste of Orchard Park? Here are five choices that we'd make as eaters fairly familiar with OP's quality items. If you're brand-new to the village's food scene, then consider the Hall of Fame items, at the bottom, first. Here's the vendor map and full menu.
OP Social Tap & Grille's Social wings
$6, at Booth 12. Usual location: 4247 N. Buffalo Road, Orchard Park.
Why: Although the nearby restaurant didn't separate itself in Andrew Galarneau's review, the abundantly spiced Social wings - oven-roasted, not fried - make them an unusual hand-held treat that shouldn't be too saucy for festival foraging.
If you're regularly on the hunt for a different take on wings, OP Social sees you.
Homegrown Bistro's pineapple-barbecue pork tacos or nachos
$6, at Booth 44. Usual location: 4211 N. Buffalo Road, Orchard Park.
Why: The former Two Sisters spot opened in early 2016 with a breakfast-focused, vegan-and-gluten-free friendly menu.
While the Hawaiian tacos don't appear regularly at Homegrown, the Taste is a chance to try the sustainable restaurant's fare, much of which is curated from local vendors. Both tacos and nachos are convenient to eat while on the move, too.
But if luxurious desserts are on the mind, try the cinnamon roll stuffed French toast ($4).
Orchard Fresh's chilled sweet pea soup with mint and crab salad
$4, at Booth 62. Usual location: 4050 N. Buffalo Road, Orchard Park.
Why: Orchard Fresh is a specialty grocery store that's broadened its scope of items over the last few years to make it a bit more comprehensive. At the center of the store is the Orchard Fresh Kitchen, where chefs prepare sandwiches, soups, pizzas and more each day.
For the Taste of Orchard Park, the vendor rolls out a healthy, refreshing cold soup, and given the wings and barbecued pork tacos we've already suggested, it might be time to cool off.
Buffalo's Best Grill's Gilroy fries
$5, at Booths 65 and 67. Usual location: 3700 Southwestern Boulevard, Orchard Park.
Why: The Buffalo's Best empire has benefited from the popularity of these fries, which are coated in Parmesan cheese and garlic butter for a comfort food that will force you to awkwardly lick your fingers in front of strangers. What a chance to step out of your comfort zone!
For specialty french fry history buffs, Gilroy refers to the California town that's known as the "Garlic Capital of the World," the Consumerist relayed.
Duke's Donuts' apple cider doughnuts
Six for $5, at Booth 76. Usual location: Just kidding! They're a pop-up that regularly appears at farmers markets in Buffalo, its suburbs, and in Rochester.
I'm jumping the gun a bit here, as Duke's apple-cider doughnuts are more of a fall-friendly delicacy than summer, but they're quite tasty. Just ask former News contributor Christa Glennie-Seychew, who dedicated an entire blog post to their glory. If you're thirsty, there's an apple-cider slushie on the pop-up's Taste of Orchard Park menu, too.
Other strong dessert choices include a cinnamon roll from Kaylena Marie's Bakery and peanut butter pie from Danny's South.
Hall of Fame:
- Eckl's Restaurant's mini beef on weck ($7)
- Danny's South Buffalo wing soup ($2, $4 or $8 sizes)
- Capelli's pizza ($3 for assorted slices)