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This Week in Buffalo: How to wrangle Restaurant Week

The popular reaction to the arrival of fall Local Restaurant Week has been: "It's back already?"

And it's not a negative that these biannual local restaurant celebrations feel more frequent than National Dog Day(s). The weeklong event – from Oct. 7-13 – brims with opportunity, as many of the 200 participating eateries offer deals for lunch and dinner, making it easier to squeeze into a tight schedule.

Local Restaurant Week's concept is simple: Participants offer meals for either $20.19 (sometimes for two people!), $30.19 or $40.19, varying in number of courses and with or without drinks. A thorough menu from almost every restaurant is previewed (although subject to change), so explore a new restaurant near you or cross one off the must-try list.

Local Restaurant Week, from Oct. 7-13 at more than 200 restaurants in the Buffalo area. Meals range from $20.19 to $40.19.

The hard part about planning ahead for Restaurant Week is the sheer number of restaurants and menus to absorb. You'll find your head spinning, wondering: "Which Fuji Grill was that again?" "Is schnitzel Bavarian, German or both?" "Wait, isn't Bavarian a Greek dessert?" (No, that's baklava). So, to help out a tiny bit, here's a list of 10 suggestions of restaurants and dishes to try.

(A reader has already replied: "They all sound disgusting except the Buffalo chicken sandwich. And not driving to downtown Buffalo for that," so you won't hurt my feelings if you choose something different.)

[Photos: Look back at Smiles from opening day of Local Restaurant Week in the spring]

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Buffalo International Film Festival, five free events and one ticketed screening on Thursday, Oct. 10 at several venues. The lone ticketed film, "Malaisia" at the North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave.), runs for $12. The festival continues through Monday, Oct. 14. See the full schedule, as well as festival pass options.

It wasn't long ago that we covered NFIFF, but now BIFF is upon us. This five-day film festival touches several local venues – Burchfield Penney Art Center, Hallwalls, the North Park and Hostel Buffalo-Niagara – with a mixture of free and paid WNY film premieres intended to highlight the best of indie cinema.

Kick BIFF off with the free Night Zero Party at Hostel at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and plan out the approach for the rest of the slate.

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Resurgence Pizza Cup, 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 1250 Niagara St. Tickets are $30 in advance and attendees must register before 11:59 p.m. Oct. 8 to ensure there's enough pizza.

Good luck determining the best pizza in Buffalo. There are so many different pizzerias and styles that an undertaking like SexySlices' requires an obsession with 'za. But the original Resurgence Brewing Co. on Niagara Street has invited six local pizza shops with strong reputations to put their best cheese and cheese-and-pepperoni pies forward on Wednesday at the inaugural Pizza Cup.

Here are the contenders vying for superiority on National Pizza and Beer Day: Macy's Place (which won SexySlices' challenge), Imperial, Bailey Avenue, Bocce, Bella and Picasso's. Attendees receive a slice from each of the participants, a chance to vote for the winner and two pints from the brewery.

[Related: Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports takes one bite of Bocce, one bite of Picasso's and one bite of Pinto Tailgate pizza]

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JazzBuffalo, SwingBuffalo join up with Skiffle Minstrels, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Hotel Henry (Rockwell and Cleveland Circle). Cost is $15 in advance.

JazzBuffalo continues its outstanding monthly event series at Hotel Henry by reeling in two other lively local groups: volunteer-run SwingBuffalo and the Skiffle Minstrels, WNY's only Western Swing performers who cover a broad range of famous acts.

Buffalo Music Hall of Famer Jim Whitford and his band will lay the musical canvas for SwingBuffalo's East Coast, Lindy Hop, Balboa and Charleston routines, honed every Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Polish Cadets on Grant Street.

[Related: My View - SwingBuffalo displays inclusivity in action | Smiles at a previous JazzBuffalo event]

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Incredible Hunt, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, begins and ends at Explore & More Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Children’s Museum (130 Main St.). Cost is $300 per car (max five people).

Proud of your knowledge of Buffalo, especially its history and layout? Hunt Real Estate returns its annual app-based, photo-heavy scavenger hunt for adults, which challenges teams – in the form of carloads – to work quickly and efficiently in solving problems and navigating the city.

Even if the prizes (Sabres VIP experience, group happy hour at Patina 250, more) remain elusive, all participants will indulge in an all-you-can-eat-and-drink party after the hunt featuring fare from Liberty Hound, Fat Bob's, Chef's Restaurant and a bounty of dessert vendors.

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Pink Party, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Statler City's Golden Ballroom (107 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $35 plus fees in advance, or $75 for VIP.

As an occasional listener of Star 102.5 FM, I now know that Maddie Poppe's last name is pronounced "POP-pee" instead of "Pop." This might be the most useful info to glean from this newsletter.

The Pink Party is more than just a concert by an "American Idol" winner with new music, though; it's a night of shopping, appetizers, samplings, auctions to benefit Roswell Park and a complimentary Pink Party gift bag for the first 500 people in line. VIP guests are allowed to enter an hour early, enjoy two complimentary drinks and private appetizers, and engage in a meet-and-greet with Poppe and opener JOHN.k.

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The Wailers, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Asbury Hall (341 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $27 in advance, $30 day of show.

If the band name rings a bell, it's because these Wailers were Bob Marley's band during the second half of his legendary career (or because the Wailers came to Babeville last year, too).

After Marley's death, Aston "Familyman" Barrett shouldered the responsibility of sustaining the band and its quality – even in the face of his brother Carly's murder – with fellow original member Donald Kinsey staying in tow. There's been a recent passing of the torch, however, with Aston Barrett Jr., Familyman's drum-prodigy son, taking the reins.

The tour stopping at Asbury Hall is the 40th anniversary of "Survival," Marley and the Wailers' most politically aggressive disc. According to a June review from this tour, however, it's also quite danceable.

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Dip your toes in local theater: "Pipeline" by Ujima Theatre Company, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 at 429 Plymouth Ave. Runs through Oct. 13. Tickets are $30 general admission, with discounts available.

Among the opening productions for the local theater season, one of the area's smaller theaters trotted out a thrilling show. Ujima's "Pipeline" touches on relatable themes: parenting, the challenges facing lower-income families and troubles within inner-city public schools.

Reviewer Melinda Miller praises the play's "poetic elegance" and director Lorna C. Hill's casting choices, encouraging theatergoers to head to the West Side for the final week of this production.

[Related: Look back through The News' recent theater reviews | See the 2019-20 season preview]

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3 more quick-hitters for this week

Mick Foley at Helium Comedy Club
#buffaloiscreative happy hour at Lockhouse
Drafts for Drafts at Lakeward Spirits

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5 events to look forward to this weekend

Chainsmokers in KeyBank Center
Thin Man Brewery's Oktoberfest
Ellicottville Fall Festival
Carrie Underwood at KeyBank Center
Haunted Food Truck Rodeo at Iron Island

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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