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Naomi Sakovics


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Confession: I’m a suburbanite, but when my downtown-working brother tipped me off to a hot little spot that wasn’t getting much press, but was killing it with cheap prices and superb food, I knew I had to visit.  I’m glad I did. Pete’s Place Food Shop, which opened in March 2018, is buried within the first floor of the Swan Tower downtown. To find it, follow your nos…

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Julia Child said, “With enough butter, anything is good.” I see cheese the same way. Which is why I had high expectations walking into the Cheesy Chick Cafe. How could a place built around that most glorious of foods — cheese — be anything but excellent? The Cheesy Chick built a following since 2013 as a food truck, bringing cheesy goodness to locations around the area.…

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We heard boats whirring through the river, water lapping the shoreline and American flags rustling in the breeze during a recent lunch at Lumberjack's Patio Grill. The seasonal North Tonawanda restaurant boasts a spacious deck overlooking the Niagara River. There, with oldies and reggae music playing in the background, we basked in the sunshine, enjoying that most glori…

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A few years ago I went on a quest with my sister, who eats dairy-free, to find the best nondairy custard. We landed at a tiny, unassuming place on Grand Island called Adrian’s Custard & Beef. To our surprise, not only did it serve the best nondairy custard we had ever tasted — totally devoid of that weird chemical aftertaste common to dairy-free custard — but also s…

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Honey lavender and rose pistachio are just a couple of the fragrant latte flavors offered at one of the Buffalo-area's cutest cafes. Lancaster Coffee Co. & Cafe is a gem of an eatery sparkling in the heart of the Village of Lancaster. We made our trip on a recent weekday, and easily found street parking along Central Avenue. People — and one lounging dog — were e…

Food and Drink

At Joan & Sue’s Family Restaurant, it feels like stepping into grandma’s house, complete with the wood paneling, tchotchkes and feeling of relaxation. It’s the kind of place where you’re served, but there’s also a measure of comfort afforded everyone to simply help themselves. A sign says “Help Thyself” underneath a table outfitted with cups and pitchers full of ice…

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Londa’s Diner, tucked into a plaza at 576 Dick Road in Depew, is a pleasant little place to enjoy a sit-down breakfast or lunch in a casual, down-home environment. The restaurant serves all the classic breakfast foods, plus a lunch menu featuring subs and wraps, fried fare, sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads and homemade pies. Everything is under $10, with many optio…

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Sitting down to an oversized plateful of spaghetti smothered in red sauce, and blanketed with bubbling cheese, satisfies like little else. Parmed anything is the epitome of comfort food — not fancy or new but familiar and filling. Red-sauce joints, serving platefuls of parmed, sauced-up entrees, are something you’ll find across America. One of the lesser-known, and more…

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Driving down Walden Avenue in Lancaster, it’s not hard to spot the Aunt Robin’s Diner sign positioned prominently on top of the restaurant. The diner, located at 3580 Walden Ave. in a small blue plaza, is flanked by a laundromat on the right and reiki practitioner on the left. We checked out this breakfast-and-lunch-only spot to see where it stands among its other ar…

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When you frequent diners as much as I do, you notice that the menus are often similar. What distinguishes one place from another are the small things, and these small things add up to either a great or not-so-great experience. Take, for example, bread. Restaurateurs can choose store bought, which is easier, or they can do what the Village Kitchen Family Restaurant does,…

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The Plaka Restaurant seems frozen in time. Sitting inside, you look out through the front windows and, like a scene change in a movie, can imagine cars from the 1970s zipping past on Delaware Avenue. Green and brown decor, retro lights and floral wallpaper situate diners squarely in another era, but that’s part of the Plaka’s charm. It’s a Village of Kenmore institution…

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Sometimes food is just food, but often it’s so much more. Food can be the most tactile connection we have with people we love and miss from the past. For Brad Green Jr., owner of Mardee’s in Clarence Center, it’s the latter. His father, Brad Green Sr., loved Mardee’s, a local spot with a small-town feel. His standby was the country scramble breakfast, which he ordered w…

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The best things in life, the beautiful things, often take a little bit of finding. We recently wandered into Salt Cuisine, located at 2188 Kensington Ave., about a half mile from Main Street in Snyder. Cliche as it is, “hidden gem,” applies here perfectly. Salt could be easily missed, passed over for the more prominently positioned eateries on Main Street. Fortunatel…

Food and Drink

Jacqueline Kobti, whom everyone calls Jackie, said that some recipes from her restaurant come from her grandma, but that’s not the reason she and her husband picked Granny’s Family Restaurant for the name of their eatery. “Everybody likes grandma’s food,” she said. The name seems to be working, as Jackie and her husband, Fadel, have been operating a successful restau…

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I'm particular about my diner vibes. I like it to be bustling, but not so bustling that it takes forever to get seated. I like the atmosphere to be friendly, but not so friendly that you lose relative anonymity. Athens Restaurant in Cheektowaga checked all my “perfect diner vibes” boxes. It’s the type of place where you can get in, get seated and get down to the busines…