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Naomi Sakovics


Gusto

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…

Gusto

Fresh from New York, I absorbed everything about New Orleans: the music, magic tricks, waterways, but mostly, and forever in my mind, the food. Flavors danced like the jazz pouring from saxophones on Bourbon Street. The powdered beignets at Cafe Du Monde, Po’ Boys, jambalaya and — best of all, the seafood — seared into memory, reminding me to someday return for more. …

Gusto

For a greasy spoon diner to be truly excellent, there is one important criterion that must, above all else, be met: freely flowing, good quality coffee. Buffalo Joe’s Cafe exceeds this standard. Our mugs were kept regularly topped off with a robust, tasty brew. We never had to look desperately around to catch a harried wait staff. Our friendly server, Michele, whose smi…

Gusto

When the temperature drops, Buffalonians turn to that which we know and love: pot roasts, casseroles, soups, and, let’s be honest, fried anything. Ah, comfort food. It may not be the healthiest, but it’s what sustains us through winter. Taylor’s Tap & Grille offers diners praise-worthy, cooked-from-scratch comfort food. The establishment, which opened four yea…

Gusto

It started with chicken salad. Owner Willy Suleiman put one sample after another into my hands after he discovered it was my first time at the Depew Deli & Grocery. “We sell 40 pounds [of the chicken salad] per day,” he told me proudly, adding, “You must also try the marinated chicken.” He was not about to take no for an answer, and I didn’t want to refuse, anywa…

Food and Drink

Elie Harfouche, owner of The Pita Place, likes to serve food “exactly the way we eat it at home.” Home, to him, means Lebanon. Although he’s been in this country for 30 years, the food closest to his heart, and that he enjoys sharing with others, is the food he grew up eating. He and his wife and business partner, Frances, opened The Pita Place in 2014. Since then, t…

Food and Drink

Louie Yannello serves all the food he grew up eating in his Italian household: stuffed peppers, artichokes, salads, pastas and breads. “I have my own style of cooking, but it all comes from my mother, mainly,” said Yannello, owner of Louie’s Deli & Imports. “She would tell me, ‘If you like to eat, you’re going to have to learn how to cook.’ ” His parents started …

Food and Drink

If you’ve been around Buffalo for a few years, chances are you’ve been to, or at least seen, a Joe’s Deli. With four locations now around Buffalo, Joe’s Deli offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy its sandwiches, wraps and salads. On a recent weekday, we checked out its Maple Road establishment, which opened last May, for lunch. Located in the plaza at the corner of…