Taste of Buffalo goes virtual, emphasizing takeout

Taste of Buffalo goes virtual, emphasizing takeout

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The nation's largest two-day food festival has recast itself as a digital shopping mall to connect hungry Buffalonians with the restaurants they won't be able to find on Delaware Avenue this year.

More than half of the restaurants, food trucks and wineries that had expected to participate are now offering Taste of Buffalo specials through tasteofbuffalo.com.

Instead of sample-sized servings, vendors will offer full-sized specials, for customers to pick up at their locations July 11 and 12, and sometimes longer, while supplies last.

"Our world has changed over the past few months, but our passion for the things that make Western New York such a special place remains," said Erin Collins, chair of the event's board of directors said Wednesday in a Zoom news conference. "To keep the Taste of Buffalo tradition alive for our 37th year, and hopefully generate some revenue for local restaurants who are financially hurting, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to reimagine the Taste of Buffalo."

The event would have lined Delaware Avenue from Chippewa Street to City Hall with food and drink vendors and entertainment stages.

This time, online cooking classes and virtually staged entertainment will be offered to audiences via computer. Chef Darian Bryan of the Plating Society and other Buffalo-area chefs will offer online cooking sessions on the event's Facebook and Instagram pages. Participants can sign up on the Taste of Buffalo Facebook page to get Tops ingredient boxes so they can cook along with Bryan on Sunday and Wednesday, as well as July 11 and 12.

Participants include:

A Gust of Sun Winery, Ransomville; Alex's Place, Batavia; Applebee's; Babcia's Pierogi; Buffalo Bavarian Nut Company; Big Ditch Brewing Company, Buffalo; Buffalo Soul, Buffalo; Caribbean Experience, Buffalo; Carmine's, East Amherst; Casa Azul food truck, Buffalo.

Also the Cheesy Chick, Williamsville; Chiavetta's BBQ Takeout, Lockport and Brant; the Chocolate Bar, Buffalo; Chrusciki Bakery & Simply Pierogi, Lancaster; Clarence Center Coffee Co. & Café, Clarence Center; Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Buffalo; Eli Fish Brewing Company, Batavia.

Plus India Gate, Buffalo; Lloyd Taco Trucks; Local Kitchen and Beer Bar, Buffalo; Melloni's Meats & Catering, Tonawanda; Merritt Estate Winery, Forestville; Mineo & Sapio Street Eats food truck, Boulevard Mall; Osteria 166, Buffalo; Papi Grande’s, Amherst; PhatCatz, Buffalo.

Pizza Amoré, Grand Island; Share Kitchen & Bar Room food truck, Williamsville; Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill, Buffalo; Souped Up! food truck, Buffalo; Spring Lake Winery, Lockport; Stack Burger, Lackawanna; Sweet Life Dessert Experience, Tonawanda; Sweet Melody's, East Amherst; Three Brothers Wineries and Estates, Geneva; Tops Markets; Venus Greek & Mediterranean food truck, Buffalo; Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Wilson; Water Lily Café, Cheektowaga.

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