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Food and Drink

If Rob Ray were a hot dog he would look like the caricature used for Rayzor’s Dawg House in Eden. Picture a black eye, missing tooth, shirtless Ray with the body of a hot dog, wrapped in a bun with gloves up. Stripes of ketchup and mustard run down his hot dog chest. While the restaurant bears his name, Ray isn’t involved anymore except to stop in and say hello to fr…

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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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In a nondescript plaza on Niagara Falls Boulevard is a standout deli serving all the staples in a slightly eccentric, time-tested atmosphere. Mayback’s Deli is a one-stop shop for takeout or eat-in pizza and wings, deli meats, hot and cold sandwiches, fish fries (available seven days a week), soups, salads, tacos, fried appetizers and more. Everything is delicious, rea…

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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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On a brisk Friday late afternoon, three friends and I searched downtown for a spot to grab food and drink before the Mumford and Sons concert at KeyBank Center. Big Ditch Brewing Company was packed to the gills, Deep South Taco was overflowing, and Tappo projected a 90-minute wait. So we gave up our search and began hiking toward the venue. Tight on time, we had forfei…

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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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In the First Ward, an out-of-the-way coffee-and-sandwiches oasis rises above the rest. At Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery, the enticing, invigorating scents of house-roasted grinds and hearty, creative sandwiches dance to the imaginary tune of an undead mariachi band depicted on a bright back-wall mural. An eclectic choir consisting of departed icons like David …

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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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Cafe 59 is a cool spot perfect for any-occasion lunch, dinner or drinks, and without the “this place isn’t for everyone” attitude and atmosphere of many other bar-restaurants which could be described as "cool.” A true Allentown community hub, it strikes me somehow as nearby long-standing staple Towne Restaurant’s trendy younger cousin. On a recent Wednesday night visit…

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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…

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We are fond of the adage, “when a door closes, another opens.” Though, it was a first to experience it literally and figuratively on a frigid Sunday morning. We planned to meet our Lancaster pals to try the Dutch Mill on Broadway. Alas, friend Mary texted that its doors were shuttered for good and the nearby Olive Tree was packed. We reported a busy Campfire Grill on…

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…