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There we were, ready for a rowdy, preholiday weekend bar experience. Notebook in hand, I headed to the Press Box sports bar on Abbott Road in Lackawanna – only to find that for most people, the weekend included a Monday off from work, not a Friday off. However, at the Press Box, the lack of crowds didn’t spoil the atmosphere. My boyfriend, David, and I strolled in and grab…

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The bargain hunters of Buffalo did not need Guy Fieri to tell them about Mulberry. The Lackawanna restaurant already had made a name for itself, dishing up coconut-sized meatballs and lasagnas that loomed over the table like the Matterhorn. When it takes a village to finish a plate of pasta, a place in Buffalo’s Red Sauce Hall of Fame is all but assured. After the spiky-h…

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When the owners of Mulberry Italian Ristorante and Brick Oven Bistro joined forces on a downtown Lackawanna spot at 717 Ridge Road, a couple blocks from Curly's, their aim was higher than hot dogs, chicken wings and fish fries. The resulting menu has burgers and pizza on offer, to be sure. But the we're talking about a chorizo burger, a Mess Hall burger with bacon-onion j…

Food and Drink

If the winter has left you thinking you need a dose of comfort food, consider Kiki’s warm potato salad at Winfield’s Pub in Lackawanna.It’s potatoes, bacon and green olives in a gooey Velveeta bath. Made to order, sprinkled with scallions, it’s soothing and carb-dense enough to power a driveway’s worth of snow shoveling. It’s $5 as…

Food and Drink

Curly’s Grill, the Lackawanna restaurant and banquet center, is changing hands – but its chefs and its menu are staying put.Executive chef Shea Zappia and his father, Don Zappia, will buy the restaurant, said chef-owner Kirk Van Wagner. Lawyers were working on the last details Tuesday morning.Shea Zappia said he’s keeping everyone’s favorite dis…

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Curly’s Grill, the Lackawannna restaurant and banquet center, is changing hands – but its chefs and menu are staying put. Executive chef Shea Zappia and his father, Don Zappia, will buy the restaurant, said chef-owner Kirk Van Wagner. Lawyers were working on the last details Tuesday morning. Shea Zappia said he’s keeping everyone’s favorite dishes. “The classic dishes, t…

Food and Drink

Further construction delays have pushed back the opening of Lackawanna’s The Mess Hall until mid-November. “I’m going to play it safe and say Nov. 18,” said Joe Jerge, an owner. “That is the day I would say we will definitely be open to the public.” The weeks before Thanksgiving might be one of the worst times of the year to open, but “it’ll give us time to work out the k…

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Winfield’s Pub is an unassuming storefront on Ridge Road in Lackawanna, where neon beer signs in the window stand out more than its small shingle sign. It looks like the kind of bar your grandfathers and fathers would frequent after long factory days, where 20-somethings in grease-stained T-shirts go to blow off steam and workaday frustration. Except for one thing: The fo…

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The Mess Hall, the Lackawanna breakfast-and-lunch spot from Mulberry Italian Ristorante and Brick Oven Bistro owners, is about three weeks away from opening. “Once we got in there and started tearing things out, we completely gutted the place from floor to ceiling,” said Joe Jerge, a Mulberry owner. “That takes extra time, and extra money.” The restaurant will be at 717 …

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You might say Tab Daulton used to work on a bigger canvas. A few years ago, he was the chef in charge of feeding First Niagara Center fans. Today, he’s got his own place, a former dive bar in Lackawanna. There, at Winfield’s Pub, in a matchbox-sized kitchen, he insists on making his own stock and baking his own bread, which is like performing tai chi in a tanning booth, i…

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Joe Jerge has sold a lot of meatballs in the last 10 years, as Mulberry Italian Ristorante became a household name outside of his Lackawanna base. Guy Fieri praising his house-made lasagna and giant meatball (see YouTube video at the bottom) on the Food Network didn’t hurt. "Here's the first clue to what you can expect as you stand at the door to enter the Mulberry Cafe,…

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After two decades of jerk chicken, Curly's can still surprise you. The place that made Jamaican flavors a Lackawanna standard, just a pierogi's throw from the basilica, has a few other moves. Besides the jerk chicken, shown above, here's some of the dishes in today's review of Curly's in The Buffalo News. A scallop appetizer set off plump, sweet seafood with foraged wi…

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The bar at 1213 Ridge Road reopened as  Winfield's Pub (821-0700) in November, with a menu that goes far beyond the obligatory fish fry. Chef-owner Tab Daulton used to be Delaware North's head chef at the former HSBC Arena. Now he makes one heck of a toasted cheese sandwich. The photo above only show half of the Grilled Cheese Bites ($8), gooey, crusty and loaded with cri…

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"Questions being raised now revolve around whether his work will be enough to qualify him for sainthood in the Catholic Church . . . In other words: Was Father Baker a miracle worker, or simply a wonderful man ahead of his time?" - from a Buffalo News article by Charity Vogel In the Catholic Church, becoming a saint is a little more complicated than making it, for insta…