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Since instant ramen's introduction to the United States in 1971, the now ubiquitous soup has become a staple for American diners. I've been lucky enough to try authentic ramen while studying abroad in Japan, which led me on a mini journey to find the best bowl in the Queen City. Whether you lived off instant noodles during college and are ready to revisit the dish (at a…

Food and Drink

The land of Japan is 6,500 miles and an ocean away, but one common attribute its people share with Buffalonians is a love of drink, and I don’t mean tea. Here the corner tavern is a foundation of society. In Japan, the izakaya, or pub, is an everyday place for drinks. Its food helps keep drinkers drinking, and keeps them from seeking sustenance elsewhere. Thus it was ev…

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The Elmwood Avenue Japanese soup restaurant famous for its elegant and heart-warming noodle-and-broth combinations finally opened its down-to-earth, peasant little brother on Main Street. Hello, “Sato Ramen.” Once the brown paper on the door was finally peeled off last week, students and neighbors filled window counter seats and tables. The wood paneling, a chalkboard me…

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As SATO prepares to open its second shop, a noodle-centric outpost in University Heights, its husband-and-wife co-owners Joshua and Satomi Smith are following their homemade ramen program with freshly made soba—Japanese buckwheat noodles. Soba specials have already debuted at the Elmwood location, and the Smiths are aiming to open SATO Ramen, 3268 Main St., by the end of A…

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SatoWhere: 739 Elmwood Ave. (931-9146, satobuffalo.com)Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, then dinner until 10 p.m.; also 5 to 10 p.m. Monday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Happy Hour: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday with $2 off draft beers (9-ounce pours excluded), $2 off glasses or carafes of sake, $2 off well drinks, $1 off glasses of wine, $1 off each…

Food and Drink

The owners of Elmwood Japanese restaurant Sato are opening a ramen and noodle bar in University Heights. The space at 3268 Main St., formerly Kung Food, will offer Sato’s popular housemade ramen in a variety of styles. It also will feature soba, buckwheat noodles served either cold with dipping sauce, or hot in soup. “We just signed the lease, so we’re looking at probably…

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The owners of Elmwood Japanese restaurant Sato are opening a ramen and noodle bar in University Heights. The space at 3268 Main St., formerly Kung Food, will offer Sato’s popular housemade ramen in a variety of styles. It will also feature soba, buckwheat noodles served either cold with dipping sauce, or hot in soup. “We just signed the lease, so we’re looking at probably…

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A church billboard half-covered in snow reads “Whoever’s praying for snow, stop.” The snow banks are so high, I need an ice pick to get to the top. My pit bull terrier is shopping for sweaters. But never fear, Buffalo cocktail fans. SATO on Elmwood has drawn a hot bath for us, and there’s liquor in it. SATO’s bar may not look like much, with just a handful of seats if you…

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The 2015 season of Nickel City Chef adds Edward Forster of Buffalo Proper as the fifth member of the "home team." Those chefs will compete against other up-and-coming culinary talents in five live hour-long cooking battles this spring. Forster's cooking helped put Buffalo Proper on my list of best new restaurants of 2014. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. They usuall…

Art

For those who object to being told that summer is losing its warm grip on us, may we direct your attention to the Halloween candy displays in the supermarket that long ago supplanted the dusty back-to-school merchandise? Face it: Our longest, sunniest days are behind us. But rather than curse the polar vortex to come, Buffalo News critics look back on the best that the su…

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Here’s another reason besides ramen to stop by Sato (739 Elmwood Ave.), the creative Japanese restaurant that opened in January. It’s vegan, but anyone who likes french fries, sweet potato fries or caramel should dig it, too. That includes just about everybody. Right now Satomi Smith has it on her specials menu, and it’s no place else in town. It’s called daigaku imo, “co…

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If you're familiar with ramen only as six-for-a-dollar dried soup packets, you have my condolences. Ramen isn't just another bowl of noodle soup. It's a meal in itself. It's an art form. Its masters may use various long-simmered stocks, toppings and flourishes, but they all deserve places in the Albright-Knox of soup. On the night in February I went to review Sato (739 El…