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When a popular restaurant decides to franchise at an international scale, there are plenty of worries. Will the quality of each market's food match what made the original exceptional? Can the ingredients from the original spot be sourced appropriately across the globe? Will the franchisee's employees care as much about the restaurant? The Halal Guys, which began as a…

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Situated on the first floor of the Cathedral Place building with access from both Main Street and Cathedral Park, newly opened Mon Ami Café & Bakery is bringing refined French flair downtown. Serving an selection of Parisian café classics along with a concise array of sandwiches and small plates, Mon Ami is catering to the city center’s workforce with delicate, flav…

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The long-awaited sister restaurant of The Irishman Pub & Eatery is now open in the heart of East Aurora. This newest rendition by the same name holds much of the Gaelic spirit of its Williamsville counterpart, though its bolstered menu, sleek aesthetic, and contemporary features lend it a character that’s a step outside the traditional tavern. Sporting exposed br…

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Call them alternatives to coffee shops: Bubble tea businesses have popped up all over the Buffalo area, from Taichi Bubble Tea to Tea Leaf Cafe and Buffalo Bubble Tea, to name a few. As options become more plentiful, the competition encourages better quality. Lucky Koi Bubble Tea, at 3216 Main St. in University Heights, held a soft opening in mid-February before its off…

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While Naan-Tastic, a new Indian fast-casual restaurant in Amherst's Boulevard Consumer Square, doesn't open to the public until 11 a.m. Feb. 22, owners Aman and Ajay Singh held a preview party for the media Tuesday. The sneak peek served as a chance to explore the full menu - with the exception of its four beer taps, as the liquor license has yet to arrive - and explore…

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On Valentine's Day, the Indian cuisine fans of the Northtowns got a present: a purveyor of new Indian delights. New to the area, anyway. Diners in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu know all about Chettinad cuisine, powered by a diverse array of spices, and emphasizing specialties not previously available in Western New York. Nellai Banana Leaf, 4303 Transit Road, Claren…

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The restaurant spot at the corner of Hudson Street and West Avenue, a few blocks from the Niagara Street Tops, has a new operation in residence. After a succession of Puerto Rican outfits, 272 Hudson St. is now home to The Difference Kitchen, a cafe with Mexican, Middle Eastern, and vegetarian leanings. Owner Lucille Altieri, who formerly operated Presto on Allen Str…

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The first time Tom Pease publicly described his plans for a fried chicken restaurant in Elma, he hoped to open in April 2018. The year part came true, at least. On Dec. 21, after the completion of an extensive and thorough regulatory process, Rt. 16 Chicken Shack and Brewyard is officially opening at 6272 Seneca St. Owned and operated by Pease and his wife Donna, …

Food and Drink

When Rick Thomas decided to get into the pizza business, he went back to his roots. All the way back to Naples, where his grandfather Felice DiPalma was a master of Neapolitan-style pizza, a “maestro pizzaiolo.” The resulting restaurant, Forno Napoli, opened Oct. 23 in Amherst, at 1280 Sweet Home Road. After training in Naples, and importing a custom-made wood-fired …

Food and Drink

Denizens of the Elmwood Village, meet your newest takeout spot: Street Asian Food opened Oct. 1 in the former digs of Peking Chinese Restaurant. Owned by Burma native Than Oo, a veteran of Sun Restaurant, the Thai-Burmese hybrid offers all the curries and noodles you’ve come to expect from Buffalo’s burgeoning Burmese food scene, with an additional emphasis on “healthy”…

Food and Drink

If the phrase “Chinese buffet” conjures vats of egg rolls and potstickers, prepare to be surprised by Sukishi Buffet, which opened in Amherst Oct. 21. For $20 during dinner, and $11 during lunch, the bright, high-ceilinged restaurant lays out a vast spread of pan-Asian dumplings, soups, sushi, stir-fries and seafoods -- including lobster, crawfish, blue crab, clams and …

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On Oct. 23, Cambodian food was added to Buffalo's collective menu, with the opening of Yey's Cafe in University Heights. At 3225 Main St., formerly Grateful Grind, diners can order at the counter and wait for their food. Cambodian food is similar to Thai cuisine in some ways, but that's all I knew going in. The idea of Cambodian food might seem unusual, but the bowl-…

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The newest restaurant near Buffalo State College is called Gourmet Lao Foods, but its name undersells its ambition. The place at 643 Grant St., in the Campus Walk complex, opened Oct. 5 by Vone Serixay and One Thammasithikoun, sisters from Laos. But its menu offers tastes from at least four countries: Laos, Burma, Thailand and Japan, plus dishes like curry puffs (two…

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Expanding upon their flagship operation in Depew, Teton Kitchen has opened its second location in the heart of Allentown, at 153 Elmwood Ave. In a location plagued by restaurant churn over the past few years - it was formerly formerly Pasion, Black Swan Lounge and Cozumel Grill - Teton Kitchen is hoping to gain a foothold in the neighborhood with an Asian fusion menu th…

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Wings, pizza and subs on Costanzo's rolls. When looking at the takeout landscape around Orchard Park Road in West Seneca, that's all Mike Zak saw. "It's my neighborhood, and it needed something different," Zak said from his new eatery, Alleyway Bistro (174 Orchard Park Road), a week after opening in September. "Everybody is trying to do the same thing. It's kind of hard…