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Buffalo Soup-Fest to start 2014 with a slurp

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Soup-eating etiquette may be one of the most challenging for a polite diner—other than eating salad with a knife or ramen with chopsticks, of course—but, to add even more pressure, the brothy blends are a staple of Western New Yorkers’ winter diets.

Finding a way to consume soup in a less-than-obnoxious fashion is unavoidable—unless you simply don’t care (count me in this crowd).

Do you pick up the bowl and slurp the broth, gazing suspiciously at those around you to see if they’re annoyed?

Do you ask for the biggest spoon possible to reduce the likelihood of spilling on yourself? How classy is it to blow loudly on the soup as a means of cooling it down?

We’re over-thinking this. After all, soup is so customizable that you’re bound to enjoy at least one—but probably multiple—varieties, and that’s the beauty of the fourth annual Buffalo Soup-Fest.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Buffalo Soup-Fest will invade the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin St., Buffalo.

Admission is $5 at the door, while soup tickets each cost $1 (a bowl ranges between two-to-four tickets). In other words, you can get in and fill your stomach with a hearty amount of soup for $20.

Here’s an assortment of notes that you may or may not be interested in:

**Read through the menu of soups available from each of the participating vendors.

**Take note of the Brooklyn Brewery soup competition hosted by Nickel City Chef—the contest begins at 3 p.m., and seven restaurants will try to concoct the best soup—as determined by judges the Workshop’s Edward Forster, Rusty Nickel Brewing’s Jason Havens and the Mansion on Delaware’s Jennifer Boye—incorporating a Brooklyn Brewery beer.

**Soups I’d recommend trying:

Lagerhaus 95’s African Peanut (pictured in header): It’s won Soup-Fest awards in the past, and I can personally vouch for it.

Black Market Food Truck’s Sweet Potato Corn Chowder: Everything these guys create is good.

Joe’s Deli’s Beer Cheese Soup: It’s one of the seven soups in the Brooklyn Brewery competition. Consider it a favorite.

Brodo Restaurant’s Guiness Shepard’s Pie: Why not “shepherds”? I don’t know, but this one’s very rich and flavorful.

**Soups for the aggressive sampler:

Village Inn’s Mayan Chocolate Stout Chili: Should you trust the Mayans, particularly when it comes to stouts? Well, it’s an award winner.

Hidden Valley Animal Adventure’s Shepard’s Pie with Water Buffalo: I’m sure the native water buffalo community is really thrilled about this one.

Saffire Grill’s Caesar Soup: I just picture a pile of romaine lettuce tossed into an oily broth and topped with grated parmesan cheese. I hope I’m wrong.

Roaming Buffalo’s Chipotle Chocolate Chili: I remember really enjoying this one at a past Soup-Fest. Using chocolate in chili is still pretty trendy, and you can do it at home!

**Hit up the newbies:

August Bistro and Bar’s Cioppino Soup: I can’t imagine this is easy to pull off, but give the relatively new Hamburg restaurant a try.

Sato Restaurant’s Japanese Braised Pork Stew: SATO, which will replace O3 on Elmwood, hasn’t even opened yet.

Soup-Fest doubles as a sneak peek of the new restaurant while serving as a reminder of the Soup-Fest accolades that Satomi Smith, new co-owner of Sato, earned while at Serene Gardens.

The Archer’s Antelope Chili: Have to applaud the restaurant that took City Grill’s location. Can’t imagine that spot was in high demand.

Also: antelope.

Osteria 166’s Pasta Fagioli: Well, Osteria isn’t THAT new, but we’re excited for the modern Italian restaurant’s take on a traditional belly-warming, stomach-filling soup.

**[Don’t] bring a water bottle. Because you should be mindful of your salt levels. (Edit: Actually, don’t bring a water bottle, since outside drinks aren’t allowed in.)

Slurp freely.

(Photos courtesy of Robin David Brown from the 2013 Buffalo Soup-Fest—see the full gallery here).

TAGGED: buffalo niagara convention center, buffalo soup-fest, downtown, food trucks, restaurants, soup

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