Taste of Buffalo newcomers: Sample Restaurant
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • July 06, 2011 @ 1:22pm
Sample Restaurant owner Adam Goetz should try to store a few hours of sleep this week, because he sure won’t rest this weekend. This year’s Taste of Buffalo marks the first time Goetz’s restaurant has participated in the festival and, on top of his Nickel City Chef duties, the owner’s food offerings aren’t simple.
The prevailing theme of Sample is quality, often creative food crafted from scratch and served in small portions. How conducive is this to the Taste of Buffalo? Not particularly, since Goetz and other Sample employees will be forced to churn out complicated novelties in short order. Although preparation will be a constant challenge, Sample’s experienced staff and the exposure of Taste of Buffalo convinced Goetz that a booth would be worthwhile.
To make life even crazier for Goetz, Nickel City Chef competitions run throughout the weekend; the Sample owner squares off against Mary Ann Giordano of Creekview in a “best street food” battle at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Expect the judges, Chris Dorsaneo and Peter Cimino of Lloyd Taco Truck, James Roberts of Park Country Club and one audience member, to have high expectations. For a full list of Nickel City Chef competitions, browse the detailed preview at Feed Your Soul.
Here’s a look at the dishes Goetz will serve:
Kroftes with yogurt sauce (8 tickets or 4 tickets): Spicy Turkish lamb meatballs are Sample’s featured dish. “They were only recently added to the menu,” Goetz explained, “when we included the ‘small plates’ section. They’re not super spicy, and the herbed yogurt sauce balances the heat nicely.”
Sample Some More: Even former food critics Buffalo Chow couldn’t stop gushing about “Sample Some More,” a s’more “wonderfully balanced between sugary sweetness and rich depth, with dry, moist, and wet textures.” Plus, there will be a live torching station on scene—avoid the temptation of commandeering the torch. There’s no joy in getting arrested for arson and theft.
Crispy Jambalaya Cake (6 tickets): This offering is definitely outside the box, a twist on the traditional Creole dish. Creamy risotto is mixed with the “holy trinity” of vegetables—chopped onions, bell peppers and celery—then breaded and fried. It’s finished with black bean vinaigrette, okra and baby shrimp to create a delicate blend of flavor.
Pita and hummus (6 tickets or 4 tickets): Goetz described the healthy Mediterranean plate as straightforward, accentuated by fresh garlic and zucchini. Consider this to be a solid “safety” option.