Buffalo chicken shake makes list of top foods of 2011

Buffalo: City of Drunks?

Grub + Pub

Top 10 Buffalo.com food photos of 2011

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

We’re becoming more and more convinced that our readers check out our grub & pub section solely because of the photos. Sure, the food shots aren’t necessarily award-worthy, but nothing brightens a dreary day better than sushi photos. Food is an expression of art, right? (Remember, this isn’t a list of the best foods we’ve sampled this year—merely the most enticing snapshots.)

10) General Tso’s chicken lunch special from House of China, 543 Broadway St., Buffalo. Okay, I know it’s Chinese takeout, but I couldn’t help but add it to the list. It’s more popular in North America than China, and from looking at the photo, you can only dream of the crunchy battered outside, tender inside and tangy sauce. Do you spread the sauce over the rice or eat them separately? #ChineseTakeoutConundrums

9) Crab cake salad from Canvas@1206, 1206 Hertel Ave, Buffalo. Although Kathryn only allowed me one small bite of this entree (upsetting), it was remarkably photogenic. The mango jalapeno salsa not only brings serious flavor to the crab cakes, but the tiny chunks of red and yellow can entertain me for hours. I’m also not normal! 

8) Pastelillo from Niagara Cafe, 525 Niagara St, Buffalo. If I had my way—and our food editors weren’t getting all up in my grill about objectivity—the pastelillo would surely finish number one. Really, though, the photo is rather boring—all you can see is a crunchy shell smeared with some Frank’s Hot Sauce. I start to swoon when I think about the beef/cheese/spices inside. I’m still convinced the recommended diet in heaven is bruschetta, pastelillos and strawberry shortcake.

7) Dancing Roll from Tokyo II Japanese Seafood & Steakhouse, 2236 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. To anyone that knows S.J., there’s little uncertainty why she’d order a “dancing roll.” The subtle green of the avocado in the upper right hand corner, the smears of barbecue sauce on the plate and the “I know I’m not supposed to be here, but I’ll chill anyhow” appearance of the accidental eel sauce in the heart of the center roll caps this photo off.

6) Paczkis from E.M. Chrusciki, 999 Broadway St, Buffalo and 80 West Dullard Ave., Lancaster. Paczki (pronounced “poonch-key”) Day will forever hold a special place in our ever-expanding stomachs. Mark Feb. 21 on your calendars, as these delightful jelly-filled polish doughnuts melt in your mouth. They may be a little messy, but paczki are so worth it. And look at all of them lined up! They may as well be sporting bow ties.

5) Deep-fried pork chops from Niagara Cafe, 525 Niagara St., Buffalo. The natural light brought its A-game when intern Dan and I visited Niagara Cafe, because the food’s texture was particularly visible. I just want to caress that pork chop. Back to appropriate terms, the Puerto Rican eatery does a great job of not going overboard when deep-frying—there’s a thin layer of batter for a solid crunch, but it’s used to accentuate the pork chop, not hide it.

4) Orange-glazed Jerk Chicken from Mango’z, 577 Forest Ave., Buffalo. You don’t ordinarily expect chicken to be coated in a deep-red sauce, but that’s just what the new West Indian restaurant does. The orange-glazed jerk chicken is packed with enough jerk spice to cure the common cold, but also enough sweetness to make you lick your lips. The curried yams, hanging out there on the right side, were spectacularly tender without being soggy. In truth, it’s the shine off the chicken that seals this photo in the top five for me.

3) Crab Mango Roll, Beef on Weck Roll and Tiger Eye Roll from Seabar, 475 Ellicott St., Buffalo. Sushi really does hold a competitive advantage in this top 10, as presentation is much easier when you have small, colorful morsels and especially lustrous fish. And those cool mini wooden boats! S.J. recently took a photo class to bolster her food-shooting game, and she has the eye of the tiger on this one.

2) Gold Standard Burger from SoHo Burger Bar, 64 West Chippewa St., Buffalo. This burger is definitely the dark-horse in this list, simply because there’s more mystery. What’s that green goop, you ask? It’s garlic chive aioli, which adds a creamy texture and a slight zing! There’s applewood smoked bacon, melted cheddar cheese, some tomatoes along for the ride—what more can you ask for from a burger?

1) Reuben from Joe’s Deli, 1322 Hertel Ave., Buffalo. This photo makes reuben-lovers drop to their thousand island dressing covered knees. It’s visually perfect—I am at a loss for words.

TAGGED: e.m. chrusciki, joe's deli, mango'z, niagara cafe, restaurants buffalo, seabar, tokyo ii, wny foodies

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