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Two spoons up for Buffalo Soup-Fest

blog by Kathryn Przybyla  • 

This isn’t your grandma’s soup festival.

Rounding out a fairly packed weekend, I was pumped to be checking out Buffalo Soup-Fest on Sunday night at the Hearthstone Manor in Cheektowaga. We even had a great Buffalo.com photo gallery from the event, so be sure to give that a look!

Soup is one of my favorite food groups and I’ve never been able to say no to a pleasant sounding Gouda bisque on any menu—so this was the event for me. I brought my sister along to assist in the Soup Festival tastings for the night and neither of us left disappointed.

Here is a look at some of our favorite offerings.

Our first taste was of the “red pepper gouda bisque” from Ivy’s Salon & Cafe in Williamsville. Really sweet compared to other bisques I’ve had, this one did not lack in shredded up cheese or vibrant red color. Although it wasn’t one of my sister Kristin’s favorites, I enjoyed the first bowl.

Next up, we stopped by Danny’s Buffalo Cuisine table and were intrigued by a number of offerings—most specifically the “beef on weck soup” and “unstuffed hot pepper soup.” Both ended up being a couple of our favorites from the night, with such an exact taste to the dish they were trying to imitate in soup form.

Soup Fest

The “beef on weck soup” literally tasted like you were biting into a roast beef sandwich, complete with scattered caraway seeds and little pieces of bread. The “unstuffed hot pepper” was another winner with a great spicy aftertaste, just like you get when eating whole peppers. They nailed the flavors with these bowls, taking home the “Best Pepper Sweet” prize and “Best Overall” for Danny’s Buffalo Cuisine.

Soup Fest

Being the Polish girls that we are, we couldn’t pass up on the “Polish sausage soup” from Sunshine Cafe. This bowl ended up being extremely true to it’s roots, with a very simple sauerkraut broth and only a small amount of Polish sausage. It was delicious and simple, but we were more excited about the over-the-top offerings of the night.

Soup Fest

Next up was an incredibly unique dish from the Village Inn on Grand Island, the “Mayan chocolate chili.” This was pretty incredible. The only chili dish from the night we tried, this bowl had a smooth and smoky cocoa taste as soon as you took a spoonful. It was a great consistency of chunkiness and had a beer taste too—honestly just hardy and completely delicious. The soup also took home the “Best Chili” prize of the night.

Soup Fest

Looking for a simpler option, we tried Brennan’s Bowery Bar‘s “cream of mushroom soup.” This soup was incredibly flavorful, not something I expected with a simple broth and a few veggies mixed in. The soup was filled with big mushrooms, which made it so much better than your everyday “cream of” soup. Brennan’s also went home with the “Best Potato” prize for their Irish potato soup.

A vendor I hadn’t expected to see, Ashker’s Juice Bar was a delightful surprise with a few unique selections for Buffalo Soup Fest as well. We tried the “Lebanese lubee” bowl which was described as a classic Lebanese stew with a hint of cinnamon. We really enjoyed the fact that they served the rice on top of the bowl of soup, instead of the bottom. Only wishing it was a little spicier, this was another great bowl.

Soup Fest

Our next stop was to check out the offerings from Dee’s Firehouse bar and grill, where we tried the “seafood bisque” and “stuffed pepper soup.” The seafood soup, while tasty could have used a stronger seafood flavor. We also enjoyed the “stuffed pepper soup” which helped Dee’s go home with the “Best in the ‘burbs” award for the night.

Soup Fest

Rounding out a night of great flavor and soupy fun—we stopped by the Cafe 59 table to try their “creamy chunky tomato soup.” Not always a fan of the classic bowl, this dish was a tricked-out, tasty alternative complete with lots of herbs and chunky tomato pieces. It may have been the last of the night, but it definitely made the top picks in our book—not to mention the judges. Cafe 59 went home with the “Best Tomato” prize.

Soup Fest

Overall, we left Buffalo Soup-Fest completely satisfied, filled with hot soup and educated on a few new restaurants we can’t wait to go back and try. My sister and I are by no means culinary experts of any kind, but we love our soup and had a blast. Check out our favorites from the night, below.

Soup Fest

Kristin’s top soups from Buffalo Soup-Fest 2013:
1. Beef on weck —Danny’s Buffalo Cuisine
2. Unstuffed hot pepper—Danny’s Buffalo Cusine
3. Chunky tomato—Cafe 59
4. Cream of mushroom—Brennan’s Bowery Bar
5. Lebanese lubee—Ashker’s Juice Bar

Soup Fest

Kathryn’s top soups from Buffalo Soup-Fest 2013:
1. Mayan chocolate chili—Village Inn
2. Unstuffed hot pepper—Danny’s Buffalo Cuisine
3. Beef on weck—Danny’s Buffalo Cuisine
4. Stuffed pepper—Dee’s Firehouse
5. Chunky tomato—Cafe 59

For more information on the full list of actual winners and other vendors, check out the Buffalo Soup-Fest website. We can’t wait until next year.

Soup Fest

TAGGED: ashker's juice bar, brennan's bowery bar, cafe 59, hearthstone manor, mayan chocolate chili, soup, soup fest, soup-fest, village inn

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Photo courtesy of Flickr / dimitridf

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