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Grub + Pub

West Side festival showcases Buffalo’s ethnic fare

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Strolling around Buffalo’s food festival circuit summer after summer, you begin to grasp the atmosphere of each.

A sense of curiosity—as well as a unrestrained desire for wine slushies—marks the Taste Buffalo, while the Italian Festival takes on more of a carnival-esque vibe. With Buffalo’s Taste of Diversity—a West Side festival entering its 11th year—the mood is jubilant and the surroundings vibrant.

This year’s edition runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street. The Taste of Diversity is free to attend, and individual food tickets are $1 apiece (prices range from three tickets to eight, typically.) Dancers, music and food highlight this expanding yet simple annual gathering.

As The Buffalo News’ Jason Silverstein notes, the variety of ethnic cuisines will reach new heights in 2013—there’s an entire TBN sidebar listing the participating restaurants.

Returnees include Lucy’s Ethiopian Cuisine, the West Side Bazaar’s Pure Peru and Black Rock’s Sun International Food Market, but a slew of newcomers have joined the fray.

Silverstein’s list highlights an enticing squadron of first-time participants, including a restaurant that won’t even open until this coming fall.

**The Gypsy Parlor, 376 Grant St.: A Mediterranean restaurant that is expected to open in the fall
**Boualivone Serixay, 25 Grant St., a bubble tea specialist at the West Side Bazaar—try the taro or lychee flavors for a new twist
**Press Raw Food and Juice, 346 Connecticut St. in Horsefeathers Market; good reviews for its vegan fare.
**Freddy J’s BBQ, 209 Massachusetts Ave.; while I’ve never tried Freddy’s, the combo of Southern and Caribbean BBQ should—at the very least—provide a terrific scent.

Other vendors include Rolling Joe Cafe, the Sweet Hearth Food Truck, Sweetness 7 Cafe, Jewel of India and Big Big Table.

Alcohol won’t be necessary to enjoy the Taste of Diversity’s offerings—bright colors, novel food and eclectic cultural music provide enough of a sensory balance to let you leave with a full stomach and a joyful heart.

TAGGED: lucy ethiopian cuisine, pure peru, sun international, sweetness 7 cafe, taste of diversity, the gypsy parlor, west side, west side bazaar

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