A Joint Statement: Buffalo Chow & Nelson Starr on Buffalo

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Joint Statement from Buffalo Chow & True Blue Buffalo
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Every Buffalonian shares a common interest: we all want to see Western New York represented honestly, and as a great place to visit or live. We come from many ethnicities and races, cultures and neighborhoods, but whatever differences we may have, we all agree that Buffalo is a world-class city for food. Buffalo hosts the United States' most popular two-day food festival, the Taste of Buffalo, and our local specialties - wings, Beef on Weck sandwiches, and pizza among them - are often duplicated, but rarely as great as they are here.

As two people who work hard to help Buffalo achieve the recognition and success it deserves, we have come together today to address a major, mutual concern. For too long, the people of our city and suburbs have wrestled with the challenge of how to properly portray ourselves to the country, and to the world. We have fought amongst ourselves over what the message should be, rather than unifying to get a message out. This week, with the airing of the latest of many television shows spotlighting our area's unique charms, debates once again broke out amongst us, our friends, and thousands of others as to whether the coverage was accurate, positive, or negative.

Today is the day to put these old debates to rest - a day for the people of Buffalo and Western New York to come together, remembering our history, acknowledging our present, and preparing for our future. We are blessed with unique access to skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling in the winter, Niagara Falls to cool us off during the summer, local wineries to visit in the spring and fall, and more than a dozen different ethnic and neighborhood food festivals to keep us drinking and eating throughout the year. Our people love their neighborhood bars, their Friday fish fries, and their nationally top-ranked markets. This is truly a great place to eat. But it is especially great because of the people, those who are ready to move forward and build up this region, through honesty and hard work.

We have a lot to offer - more than any single TV show, article, or visit to our area can truly capture. But we welcome people to try, and will support them when they do. And to the extent that we have ourselves disagreed about the message before, it should be very clear now. Because of all of us - those who are in the city, the suburbs, and even those outside who know how great our people are - Buffalo is back, and the best is yet to come.

Jeremy Horwitz, BuffaloChow.com
Nelson Starr, TrueBlueBuffalo.com


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Comments (3)

Andrew Z :

I may have been a bit aggressive on my comment about NS on your Bourdaine article. I apologize. He as a sensitive edge to him about Buffalo. It shows that he has heart for the city. However...I truly don't think he should be reviewing restaurants. Yes, Buffalo has many iconic food staples (as BC continues to highlight), but so far, he hasn't done a good job at appealing to the audience's 5 senses. It's taken him so long to put together 4 episodes. There are a million other fascinating people, places, and things to document in Buffalo, just leave the food alone. I'm a food junkie too, but I'll leave the critiques to the pros who can accurately describe what they are eating.

Chris B :

Its true that chicken wings are rarely done as consistently well in other cities, and Wegmans is truly great, but that is it. "Beef on Weck" is largely unkown outside of Buffalo, and most outsiders would just see a dry roastbeef sandwich (they would be right most of the time). Even in Buffalo it is often poorly executed, since the quality and preparation of the meat is so important. And although Western New Yorkers appear to like the pizza around here, it must be something you have to grow up with. It took me a long time to find pizza I was willing to do repeat business with (Zetti's and Franco's are very good and consistent).

Buffalo is seriously missing many cuisines that are common in other cites. Only in the past 5 years have we seen decent Mexican restaurants, and only La Tolteca stands out. Great Barbecue is really hard to find. Where are the great Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese restaurants? There is not one good Japanese restaurant (most are poor imitations of Japanese food), the Korean restaurants are overpriced for the quality (a couple are good), and Vietnamese barely has a presence. For Indian, only Kabab and Curry and Taste of India are any good. And these are just the more common cuisines. Lets demand more in this area before we worry about what others think of us.

Stan P :

While I agree that Buffalo is world class in terms of food, and the chicken wings and pizza are great, I don't think that the chicken wings and pizza are what make us world class. Its the total package, including the cost, breadth and quality of the food. Not just the prepared food, but the food offered at the local markets and Wegmans. We may be somewhat short in certain areas, like Mexican or Vietnamese, but you can get virtually any ingredient, fresh, you might need for these cuisines to cook them yourself. People who move out don't long for just our restaurants, they have ingredients sent to them (SALENS, WEBERS, etc.) I have been to almost every major city in the US and many abroad, and I haven't had that food urge about any of them. Fact is, that people here really enjoy food, and know good food. Buffalo has a strong local (non-chain) restaurant atmosphere that continously kicks the pants off of many chains tried here. I for one am happy with that, proud of that, and am not much concerned with what outsiders think. One more observation....Our local food critics have a difficult time here in Buffalo, since we feel so passionate about our favorite foods and restaurants. Any evaluation about a restaurant or food in Buffalo will invoke some pretty serious discussion.

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