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Check out lamb chops, more Japanese dishes in Teton Kitchen photo gallery

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Unfortunately, the photo of the lamb chops with vinegar sauce in today's review of Teton Kitchen ran in black and white.

Fortunately, we have a gallery of the Depew restaurant's work to share. It includes the buta kimchi stir-fry, one of my favorite dishes from my visit. You can see it here.



While we wait for Popeyes: Remember Krispy Kreme?

The crush of eager diners at Tuesday's debut of the Popeyes Louisiana Chicken on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo brought to mind a similar scene: Oct. 3, 2000, the day Krispy Kreme opened its doors on Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Tonawanda.

Continue reading "While we wait for Popeyes: Remember Krispy Kreme?" »

On the air: News restaurant critic talks memorable dishes of 2013 with Shredd & Ragan

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

This morning I got the chance to ramble on about my most memorable dishes of 2013 with Ted Shredd and Tom Ragan on 103.3 The Edge, WEDG-FM.

You can listen to the segment here.

Please note that the list is the five most striking dishes I had this year in restaurants. Striking meaning dishes that made me want to tell people about their existence, dishes that got me talking this year.

It's not "my five favorite restaurants in town," or anything like that.

Here's my detailed breakdown of why I chose those five dishes. 

Here's a photo gallery of those dishes.

Have a hungry holidays.


News restaurant critic on his 5 most memorable dishes of 2013

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

When you eat at a different restaurant every week, dishes have to be more than delicious to stand out at year's end. Here's my exploration of my five most memorable dishes of 2013.

Here's a photo gallery where you can check the dishes out in full color. Sorry for the sometimes less than stellar phone photos that I took. (The ones by real photographers are gorgeous.)

I'm scheduled to talk about those dishes on the radio with Shredd & Ragan around 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, on 103.3 The Edge, WEDG-FM.


Homestyle bacon appetizer at Grand Island's Riverstone Grill restaurant worth the trip?

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

How far would I drive for this bacon?

Riverstone grill 011

That's what I was wondering while I was chewing on slabs of the Jim-Beam-and-molasses-brined bacon that Chaz Bulera makes at Riverstone Grill, his Grand Island restaurant, which I reviewed in today's Buffalo News.

He sells it for $6. Even factoring in the bridge toll, that's a nice price for stuff he smoked himself with applewood. Then fried and baked until it reaches the crispy-chewy peak, poised between sweet meat and salty candy. You don't even have to dunk it in the Crown Royal maple butter. More than once. For science.

I don't know Bulera well, having only eaten his food once, and never met him in person. But I have met his bacon, and it has the Willy Wonka touch.



Ted's Hot Dogs: Video, photo gallery and stories from The News' archives

Continue reading "Ted's Hot Dogs: Video, photo gallery and stories from The News' archives" »

New downtown restaurant The Archer gives Sabres fans reason to cheer

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Starting tomorrow, Sabres season ticket holders have a much better chance at enjoying their game.

That’s because The Archer opens at 286 Main St. on Wednesday, offering antelope, bison and quail on a menu aimed at fans of white tablecloth fine dining and pregame bar eats alike.

Joshua and Gladys Archer are the owners. The former Gladys Gonzalez is an ex-pat, 1995 Hutch-Tech class president, and he’s got 20 years in restaurant kitchens. They met working at the Athenaeum Hotel at the Chautauqua Institution.

“We’re going to go just a notch more upscale” than Pearl Street Grill, Archer said. “Not get too pretentious.” The bar will be more casual, with fine dining on the mezzanine level, he said.

The game starts at lunch with a venison sausage ($15), and three soups and house-baked bread ($10) for the chilly.  Dinner entrees include almond-crusted Great Lakes walleye ($28), Texas quail stuffed with spinach and feta ($24), and antelope steak with mushroom sauce and garlic mashed potatoes ($35).

The soft opening, which is a terrible term considering how hard it is, starts at 11 a.m., for lunch, with last seating at 10 p.m. The grand opening is Saturday. You can check out the menu at, or call 768-4661.

Oh, and Sabres fans note: there’s a full bar.



Tonawanda's Balkan Dining restaurant adds Bosnian grilled meats, handmade pitas to Buffalo's menu

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

A Bosnian fellow has turned the former Sal's Pizzeria into Balkan Dining (687 Kenmore Ave., 834-0462), turning out a variety of grilled meats tucked into fresh-baked flatbread plus a bevy of Eastern European treats.


Above, cevapi, seaasoned beef sausages in housemade bread ($7.99)

Yesterday was its second day open, and at dinnertime, most of the five tables were full. They are so new the friendly chief server did not know the phone number. She was happy to dial mine so I could have it, though: 834-0462.

Continue reading "Tonawanda's Balkan Dining restaurant adds Bosnian grilled meats, handmade pitas to Buffalo's menu" »

Gypsy Parlor owner apologizes for 'Pocahotties' photo, staff backlash

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Gabrielle Mattina, owner of The Gypsy Parlor, apologized this afternoon for dressing as "sexy Pocahontas" at her Grant Street nightspot, and the nasty backlash from staffers against a Native American critic.

"I learned yesterday that I offended people because my bartender and I wore braids in our hair and brown fitted dresses the day before Thanksgiving. My intention was not to hurt or offend Native American people, or anyone. I apologize.

"At the time I didn’t understand that it would have this effect on people, and I know not to ever do it again. I also apologize that my crew’s reaction was defensive and off color. We should all think before we act.

"I would like everyone who reads this to keep an open mind and see for yourself that this behavior is not a reflection of who we are here at Gypsy Parlor. I invite you to 376 Grant St. to see that we welcome and respect all people here, and hope you join us to experience our diverse crew, working to make this diverse neighborhood a better and enjoyable place."


Gypsy Parlor's 'Pocahotties' photo draws Internet ire from Native American critic


UPDATE: Gypsy Parlor owner apologizes for 'Pocahotties' photo, staff backlash


By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Social media is important to startup restaurants because it's free advertising, the only marketing plan many new owners can afford. Facebook and Twitter are their Ogilvy & Mathers. 

Upside: shows prospective customers how much fun you're having.

Downside: may provoke an Internet critic to come by and call you a racist rapist sympathizer. Then when a staffer responds nastily, show the world the nasty.

That's what happened yesterday to Gabrielle Mattina of The Gypsy Parlor, 376 Grant St. After painstakingly rehabbing the place and opening up a tavern with a bar food menu and music performance space, Mattina and her crew have gotten a pretty decent response from the neighborhood.

On Thanksgiving Eve, the Super Bowl of drinking nights in Buffalo, Mattina posted this picture of herself, on the left, and bartender Anna Todaro :

Gabrielle Mattina and Anna Todaro at Gypsy Parlor

They were dressed up as Pocahotties. You know, sexy Pocahontases. (Pocahonti?) "There is nothing sexy about pilgrims," she wrote.

Which drew the ire of Jodi Lynn Maracle, an American Studies PhD student at the University at Buffalo who is part Mohawk. In a post published yesterday, Maracle teed off on the photo:

Above we see Gabrielle Mattina, owner of The Gypsy Parlor in Buffalo, NY, posing with bartender, Anna Todaro, dressed as some bizarre mashup of the ever present racist, sexist Pocahottie mixed with a dash of some fabricated notion of the Gypsy, who, much like the Indian, exists more in the mythologized, Disney realm than any where in reality. 

In response to Facebook commenters posting "Hey, sexy" comments and "I don't remember the Native Americans looking like this in my history books," Maracle dropped the big one, linking the ain't-we-having-fun photo to the rape of Native American women and racist depictions of Roma people:

And, ya know, I think these commenters are right. We Indian Maidens bust (sic) be sexy given the reality that we are at least 3 times more likely to be sexually assaulted, 88% of those crimes committed by non-Natives, and a sickeningly low prosecution rate against perpetrators of violent sexual crimes against Native women because, ya know, we're just too darn sexy.

It was bad enough these women opted to deck out their new business venture as "The Gypsy Parlor", replete with mood lighting and an attempt at some New Agey bohemian vibe, touting all that is dehumanizing, false, and racist towards Roma populations, but then, in a sheer stroke of genius, they thought, "Hey, why do we combine our two favorite fantasies: Indians and Gypsies?!"

And lo, the hippest of the Buffalo hepcats flock to the promised land of Indians and Gypsies on Thanksgiving Eve.

So, to paraphrase, you contribute to rape culture, and you are appropriating poseurs.

After that the back and forth got ugly and interesting by turns, depending on who was firing off messages to Maracle, including some of the bar's staffers. Maracle posted a bunch of it. I'm not going to link to it because of the nastiness that ensued. Sometimes smartphones help people do dumb things, and as the police post-crash press releases are wont to say, alcohol may have been a contributing factor.

The lasting question is, does this work in favor of Mattina and The Gypsy Parlor? Perhaps it's true after all that there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Hard to believe, considering the reviews that have started showing up on Gypsy Parlor's Yelp page, some with statements that seem fabricated. "I asked some fairly reasonable questions about some of the menu items (in regards to preparation and ingredients) and the waitress responded by throwing a smallpox covered blanket at me and telling me to go back to the reservation," one Mark D wrote.

Note to restaurant owners: If you haven't given your staff clear instructions on how to handle social media interactions, this might be a good time.



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