November 6, 2013 - 8:25 AM
By Andrew Z. Galarneau
A few weeks ago, I made a new acquaintance at the West Side Bazaar, 25 Grant St. As I explained in today's story in the Buffalo News, the cafeteria-style room serves up Thai, Burmese, Arakanese, Peruvian and Ethiopian home cooking. There's a bunch of dish pictures with the story, and another gallery here.
Here's one we couldn't get in the paper. This is kyeoo, my new Burmese friend. It's pork broth with rice noodles, bok choy stalks, tofu, pork meatballs, quail eggs and a chicken egg on top. It's served with a little bowl of sweet-spicy chile ketchup, but I'd also suggest you consider adding some of that red chopped chile and vinegar stuff from the jar on the booth's counter.
The polite man behind the counter is Soe Maung Maung, if you have any questions. He runs the Burmese and Thai windows. The kyeoo is $6.99, a small price to pay. In my opinion.
Bad news: Only available on Wednesdays.
Good news: It's Wednesday.
The place opens at 11 a.m. for lunch.
If you're still on the fence let me show you dessert.
The Arakanese guy - Arakan being one of the distinct Burmese cultures - has a little booth off to the side of the main four. Khaing Thein and his wife are dishing up their own version of fish noodle soup, tangier, with meatballs. Thein is also doing sushi, including this banana mango dessert roll ($7.50), which was a sticky tropical delight.
Now consider this crispy Thai cookie of coconut milk batter and black sesame seeds, fried on a mold and curled as it's cooled. It's $2 at the cookies and bubble tea stand across from the windows. It's delicious. Even my coworker Toni, who is not an adventurous eater, enjoyed it, and now we can say she likes Thai food.
It's called dorg jorg, and despite its Sith-lord-worthy name, it's as delicate and resonant with toasty sesame flavor as anything you might like to have with a cup of jasmine tea. Funny thing, you start ordering from the Burmese and Thai windows and a guy brings you a jug of jasmine tea, and little styrofoam cups.