The Taste of Buffalo is a giant food festival downtown and one of the most hotly-anticipated events all year, in which area restaurants, cafes and food vendors gather to promote their businesses by sharing their best dishes. Hubby and I attended in 2007, when we happened to be visiting the area on just the right weekend, and we had a blast – so we knew we were going to make a point of attending this year. We invited my father-in-law along (would you believe he’d never been before?!).
We arrived early, just as things were starting to get going. The crowd of restaurants represented included everything from local institutions like Nick Charlap’s Ice Cream, to new-on-the-scene trendy spots like Merge (a vegetarian restaurant I’m dying to try, and having tasted their kale salad at Taste only makes me more eager to get there for dinner) and even a few chains like Applebee’s and Gordon Biersch.
Almost immediately, we spotted a familiar green vehicle – Lloyd’s Taco Truck! If I had a nickel for every time I’d seen Lloyd’s parked near my office and walked by it because I didn’t “feel like tacos” I could treat myself to an entire plate’s worth. Since I’d been meaning to try it for so long, we made a beeline for the truck. (And it was a good thing we were early, because when we walked by Lloyd’s on the way out, it was completely mobbed.)
We ordered a chicken taco to share and a half order of krazy korn. (Hubby doesn’t like corn on the cob – and he had just put away a slider on his own – so the corn was just for me and I didn’t want to fill up on one station, even an amazing station like Lloyd’s.) The chicken taco was absolutely delicious, but the corn blew me away – rubbed with a chili butter, drizzled with secret sauce and sprinkled liberally with queso and cilantro, it was pretty much the best thing I’ve eaten in months. Now I’m furious with myself for walking past Lloyd’s so many times, always headed for someplace not as good, and I have vowed that every time I see the green truck in my neighborhood, I will get a krazy korn and a taco. Lloyd’s was the highlight of the 2014 Taste for me.
We made our way from station to station, tasting seafood mac ‘n cheese (good, but hubby said my homemade mac ‘n cheese is better), Bavarian pretzels, steamed crabs from Joe’s Crab Shack (another highlight, and now on our list to visit as soon as humanly possible), and even…
WINE! Hubby and F-I-L each had a glass (hubby had sparkling, F-I-L had raspberry rose) and I went for three one-ounce samples so I could taste more. We had just changed a soaking wet diaper in the grass, so we figured we deserved it. We then headed back for a second pass, this time at the desserts. We tried a few different things, but the raspberry Chardonnay ice cream (wish I could remember the vendor) was the best. We left feeling just a bit overstuffed, but very happy with our morning.
If you’re in Buffalo, did you attend the Taste this year? What was your favorite part? If you’re elsewhere, does your city have a similar food festival? We used to go to Taste of Ithaca when we were at Cornell, but we never made it to any food festivals in D.C.