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Taste of Buffalo announces 2018 restaurant & winery award winners

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Mon, Jul 9th 2018 01:00 pm
Taste of Buffalo file photo by Bill Wippert, provided by the Taste
Taste of Buffalo file photo by Bill Wippert, provided by the Taste
Part of 35th birthday celebration
The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops on Saturday announced the local restaurants named award winners in a variety of categories at the 35th annual festival. The judging was conducted by a panel of representatives from the local media, along with members of Western New York's political and business sectors.
This year, festival organizers introduced several new awards, including The Buffalo News Gusto Critic's Choice Award, which went to SEAR (Buffalo) for its guajillo roasted hog taco, and the Yelp's Choice Award, which Fat Bob's Smokehouse (Buffalo) earned for its smoked watermelon.
In addition, Independent Health Foundation added a "Healthy Options Best Healthy Dessert" Award, which went to Sweet Melody's (East Amherst) for its red, white and blue sundae. Additional 2018 Taste of Buffalo award winners include:
  • Chair's Choice: Carmine's (East Amherst), crab cake stuffed shrimp
  • Children's Choice: Paula's Donuts (Tonawanda), doughnut holes
  • Pat Sardina Memorial Award for Best Comfort Food: Dirty Bird Chicken N' Waffles (Niagara Falls), chicken n' waffle on a stick
  • Lou Billittier Memorial "Rookie of the Year" Award: Ru's Pierogi (Buffalo), pierogi
  • Veteran Restaurant Award: India Gate (Buffalo), chicken butter tikka masala
  • Best of Buffalo Award: Rolling Cannoli (Buffalo), sponge candy caramel cannoli
  • Best Overall Item: Stack Burger (West Seneca), "Demon Burger"
  • Best Meat Item: Stack Burger (West Seneca), "Demon Burger"
  • Best Seafood Item: Black & Blue Steak and Crab (Amherst), tuna tartar
  • Best Dessert: Taste of Siam (Buffalo), fried ice cream with sweet berries
  • Best Sandwich: Mineo & Sapio Street Eats (Buffalo) - chorizo po'boy
  • Independent Health Foundation's Healthy Options First Place: Lloyd Taco Truck (Buffalo), black bean tacos
  • Independent Health Foundation's Healthy Options Second Place: Osteria 166 (Buffalo), arugula salad
  • Independent Health Foundation's Healthy Options Third Place: Bravo! Cucina Italiana (Cheektowaga), chilled grilled shrimp & couscous
  • Best Red Wine: Spring Lake Winery (Lockport), cabernet
  • Best White Wine: Victorianbourg Wine Estate (Wilson), Pechette, blend
In addition, the Taste inducted Louie's Hot Dogs, Chrusciki Bakery, Caribbean Experience and Merritt Estate Winery into the inaugural class of the Taste of Buffalo Silver Fork Club. The club was introduced as a way to honor restaurants and wineries that have been involved in the Taste for 25 years or more.
About Taste of Buffalo
The Taste is a not-for-profit organization with an all-volunteer board, a festival coordinator and more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event. Each year, the Taste partners with various nonprofit groups to staff ticket and beverage tents with volunteers in return for a donation. And, after all the expenses are paid, the chairman donates the remaining monies to the Food Bank of WNY and other charities.
The festival also offers five annual $1,000 scholarships to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. To date, more than $500,000 has been donated back to the community thanks to purchases made by Taste festivalgoers. New this year, two additional one-time scholarships were made possible thanks to Smithfield Foods and a generous Taste partner.

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