Expo Market: Newest Buffalo Hot Spot

Finally! Expo Market hit the ground running today, 2/18/16, with its open-market style and five eateries inside for you to grab ‘n go or sit ‘n stay. The newest hotspot to open in downtown Buffalo is located in the 600 block of Main St., diagonally across from Shea’s and connected to the Market Arcade. We are extra excited because it’s a 10 minute walk from our home and offers a healthier option for not only for a quick lunch but also for a later dinner in downtown.

inside EXPO
We’ve been watching and peering in over the past few months and knew it would be a very small version of girl bird’s favorite food markets in Europe but, hey, we’ll take it. Here is the run down of what we experienced:

We walked in to happy hour vibes at the bar, classic 80’s music pumping out, pockets of people laughing and taking pictures, and smiling pop-ups ready to serve. You can park on Main St. or Washington St. or if you’re coming in from the Northtowns and do not wanna drive- make sure to park at UB and take the subway in. It will drop you off at Fountain Plaza and you walk one block to Expo.

Let’s talk who’s here:

Newbury St. 

The original location makes home in Elmwood Village and is, in our opinion, one of the best salad joints in the area. Build your own or grab one of their specialty items. Perfect for lunch or to take outside and bask in the sun (when the heat comes back to WNY).

newbury st.
GBGB’s (Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar)

Here is where you’ll want to grab your drinks and hang with friends. No food here (that we noticed) but is definitely where you’ll want to pop in to for your happy hour. Craft beer and specialty cocktails. In the morning, espresso and coffee will be served. Yes, please!

 

GBGB’s
Sun Roll

This child comes from Sun on Niagara St.- home of Black Rice and a local favorite on the West Side. Rolls, Thai iced tea, and Mango Black Rice pudding are at your fingertips here and it is nothing short of amazing.

 

sun roll

Crush Juicery**as of December 2016, Crush is no longer at Expo and instead set up with Newbury St. on Elmwood***

The little sister of Newbury St., Crush is the juice and smoothie bar that concocts up wheatgrass shots and oatmeal bowls for breakfast. They’re opening at 8am for those pulling in to the city in the morning.

Osteria 166’s ‘Mercato’

Create your own pasta, gourmet sandwiches, and meatballs. We ‘built’ a tortelli alfredo and continued to salivate after we had finished. This is the child of Osteria 166 on Franklin in downtown- which never ever disappoints.

Mercato’s pasta station

Bobby Alfman’s Old World Deli

An old world deli perfect for those looking to grab and go. Classics that are sure to leave you satisfied. We can’t wait to try the Number Three: porcetta, sauteed greens, gravy. Guy bird took home an Italian Trio.

While there, we went for a Nickel City roll at Sun and a create-your-own pasta at Mercato. Grabbing a sandwich to go and ending with black rice pudding- we commented on how great this is for Main St., the lunch crowd, and for those who tend to finish their day later and sometimes want something quick to eat that isn’t fried fast food.

 

pasta from Mercato
nickel city roll from Sun Roll

We ran in to Ashley, the General Manager, who we knew from the Hotel Lafayette and helped us with our wedding guests last summer. She was thrilled to be part of this new downtown adventure. Make sure while you’re taking it all in that you scope out Casey Milbrand‘s colorful murals throughout the space. Thank you to Sinatra & Company Real Estate and Paul Tsouflidis (Crush Hospitality- which brought us Acropolis and Newbury St.) for making this concept a realty and adding on to the nonstop growth of our city. We’ll be back again and again.

EXPO 

617 Main St. Buffalo 14202

716.220.8468 

M-F 11am-9pm (Crush & GBGB’s start at 8am for breakfast & espresso)

Sat 11am-8pm

Sunday: closed

cash/credit at all

There in the day time? Shop local at two of our favorites inside Market Arcade: Buffalo Adore and Rust Belt Love. 

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date night approved // kid friendly // girls night out // meet up with the boys //happy hour 

Toutant- A Sunday date

  
Haven’t we all kept our eyes on Toutant the past few months? Another Genesee Gateway goodie with exposed brick interior and a menu you can’t resist. (It could be we just get pumped about anything within walking distance to our home at the Hotel Lafayette!)

Sunday night. Date night reservations made online two weeks ago. The bar and high rise tables were packed already at 5pm when we entered. Sunlight spilling in to the entrance. Greeted by a smiling hostess, we were led upstairs to the second level. We could not wait to dive in to this menu…

 
Our signature move is going all out at a new place- we started with the Hush Puppies (which were sprinkled with jalapenos inside), Blue Crab Bisque, and American Country Ham. 

 
Yea. That didn’t last long. The presentation alone with the crab bisque was impressive- the bowl was brought over filled only in the center with crab and our server, Christine, came with a carafe and poured the bisque over top the crab. We haven’t experienced that in quite some time. The cayenne oil left a distinct, mouth-watering aroma. The American Country ham was so delicious- aged perfectly, with house pickles and red eye mustard. Wait, we are supposed to SHARE these plates? But we want our own!

 
seating on the second floor, interior view of buiding courtyard

After settling on what we would be splitting for our main courses, Christine asked our preference of heat for our Jambalaya dish- 1 through 5, highest heat at 5. Big fans of ‘things that clear your sinuses’, guy bird tends to want to push it even further. Compromising at 3, Christine promised to bring over their hot sauce for him to add if he wants more. 

After a long week and a busy weekend of being out of town, biking over 50 miles, and sneaking in wedding prep here & there- we played catch up as we anxiously awaited our Jambalaya with shrimp and sausage and Biscuits & Gravy.

   

 Not. Disappointed. At. All. So again..we are supposed to share?

So here is the best part of date night: when we thought guy bird was going to die.

Well, at least one half of Buffalovebirds thought that. 

Taking a moment to break away from devouring the biscuits, girl bird looks up and across the table- guy bird is DRIPPING in sweat. His brow and cheeks were sweaty and tears were trickling down his face. He was quiet and taking it like a champ. Was the jambalaya really that potent?? Nope.

 
Suzumebachi. Yea, Google that. It’s an Asian Giant Hornet and has killed people with its venom sting. He had put it on his jambalaya and looked like he had run a marathon through Hell. Stiffling laughter and also annoying him with, ‘Are you okay? No, really, are you okay?’- within 5 minutes he was back to normal. He recalls the last time he had heat like that was at Hot’s Kitchen when he was taste-testing habañero sauce and drank a quart of milk afterward. This hot sauce is awesome. (but now you are warned)

Always pulling out the cheesy line of ‘I have a seperate stomach for dessert’, we ended the date with an Ooey Gooey Cake and a Meyer Lemon Curd Jar. 

 
We could eat these all day. 

Finding out that Toutant also has take out, we now know we are in trouble! After hearing nothing but raving reviews, we gladly jump on that bandwagon. Toutant leaves you wanting to come back and order the rest of the menu and that’s just what we will be doing. It is that southern comfort food that you can never get enough of. Snag your friends for some cocktails and shared plates, bring your out-of-towners here to show off our diverse Buffalo cuisine, and make sure you have a date night out with your other half. See ya there!

DETAILS

Toutant // 437 Ellicott St. Buffalo, NY 14203 // 716.342.2901

Reservations are easy! Make them online. 

Street parking & paid lots // Open for brunch on Sunday

Monday 5p–2a
Thursday- Saturday 5p–2a
Sunday Brunch 11:30a–3:30p
Sunday Dinner 5p–2a

   

  

  

 

Taste of Buffalo 2013

                                   

The Taste of Buffalo is one of Western New York’s top must-do’s of summertime! ToB is known as one of America’s largest food fests & it is celebrating its 3oth birthday this year. Having attended over 15 years of the taste, we have discovered new restaurants for date night, refilled countless wine slushies, ran in to old friends, and tried new cuisines. If you have not gone to the taste yet, here is some great info to get your stomach rumbling!

QUICK INFO:

Taste of Buffalo, located in Niagara Square (where City Hall is) & Delaware Ave.

Saturday 7/13 11am-9pm, Sunday 7/14 11-7pm

free admission! cost of tickets: 50cents/ticket; $5/sheet

over 50 restaurants! wineries! music! chef battles! food trucks!

@tasteofbuffalo (also on facebook)

tasteofbuffalo.com

Before heading out- check out tasteofbuffalo.com and print out a festival guide map! If you are on a mission, this is a great way to highlight what you’d like to try- and do so in a mapped-out way. There is also listings of the menu items for each restaurant & the ticket cost. You may pay cash or use a Visa or MC card to purchase tix. Music, chef competitions, and demonstrations are also listed. Many of our friends ask us ‘Where is the best place to park downtown?’ and we can give an array of answers- especially for this weekend. We suggest a couple different ways to get here & park:

GETTING THERE

  • once you’re on the 90 (E or W, depending on your starting point), hop on 33W (aka The Kensington)
  • 33W turns in to Oak St.. Continue on and make a right on to Broadway
  • now you’re in the general area you want to be for parking

PARKING

  • don’t panic! 🙂 there are many areas to park. BCAR (Buffalo’s well-known public parking) is all over the place and here is the link to help you find your preference.
here is a BCAR map. the buffalo symbol shows you the different parking areas. the circle in the upper left is Niagara Square. we get a kick out of the ‘Dunn Tire Park’ and ‘HSBC Arena’ still on the map!

*our parking suggestions

  • Adam Ramp (343 Washington St., near The Hotel Lafayette)
  • Augspurger Ramp (362 Pearl St., near the Hyatt)
  • Court Franklin lot (near Convention Center)
  • Fernbach Ramp (200 Pearl St., across from Main Place Mall)
  • Turner Ramp (1 Perkins Dr., closest to City Hall & the square)

Use your smartphone map to type these in for a play-by-play.

***Another fantastic way to get there is via subway. Park at UB South Campus 3434 Main St. Buffalo, hop on the subway, and get off at Lafayette Square. Piece of cake! (hmm, that sounds yummy!) If you’re on a schedule, make sure you head to nfta.com for current times- the subway is on single rail for the summer because of construction.

Fear not, parents- the square is open and, yes, there are many people- but don’t let that deter you from enjoying the beautiful weather and scoring some treats to share. It isn’t so packed that you cannot move a stroller through and it is very easy to access the lines and grab your food. There is also space to scoot aside and enjoy. Lots of our parent-friends enjoy coming every year so they can walk around and even introduce their little ones to something new.

FOOD

The sample are perfect for sharing! That way, you can order MORE food and create your own little tapas party in the square. There are healthy options at each restaurant as well as award winning listings. Make sure to try some Banh Mi at the Black Market Food Truck, pork slider at Dinosaur BBQ (coming to BLo this fall!!), Samosa Chaat at Delhi Chaat, Beef on Weck Ravioli at Indian Falls, Vietnamese roll at Saigon Cafe, wine slushies, and take some Cinnamon Glazed Pecans home from The Bavarian Nut Company!

Want other things to check out while you’re there? City Hall is giving free tours noon-4pm and you can sign up in front of the building. Bring your camera for the best view of BLo on the observation deck!! Statler City is also on the corner of Delaware & Niagara. Enjoy yourself in the Lobby Bar and check out the gorgeous historic building. New Era Cap store is located on 160 Delaware Ave., right in the heart of the taste as well. Once you hit Chippewa, maybe you’re still hungry? Thirsty? Stop in Spot Coffee for a cold Spotsicle, Chocolate Bar for some martinis, or Soho for a burger and sit on their roof patio.

Make a day & night of it! Take the subway or walk down to Canalside and relax by the water!

***Things to remember ahead of time: sunglasses, cash for parking (the closest ATMs are located at First Niagara and Citizens Bank in Lafayette Square, only two blocks away), sunscreen, camera (use #tasteofbuffalo on your Twitter & Instagram!), your own water bottles, and YOUR APPETITE!! See you there! 🙂