Father’s Day Gift Guide at Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls

We love shopping at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. Beau gets a lot of his wardrobe there and we love that there are 200 shops to peruse through. So of course we were excited to team up with the Fashion Outlets again and go on the hunt to show you some really great Father’s Day gift ideas. The outlets always have every day prices that are up to 75% off- can’t beat that!

They’re not far at all- only a short drive from downtown Buffalo and are really accessible from anywhere in WNY. Here is what we found for gift ideas this Father’s Day at any budget:

Some things about Dads: they usually always need help in the fashion department, they never can have enough grilling tools, and sometimes you just need to get them beef jerky. Beau spotted a wall of jerky at the Beef Jerky Outlet and I had to pry him out the shop before buying the whole store.

Over at Puma they had a buy one get 1/2 off T-shirt sale which is perfect since Beau is the super athletic dad.

Michael Kors has everything for the traveling business guy from shiny watches and matching business travel bag for those on the go.

Raise your hand if your dad has old holey underwear. Yup. We found deals on boxers at Banana Republic that seems like it was too good to be true always fun colorful print.

With stores like J.A. Zwilling Henckels you can stock the shed and garage with grilling tools perfect just in time for the summer. Find all the fun Buffalo goodies at the BFLO shop where you can hook him up with a grilling apron, a Bills koozie, and a South Buffalo shot glass when he’s outside making those burgers. And just in time for Father’s Day Old Navy is opening Saturday, June 16. Doesn’t Dad need some new shorts??

It’s not just clothes at the Fashion Outlets! You can find a gift for literally anybody on your list especially dad Father’s Day. He might even be super proud of you that you saved a lot of money and found the deals without tapping him for some cash.

DETAILS:

Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls / 1900 Military Rd. Niagara Falls, NY 14304

Directory List of Stores

*the list also shows what deals are going on at each store!

Eckl’s Family Date Night

We feel like bad Buffalonians! We had never been to Eckl’s and we were reminded to check it out when we finished devouring our Beef on Weck at their Taste of Orchard Park tent. Known as one of the top places in WNY to get the beef, we also discovered that they are LITERALLY right down the road from where we live. How have we been so clueless?!

there is another side to the menu, too!
Ok, so we went and we’re not on the naughty list anymore.

It was a family affair- meaning Chloe was included. The munchkin is such a piece of cake (knock on wood) that she has been bellying up to restaurants with us recently. Baby-friendly ones of course. **a list of those places will come soon!**

BabyLovebird, Chloe
The hidden gem is legitimately hidden….on Ellicott Rd. in Orchard Park, off of Route 277. It’s inside one of the oldest homes in OP- 201 years old!- and has that homey feel once you step inside. Many tables, wood panel walls, sectioned rooms, and a bar where everybody knows your name. (we bet you’re singing the ‘Cheers’ theme song now) The restaurant has occupied the building since the early 1900s and officially became Eckl’s in 1934. They’re known for their top-of-the-line Certified Black Angus top round Beef on Weck.

Everyone waiting on us was extremely friendly and cheerful, which always makes or breaks a meal. As usual, we tried numerous plates….then came the beef.

beef on weck
The cool thing about the beef is that it’s cut thicker and has very little, if any, fat on it. We can understand why they’re known for this. We’ll be back.

Details:

Eckl’s 4936 Ellicott Rd. Orchard Park, NY 14127 // 716.662.2262 

reservations for over 6 people Sun.-Thurs. // no reservations Fri. or Sat.

family friendly / fun date / kid approved / comfort food

relish tray…old school!

we are kinda obsessed with beef on weck egg rolls that keep popping up around town

bacon-wrapped scallops

potato pancakes

Daddy Beau & Chloe O.

 

Family Date: BabyLovebird’s First Restaurant at Yoshi

Somehow, we are lucky. Chloe is a super happy, chill, go-with-the-flow baby. Up until she was born we ran through one major scenario (at least it was major to us): Could she handle public places? No= If she goes ape, we take her out. Yes= cool, let’s do this.

yoshi
Chloe is now 4 months old and we made the decision that it was time…time to take her for our fav cuisine: sushi. We’ve been itching to check out Yoshi since it opened late winter 2017. Located on the popular Elm St. in East Aurora, when we got wind that one of the chefs was a previous Seabar dude there was no question we knew this would be great. We passed by it ALL THE TIME when we were grabbing juices at Kornerstone and brunch at Elm St. Bakery…so we went for it. WITH CHLOE.

uh oh, here comes a baby…walking to Yoshi
I called for a reservation (just in case!) and asked my new-Mom question, ‘Is this cool for babies or…no?’ We were told it’s totally fine and that made us feel a little better. Our decisions on where we hit up now depends on if it can handle a small fry. (It’s our opinion to take the babe to appropriate places- no telling you what’s right and wrong here about babies in public) Upon arrival, the sun was shining and Yoshi’s outdoor space was full; inside was quite busy and luckily they saved us a table that had a perfect nook to keep Chloe and her seat in. The vibe inside is cool- modern, clean, light.

Yoshi’s menu is packed with sushi, sashimi, rolls, apps, and specials. Lunch is available during the day, too.

Beau started with sashimi:

I got this, guys
We split the Pork Gyoza (more, please!) and an Anaconda Roll (which sparked us to mutter Sir Mix-A-Lot lyrics under our breath because 1990s kids).

pork gyoza // anaconda roll
So how was Chloe doing? She was great! And even topped off her bottle feeding while laying in her seat. A few whimpers began and we silently panicked. Oh no, was she going to be a Debbie Downer? A quick escape with Dad to burp outside and all she needed after that was to sit on Beau’s lap the rest of the meal. This baby wants nothing more than to chill at the table with people and be part of the action. Okay, kid.

whoa, are you seein’ this, Mommy?
Our second round included the Scallop Crudo (topped with an edible flower, which Chef Kenneth Legnon let us know they get all of theirs from Buffalo local Vertical Fresh Farms). Well, these were delicious! Thinly sliced…with blood orange and puffed rice.

scallop crudo
We finished off with the Short Ribs which melted off the bone. Now THAT was hard to share…the Chef came over to say hello and talk about some details on our plates, giving us a better look in to the artistry around Yoshi’s menu. We expressed how excited we were that the Southtowns finally had a sushi place near us that stood out and rose above. Definitely will be on our go-to places from here on out.

short ribs
As for Chloe O.? BabyLovebird was quiet and observant the whole way through. Her first [inside] restaurant experience was a win and now we can ‘test her out’ at other spaces. Date night hasn’t died- it’s just a little cuter.

 

Get the Details:

Yoshi // 33 Elm St. East Aurora, NY 14052 // 716.714.9372

Tues-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm & 4:30-9:30pm // Saturday 12pm-10pm // closed Sunday

park on Elm St. or appropriate lots nearby (AFTER hours, please!)

great for date night, lunch date, date with friends, bringin’ chill kids, sushi date

*walk around East Aurora afterward! You can check out Roycroft Campus and pick up some local art, catch a movie at the vintage Aurora theatre, or nosh on chocolates at Mambrino King!

hey, guys!

hid the baby // stealth-mode

How To: Hotel Henry- A Date Night Staycation

Hotel Henry is open! The former Buffalo State Asylum is being transformed in to something incredible. And the urban resort is just the beginning…

Hotel-Henry
entrance to Hotel Henry // pic: The Buffalo News

The hotel sits on the Richardson Olmsted Complex and occupies the towers (also known as Building 45) which are centrally located among the former asylum campus. With the entire complex being redeveloped in phases, the hotel and conference center is only the beginning (see the Master Plan here). The complex began coming to fruition in 1872 and opened in 1880 as the asylum. After 40 years of nothing, we now are seeing a whole new surge of restoration that nests among the museums and Elmwood Village.


Stay at Hotel Henry: Bookings range $155-$170 (hey, not bad!). There are 88 urban hotel rooms.

Who is Henry?: Henry Hobson Richardson- the dude who created this gorgeous architecture design and teamed up with Frederick Law Olmsted for the complex.

Eat: 100 Acres: The Kitchen at Hotel Henry is open with breakfast and soft-opening dinner hours. Check their website for more details. Nearby in Elmwood Village, we suggest Thin Man Brewery, Squeeze Juicery, MTK, or Kuni’s.

100 acres: the kitchens


Explore: The Hotel and center is open to the public and the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Museum is arriving soon inside. The North Patio is outside and overlooks the main entrance of the hotel. Swanky, no?

Book your event: We were at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s big Hob Nob event and it was awesome. The party took place on three floors and people were hanging out in the lounge area, listening to live music outside and on the 4th floor, and noshing on macarons on floor 3. An awesome venue for weddings, showers, parties, conferences, and business events. We already know some people getting married there this year!

Getting in: Take Rockwell across from the Albright-Knox. Make a left on to Cleveland and *boom* the stunning entry needs no introduction. Parking on premise. The cool part here is the mix of old and modern architecture.

Things to do nearby: The hotel is in the perfect location. You have Elmwood Village which is full of restaurants and shops, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery across the street, the Buffalo History Museum, and Delaware Park all within a one mile or less radius. You can get to downtown within 15 minutes and are close to main thruways.

Tour: Get a public or private tour of the complex and learn about the history, architecture, patient life in the asylum…Richardson Olmsted Campus Tours

Good for: date night, breakfast, staycations, throwing parties, suggesting to out-of-towners

img_8057
a hotel henry room


 

 

Fun Date: Hertel Ave. Poutine & Cream

Ok, guys, you’re gonna like this one. Allen St. Poutine just opened their second location on Hertel and not only do they have the poutine but also debuted Freak Shakes and Creamy Buns. 

What?!


I met the head honcho, Marc Adler, at the Hertel location as he was greeting everyone who came in to check the place out. What a nice, down-to-Earth guy! He began the Allen St. Poutine Co. a couple years back and also is the CEO of his own business Why Not Marketing, LLC. He was inspired by the crazy milkshakes he was noticing in big U.S. cities and knew he had to bring them to Buffalo. They also make their 12 flavors of ice cream right there- it is creamy and yummy! He even traveled around the states to taste-test, study, and get inspired by others doing similar creations so he could get it right. Sounds terrible! 🙂


The Creamy Buns are donuts filled with ice cream then pressed in a panini-style grill to warm the donut up. The Freak Shakes are decorative, fun shakes served in glass-handled root beer mugs.

philly cheesesteak poutine
the chocolate mouse freak shake

We really dig this location- Hertel is just bumpin’! And suddenly…it is becoming a very fun ice cream/dessert destination with Lake Effect Ice Cream opening their second location (FINALLY!!!), Lloyd beginning their soft serve next to the taco factory, and now Allen St. Poutine with their shakes and donuts. Don’t forget- you have Blackbird Sweets and Romeo & Juliet’s with all the baked goods you need to satisfy your sugar craving. Good grief, Hertel!! 

So plan out your visit- get some poutine and end it with a shake or creamy bun! Sharing optional.


 

Hertel Ave. Poutine & Cream // 1488 Hertel Ave. Buffalo , NY 14216 (next to Family Video…you can park in the lot)

716.551.6995 (they can do take out orders! can you say at-home date night?! quick bite?!)

Perfect for: fun and quick dates / family dates / lunch / to-go / dessert!!

pic: poutine & cream


img_8075
ice cream made right there


 

 

-Lindsay

Canalside: The Ice Rink!

Oh, we are back! The beauty of a new computer! You can blog once more! Thank you to everyone who has been following along on our Instagram & Twitter accounts! You guys rock! We feel everything should end with an exclamation point right now! Our first post back? Our goosebump-inducing Canalside Ice Rink opener- what better than to get back in to things with Buffalo’s newest destination??

Canalside Ice Rink (photo by Insta user: @jordanschneider1
Canalside Ice Rink (photo by Insta user: @jordanschneider1

On Thursday 12/18/14, we were a handful of the lucky people who were able to experience the NEW Canalside Ice Rink in downtown Buffalo! You guys…you MUST go. Watching this once-Aud-then-grass-and-dirt site transform in the past 2 years has been quite the experience. Finally, Buffalo has another family, friends, and tourist destination to enjoy!

We were part of a sponsor team which means we were fortunate to get there and ‘Rush the Ice’ before the public could. As you know, we make our city life at the Hotel Lafayette and we love to walk or use the subway whenever we can in order to promote the city and its offerings. So we walked to Canalside in the early evening and met up with a few sponsor colleagues. Upon arrival, we beamed with excitement to see the massive transformation. You watch it unfold for months, but seeing the finished project at the end is always a surprise and incredibly rewarding.

The Ice at Canalside is huge and it is BEAUTIFUL. Being the former Erie Canal and old Aud- the bridges are up, the ice is down, and the waterfront has open a new chapter on Buffalo development. Decorated with lit pine swags along the bridges, a Christmas tree (sponsored by First Niagara), a Winter Cafe stocked with hot chocolate, popcorn, and warm pretzels…a skate rental ‘crate’ with fresh out-of-the-box skates (same building idea of reused shipping containers at Dog E Style), the summer Canalside Adirondack chairs sprawled through out so you can prep yourself, modern tables and chairs adorn one bridge, food trucks lined up, and Larkinville’s Market Stalls loaded with local vendors sprinkled the entire ice rink area. Heated stone walkways, a rubbery surface along the perimeter (so you can walk in your skates), heaters, and speakers pumping out holiday music filled the space. This being opening night, the crowd was trickling in for a couple hours before the big countdown!

The Zamboni clearing way in prep for the evening
The Zamboni clearing way in prep for the evening

With brief speeches, a holiday set performance by Neon Trees atop the Commerical St. Bridge, and demos by speed skaters, the Ice Bikes, and figure skaters- the time came! We ice-skate-stomped on to the rink among the first small crowd allowed on the ice as part of the lead sponsors. EVERYONE was smiling and laughing, hooting and hollering! Little hockey kids zipping by, couples holding hands trying not to fall, Mom’s with their cameras on the rails, old-school men skating with swagger, and hundreds watching on the sidelines- waiting to let loose in the rink. There was a wild rush we felt once we stepped on the ice- here we were- the original Erie Canal once stood here…the Aud (demolished in 2009) was once here <<and you can see the exact spot on the ice rink where an emblem is placed>>…to see so many people from all over WNY (and further!) here to enjoy DOWNTOWN left us with tons of cheesy warm & fuzzy feelings.

With being on the ice for only 10 minutes, a wild and gorgeous fireworks display shot off to the north of the rink. It was literally a constant ‘finale’ for minutes on end- hey, someone hire this guy for the 4th. People stopped mid-skate to watch. It was probably one of the best fireworks displays we have seen- ever. We kid you not. It was the perfect opening to the new rink and yet another surge of the city.

Thursday was an open skate- and free!- and anyone from age 2 to 102 could be found on the rink. Scattered among the skaters were some ice-bikers (the same fellas that bring you water bikes are now bringing you ice bikes to rent on the rink). We congratulated guy birds’ colleague (part owner of the water & ice bikes) on his new endeavor.

Ice bikes for rent at Canalside
Ice bikes for rent at Canalside

IMG_8101[1]

After skating for a good half hour, we hopped off the rink and walked across the street to the new Tim Hortons (located on the corner of the new Harborcenter), which was packed with people of all ages. Knowing (716) would be totally nuts (we were right), we hopped on the subway and got of to walk on to Chippewa and grab a a bite at The Lodge (gimme that Fish Taco). <<and here is to hoping the Liberty Hound will coincide more winter hours now?>> We didn’t stop talking about the evening and how excited we were to see OTHER PEOPLE excited about the city. The only thing is- the city has been revitalizing over the past two years. The rink isn’t the beginning- it’s another milestone of awesomeness and excitement for downtown. Congratulations to Canalside, its sponsors, and all of the workers to make this rink happen! (And thanks to Bass Pro Shops who ditched us a few years ago muahaha!)

waiting to get ice skates
waiting to get ice skates

With a surface LARGER than Rockefeller Center in NYC, the new Ice at Canalside is huge and you don’t have to wait long to get on (if there is a line). With music filling the air, there is something magical you feel while gliding around and seeing new development everywhere in downtown. We can’t wait to bring our families and friends to show it off (and to keep changing their minds about downtown!!). If there is ANYTHING you must do this winter in Buffalo- make sure you head to Canalside to skate your cares away!

DETAILS:

Canalside Buffalo // Ice at Canalside

44 Prime St. Buffalo, NY 14202

canalsidebuffalo.com

(click above for the ice rink times & details!)

TICKETS: 13 & up: $5 // ages 6-12: $3 // 5 & under: free!

SKATE RENTALS: $3

HOW TO GET HERE:

you can drive in and park in surrounding streets and lots (check Canalside website!)

OR we suggest if you’re a northtowner or above, park at UB on Main St. and take the subway in! The last stop drops you off at Canalside- no hassels!

OK, I’M DONE AND NOW I’M HUNGRY:

(716): 7 Scott St. —> right across the street from the Ice 716.855.4716

Tim Horton’s: 100 Washington St. —> right across from the Ice

Liberty Hound: 1 Naval Park Cove —> literally right behind the rink; only seasonal hours in winter 716.845.9173

Lagerhaus 95: 95 Perry St. —> walkable from the rink; awesome African Peanut soup & beer 716.200.1798

Iron Works: 49 Illinois St. —> walkable from the rink; often has live music 716.200.1893

The Archer: 268 Main St. —> get on the FREE subway and get off at Seneca, it’s right in front of you 716.768.4661

coming soon in 2015 : Pizza Plant

anxious ^ pumped up- people wait to get on the ice (scene from Winterfest, Jan. 2015)
anxious ^ pumped up- people wait to get on the ice (scene from Winterfest, Jan. 2015)
get on it!!
get on it!!
you & your buds can reserve slots to go curling! check out the website for details
you & your buds can reserve slots to go curling! check out the website for details