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!

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. 

Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Website

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

Date Night at The Black Sheep

The Black Sheep
The Black Sheep

We have been kicking ourselves since moving to downtown in 2012. Bistro Europa, formerly located on Elmwood Ave., was on our must-do date night dinner plans…and we missed it. BUT…the beautiful minds of Steve and Ellen Gedra created Black Sheep, making their new home on up & coming Connecticut Street. Well worth the wait.

Grabbing a late night date, we arrived slightly early upon our reservation and sat by the bar- noticing the exposed brick on the right (which is forever a favorite of ours) giving it that old New York City/Brooklyn vibe. The place was packed with twenty-thirty-somethings who were laughing in large groups and sprawled out amongst the large farm tables and seating- a design from Wrafterbuilt. It was no wonder the bar was filled with Buffalonians- Black Sheep hosts a robust cocktail, beer, and wine menu for those seeking to kick back and relax.

inside//the bar
inside//the bar

The evening was all about reconnecting with one another. Guy bird had been in California for 10 days, girl bird began a new job that week he was gone, non-stop wedding details, and then upon his return it was just work work work all week. We were over it. We had to get dinner together. We were ecstatic to see that the majority of the menu at Black Sheep was Small Plates- a time when we order almost everything and sample all evening while chatting and laughing. Right off the bat, we went for it: Beets 5 Ways, dinner specials, Pork Skin Fritters, Pierogis, and Pulled Pork Nuggets. There is nothing we love more than being able to experience highly-crafted food that takes a chance on flavor.

We must have been hungry….because the artisan bread disappeared within seconds. First up: pierogi. One pork, one cheese. A heavy critic for Eastern European cuisine- girl bird squealed (at a low volume, thankfully) with delight.We would have been completely satisfied with these, alone. The fillings were perfect and stayed intact with every slice.

pierogi
pierogi

Second: Pork Skin Fritters- romesco, chimichurri, kimchi. The crispy outside gave way to its melt-in-your-mouth interior.

pork skin fritters
pork skin fritters

Third: Pulled Pork Nuggets. Honestly, these are the adult nuggets of foodie lovers. We could not get enough of these, either. Ridiculous.

pulled pork nuggets
pulled pork nuggets

Fourth: Beets 5 Ways- carpaccio, tartare, pickled, roasted, budino with pistachio vinaigrette and a goat cheese truffle. We both can honestly say we have never experienced a beet sensation like this! Each beet style was more distinct than the other and pairing one bite with a beet, goat cheese, and pistachio was enthralling.

beets 5 ways
beets 5 ways

Fifth: Chicken Liver Flan (on special). Perfect to use as a spread and was surprisingly smooth to the palette.

chicken liver flan
chicken liver flan

Sixth: By this point, we had lost our minds based on the dishes we were experiencing and ended on another evening special of Heart Delicacy. Usually iffy about iron-heavy heart plates, our wonderful server Sam assured us it was not so. She was right. Served as a bolognese-style, the heart paired well with the wide noodle and seemed more like a natural comfort food.

heart special
heart special

We were feeling good. Bring on dessert, we’re goin’ all out again!

Sam recommended two of their most popular desserts: The Graceland and the Sticky Toffee Pudding (which we remember from a Buffalo Spree article). Done. Bring both.

The Graceland was like a dessert brunch! Peanut butter, chocolate, honey-roasted peanuts, drizzle….

And the Sticky Toffee Pudding? Yea, we’ll take 4 of these to go- if possible. Arriving in a very cafe-au-lait-mug and literally bubbling from heat, we really do not think we can explain the explosive intensity of this. We’re talking sticky, sugary, salty, pudding-y…we never want to leave.

the graceland
the graceland
sticky toffee pudding
sticky toffee pudding

Being dubbed as her favorite table of the evening (thanks, Sam!), we found ourselves in a rare form- we were impressed and excited by an artful cuisine. It isn’t too often you become blown away by the design and creativity of a menu; yet when it occurs- it is something you never forget. It was the perfect date night- talking, sharing plates, experiencing unique combinations, and developing an obsession for a new dessert. Props to Steve and Ellen on their fantastic Black Sheep location and to Michael Thill, sous chef behind the doors- whom also, according to their website, is rocking out a light saber and bringing the pain in the kitchen. Right on, we feel it.

DETAILS:

The Black Sheep

367 Connecticut St. Buffalo, NY 14213

716.884.1100

blacksheepbuffalo.com

perfect for: date night- adventurous, exciting, and ideal for sharing

The Best Apps For Couples & Lovebirds

Oh, technology. You fit right in to our two hands and give us everything we could ask for. Including apps that let us be super cheesy with the ones we love. We compiled six apps we think every lovebird should have- with a few that are great solely for exploring Buffalo.

 

Urbanspoon

What is it: Restaurants near or far, this quick food-finding app lets you search nearby locations, new openings, and what is popular in town.

Why you need it: You can filter the stats by price, cuisine, location, dietary restrictions- it is our lifesaver as we play that indecisive game on the 33 as to where to eat tonight.

What is fun: You can choose a neighborhood and ‘spin’ the Vegas-like slot to see where to go; create a wishlist of places you want to try; read and write reviews/pics.

All in all, it is the perfect app to find grand openings, the best place for a steak, and hidden gems that you never knew about.

 

Avocado

What is it: Designed for just the two of you to keep private conversations, photos, and lists.

Why you need it: If you are that super in love couple, like we are, you just…need it. It’s like a romantic comedy in your hand.

What is fun: You can make grocery lists and edit them from afar, put in important dates (psst, anniversary!), and draw doodles to one another.

So avocados grow only in pairs- just like you and your better half. Hence, the Avocado app.

 

Wegmans

What is it: The Wegmans app, of course!

Why you need it: It automatically detects your current Wegman’s location and updates the appropriate isles your items are in; keeps your grocery list organized.

What is fun: You can scan barcodes on items that are empty before you chuck them; check out quick recipes to gather for the evening; submit pharmacy refills.

This local app can help you guys stay on track with a grocery budget and keep you organized (in order of the store!) in finding exactly what you need.

 

Foursquare

What is it: a GPS-based check-in app

Why you need it: Foursquare isn’t just making a list of where you have been (you can make that private)- it shows you what is trending (lots of people), specials and deals at participating businesses, and offers up reviews and photos.

What is fun: Get a sneak peek of places you want to check out but aren’t too sure of; find the hotspots around town

Foursquare rewards you with mayorships and badges and allows you to showoff where you and your lovebird are hanging out at.

 

Couple

What is it: Similar to Avocado, this app allows you to ‘kiss’ over the phone.

Why you need it: for the couples that are either extremely close or in long distance, you can see (or not!) the GPS location of your partner.

What is fun: The Thumbkiss feature allows you to place your thumb on the screen and when your partner touches the same part of the screen, it vibrates- as if there was a true physical touch.

Couple’s Thumbkiss is enough to make an couple smile, near or far.

 

Ice Break

What is it: The perfect long-distance or new couple app. A series of icebreaker questions.

Why you need it: Get to know your other half by asking and answering get-to-know-you questions.

What is fun: Finding out random facts is always a good time.

Ice Break isn’t necessarily ideal for couples that have been solidified for a long while, but it is great for those who struggle with distance and ones who are just starting off.

 

Simply Us

What is it: A clean, calendar app.

Why you need it: You’re not in to that mushy stuff with thumb kissing and pics- but you like to stay organized together.

What is fun: You can use a couple app that has no fuss and allows you to remind one another that its in-law night.

If you want to be on the same page but not in an overdone way, this is the calendar for you!

Weekend Bash 4/11 – 4/13

Finally, we feel spring! Elmwood is getting wild again, Hertel is blossoming once more, people are filling up Delaware Park, and more go by foot downtown. It’s time to clean up our city and get involved! We are the game changers!

 

FRIDAY

  • All weekend: Holiday Valley in Ellicottville will be bumpin’ of the start of warm weather festivals with the Enchanted Mountain Music Festival. Bluegrass…roots…folk- grab your floppy hat and go. All weekend tix are $75…or $25 for each concert attending. All day on Saturday, you can get a ticket for $50. Bring the kiddos- under 12 are free. Check out link for more details and booking lodge packages as well as the band lineup.
  • Kick off your evening with The Albrights, who are performing at Buffalo Iron Works at…..tonight. Poutine is an added bonus! Take the subway in or park in the up & coming Cobblestone District.
  • It’s going be,like, practially 50 degrees tonight for Cecelia’s happy hour on Elmwood. Half off martinis begins at 4pm- the perfect way to cap off your hectic work week.
  • It’s M&T’s Second Fridays at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Happy hour and live music, poetry readings by Judith Goldman and exploration of the galleries until 8pm.

 

 

SATURDAY

Today starts the Mummies of the World exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Running through May 12th, get a look at the world’s largest mummy collection of private collectors and see how the mummification process worked. 45 humans and animals from all over the world take on Buffalo. It’s as if the Bodies exhibit was mummified. $18 – $22

This sounds like trouble: Buffalo Wine Festival 2014 at the Convention Center. Tastings from all of our local wineries including Schulze, Vizcarra, Heron Hill, and many more. Afternoon tickets: 1-4pm $30; evening tickets: 6-9pm $35. Prizes to be won (if you can remember how to write your name). Check the website here for all the details. Hit up Osteria166 across the street for some House Burrata and Flat Iron pizzas.

Theatre lovers and supporters- Shea’s Black Tie Gala goes down at 5pm on Saturday. An elegant black tie affair with cocktails, hors d’ourves, and sit-down dinner. Silent auction and performance at the 710 Main Theatre for some on-stage humor. $275 individual; $500 couple. Call 716.823.1170 or email to jschaller@sheas.org to reserve.

Go to the other end of the spectrum and you may become the next Peep champion as Broadway Market hosts a Peep eating contest at 1pm. Free. Registration at 9am. Call 716.893.0705 for details. You’ve got 60 seconds to puff up.

 

 

SUNDAY

Perfect day to head to Coca-Cola Field for a ballgame! C’mon, it won’t rain. 😉 The Bisons take on Pawtucket at 1pm. Walk to Pearl Street or the Hotel Lafayette for a cold one and food afterward.

Get out to Hertel Ave. for a film at the North Park Theatre. ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’ runs at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30. Geoffrey Rush stars in ‘The Best Offer’ which runs at 9:30pm. Grab brunch before you head in- we suggest Crav, Kostas, or Bertha’s (right next door to the theatre).

Don’t forget to cast your votes for the Artvoice ‘Best of Buffalo 2014’! Do it now, it closes 4/15.

Email Ashley@elmwoodvillage.org to sign up for clean up in Elmwood Village. Click the link to see when and where this all goes down.

GET INVOLVED with Buffalo’s FIRST Cherry Blosson Festival. From April 23 to May 4, the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park will hold 12 days of music, Japanese cultural presenters, and activities. Check the website on how to become a volunteer! Listen to shakuhachi music and watch an ikebana flower ceremony on April 26th, too.

Date Night: Weekend Bash 8/16-8/18

Fill your weekend with the best picks for date nights!

FRIDAY 8/16:

The Buffalo History Museum hosts another fabulous Party On the Portico from 5:30-8:30pm. Take in the sounds of Ron Hawkins and feel swanky on the back steps of the museum. $5 members, $10 non. Cash bar…happy hour…mini tour for free.

Head to France. Actually, just drive over to Canvas@1206 on Hertel Ave. for some chanson music to make you feel Parisian. Petit-Bal is playing at 7pm and you don’t want to miss out. Reservations ideal. You’ll think you’re in Paris, listening to Edith Piaf. 939-2725

SATURDAY 8/17:

The beautiful and funny ballet, Coppelia, about a man in love with a life sized doll who crosses the path of its inventor and is tricked by his real-life love- is back at Artpark on Saturday for two performances. 2 & 8pm $25-$40

City of Night at Silo City. From 4pm- 2am at 200 Childs St., walk among the grain elevators and experience the multimedia, art, dance, and installations throughout. In its second year, City of Night hosts a free celebration of the Queen City. Perfect for everyone- couples, families, artists… You can ride your bikes down with GO Bike Buffalo which starts at Shea’s (departs at 5, 7, and 9pm), drive down there & park your car, take the Queen CIty Ferry, the NFTA, or rent a kayak during the day at Buffalo Harbor Kayak, too.

SUNDAY 8/18:

Take a historic tour of the Hotel Lafayette for $5 with Buffalo History Tours. Learn about that Lafayette guy, Prohibition, the architecture, and the renovations. 45 mins, 10am-2pm.

Jazzy Sundays on Old Falls St. happens again this Sunday with The Easy Street Big Band. Old Falls St. is making its way up and now is the time to enjoy it. You can bring your pets, too, as long as they’re on a leash. 2-5pm. Free!