Buffalo Foodies: Merchants


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Our friends at BuffaBLOG are throwing their 3rd Birthday Party at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar on March 30th. In the weeks leading up to their concert, we are going to post some Buffalo Foodie articles featuring the Buffalo bands that are headlining the show.

Today we are talking to several members of Merchants about their favorite places to eat and drink in Buffalo, some childhood food memories and what they’d like to see in Buffalo’s dining scene. This 4 piece indie rock band just released The Red Room EP this month on Admirable Traits Records, I just picked it up and have been really enjoying it, I highly suggest you drop the $4 and pick it up too. The tracks have a real grunge-y, fuzzy sound while mixing in some melodic moments and singer Benjamin Maries’ is simply fantastic. I recommend checking out “Moth“, which was included in BuffaBLOG’s Top 20 songs of 2012. We got in touch with Yoav Ehrenhalt (drums), Gabriel Nasca (bass), and Steven Gordon (guitar/synth) and asked them a few questions, here’s what they had to say…

Right now, where are some of your favorite places to eat in Buffalo?

Yoav: My favorite place to eat is Kentucky Greg’s BBQ for their pulled pork on Texas toast with fried okra.

Gabriel: There’s a few favorite places, you’ve got Cafe 59, Kuni’s, Ashkers, and The Place. Cafe 59 has the best pulled pork in town, Chris makes it all from scratch. Ashkers has all these really healthy juices and smoothies that make me feel good inside, and it’s got the friendliest people working there that I’ve met in Buffalo. And The Place has this peanut butter bacon burger that’s pretty much a stoner’s dream sandwich.

Steven: Usually the budget calls for a plain slice slice from New York Pizza with a deconstructed hot meat patty as a topping. But if I was a multi-hundredaire, I’d get Vera’s every day.

Where do you like to hang out and grab a drink with friends on the weekend?

Yoav: Essex Pub, and I usually see everyone and anyone at the Stink (Old Pink).

Steven: There’s a great place in Allentown called Days Park that has these awesome flasks of Canadian Leaf whiskey, but you have to bring your own. Then you board a time machine to the next day and you get to look for your cell phone and car keys. But Allen has been trying to kill me lately, so I’m staying home more. I live with Gabriel and he is a culinary ninja; I got home late one night to find him in the kitchen, drunk and caramelizing a creme brûlée.

What food memories do you have from growing up? favorite restaurants?  

Yoav: I loved Ground Round as a kid…

Gabriel: My grandma used to cook a big meal on Sundays, almost always sauce and some kind of pasta. She was from a very Italian family, so it was important that all her kids would get together with their families. Just a lot of love. It was good to feel that sense of family.

Steven: I was a Fat Kid, and a Catholic, so most of my food memories from when I was growing up are inextricably redolent with a mix of deep guilt and jouissance. I grew up near a McDonald’s and a Taco Bell and a Market Cafe and a Pizza Hut. Imagine the pandemonium/shame!

What types of foods/cuisines would you like to see in Buffalo?  

Yoav: More innovative restaurants and eateries.

Gabriel: I’d really like to see a nice Korean BBQ place. Also, a specialty sandwich shop that stayed away from the typical and brought in meats, beers, cheeses and other flavors that were less commonly used around here. That actually would make a pretty cool beer garden.

Steven: I invented a dish recently and I’d like to get some capital together to open a place that serves it. You take, like, some bread, and throw some cheese on it, then grill it until the cheese melts. I’m calling it “Steven’s Famous Hot Bread & Cheese.” The menu will also feature my latest variation, the “Famous Hot Bread & Cheese, and what’s that over there? Some tomato? Maybe some bacon? A pican-radish-hollandaise sauce? Never tried it, but that sounds cool. Whatever you want, dude.” That would be the name of the restaurant, ‘Whatever You Want, Dude.’ Come to think of it, they should just re-open Lucky Dogs.

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We’d like to thank Yoav, Gabriel and Steven for taking some time to answer our questions. Make sure you head over to Duke’s Bohemain Grove Bar on March 30th for the BuffaBLOG 3rd Birthday Party and see Merchants, Cinnamon Aluminum, Young Suns, Joywave and Space Wolves (DJ Set) perform live at 10pm. Tickets are only $5 and it will definitely be a great show.

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Categories: Buffalo Foodies

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