when in Buffalo…

…do as the Buffaloes do.  Or, Buffalonians, rather.

And that would be to eat wings, of course.

It was a beautiful 81 degree day here yesterday and after a balmy walk with the dog, Mom, Josh and I met Andrew for lunch at the Bar Bill, a local watering hole and wing favorite.  It gets pretty packed on weekend evenings (hey, it’s a small place), but summer lunches under the awning are just great.

Mom and I shared a beef on weck sandwich and we all enjoyed some of their wings.  Josh is even more of a wuss than me when it comes to spice; I think he let a wing touch his lips and then announced he couldn’t go any further.  (I will admit, my spice tolerance has gone WAY up since moving here–now I don’t have to ask the servers at Thai places to make my dishes milder–due to my wing consumption.  I sure hope that’s the ONLY thing that’s gone up…)

After licking our fingers, I showed mom and Josh our new house–the owners were nice enough to let us come for a visit.  I even did a little recon–finding out exact paint colors and eyeing sizes of things and such–and they’re even going to leave a couple pieces of furniture I’d had my eye on AND those cool house numbers Andrew and I had admired!  SCORE (and what a blessing)!  They are just the nicest people alive 🙂

We spent the afternoon in EA, walking the village.  Mom popped into Vidler’s and was even able to find a couple things she needed (a single zipper pull, anyone?), as well as some things she “didn’t” (a pair of Birkenstocks from the place Andrew used to go as a kid).  After refueling with some drinks from Taste, we headed home to await Andrew’s arrival after work.

We went back into the village a bit later to drop Andrew at a co-op meeting and I drove mom and Josh around a little to show them the high school and a little more of the village.  After a quick visit at the Nye’s house, we popped into Fowler’s to see Abigail and so I could stock up on some chocolate (mostly as gifts, really) with my Groupon, before catching the 9 p.m. showing of the new Spiderman movie at the Aurora Theater.  Andrew Garfield makes a great Spiderman–go check it out!

On the agenda today: Niagara Falls and Pasquale’s Pizza…what else?

family visit

Mom and Josh are here visiting!

(So happy to have them here, but I swear!  I can’t catch a break this summer…it’s just one crazy day after another!  When am I supposed to have that ‘down time’ I’ve been waiting for?)

We picked them up at the airport at 9:30 and went straight to church, where we heard Jim and Jill Kelly talk about her new book and their struggles and faith–very neat to see them and loved hearing their testimonies.

Then we headed to Elmwood to get some Saigon Cafe Thai for lunch before walking around and popping into different shops.  Scored a major find at reimagine, a trendy consignment home-goods place–some small retro Pyrex/Corning saucers that match the teal-rimmed ones I found at Goodwill in Ohio!  We also started eyeing this amazing black-and-wood two-tone long table for our new house…

We (well, more like Josh and I) wanted some ice cream and after seeing the wait at Watson’s, Andrew announced that he was taking us to Condrell’s, a local long-established ice cream and chocolate shop.  We enjoyed sundaes and sodas before heading home to rescue the puppy (who’d been cooped up for 7 hours–thank you to Mom and Dad Layer for giving him a comfort break once during that time!) and start marinating dinner.

After a walk and a quick female-only trip to Target, we all settled in to watch This Means War (cute, but super predictable and a bit more risque than I anticipated), before turning in after midnight…

Andrew’s already off to work, I’ve been up since 5:30 working on an article and doing my morning thing, and our two visitors are still asleep!  Although Josh did open his eyes and speak coherently for a bit while I was up putzing in the kitchen.

We’re off to the gym later this morning, then meeting Andrew for lunch at the Bar Bill for wings, then seeing our new house (!), followed by an afternoon in East Aurora.  Sigh…I’m happy.

Zebb’s

We were feelin’ a night out yesterday since we’d been in all day.  Well, that’s not true–I did my usual Saturday morning routine of: eating a huge breakfast, hitting up Wegmans around 8 a.m. (before it gets busy), then swimming at the gym and returning home at 11, and Andrew was at the office from 10-3–but when it was pushing 4 p.m. and both of us were still in sweats, we needed a change!

We headed out for a visit at the in-laws’ before stopping at Taste for coffee (decaf for me), then running some errands at the Verizon store (clear display covers for my phone–post coming soon to show you my new case!) and shovels at Lowe’s.  You know, because we live in Buffalo now and it snows here…a lot.  We’ve gotten by so far this year on a metal dirt shovel and we’ve been lucky to have a mild winter.  (I think God is smiling on us transplants since we don’t have a garage for our cars–NOT fun.)

Anyway, we ended up at Zebb’s, a sport-bar-like place I drive by all the time and that Andrew frequented a bit in high school.

It’s a bar and grill and they’re known for their burgers.  They also have entree’s, wings (of course) and sandwiches.

We asked to sit in the bar area and were seating long before some who had arrived before us.  We also had some of the best service I’ve had in awhile, if not ever.  Colin was awesome.

We both ended up with Blue Moons (the pint for me, the tall for Andrew) and a sample of Sam Adam’s Cherry Wheat because, well, I wouldn’t be ‘me’ if I didn’t have a sample of something.  The cherry wheat was good, but not as good as a Blue Moon.

We got wings as an appetizer.  I swear, since moving here, I’ve eaten more wings in these few months than I ever have before in my life.  This is, of course, both good and bad.  Good for my sense of ‘culture’ and assimilation into my new surroundings; bad for my hips.  And thighs.  And arteries.

I saw the “ZebbOriginalWings” and immediately wanted them, but the bleu cheese turned Andrew off, of course.  Awesome Colin said we could split an order and I eagerly anticipated their arrival.

And yes, they were everything I hoped for, and more.  They had enough “buffalo” flavor to fulfill that ubiquitous ‘wing taste,’ but with a kick of something more.  Not spicy, just really flavorful.  The bleu cheese wasn’t a dominant flavor, and Andrew was brave enough to give it a try.  We just might be ordering those next time…we both ended up saving the sauce to dip our fries!

Andrew had ordered a medium on the spicy-scale when we thought we were sharing, but Colin got the impression Andrew wanted a bit more heat than me, so he went ahead and bumped Andrew’s up to HOT…  Talk about great service!  Andrew enjoyed his wings, but they were no Pasquale’s.

Hockey is KING here, in case you didn’t know, and a tournament was on TV.  Really, all sports are pretty big here–the Bills Stadium is just a mile or so from Zebb’s–and watching football and hockey is very much a part of life here in Buffalo.  Guess I’m going to have to get a t-shirt…

Zebb’s is known for their burgers and topping bar (think Fuddrucker’s), and I’m a junkie for anything a restaurant is “known for,” so I went with the smallest burger and added cheese.  I mean, doesn’t cheese just make it?  A burger without cheese, to me, isn’t worth eating.

Speaking of eating…  I was good and only ate two of my wings in order to save room (and calories!) for my burger and fries.  But the angelic behavior ended there; I DEMOLISHED my burger and fries, with mayo, no less!  I must have been hungry.  And honestly, the burger wasn’t THAT good.  Definitely not good enough to eat it all.  Next time, I’ll stick to wings and fries 🙂

Meanwhile, it was snowing outside:

When we entered, there wasn’t really any snow on the ground.  By the time we left, it was blizzarding enough for us to have to drive slowly and there was about an inch or so on the ground.  It may sound odd, but I love that about living here–I love that you can go see a movie and come out to a completely different scene than when you entered.  (This, I’m sure, will get old after awhile.  But for now, it makes me smile.)

We’re going out, again, tonight to meet friends at Pearl Street (yay!), which might just mean more indulgent food for yours truly…  Good thing I did a tempo run this morning before church!