Monday, September 2, 2013

The Rest of Buffalo--and a Ton of Food Photos

When we last left off, I had told you about my first few days in Buffalo. I'm leaving tomorrow, but we've enjoyed a few relaxing, enjoyable days here.

On Friday morning, I woke up early with Terry to make him some French toast before he had to get to work. The little kitchenette isn't much, but it sufficed for an easy meal. Then I completed a full body workout in the hotel room--whew! That thing was tough. I took several breaks and completed it in about 35 minutes. I loved that it was short and that I didn't need much space!

After I got ready for the day, I met Jenn and her cousin Jade for a quick massage (sooooo relaxing!) and then for lunch at Giancarlo's in Williamsville. We had a delicious meal--I chose the caprese panini and a glass of prosecco--

and chatted on their lovely outdoor patio. The restaurant is in a shopping center, but the patio is situated so that you just feel like you're in a nice outdoor garden. The service was great too.

After I said farewell to the ladies, I headed back to the hotel to relax and write a bit before Terry got off of work. Since he ended up working late, we decided to grab pizza for dinner at Pizza Plant. The place was pretty empty when we arrived around eight o'clock, so we thought it may have been a poor choice, but I'm glad we stayed. Buffalo is famous for its "white pizza"--blue cheese, spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan--so we ordered one to share and asked for wheat crust. Hoooooly smokes, this pizza was phenomenal. I couldn't get over the fluffy, doughy crust and the perfectly fresh toppings! I keep talking about how good it was, even several days later!

On Saturday, Terry had to work again, so I dropped him off and headed over to Niagara Falls, only about a fifteen-minute drive from Terry's work. I started at Starbucks, to get some writing done,

and then I found free parking (!!!) and took a long walk around the Falls. I've been to Niagara Falls before, in 2009, also to visit Terry during a work trip. I think it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. All three times I've visited (we went again today--more on that later), I've gotten this indescribable, tingly sensation as soon as I can hear the water. It's funny, because I never even thought about visiting Niagara and probably wouldn't have if not for Terry's trips here. But I'm so glad I did!

After about two hours of walking and taking pictures, I headed back to the hotel for lunch (using the foods I purchased at Wegman's--an avocado, hummus, Havarti, cucumber sandwich and strawberries and blueberries) and got some more work done. Terry arrived home around four and was eager to get some exercise, so we took off on a four-mile trek (mostly jogging, but some walking) around the park near our hotel.

Between walking at the Falls and this run, I hit almost 20,000 steps that day! My previous record had been 17,000 on the day of a 7-mile hike.

That night, we wanted to stop for a drink before dinner at Cole's, advertised as an awesome beer spot, but they didn't have any seating available (we only wanted some appetizers and drinks). On to the next! Our real dinner was at Shango, a New Orleans bistro. I can't say enough about how great this place was! Terry loves Cajun food, and we were both especially impressed by the great drink menu, creative dinner options, and overall ambiance.

We had a drink at the bar while we waited for our table (we made a reservation, which I recommend)--Goose Island Honker's Ale for me and Flying Bison Buffalo Lager for Ter--and ordered a bottle of Chinon for dinner. By the way, the prices--especially for the drinks--blew me away. Maybe it's because we're from LA, but when I saw that most bottles of wine were around $35-$45, I thought there must have been a mistake.

Our food also turned out to be fantastic. I started with a cup of the local corn and shrimp chowder, and our waitress suggested that Terry order off-menu and get the fried oysters (not my favorite, but he loved them). For dinner, I got the summer vegetable crepes, Terry had the bouillabaisse, and we shared the mac and cheese. For dessert, we split the pecan pie with coconut rum ice cream (are you kidding me?!). (For some reason, my phone deleted the photos of Terry's meal and the dessert. Oh, well.) Everything was awesome.

We finished up Saturday night watching the Bruins on our phones. The football season has officially begun!!! GO BRUINS!!!

Sunday morning we woke up early and headed to Toronto for the day. We had an incredible time, but I'm going to write a whole post about it to keep this one more reasonable in length.

And today we spent our morning back at Niagara Falls, but this time Terry came with me and we walked (who knew this was an option?) over to the Canada side. As for the difference between the two countries (aside from all the "eh"s in Canada): The view of the Falls is much better from Canada, but the surrounding area is much quieter and more beautiful (and less touristy) on the American side. You can access the popular Maid of the Mist (a boat ride that takes you directly under each of the waterfalls) from either side--we did it in 2009 and didn't feel the need to do it again. Our trip back today was a blast and another crazy walking day--almost 15,000 steps!

American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, viewed from the Canadian side

Horseshoe Falls, from the Canadian side

Again, I'll do a separate post with a ton of photos from Niagara Falls.

After the Falls we headed to lunch. We wanted to eat at Anchor Bar (the place that invented Buffalo wings), but it was closed for the holiday, so we settled on Lake Effect Diner, which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. The place definitely has the diner feel (it originally opened in 1952 and has since been restored), and the food (Buffalo wrap for me, beef on weck--another Buffalo specialty--for Terry) was good, but the service was lacking. To be fair, though, the place seemed understaffed for the holiday, and I would still recommend it for the fun experience.

For dessert (what, you don't have dessert after lunch and dinner? why not?), we stopped at Anderson's Frozen Custard, and I loved my chocolate-vanilla twist with chocolate sprinkles. I'm going to see if I can convince Terry to go back there tonight. Is that weird?

Tonight we're planning an easy dinner at Brick House Tavern near our hotel. I already can't wait for that drink menu, and I'm sure I'll be able to find something delicious to eat!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! I would love to hear what you did for Labor Day weekend--any fun trips or relaxing at home? Good workouts? Delicious meals? Please share!


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