Brunch Strikes Back!

Think back to the Empire Grill Sundays. Those filled with bottomless mimosas and an all-you-can-eat brunch that was worth more than your $20.

Well, those days are gone but a kickass brunch at the same, renovated location isn’t. Mac’s Sunday brunch is totally different, and shouldn’t be compared to that of Empire’s. But what is similar is the A-game that is brought to the offering.

I had the pleasure of joining some fine folks for a “Buffalo Brunch Club” meal last week. My Sweet Baby Ray accompanied me and provided the only distraction from our fantastic feast. Cinnamon raisin bread stuff french toast, sticky buns, steakhouse hash with poached eggs and cheese blintzes were the orders for the table. (Ray got a grilled cheese – not sure if you care. Maybe you do. Or maybe the takeaway is that they have a proper kids menu and the restaurant is very much kid friendly.)


The Toast.


The Hash.


The boy.

I’m no food critic, but let me tell you, everything was delish (is that what food critics say?). Seriously, just awesome. The menu is unique and each option – including the coffees and brunch cocktails – comes with a creative take. It’s not your ordinary brunch that’s for sure. Oh, and the bloody mary. The Mac Daddy Mary. Just look at the picture. Bacon! Need I say more?

Mac Daddy Mary

So give it all a try, and if you can pull your attention away from your plate, I recommend staring at the Big Ass Fan.


WANTED: Street Art!

Calling all artists! The North Buffalo Organization has extended their deadline for the Mural Design Contest submissions. This is NBO’s first public art project and the winning submission will be painted on the huge (15′ x 75′) and highly visible wall on the side of the J&L Auto Repair building at 1127 Hertel.

For those that may be unfamiliar with public art, or may even question its significance, please allow me to offer some insight.

The idea of public art is predicated on a few very basic premises: to celebrate art and artists; to beautify neighborhoods and enhance their cultural identities; and to simply connect people and communities.

Public art takes on all shapes and sizes and can come to fruition in a few different ways. You’ve likely seen Shark Girl or the “you are beautiful” signs. Those are just a few of the many exhibits that came from Albright Knox Art Gallery and their Public Art Initiative. Then there’s amazing public/private collaborations like that of Savarino Companies and the Art Services Initiative of Western New York, which brought “Go!” to the side of a Cobblestone District building.

Go-Buffalo-NY-1 - Buffalo Rising

Hertel has even seen some public art courtesy of Community Canvases, a Public Art and Community Development Initiative that has put their mark on many utility boxes along the avenue.

canvas 1

Art lover or not, it’s hard to deny that these exhibits not only add beauty to our community, but character, intrigue and just flat out fun.

The goal for this particular project is no different from any of these and the opportunity is huge for both aspiring and established artists alike. So make the last few brush or key strokes (graphic designers are artists too!) on your work, and submit that masterpiece!

You have until Sunday, September 20, 2015 at Noon.


Above photo credits to Buffalo Rising, Community Canvases, and the North Buffalo Organization.

Room Buffalo, dominating.

You may say this is old news or I’m late in posting this (it’s a whopping three days late). My apologies – it’s been quite a busy month for me!

But regardless, I wanted to put this out there, and in case you missed it, let you know that it was a pretty amazing month for Room BuCelebrating-10-Years-room-buffalo-michael-p-design-buffalo-ny-hertel-avenueffalo.

In addition to celebrating ten years of great success, the high-end Hertel Avenue interior design shop, and specifically, Michael P. as designer, was featured on HGTV’s House Hunters Renovations.

You can read much more detail about it in Buffalo Rising’s article, here.

I just want to offer my public kudos to Michael P. and Room Buffalo for taking their creativity, style and expertise to the national stage and representing North Buffalo so well. Pretty damn cool if you ask me!

I also learned that August 9th was deemed Michael P. day in Buffalo. If I was mayor Brown, I would’ve done that too. Congrats again to them, keep up the good work! And for all of you, stop in and peek around – I’m sure your decor can use an upgrade!


The Hertel Brand

Maybe it’s a happy coincidence. Or maybe the folks at the Hertel Business Association were inspired by my two-part blog series posted a few months ago focusing on the area’s brand, or lack thereof, and how people refer to the Hertel neighborhood.

If you look at some of the points I tried to make, it came down to just two things. The first was that people call the Hertel area all sorts of things from the common “North Buffalo” and “HerteI” to the lesser knowns like “North Park” and “Northside”. And that point led into the second, that the core business district was lacking a true identity; a marketable name that can translate beyond the city limits and help spur additional traffic and economic activity.

So it looks like HBA, the group in the best position to take the lead on a branding effort, is now working to address that. Refer to their latest press release, which reveals an agreed upon name, a new logo, and also gives some detail on the background and thought process that went into the decisions.

Sure, maybe I would’ve liked to seen this come about in grander fashion with a big reveal and launch campaign, but that’s likely not realistic. (I’m used to the big budgets that come along with marketing for a bank.) And if I had more time, I would’ve volunteered to help lead the effort, but I’ll settle with thinking I was a part of it via this blog.

Hertel, I’m happy things are starting to happen.

Happy (716) Day at the Fest!

Today begins the annual four-day celebration on Buffalo’s finest avenue of the Italian heritage and everything that comes along with it.

Coincidentally, it’s also the celebration of Buffalo Day: 7/16. So in the spirit of helping fest-goers while finding cool ways to use our area code, I’m going to give you my recommendation on what to buy at the Italian Festival if you had exactly $14 in your wallet.

$7 – Steak and Dandelions from Lombardo’s. Don’t be scared of the dandelions. They’re sauteed in butter and garlic and are glorious. The cuts of steak are well worth the price too.

$1 – Bottle of Water from Bing’s. The coldest, purest, wettest, purified spring mineral water around. OK maybe not, but a buck is definite the cheapest. Stay hydrated people, it’s hot out there.

$6 – Stuffed Pepper Roll from Molinaro’s. Sausage and stuffing with three cheeses, rolled in dough and deep fried. Healthy AND delicious!

An alternative could be to find one more dollar and blow it all on three slices of Campi’s Pizza. Just throwing that out there. Oh, and by the way, they have TWO Campi’s Pizza stands this year – one at Commonwealth and the other at Virgil. Mind blown.

So there are some options for you. Hopefully you have more than $14 because there are a lot of incredible eats to be enjoyed…and I didn’t even talk dessert! The usual bakery suspects are all there filling and serving their cannoli, feel free to reference the extensive research done in 2013 to help with the choosing.

Buon appetito! God Bless Buffalo. Go Bills.

716 Fest