The Public House

My friend Charlie calls Buffalo the world’s largest high school. And no, not that pre-pubescent time when everyone awkwardly tries to fit in with the cool crowd in the cafeteria.

It’s really about how everybody somehow knows everybody in Buffalo. Whether directly or once or twice removed, you’re able to identify a common connection to someone in the 716.

Public House 1The Public House, Buffalo’s newest and truest “neighborhood bar” is a perfect example of where those connections come together.

Given a different comparison, The Public House is the welcoming Buffalo version of Cheers. You know, “where everybody knows your name”.

My personal connections to this place are many. I went to high school with co-owner Sara. Her husband and co-owner, Frank, who seemingly everyone in Buffalo knows, grew a following from his time at Papa Jakes. I know bartender Nick from his martini making days at Cecelia’s, who turns out also works with one of my best friends, Sam. And guest bartender Lou, I met him separately through the above mentioned Charlie.

Those are just some of the fine faces you’ll typically see behind the rows of beer taps at the Public House. But then there’s the folks you’ll commonly see on the other side of that beautiful, reclaimed wharf wood bar. The last few times I was there I was able to catch up with great friends Sam and Ami, Katie and Matt, Jay, Kim, Molly, Phil, Allison, and many others.

And I’m not just making up names – these folks know who they are – and I loved seeing them there. (Hopefully they were equally as happy to see me.)

You just never know who you’ll run into. And that’s what’s great about the Public House. It just has that feel.

And when you leave, you’re always glad you came!

Public House 3

Hertel Pizza Crawl

Confession: We have lived in our North Buffalo home for four years now and in that time, how many times have we ordered a pizza from somewhere on Hertel? ZERO.

Yep, never.

There are two main reasons for such an appalling stat:

  • Despite both of us being Italian and devout lovers of the ‘za, we rarely seem to order it at home.
  • Having grown up in the suburbs, Charlie and I were brought up on Bocce’s and Franco’s so when the need for pizza arises, we tend to head towards Kenmore Avenue and hit up one or the other.

After hearing a friend talk about a Kenmore Pizza Crawl they just completed, I said to Charlie it was the perfect time to tackle something like this for Hertel.

Let the weekly pizza purchases commence!

The criteria:

  • Must reside on Hertel Avenue between Parkside and Delaware
  • Must be a true pizza place, not a regular restaurant (so while La Tavola has AMAZING wood-fired pizza, we didn’t include them in this challenge)
  • Must order a cheese & pepperoni pizza to compare apples to apples (well, pizzas to pizzas)

The list:

  • Bob & John’s La Hacienda
  • Avenue Pizza
  • Zip’s Wise Guys
  • Daddio’s
  • Marco’s Pizza
  • La Pizza Club
  • Just Pizza

If you live in North Buffalo, I’m sure you’re reading this thinking, “Oh man, she better think _________ is the best.” So as not to offend anyone’s pie preferences or local business owners for that matter, I’ll refrain from getting too specific.

For me, based on my preference for spicy sauce, thicker crust and adequate cheese coverage (unlike most Buffalonians I don’t get giddy over a cheese blanket on my pizza), my favorite was Avenue. Charlie’s preference would be Bob & John’s. Without the ability to talk, our one year old gave two thumbs up to all of them.

pizza face

Are Avenue or Bob & John’s good enough to cause us to throw in the towel at Bocce’s and Franco’s? Guess you’ll just have to see where our car is parked come Superbowl Sunday.

avenue BobandJohns

Hello Hertel’s 2014 Year In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for our blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The stats within the report put huge smiles on our faces. It’s incredible to see that you fine folks are picking up what we’re putting down.

It was our goal when Karen and I started this blog to share good news, extend positive vibes and just flat out have fun writing. I’d say we’re succeeding.

Special thanks to Meg Vaidya for adding her creative flavour and to our regular referrers: Hertel Avenue (@hertelavenue), NorthBuffalo.org (@NorthBuffaloOrg), ichoosebuffalo.com (@ichoosebuffalo) and whatsgoingoninbuffalo.com (@WGOINBuffalo).

Looking into 2015 we’re hoping to keep building on what we’ve started, and we’d love to introduce some more writers, so if you’re interested in blogging some North BuffaLove, let us know!

Have a blessed and prosperous New Year!

2015

Tom & Jerry: Kid Cartoon or Adult Cocktail?

10868044_10154944837165553_3029915743179346696_nOF COURSE IT’S A COCKTAIL, common now.

It’s the holiday season – the time when ugly sweaters (see my proud display on the right), horrible food arrangements and amazing, soul-warming beverages temporarily make their way into your life.

The classic Tom & Jerry is a sweet and spicy, frothy and foamy, addictive and awesome holiday drink. Overuse of alliteration aside, it’s a great libation to be enjoyed this time of year – whether it be home-made or served to you in the festive company of friends at your favorite local watering hole. Take a look at the goodness served to Karen and I from the Place on Lexington Ave in the Elmwood Village. If you add the warm charm of a wood burning fireplace and some dancing snowflakes outside the window, you’ll really be in a winter wonderland.

15772_383167561773554_1030029872_n

Friend and fellow Buffalo Blogger, Katie Krawczyk, did a bang up job writing words about everything you need to know about Tom & Jerry’s. Finding them, drinking them, making them. It’s all there in her latest Visit Buffalo Niagara blog. (You’ll want to click that link.)

I actually am thinking about giving the home-made recipe a shot…we’ll see how that goes!

The list of locales offering T&J’s within Katie’s blog is extensive, but I thought I’d add in a potential Hertel option because my Hello Hertel contract requires I do so. While not promoted, rumor has it that the bartender at Lombardo’s will stir up and serve a very fine Tom & Jerry, should you ask.

And if by chance he (or anyone, anywhere) says no, just throw your smuggled in moose mug on the bar and ask for some good old fashioned egg nog!

moosemugsmovie

Merry Christmas, happy holidays to all of you fine folks!

Hertel: Holiday Edition

Off we went, me and my trusty cafe-au-lait (skimmed milk please) from Spot- to take in the sights that Hertel Holidays had to offer.

Wasn’t I cold, you ask?

Parts of Buffalo were buried under seven feet of snow a few weeks ago and made national news- of course I was COLD!! But if you know Buffalo, you should know that the cold never bothered us anyway! And my sentiment was echoed by all the people who came out.

FullSizeRender-9

While some came to see their neighborhood all decked out in christmas lights, others were drawn by the carolers Fa La La, and some just wanted a glimpse of the man in red- our very dear Santa Claus.

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender-11FullSizeRender-5

From the usual staples we have come to expect from Hertel-the ever gorgeous window displays at Room, Mr. Morgulis sharing stories through his Buffalo-themed art, North Park Theater‘s marquee shining in all it’s glory, to some new feathers in Hertel’s cap- a new chocolatier on the block, a very hip decor store, and newly restored stained glass windows of Shea’s North Park.

FullSizeRender-8FullSizeRender-12FullSizeRender-13It was a celebration not just of the holiday season, but of all the people-from the ones who call this lovely neighborhood their home, to those who made this their second home by establishing their businesses here- who bring your Hertel and my Hertel to life.

FullSizeRender-16

FullSizeRender-2FullSizeRender-15

Happy Holidays!