Life is a Combination of Cupcakes and Pasta!

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On every refrigerator, overshadowed by some silly magnets, photos of our furry friends and occasional family recipes from mom and grandma, lies an old sticky note telling you to “Take That Dream Vacation NOW”.

Mine goes something like this:

1. Go to a locals-only Italian town.

2. Learn how to make pasta from scratch.

3. Drink Red Wine. Lots of it.

So when I heard that The Pasta Peddler was moving to Hertel I took it upon myself to pay the store owners a visit and give them a warm “Hello Hertel” welcome.

And boy, am I glad to have done so!

What started as a hobby almost twenty years ago in Eric’s father-in-law Mike’s basement, has come a long way to become The Pasta Peddler we know today – proclaimed by many as the finest artisan pasta available in Buffalo.

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This is only one of the many feathers in his cap, for his wife offers a delectable selection of cupcakes and other baked goods – Wait For It – at the same store, making the location on Hertel a joint venture between The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets.

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What makes them unique though are their future plans, as the owner very enthusiastically informs me about the possibility of a not-for-profit winter market (thanks to a big and spacious retail space), and a pasta-making class in the near future which hopefully would involve some wine drinking as well!

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He already had me when he used two of my favorite words in a sentence: Wine and Pasta. But throw in some Buffalo knick-knacks scattered around the store, a tiramisu flavored cupcake aptly named “Hertel”, reclaimed wood counters from Buffalo Reuse, a la monferrina pasta machine (its like the Hermes of pasta machines), the fact that he is a fellow NoBo resident and Buffalo Believer, I am more than happy to buy pasta from him for the rest of my life! And I am sure, so are you.

So stop by the store and show them some Buffalove! Do not forget to try the raviolis and the dark chocolate salted-caramel “Blackbird” cupcake, you will thank me later.

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The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets are celebrating their move to Hertel with a grand-openeing on September 27th, 2014.

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MEAT.

In Buffalo, the crisp air can roll in without much notice and the glorious summer can abruptly feel like fall. Yesterday it was 87. Today it’s 63.

I’m ok with that though. It usually means football season has begun, fall beers are on the shelves, and our weekly food habits begin to shift. In our house we’re already starting our regular fall routine of making homemade sauce, chilis and stews. You know, the hearty foods to help bulk us up for the winter.

It also means our weekly quota of chuck roast and ground beef will increase exponentially. Cue Johnny’s Meats – quite possibly my favorite place out of them all on Hertel Ave.

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Maybe its because they’ve been around for 60 years, or that my family has been customers for nearly as many. Maybe it’s the specialty italian sausage. It could be the old school look and feel of the meat market or the culinary knowledge of its butchers. It’s probably a little bit of everything that makes this place the best for meats in all of Buffalo, not just North Buffalo.

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So stop in. Get the meat that will give your sauce the flavor you’re looking for. Ask them for some recommendations. Try something new. Like any great butcher shop, these guys know their meat, know what to use, when, how and why.

I can smell the sauce already. Enjoy! And of course, go Bills.

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