Food & Drink
FOOD: Shufflin’ off to Buffalo…and Santasiero’s
by Couch Sessions
“This is not the place for candlelight or haute cuisine. Nor is it a restaurant on the cutting-edge of culinary discovery. It is, however, a restaurant where simple food is simply delicious.”
Hmm…curious way for a website to introduce its restaurant. That statement divides you into two camps: the one that runs for the hills thinking this place is a dump and the one that knows it is about to go down(food wise that is).
My tent is pitched in the latter camp. When I visit my hometown of Buffalo, NY (716 stand up!) I don’t look for the same things in a restaurant as I do in NYC. In New York, the trifecta of ambiance, good food and value has to exist for it to be a truly satisfying experience. In Buffalo, you will usually get two out of the three…and you can’t eat ambiance!
That’s ok because what usually happens is the quality of food you’ll get for the little amount of money more than make up for dining in a place that looks like the basement of That 70s Show. The portions are huge, no frills and delicious. Like lick-the-plate-clean delicious.It’s probably best to wear stretchy pants.
People like to rag on my town a lot. I don’t know why, the ones who have the most to say about Buffalo have never actually BEEN there. That doesn’t seem to stop them from being experts. For all the talk about the snow, the football team, the lack of industry there is one thing that cannot be denied: THIS TOWN KNOWS HOW TO EAT.
Enter Santasiero’s, an Italian staple on Buffalo’s West Side that serves up hearty plates at more than reasonable prices and with love. Someone’s mama is back there cooking and she wants you fed. You’re too skinny anyway, see? I went there with Little Sister to get Sunday sauce, a Canadian beer and of course fried peppers.
I really think I’ve been in New York too long because I actually ordered a full size portion of chicken parm over spaghetti. Little Sister reminded me where I was and ordered the half size instead. She ordered goulash. Now goulash to me always meant macaroni with red meat sauce. I didn’t learn until moving away in my 20s that goulash is actually a Hungarian dish. Whatevs, this is what I know so I’m sticking.
How do you write a descriptive review about chicken parm and pasta? You don’t. We’ve all had it. When it’s right, there’s really not much to say (except maybe ‘mmmm’). And when it’s wrong, well that’s just sad isn’t it?
Phrases like ‘stick to your ribs’ come to mind in a place like Santasiero’s. Simple food served with a warm smile in a relaxed environment. The kind of place you want to hang out in for a while to eat that meal in stages while knocking back a few cold ones and bitching about the Bills. Again. Or not. Either way, sometimes it’s good to know that,when necessary, you can go
1329 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY