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Cheap Eats / World

Vegan shishito peppers from Sato Brewpub

Photos by kc kratt


Sato Brewpub

110 Pearl St., Buffalo

248-1436 or satobrewpub.com


Satomi and Josh Smith’s third restaurant is Buffalo’s first izakaya—Japan’s answer to tapas or small-plate dining. The restaurant serves known Sato dishes, including ramen and a limited selection of sushi, but the skewers are new, different, and well worth trying. Served two sticks to an order, these grilled chicken, pork, surf and turf, and vegetable options pair perfectly with the beer the pub brews. And they are affordable enough that you can try a few without feeling guilty; almost everything is $5 or less. Consider the kushikatsu ($4), a crispy fried pork belly that hits salty, sweet, sour, and savory notes. Torikawa ($4) is crispy chicken skin—yes, just the skin—not dissimilar to cracklings or chicharrones, with a nice, smoky flavor. From the vegetable section, the vegan shishito peppers ($3) are well-blistered, salty, and range in their level of heat. —Nick Guy


Skewers: $4–$6

Vegan shishito peppers: $3 (pictured above)


Torikawa: $4


Kushikatsu: $4



Allen Street Poutine Company

242 Allen St., Buffalo,

883-7437 or eatpoutine.com


Hertel Avenue Poutine & Cream

1488 Hertel St., Buffalo

551-6995 or eatpoutine.com


Traditional poutine: $5


It’s easy to be tempted by the menu of specialties at Allen Street Poutine Company and Hertel Avenue Poutine & Cream, almost all of which cost under $10 and will fill most people up. But the star of the show at both locations is the traditional poutine, coming in at just under $5 for a small size and only a dollar more for a large. The eateries get the Canadian classic right, starting with twice-fried housemade French fries that are crispy enough to stand up to toppings, yet still fluffy inside. Those spuds are topped with rich and salty beef gravy (vegetarian gravy is also available), and Yancey’s Fancy white cheddar cheese curds. The heat from the fries and gravy is just enough to soften the curds without totally melting them, and the combination of the three elements is a perfect balance, especially for a late-night snack. —Nick Guy



Miss Hot Café

3311 Sheridan Dr., Amherst

832-3188 or misshotcafe.com


Sesame balls: $2.50

Hong Kong style pork buns: $3.23

House made dumplings: $9.95


Dim sum at Miss Hot Café is an an economical meal that feels extravagant. As dish after dish comes out with exciting items unveiled beneath small bamboo steamers, you’ll enjoy the fun of sampling and discovering what’s inside each bite. The sesame seed-studded fried sesame balls feature sweet red bean paste. They’re an excellent choice if you like to have a sweet dish in the mix. The Hong Kong-style pork buns feature a barbeque-style sauce that’s a bit sweet and savory nestled inside a cloud of steamed puffy white bread. Lastly, the splurge of the meal is worth every penny: go off menu and ask for the housemade dumplings—they are not found under the dim sum section. My favorite is the triple delight, but you can’t go wrong with whatever the offering of the day may be. This casual restaurant has a comfortable interior and it’s family friendly. —Nina Barone



Home Taste

3106 Delaware Ave., Kenmore



Attention wonton soup lovers: the best around is at Home Taste. It has all the basics of what you grew up eating, but the broth is a more aromatic, herb-filled chicken stock, and the pork- and onion-filled dumplings are far superior to what you’ll find in your usual Chinese restaurant. The soup is loaded with an impressive dozen plump dumplings, so you can truly make a meal out of this or share. The steamed pork and Napa cabbage dumplings are memorable because they have a surprising smack of ginger in the filling. Served with a vinegar-based dipping sauce that’s not too spicy or sweet but perfectly balances the heat of the ginger, they’re delightfully addictive. Last, be bold and order the scallion chicken from the “cold dishes” section of the menu because there’s something reminiscent of a picnic with cold chicken. Topped with not only scallions, but dried chilies, it has a flavor profile unlike any dish I’ve had in Buffalo. Don’t visit this spot expecting a posh ambiance. What’s inviting about this place is the smell of the food and the people cooking behind the counter. It’s small and bare, but the food makes up for it. —Nina Barone


Pork with napa fried dumplings: $6


Wonton soup: $5.50

Pork with napa steamed dumplings: $5.50

Scallion chicken: $7.50



Taqueria Los Mayas

3525 Genesee St., Cheektowaga;

906-3730 or taquerialosmayas.com


Taqueria Los Mayas is a relatively new Mexican food option in Western New York. Located in at the intersection of Genesee and Union, it abounds with bargains, especially on the lunch menu. The quirkiest eats on the menu, however, are tacos that take a page from the book of iconic Tex-Mex restaurant found throughout the southwest: the esteemed Breakfast Taco (served with chorizo, queso fresco, and an over-easy egg on a housemade tortilla) and the iconic Lengua (beef tongue) Taco. —Rachel Fix Dominguez


Lengua taco: $4


Breakfast taco: $3.25



House of Hummus

502 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, 331-3313

1150 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, 322-6484 or houseofhummusbuffalo.com


House of Hummus has two locations in Buffalo, and they both serve delicious Palestinian food. The hummus is not to be missed, obviously (Hummus with meat is a great option for carnivores), but there is also a delicious Vegan surprise wrap (fried eggplant, fried cauliflower, falafel with Jerusalem salad, and hummus, wrapped in pita bread). There is also an interesting poutine-like dish, loaded Jerusalem fries (French fries topped with feta cheese, black olives, Arabic salad, and parsley tahini sauce). Whether you are a vegan or a meat eater, something on the menu at House of Hummus will pique your curiosity and your taste buds. —Rachel Fix Domingue


Loaded Jerusalem fries: $8.99


Vegan surprise wrap: $8.99


Hummus with meat: $10.99


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