Cheap Eats 2012: European



English Pork Pie Company's tasty pies are delicious hot or cold.

JP Thimot

 

English Pork Pie Company - Steak and Ale Pie ($6)

For an Anglophile who has never actually been to the UK, a visit to the English Pork Pie Company in South Buffalo feels like a pleasing substitution. I’d heard tales of its greatness, but as a bit of a street cred test, I brought along my sister-in-law, Melissa, who now lives in London. She broke down the pie aesthetic for me as we drove down South Park from Hamburg. (It’s well past the Basilica and the Botanical Gardens, but the large, gray factory is easy to spot.) We ambled up to the counter past some Daily Telegraphs and were greeted by friendly cofounder Vicky Parker. I opted for the steak and ale pie, while Melissa and my wife went with the chicken tikka. (Melissa also bought two baseball-sized Scotch eggs, which we devoured later that day.) This was my first English pie, and to put it in football terms, I felt like I’d just watched Archie Gemmill score in the sixty-eighth minute against the Netherlands. (For translation, ask a Scotsman, or watch Trainspotting.) I’d expected it to crumble, but it stayed fully formed, perfect for fork-free munching. I asked Melissa for her verdict, and she gave EPPC fare high marks: “The crust is a nice golden color, and it isn’t soggy. I could eat more.” That these treats were less than $6—less than $6!—seals the deal. The English Pork Pie Company is an Anglophile’s delight. Next time, I’ll order a pot of tea.—Christopher Schobert

English Pork Pie Company, 1176 South Park Ave., Buffalo, 716-823-3772

English Pork Pie Company on Urbanspoon

 

The Cheesy Chick - Nutella Panino ($3)

Nutella is European. Specifically, it is Italian. You can infer this from reading either side of a Nutella jar, be it the iconic product illustration or the nutrition label, which states plainly, with no facile counterclaims, that half its calories come from fat, and another forty percent from sugar. But decadence is wonderful in European-style moderation, and the Cheesy Chick truck keeps the scales fairly balanced. It’s $3 for a panini, and the twenty-five cent optional sliced bananas are not really an option. You can have it on white or Italian bread, but whole wheat actually tastes best with this sweet stuff. The final piece to the puzzle is finding someone to share it with, or finding a safe place to stash the leftovers, so that you may maintain your air of breezy continental restraint.—Kevin Purdy

The Cheesy Chick food truck, thecheesychick.com

Cheesy Chick (Mobile Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

 

Schwabl’s - German Potato Salad ($4)

A side dish as a minimeal? This is no ordinary side dish—it’s a hearty bowl of the best German potato salad in Buffalo, and with a cold Warsteiner, it’s a lunch all its own. Schwabl’s is beloved for its fine food, hospitable service, and old-timey atmosphere; fans of the roast beef special and other classic dishes here know that the accompanying German potato salad, homemade and authentic (Grandma-certified), is a gem in its own right. Crunchy celery, tiny bacon bits, giant mustard seeds, and thick, soft potatoes make it as satisfying as a thick bowl of stew and surprisingly filling. It’s got quite the tang, so the trademark pickled beets on the side—a mainstay with every Schwabl’s dish—provide a welcome shot of sweetness. —Julia Burke

Schwabl’s, 789 Center Rd., West Seneca, 716-675-2333

Schwabl's on Urbanspoon

 

 

Other wallet-friendly options in this cateogry: Elm Street Bakery, Globe Market, Sweet_ness 7 Creperie, Spar's European Sausage

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