[BN] Food & Drink Newsletter June 1, 2022: The Steer returns to University Heights | To eat

The Steer will be back in business later this month, said owner Tucker Curtin.

Andrew Z. Galarneau/Buffalo News

After a 10-month closure, University Heights fixture The Steer is set to reopen with a fire-breathing grill and new items on the vegan side of the menu.

The longtime student haunt and neighborhood fixture will reopen on June 21, owner Tucker Curtin said.

“We’re going back to seven days a week,” Curtin said. “Doing a little different things on the menu, some old, some new.”

The pizza oven is gone. In its place will be a wood-fired Argentinian-style grill, with a series of grates that can be widely adjusted to take advantage of particular fire conditions. “We can adjust what we have as a fitting set,” Curtin said. “So we will have small end caps for different pieces of metal equipment that could rig and support the cooking system in a 6-foot-wide arc.”

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Despite the addition of the elaborate barbecue setup, Curtin said he isn’t abandoning The Steer’s commitment to its line of animal-free meals, featuring tofu lasagna and more.

The two-story restaurant at 3151 Main Street has been serving University at Buffalo students and others since 1969. Curtin, who bought a partner to take over in 1997, had a restaurant transplanted next door in 2001. The Lake Effect Diner will remain closed for now, Curtin said.

First, “we’re going to put our arms around what’s going on here,” at The Steer, Curtin said.

Chef Ross Warhol’s Fried Chicken Sandwich is brined and beaten twice before hitting the fryer. Served on a freshly toasted bun with a layer of deviled egg spread and a bright tomato gastrique. Want to know more about this mouth-watering recipe? Check out the latest episode of Dig In, Buffalo >>

Sponsored by Orville’s Home Appliances


Crispy Coconut Pomegranate Chicken at Soho

Crispy cashew chicken with risotto and pomegranate arils in Soho.

Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

Soho: For most of its years on the Chippewa Strip, Soho’s attraction was more its dance floors and bars than its dining rooms. In January, chef JJ Richert took on the challenge of getting customers to spend money on food instead of saving it for bottle service. Pork belly tacos, Puerto Rican flank steak with chimichurri, grapefruit gnocchi for brunch, Richert does the trick. Read more

Acapulco Shrimp Ceviche at Casa Azul

The Acapulco Shrimp Ceviche at Casa Azul features tomato-citrus macerated shrimp with jalapeño, cilantro, and radish. The cocktail is a pineapple Negroni.

Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News

Next week: Casa Azul: Originally opened in 2016 on Genesee Street, Zina Lapi’s Mexican-inspired restaurant has flourished in its new location at Allen and Elmwood, in the heart of Allentown. Not just tacos, but deeper dishes like mole verde enchiladas and poached cod in poblano broth are as many reasons to attend as the pineapple negronis. Read more


Outdoor empanadas: To address a severe regional shortage of empanadas, The Whole Empanada began popping up at farmers’ markets to sell hand-baked pies in a variety of flavors.

As in, strawberry rhubarb, cuban (mojo pork shoulder, ham, kosher dill pickle, swiss cheese, mustard), picadillo beef, chicken tinga (chipotle tomato), etc. They cost between $5 and $7 and are usually made with lard and butter in the batter, though vegetarian specialties get vegetable shortening, David Brown said. He runs the show with Otto Garcia, who uses his grandmother’s recipes for empanadas and tamales.

Operating out of the kitchen for rent at the Western New York Food Incubator at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Lockport, they have been serving Niagara County since last year.

Open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the North Tonawanda City Market and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lockport Community Farmers Market. Read more

Sato Brewpub Dry: Sato Brewpub, the restaurant in the basement of the downtown architectural landmark, the Dun Building, closed last month.

It opened in 2017, in the former Soundlab space at 110 Pearl St.

Sato, the full-service Japanese restaurant at 739 Elmwood Ave., and Sato Ramen, the University Heights noodle soup specialist at 3268 Main St., will remain open.

“Being a small family business under current conditions, we believe this is the decision we need to make in order to continue to be able to bring our Japanese food and beverages to Buffalo,” said owners Josh and Satomi Smith. “We really appreciate all the staff who have helped us over the years.” Read the 2018 review


History on tap: On Fridays, the Genesee Country Village and Museum hosts a celebration of brewing history crossed with happy hour. From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., attendees can sample craft beers, including local specialties and some made at the museum.

Live music, tours of a 19th century-style brewery and lawn games will be part of the entertainment at the museum, at 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford.

Tickets for the 21+ event are $30 for general admission, $10 for designated drivers and $27 for members. Get tickets here


Q: Do you know any African restaurants in the area?

Nile River, South Sudanese dishes at West Side Bazaar, 25 Grant St. My favorite fault (vegan stew of beans with garlic, tomato) in the area, as well as superb beef skewers with dill.

Yalley’s African Restaurant, a Ghanaian restaurant, 290 Kenmore Ave. Don’t miss the chicken and peanut soup and the fufu.

Send restaurant tips, heartfelt recipes and questions to [email protected] or One News Plaza, PO Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240.

Send restaurant tips to [email protected] and follow @BuffaloFood on Instagram and Twitter.

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