Buffalo NY - what to see and explore?

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Belgian
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Buffalo NY - what to see and explore?

Postby Belgian » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:58 pm

I am finding there's lots to like in Buffalo NY, so I am copying my comments from the other thread to this more relevant forum.

This city is no roaring metropolis, and has its economic problems on the fringes, but it seems to have a core area that looks great & is worth getting to know, and which offers unexpected surprises if you do a little research and talk to the locals.

You guys find this too, what are you doing when in Buffalo area besides beer-hunting? Let's get people off the I-series freeways and exploring the good parts of the city.

dutchcanuck wrote:Oh Timmy...

You don't know what your missing .


No kidding, St Kitt's is a very reasonable drive to the Peace Bridge border crossing.... there's a lot to describe in Buffalo

eg.
The area north of the old downtown, mainly on Elmwood and Delaware, which includes Elmwood Village, VBM, further up is Consumers on Elmwood, and PG on Delaware, Little Italy is on Hertel east of Delaware for great dining as well, etc etc. Let's say you could make a full day of it, and even feel like staying over a night on Delaware (hotels are reasonable and easy staggering distance to Coles on Elmwood.)


You WILL want to drink a lot at Coles, with so much variety, and as somebody mentioned there are flights of samples that are cheap, about six dollars for 4 x 4 oz.
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heebes
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Postby heebes » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:18 pm

hey belgian

im planning on making the trek to Premier Gourmet sometime,

what do i need to know about bringing the haul back, as in, is there a limit on amount of beer returning to canada?

and should i be expecting a huge tax at the border?

really want to go there and get some rare brews but have never tried it / dont know what to expect...
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Postby sprague11 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:22 pm

my fiancee really likes the shopping on Transit road.

Myself, outside of a Sabres game or visiting a couple friends from UB (I went to school there) there's really not a ton to do. Lately i just tag along and help with the shopping so I can go to the pizza Plant for supper and a couple pinks.
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Postby JerCraigs » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:02 pm

heebes wrote:what do i need to know about bringing the haul back, as in, is there a limit on amount of beer returning to canada?

and should i be expecting a huge tax at the border?


You are allowed a maximum of 48 bottles per person. After 48 hours you are allowed 24 bottles duty free.

Standard practice is to assume you will be paying a hefty amount of taxes, and then rejoice if you don't have to. It really depends on the border guard you get.
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Postby Bobsy » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:46 pm

Economic problems on the fringes? Just on the fringes?! Buffalo has some great beer, but it seems to have that sad american trait of economic segregation that sees very few non-whites in the elmwood area, and a downtown that is a) largely deserted and b) economically deprived. I love the place for beer, but other than that...

Anyway, the Albright-Knox Gallery is a gem, the naval museum is the biggest inland example of its kind in the continent anf the Frank Lloyd Wright House has some stunning architecture. In fact, downtown has some wonderful buildings if you can look past the obvious issues and not linger anywhere too long.

I've always been tempted by a baseball game there, as the stadium looks great in a Camden Yards new traditional kind of way. Has anyone gone to see the team play?
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Re: Buffalo NY - what to see and explore?

Postby teichertbier » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:21 pm

Belgian wrote:(hotels are reasonable and easy staggering distance to Coles on Elmwood.)



which hotels?
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Postby rudolf » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:11 pm

Token lurking Buffalonian chiming in here. I'm curious to see what you folks like to do, but I figured the advice of a local could be helpful on your next trip. I'll try to organize it by general sections of the Buffalo region. In keeping w. this thread I'm going to avoid mentioning the obvious beer places - Cole's, Goodbar, Pizza Plant, etc.

Elmwood Village/Allentown (This is the area Cole's is located in)
Food:
Left Bank - http://www.leftbankrestaurant.com/ - 511 Rhode Island St, Buffalo - Very solid restaurant, reasonable prices. Reservations are usually a must for a table, but my wife & I usually show up, snag a seat at the bar & eat there. Good enough beer selection - Orval & Hennepin are the highlights in bottles, taps usually include Urquell, something from Sierra Nevada and 1 or 2 Flying Bison beers, along with stuff like Stella.

Bistro Europa - http://europabuffalo.com/ - 484 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo - Great great great place. Check out their website to see daily specials to get an idea of what they offer & prices. I don't believe they take reservations & the place is small so you may have to wait a bit. Beerwise they'll make that wait tolerable w. most of the Ommegang line, some Brooklyn & other NY State offerings.

Allen Street Hardware - http://www.allenstreethardware.com/main.htm - 245 Allen, Buffalo. They used to only do Panini but they've expanded their menu with some grilled items & usually at least 1 fish & meat special. Cosy, but you should be able to snag a table as long as you aren't showing up on a Friday or Saturday night. Can get loud at night with live music (usually blues or jazz). Good enough beer selection - only 4 taps, one of which has been Ommegang Rare Vos (woo!) for a few months. Bottle list probably has 20-30 options - last time I was there they were running a special on N. Coast Old Rasputin for $5/bottle.

Stuff to do:
Albright Knox is cool, but don't miss out on other things going on in the immediate area:
Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center - http://hallwalls.org/ - 341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo. See their website to get an idea of their programming
Squeaky Wheel - http://www.squeaky.org/ - 712 Main St, Buffalo. See their website to get an idea of their programming
Big Orbit Gallery/Soundlab - http://bigorbitgallery.org/ - 30 Essex St. Buffalo (Big Orbit), Corner of Pearl & Swan (Soundlab). See their website to get an idea of their programming
Shakespeare in the Park - http://www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org/ - Delaware Park (adjacent to the Albright Knox). Over for the season, but free performances offered 6 nights a week
There are some cool shops along Elmwood and Allen street and over on Hertel, though I don't get to Hertel very often.
If you're into architecture check out http://www.buffaloah.com/a/bamname.html - Things in this area will largely fall into West Side & North Park/Central Park on that page

Places to stay (aside from the chains on Delaware)
- Elmwood Village Bed & Breakfast - http://www.elmwoodvillageinn.com/ - they have a horrible website, but they're half a mile from Cole's. I've heard its nice
- Beau Fleuve B&B - http://www.beaufleuve.com/ - about 1.3 miles from Cole's.

---

Downtown: There isn't too much happening downtown. Especially on weekends.
Stuff to do:
If you're into live theater check out http://www.theatreallianceofbuffalo.com/#
Baseball games can be fun if thats your thing: http://buffalo.bisons.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t422 they're shockingly inexpensive - 6 bucks will usually get you in & the stands are usually empty enough that while your ticket says 'bleacher' you can sit wherever you want.
If cheering on 2 dudes beating the hell out of each other with 14,000 other people is your thing you'd love going to a lacrosse game. I think Toronto has a team in the same league. http://www.bandits.com/
Tift Nature Preserve - http://www.sciencebuff.org/tifft-nature-preserve/ - any birders here? Len?

Food:
Kinda stumped here. I'll usually shoot out to Allentown or Elmwood for a meal if I'm downtown. There is a Charlie the Butcher (think amazing roast beef sandwiches) in the Ellicott Square Building at 295 Main Street. Probably only there on Weekdays though.

Places to stay:
Um.. if you're looking to save money there is a hostel: http://www.hostelbuffalo.com/test/

--
North Buffalo/North of Buffalo (this is the Sheridan/Niagara Falls Boulevard section of town):
Food:
Shango. 3260 Main Street - http://www.shangobistro.com/ - tasty stuff billed as "New Orleans Bistro" Solid beer list in terms of Bottles & the 4 or 5 taps they have. Had some great mussels here last time I went.

Amy's Place. 3234 Main St - http://www.yelp.com/biz/amys-place-buffalo - Yes, its a college dive diner & yes, you'll probably have that 'Amy's Place smell' in your clothes when you leave but Amy's is great. Get the veggie wet shoes - fries covered in veggie chili & cheese. Freaking great. Also wonderful is the Margie Meal - marinated chicken, fries, tomatoes, garlic yogurt sauce & hot sauce rolled up in a pita. Cash only - but very inexpensive. I think they still do a 99 cent breakfast before 8am.

Stuff to do:
Good question. For the most part its suburban strip mall hell. Go to Target or something.

--
East of Buffalo (Galleria Mall area)
Food:
So many chains.. ugh.
But there is hope if you find yourself at the Galleria Mall. Head to Kentucky Greg's - http://www.kentuckygregs.com/ - 2186 George Urban Blvd - for what I think is the best BBQ in Buffalo. Not much in the way of ambiance, and nada in terms of beer (they've got all kinds there - miller, miller light AND heinekin) but man, do their beans sing.

Stuff to do:
Is it a Friday or Saturday morning? Head to Super Flea http://tiny.cc/jcc4i - 2500 Walden Ave - where you can see more crap than you can shake a stick at. You probably won't buy anything, but its an experience.

I don't know what else - maybe buy a really big tv?

--
South of the City:
I rarely go south of the city, so my recommendations are crummy here, but..
If you ski, check out the ski areas in Ellicottville http://www.ellicottvilleny.com/

If you're in East Aurora I've heard that Bar Bill has amazing wings, though I haven't gotten there yet. http://barbill.com/ 185 Main St. East Aurora

It occurs to me as I look at this that I've mostly told you where to eat. Which is usually my concern when I go to a new city ;) I'm sure other activities will pop into my mind later.

-rudy
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Postby Belgian » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:38 pm

rudy is sort of the local representative I take it, good post man.

JerCraigs wrote:Standard practice is to assume you will be paying a hefty amount of taxes, and then rejoice if you don't have to. It really depends on the border guard you get.


Yeah you just deal with it, they might tax you on twelve bottles one time, but let you go right through 36 the next time. Who cares, you still win when you're drinking the stuff later on, and anyway imagine what it would cost at our bars here. On 48 beers you can save hundreds of dollars.
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Postby detritus » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:41 am

JerCraigs wrote:You are allowed a maximum of 48 bottles per person. After 48 hours you are allowed 24 bottles duty free.


Unless something has changed recently, this is incorrect. You're allowed to import 45L per person (24x355mL bottles are duty-free after 48 hours).
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Postby inertiaboy » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:43 am

detritus wrote:
JerCraigs wrote:You are allowed a maximum of 48 bottles per person. After 48 hours you are allowed 24 bottles duty free.


Unless something has changed recently, this is incorrect. You're allowed to import 45L per person (24x355mL bottles are duty-free after 48 hours).


I believe it varies by province. Into Ontario, you can import 45 litres. Into Quebec, it is two cases (about 17 litres), I think.
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Postby sstackho » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:53 am

For Ontario http://www.lcbo.com/contactus/importing.shtml

Not exceed a total of 45-litres of beverage alcohol (any combination of wine, spirits or beer)


So that's just over 5 cases and a 6-pack of standard 12oz bottles. Oh, and I just noticed this:

A duty free entitlement is not included or counted as part of the 45-litre maximum volume limit.


So, you can bring back 6.25 cases if you are there for more than 48 hours.

Also, nice post, Rudy! Thanks for that.
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Postby JerCraigs » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:54 am

detritus wrote:
JerCraigs wrote:You are allowed a maximum of 48 bottles per person. After 48 hours you are allowed 24 bottles duty free.


Unless something has changed recently, this is incorrect. You're allowed to import 45L per person (24x355mL bottles are duty-free after 48 hours).


I think you are right, I always mix up the 48 hours and the Litres. Also I typically don't drink the beer fast enough to bring back more than two cases! (to say nothing of being able to afford two cases of the expensive stuff!)
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Postby Beermat » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:26 pm

The ballpark is a very pleasant spot and very affordable, featuring players who are actually trying. When they first built the stadium there were huge crowds and possibly naive hopes of getting a big league franchise (the ballpark was designed so that it can be expanded in such an unlikely event). The crowds aren't what they were, but that's true in Toronto as well. As I recall, they have a deal for Monday night games, which are ridiculously cheap. It's been two or three years since I've been to a game, but I don't remember much good about the beer choices; it's not like Portland, Oregon, which had very good beer. The stadium is close to the Pearl Street brewpub -- underwhelming beer but very handy before or after. Some may remember when the ballpark was the venue for the Buffalo Brewfest. It was more than pleasant sitting on the outfield grass (yes, real grass, Blue Jay fans) drinking good beer.
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Postby Belgian » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:52 pm

sstackho wrote:For Ontario http://www.lcbo.com/contactus/importing.shtml

A duty free entitlement is not included or counted as part of the 45-litre maximum volume limit.


So, you can bring back 6.25 cases if you are there for more than 48 hours.


So, even paying the 25-30% border hit (just assume you will) you can still bring back a lot of value. This is because some USA craft beers are cheaper to begin with (eg. Sierra Nevada and Stone and Avery come ti mind) and the other, more pricy ones are still a number of times cheaper they would be at any Toronto beer bar (meaning you could effectively save even around 20 dollars per bottle on a number of single beers, factoring the tax and tip.)

Makes a 2-night stay affordable doesn't it! Either the cheap beer pays for your hotel, and/or you save several hundred dollars on the extra premium beer you were determined to try at some point anyway (and who doesn't want to, at least once?) Of course the "tax exempt" case should be the most pricey... present the other receipts first.

Cool!
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Postby electroluminescent » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:09 pm

We stayed by the Galleria last night, the Airport Millenium hotel courtesy of Hotwire $49, the reviews are pretty bleh for it but we've stayed there twice now and it's actually a great deal at that price no problems on either visit.. anyway we went to Pizza Plant on Main www.pizzaplant.com/ food was pretty good with some surprising vegetarian options.. The beer list was great, DFH 75 Minute IPA on Cask as well as Hercules IIPA and Southern Tier IIPA, St Louis Geuze and about 7 more that escape my mind at the moment.

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