Maybe it’s the unpredictable weather, and maybe it’s due to bustling Buffalo… lately I’ve been having a hard time catching all of the events that continually pop up on my social calendar. But there is one event that I won’t be missing. The Buffalo Pierogi Fest! My Polish lineage wouldn’t allow me to. After all, I grew up with a Polish grandmother (we called her Bunia) who spoke the language fluently. She was always making various food delicacies from scratch, which were a staple in my diet. One of my favorites was the pierogi. I just couldn’t get enough of the pockets of dough filled with all sorts of deliciousness.
This Sunday, Step Out Buffalo is putting on the inaugural Pierogi Fest at the Buffalo Outer Harbor.
10 different purveyors from WNY will be vying for your vote in 3 different categories.
“Buffalo’s Best Pierogi”, “Best Traditional Pierogi” and “Most Creative Pierogi”.
The contestants in this tasty tournament are…
- Chrusciki Bakery (Delaware Ave, Kenmore)
- Home Cooked Buffalo (Buffalo)
- K Sisters Authentic Pierogi (Clinton St, Buffalo)
- Keeping Traditions (Broadway, Buffalo)
- Mess Hall (Ridge Road, Lackawanna)
- Ms. Judi’s Food Truck
- North Star Tavern (Seneca St, East Aurora)
- Potts Deli & Grille (S Rossler Ave, Cheektowaga)
- Ru’s Pierogi (Niagara St, Buffalo)
- Stella’s Old Fashioned Pierogi (South Main Street, Angola)
It turns out the #10 slot (Stella’s) was a last minute switch-up. It’s a good thing too, because it prompted me to stop over to the pierogi pusher to see what they were prepping for Sunday. In the heart of Angola, right on Main Street, sits Gram’s Pierogi House. Inside is where you’ll find Stella’s Old Fashioned Pierogi. Owned by Nathan Hawes (lead image), he named the place after his 8-year-old daughter, Stella. He said “Don’t let her age fool you. She can make a pierogi with the best of them!”
Walking in the front door, I saw trays upon trays of the delicious Polish dough pockets, which were being set aside for the festival. After checking out the surroundings, I sat down to enjoy some of the biggest pierogis that I have ever seen. These monsters were all handmade, reflecting the wholesome concept that Nate is promoting – a real Farm-to-Table experience. “The eggs we get to make the dough, and the pigs we use to make the sausage, come from a farm right here in Angola,” said Hawes.
If you’re heading to the festival, you will get a chance to try these aforementioned pierogis, as well as a number of others. I am told that each pierogi purveyor will be making 2000 pierogis! Yes, that’s right. All you have to do is come enjoy food, then cast your vote as to who you think has the best in each category. I mean, why should some panel of judges decide who has the best pierogi, when we can happily step in?
As if the Polski food wasn’t enough, there will be a number of other outdoor activities to partake in:
- Compeer will be hosting Kan-Jam, and a cornhole tournament.
- Quarter Deck Athletics will be featuring a mini-CrossFit games. Which I will be steering clear of.
- The City of Buffalo Animal Shelter PAWS truck will have puppies, and you can take them home without being arrested…Bonus!
- Also adding to the fun, the Buffalo Museum of Science and Studio Hue will provide some wacky activities.
- In case you get “Pierogied Out” Get Fried, and The Rolling Cannoli Food Trucks will all be there as well.
- Kickstart Rumble will take the stage to entertain the masses with some Live Music.
This event is like an all-inclusive resort. You pay your flat price ticket admission and that’s it, everything comes with it. It’s so much simpler than “pay as you go”.
This will be a rain or shine event, as all the food and fun will be housed under tents if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.
There are so many food festivals in Buffalo, but this feels like Christmas morning to me. My anticipation builds as does my Pavlovian response knowing what’s ahead Sunday!
Buffalo Pierogi Fest
When: Sunday, May 21st, 2017
Where: Buffalo Outer Harbor (225 Fuhrmann Blvd. Buffalo, NY 14203)