This weekend, I had the immense pleasure of going to my friends Evan and Lauren’s wedding up in Niagara Falls.
It was my first time in the Buffalo area and in addition to wedding things, I did some tourist things and plenty of eating things. I learned a lot from this experience and will share this vital information with you below.
- Niagara has three As, not two
- Listen, I care a LOT about spelling and grammar. If you don’t use commas, I’m pretty sure you were brought up in a shed. But until this weekend, I did not realize Niagara was spelled the way it is. I thought it was Niagra. I was being the Shed Person that I so passionately judge. (Not really, but come on. Commas, y’all.)
- My friend’s friends very quickly became my friends
- Evan has some really terrific friends who he talks about a ton: his best man/brother (Jared), his groomsman (Brian) and his groomsgal (Jeighdeane). These are names I hear almost daily. I was a little nervous to meet them all, but I had no cause to be. When I met them, it was that sort of instant camaraderie because I kind of already knew them. It’s clear to me that my coolest friend has the coolest friends ever. I THINK that makes me cool by association. I’m looking into it.
- Chris Pratt is my new celeb crush
- Yeah, I still have celeb crushes, but I don’t keep my list laminated. I tagged along to see Guardians of the Galaxy with the crew on Friday night. Chris Pratt was so funny (and hunky). And Karen Gillan? Bonafide badass villain. I cannot wait to see it again.
- Buffalo’s food is LEGIT
- Being friends with Buffalonians and watching countless episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I’d heard tell of the wonders of Buffalo cuisine. But I had never had the opportunity to sample. UNTIL NOW. I had two “must-eats” on my list: beef on weck and some authentic Buffalo wings. DID I SUCCEED? Spoiler alert: yes.
- Beef on Weck
- On Friday night, I went with Evan and Tony (my friend/a reality star/the officiant of the ceremony) to Anderson’s, a local joint known for their roast beef and custard. I experienced the magnificence that is beef on weck. It’s a roast beef sandwich on a ‘kimmelweck’ roll. A kimmelweck roll is a white roll topped with caraway seeds and salt (‘kimmel’ is caraway and ‘weck’ is roll in German). This is a perfect vehicle for the thinly sliced roast beef and spicy, nose-burning, eye-watering horseradish. Hurts so good. I’m going to have to learn how to make these because I don’t want to live my life without this roll. And Buffalo is FAR too cold a place for me to live.
- Wings and Things
- If you are looking to find the original Buffalo wing in Buffalo, you should go to Anchor Bar. But if you want the best wings in Buffalo, you’ve got to go to Duff’s. It’s a no-frills, no-nonsense experience, and it’s absolutely delicious. I went to the original location on Sheridan Road, which has been around since 1946. The menu is diverse, but I knew exactly what I wanted: Buffalo wings with flavor but that would not kill me and some blue cheese. These are absolutely, without a doubt, the best wings I’ve ever tasted. Perfectly fried, flavorful but not spicy (I did Mild Medium, but there are spicier versions for non-wimps). Wings come with celery, carrots and tangy Duff’s blue cheese. The Buffalo wing is an art form up here and Duff’s is the Mona Lisa (or, the picture of the dogs playing poker. Everyone has different taste in art.) Chase it down with a Labatt’s because we’re basically in Canada.
- The Falls are rull pretty
- If you’re in Niagara, you really can’t not go to the Falls. They’re right there. It’s pretty magnificent. Breathtakingly beautiful and HUGE. And loud, which shouldn’t have surprised me but did. I walked around the Niagara Falls State Park for about an hour and a half and was constantly worried I was going to drop my phone into The Falls when I took a picture. Stranger things have happened, surely.
- My friends are way cooler than I am (in a good way!)
- This was without a doubt the coolest wedding I’ve ever been attended. Evan and Lauren are an incredible couple. They’re smart, they’re fun, they’re creative, they’re artistic, they’re goofy, they’re sweet. And their wedding was a reflection of all of that. We all laughed (slash cried) through Tony’s ceremony. We listened to jazzy covers of pop songs during the cocktail hour and played peg games. We ate amazing food (basque frenched chicken with sofrito beurre blanc and Mighty Taco late night). We played name that tune during dinner (even with some light cheating, Table 9 lost BAD). We played pinball, skee ball, Mortal Kombat, and N64. We danced. We did ridiculous stuff in the slo motion video booth. (Note to EVERYONE: shimmying in a slow motion video booth is both funny/highly embarrassing.) We ate popcorn. Evan and Lauren chose North Carolina popcorn for their wedding favors. ‘Wedding Edition’ Chad’s Carolina Corn came in 4 flavors, with packages adorned with the adorable noses of their two dogs, Reuben and Ninja. I went with Buffalo Wing flavor. Seemed apropos.
If you find yourself up in Buffalo, don’t miss Duff’s. Or a beef on weck. But unless you’ve mastered time travel or have you stole a TARDIS, you’re probably not going to have as much fun as I did.
Sorry, not sorry.