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Any WNY transplants in TC? Missing Buffalo regional food

Any Western New York transplants in the Twin Cities area that miss the apparently ethnic food we were raised on? I say apparently because until I moved here, I had no idea the Polish/Italian food I was raised on was going to be hard to find or duplicate.

And wings? Where oh where do YOU go? I have ventured over to Buffalo Wild Wings for moments of missing wings back home.....BJ's in Fredonia had the best wings this side of the moon. But, really, the days of 10,cent wings and a pitcher of cold beer are gone, I guess.

And, fish fries - every American Legion, VFW, every church had the biggest and best fish dinners - the huge crispy fish that took up your entire platter - with the works. Do you have a close favorite here?

Periogies - I wish I had paid attention to what my father and I were making when I was a teen but this teenage girl just wasn't paying attention to dad and cooking at that age. I've tried but failed to find anything local that comes close.

Folks, if you are from the Buffalo New York area - and have long wishes for the hot dogs, the wings, the fish, the periogies, the .........where do you shop?

When I go back east, I take a cooler and an extra bag to fill with bottles of Chiavetta's, long sticks of pepperoni and stuff.

I love the TC but I sure miss some of the food from home.....sentimental or am I really missing something?

Thank you.

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  1. I'm not from western NY but as far as wings, we really like the ones from Runyon's on Washington. I also have memories of $.10 wings from college in Ohio but haven't found a similar deal in the past 10 years.

    For pierogies we usually go to Kramarczuk's in NE. I didn't grow up on them so I'm not sure what you're used to, but these are pretty damn good. The pierogies at Nye's are terrible, don't bother.

    1. I'm originally from Buffalo, but I left before I was old enough to eat solid food. I've been back once for a whirlwind visit - one might say "pilgrimage" - to the Anchor Bar. I love those wings!

      Here's an old thread where I asked for good Buffalo wings in MSP - sounds like Runyon's is the best place to try. I haven't been there yet, but I trust Kate's and Loren3's tastebuds.



        1. Sweeneys in St Paul (on dale, south of 94) has pretty decent east coast style wings.

          1. Here's a recent thread on fish fries that has more questions than answers, but, nevertheless, there are some interesting recommendations in it. Of the places mentioned in it, I'll probably try Matty B's, Obb's, St. Alberts, and the enchiladas (how many Fridays in Lent? I'd better hurry...)


            I did not grow up with a fish fry tradition, so, I don't know if I can comment on any of the fish fries I've been to in terms of being like the ones you remember from back home, but I can say I've not been to any where the chow was memorable. I've been to one in the basement of St. Matthews in St. Paul, the one at Awada's, and one other I can't think of right now.

            And, I can't even remember if Awada's is Awada's anymore--I think they changed names or ownership or something. Or, maybe they changed their name TO Awada's. I just can't remember.


            1. For the Eastern European specialties, it's worth it to check out Kramarczuk's (already mentioned), Eva's Europol Deli (in NE Minneapolis also, 13th Ave about a block off University), and Kiev Foods (in St. Paul, in a weird strip mall on W 7th St).

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mill City Modern

                Are these recommendations from your direct experience? If so, what specific dishes did you enjoy?

                I do value this site for people's firsthand knowledge.

                1. re: KTFoley

                  I live in NE Minneapolis, so I visit Kramarczuk's and Eva's frequently. At Kramarczuk's, we usually go for sausage. At Eva's, it's pierogies. When I lived in St. Paul, I visited Kiev first just because it stuck out like a sore thumb, and found that they have weird smoked fish that is hard to find elsewhere and pierogies.

              2. Abacus, I lived in upstate NY for a while and, 17 years into my sojourn here, am still searching for hot wings that come close to what I enjoyed back there.

                1. Could somebody please describe what makes the wings in Buffalo different from the wings elsewhere?

                  I used to really like the wings at Chang's. They were cooked until the skin was nice and crispy, they weren't gloppy with sauce, and didn't taste greasy at all.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mill City Modern

                    I've never had the wings at Changs, nor am I from Buffalo, so I'm also curious about Mill City Modern's question. In my experience, everywhere else that I've lived besides MN, wings specifically referred to buffalo wings. Deep fried wings then covered with a wet, red, hot sauce. There definitely seem to be variation in how wet they were - whether the sauce just covered the wing or whether your wings woud arrive in a pool of sauce. I'm not sure what level of wetness is native to Buffalo.

                    On moving here, I learned about "drummies" (that's right, right?) which seem to be the one bone part of the wing cooked (baked? fried?) in a milder brown sauce. I'm not sure if native Minnesotans interchange wings and drummies, but I just know I encounter a lot of drummies at potlucks here.

                  2. When I think of wings, I immediately think of Buffalo wings, with the sauce (Frank's Red Hot mixed with butter).

                    You can buy just the part of the wing that looks like a tiny drumstick in the grocery store, and they are labeled "drummies". But I have never known there to be a sauce that's exclusive to those. I might be out of the loop though, as I don't come from a typical Midwestern potluck type of family, foodwise.

                    1. Yes, it MUST be Frank's red hot sauce with butter! That's the correct hot sauce and Marie's Bleu Cheese.....w/ and celery. And, what I wouldn't do for a Beef on Weck on occassion...good roast beef with horseradish on a Kimmelwick (sp) bun.

                      I've been to Eva's in Northeast - very disappointed...the frozen foods from Chicago just didn't do it for me and I really wanted them to.

                      1. So...none of the west NY transplants can describe what they are missing in Buffalo wings here?

                        1. Hey MCM - been a little preoccupied with the snow - like old days in Buffalo! :) Gosh, at least the weather is very Western New York. The wings I grew up with were piled high meaty, hot hot sauce (Franks Red Hot, butter) - seemed pretty basic to me - nestled to a pile of celery and good blue cheese dressing. I guess wings I have had here are either strangely sauced, joints are connected (wings, for me, should be split at the joint) - breaded, baked or something.

                          I want simple deep-fried wings soaked in red hot sauce with a platter of celery and blue cheese....just simple ole wings old home style! A big old plate full - in college every Tuesday was ten-cent wing night - and quarter beers. Life was cheap. Life was good. I am old.......sigh.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Abacus

                            I'll second the wings at Runyon's in Minneapolis.

                            Order them extra crispy with the nuclear sauce.

                            Feel the burn baby!

                            1. re: justalex

                              Is Runyon's in Minneapolis affiliated with Casper & Runyon's Nook on Hamline in St. Paul? If so, do they have the good wings at the Nook, then?


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                They are not affiliated, so far as I can tell.

                                Don't recall any wings on the menu at the Nook ... surely don't recall anyone remarking about them.

                          2. Ugh, breaded wings are the worst. Gross. I haven't tried Runyon's yet, but maybe will give it a shot this weekend. Strangely, the Green Mill in St. Paul used to do some decent Buffalo wings, but I haven't had them in a few years.

                            1. Buffalo Wings were invented & perfected by the James Beard Award winning Anchor Bar in Buffalo
                              http://www.anchorbar.com/index.asp .
                              You can find their particular hot sauce in most grocery stores, and you can order the wings on line. They're also known for their Roast Beef on Weck (short for Kummelweck) which is akin to a Kaiser roll sprinkled with salt & caraway.

                              1. Mmmmmmm....beef on weck -....i wish I could find some rolls here in town - I'd roast some beef today!

                                1. Having played softball for BJ's in Fredonia for several years and participated in more 10 cent wing and quarter beer nights than I can remember, I understand your dilemma. Runyons has been the best that I have found around here. The TC certainly isn't like WNY where every hole in the wall seems to have great wings.