Saturday, February 8, 2014

Music Review: Heidi Maria. By Brian Campbell.

Heidi Maria
I’m Done Playing the Game

On I’m Done Playing the Game, local hidden gem Heidi Maria is a kindred spirit; a passionate old soul sonically well beyond her years. Her voice is soft, sweet and hauntingly beautiful, and it’s her warm, welcoming docile tones that engulf the listener from start to finish on I’m Done Playing The Game, an EP brimming with heaping helpings of hearty, folksy Americana entwined with subtle undercurrents of beguiling alt-country. Maria’s voice is a revelation thanks to her powerful emotional delivery (“A New Song,” “The Star Song”), though I’m Done Playing the Game can get a bit bouncy at times (“Make Up Your Mind”). I’m Done Playing the Game is an EP equally befit for rainy days, chilly nights and enjoying the wind whip through the trees and wind chimes from your front porch, though after one listen, there’s a good chance you’ll want to spin this EP a hell of a lot more than that.

Grade: A-
Go Download: “The Chess Game”

Friday, February 7, 2014

Restaurant Review: Sato is certainly "Home"

Mrs. QCLA and I ventured over to the newest restaurant in Buffalo last night, Sato, located in the old O3 cafe on Elmwood Ave (2 doors down from Spot Coffee) for some appetizers and entree's.

We decided to get the Vegetarian Fried Gyoza Dumplings as a "small plate" appetizer. 6 came on the plate with a traditional dumping dipping sauce, and they were very well done. We both enjoyed them greatly (having three a piece) and while it was a smaller amount of food, i was happy that i had the room when the entree came out.

Before i get to the entree, I will say that i've had good quality Ramen in both Honalulu's Chinatown, and in Beijing, China. Which were both, understandably, amazing.

So was this. I was exceptionally happy with the Vegetarian Ramen. We both ordered the dish, and added in sprouts and garlic as extra's. A big, hot, steaming bowl of Ramen was delivered to our table shortly later and i was impressed.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beer: All Grown Up: Blue Monk Review & Award

For any of you who have visited the Blue Monk on Elmwood ave, you know how 1) Magical and 2) Overwhelming, the beer selection can be. It's truly a beer drinkers paradise on tap, with 100+ selections available at all time.

Well it's officially been confirmed, The Blue Monk has been named the "Best Beer-Centric Restaurant in New York State" by

From The Buffalo News:
 “What appeals to beer geeks is selection, selection, selection,” said Joseph Tucker,, executive director. “What we’ve been seeing is beer travel. They’ll come up with a tour, and Buffalo will be on the tour. If they’re anywhere in the area, they’ll stop in to places. They’ll target them.”

Not to mention the pairing of beer along with all the delicious food they serve makes for a great night out with friends and family. (QLCA and Mrs. QCLA were just at Blue 2 Friday's ago and enjoyed great food, great beer, and great company!)

So head on down to 727 Elmwood ave if you enjoy a great beer.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Tappo Restaurant Review

After being open for a a half a year or so now, QCLA and the family went to Tappo Restaurant (Tappo meaning "Cork" in Italian) for the first time.

We should have gone much, much sooner.

For appetizers, we ordered both the Plain bread with an olive oil dipping bowl, and cheesy bread. Both were excellent. The olive oil had a small little "kick" on the end which was delicious (and different, in a good way) and the cheesy bread was plenty cheesy. One thing about Tappo is they sure don't skimp.

For dinner, I had the alfredo. It was the perfect amount of richness, not over the top, not underwhelming, the sauce was a medium thickness and the flavor was perfect. (i, as always, sprinkled some crushed red peppers over top.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fashion Week of Buffalo Continues!!!

Model Jessica Lahr at The Delaware Mansion Boutique Runway show 9/24

 Mercedes Benz of Buffalo Fashion Week continues with tonight Grand Finale at the Statler Towers!

Before that though, the Boutique Delaware Mansion Show was held on Tuesday night featuring local designers including Blush, Eye Candy, and more. It was obviously a hot ticket, with the event jam packed inside, and the most fashionable people of Buffalo showing up!

Three shows came down the runway, with top models Jessica Lahr, Grace Modi, and more strutting their stuff for the patrons. With energy in the building, the DJ playing some great house tunes, and stylish outfits (impeccably tailored) coming down the runway, everyone seemed to have a great time.

On to tonight's festivities at Statler City. The Grand Finale is all glitz, glamor, and fun! Top notch designers from the  US and Europe, hosted in grand Ballroom of the BEAUTIFULLY redone Crown Jewel of Buffalo, Statler City, makes for an amazing evening! So come on down. Limited Tickets still available!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mercedes Benz of Buffalo Fashion Week!

Mercedes Benz of Buffalo Fashion Week is officially upon us, and it's always one of the best weeks of the year!

It kicked off Thursday afternoon in Niagara Square with an official proclamation by Mayor Byron Brown that Fashion Week has started. Immediately followed by a "Black Swan" Themed photo shoot right in the square. (con't)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Delaware Court/Uniland Proposal

Today Uniland release its proposal for a new building to replace the current Delaware court building (on the corner of Delaware and Chippewa).

Its gorgeous. I was worried that if they tore down the current building that they would replace the curved corner front with a 90 angle style, but in keeping the curved front I love it. (Full disclosure, this building is only 2.5 blocks from my home, so home value prices no doubt play a part in the back of my head somewhere).

The 12 story tower will consist of 4 floors of hotel (long rumors to be "Aloft" brand), several floors of office space, and room for a nightclub, fitness center, and 4 boutique shops inside.It has been assumed for some time that the office tenant will be Jeremy Jacob's (owner of the Boston Bruins) Delaware North company, which will be moving from the Key Towers.

The "Chip Strip" is finally growing up, from being a drug and prostitute den in the 70s and 80s, to a nightclub scene in the 90s and 2000s, now restaurants, hotels and offices are going in, and I for one think its exceptionally good to diversify this area.

(That being said, I am worried about the "vibe" of Allentown if all the clubs on Chip go away... but that's for another blog!)

One more gigantic step for Buffalo, truly a city on the rise

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Music Review: MGMT Live: Time to pretend (Bob Z)

2.5 stars (Out of 5)

MGMT came rolling into town on Wednesday night at Artpark in lewiston, NY, and there are two things that stood out amongst people leaving the show.

1) "Is it over already? That was really short." Indeed it was. The quality of the music was pretty good overall. I was bobbing my head and having a good time. Then suddently, it was over. I estimated it to be about an hour and ten minutes or so. Maybe i've been spoiled by the "jamband" scene, where shows regularly go 2.5 to 3 hours without hesitation, but a headliner should never play less than 90 minutes.

2) "I can't believe they didn't play 'kids' " It's true, they didn't play thier biggest hit (#1 most listened to on Spotify). In general, this doesn't bother me, i'm sure bands probably get sick of playing the same material over and over again, and if they don't feel like playing a hit then i have no problem with that.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My name is MUD: Live music review of Primus

Sunday nights Niagara River Rocks featuring everpresent band Primus was a great night had by all. With the exeption, of course, of the parking!

It's a funny thing whenever you go to see Primus. One person walks by you dressed in a black tshirt and ripped up jeans. Following right behind them is a guy in patchwork pants and lower back length dreadies. Next after  is a biker with leather vest, then the most "normal" looking late teen girl you'll ever see.

Its part of the magic of Primus, they're so hard to define musically, and so is the audience.

Young Primus fan giving Rock hands

Les Claypool's stage presence was in full effect tonight, mentioning how one of their songs was actually written about going over the falls (and making a crack about how they rarely write songs from places, saying "There isn't a Jerry the Racecar Driveville").

Monday, June 10, 2013

Allentown Art Festival

Another early June has come and gone, and with it the ever wonderful Allentown Art Festival, and the Allentown West Festival.

(In case anyone noticed an entire block of no tents, this is the seperation line between the two festivals. Allentown West is located between Elmwood and Wadsworth, the full blown Allentown Art Festival on the other side).

With so many talented vendors, it's easy to grasp just how large this festival is every year. 430 participants showed their wears, including jewlery, photography, paintings, prints, sculptures and more. It's quite a scene every year!