Weekly Feature



2013-01-09 / Business

Awards ladled out at third annual Soup Fest

by JULIE HALM
Reporter


Buffalo Roadhouse Grill's Kristen Murray and Kyle Fultz serve a cup of beef and weck beer cheese with porter ale soup at the third annual Buffalo Soup Fest held at the Hearthstone Manor in Cheektowaga on Sunday. Buffalo Roadhouse is located at 1980 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda. 
Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Buffalo Roadhouse Grill's Kristen Murray and Kyle Fultz serve a cup of beef and weck beer cheese with porter ale soup at the third annual Buffalo Soup Fest held at the Hearthstone Manor in Cheektowaga on Sunday. Buffalo Roadhouse is located at 1980 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda. Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Local restaurants went ladle to ladle on Sunday as they dished up their most delicious “spoonable” concoctions at the third annual Buffalo Soup Fest.

The event was held at the Hearthstone Manor in Depew and featured nearly 30 vendors competing for titles such as “Best Taste” and “Best Chowder.”

Brennan’s Bowery Bar has participated in the event before and brought its Irish potato soup, a restaurant staple.

According to Tony Martina, Brennan’s consulting chef, soup accounts for more than 4 percent of its total sales, so it was no surprise when its hearty soup took the title in the category of “Best Potato.”

While the Clarence restaurant, which borders Williamsville, is well known for this signature soup, Martina said it is beginning to branch out a bit and brought some other soups to the competition as well.

“We’re trying to get our Brennan’s customers acclimated to some new and different things,” he said.

Brennan’s won the same award last year and serves up soup that many people love, but Martina says the secret to great soup is simple.

“Truthfully, a good soup comes from the stock. The bullion and the cubes that you can buy at the store just doesn’t cut it,” he said. If you’re going to make a great soup, you’ve got to start from the stock, and that means saving your chicken bones, your turkey bones, whatever. Just saving that stuff saves you money and it’s raw, pure flavor.”

Danny’s Buffalo Cuisine, which operates restaurants in Cheektowaga and Orchard Park, brought its chicken wing soup, a menu item that manager and co-owner Dan Prenoveau has great confidence in.

“We have four soups, and we’re featuring our Buffalo chicken wing soup that wins a bunch of awards every year,” he said.

This year was no exception, as Danny’s won the award for “Best Buffalo Style” with its chicken wing soup and also took the crown in the “Best Pepper Sweet” category with its unstuffed pepper soup.

Prenoveau said the restaurant enjoys participating in the event and hopes that it gets larger in the coming years.

“There’s a lot of good restaurants, and there’s a lot of good soups, and it’s a great thing to do because you have a couple of spoonfuls to taste and that’s truly what it’s about,” he said. “It’s a great event. It’s always in the wintertime, which is a great time. It’s in its third year now, so I think if it would go to a bigger venue, then it would just multiply.”

Making its first showing this year was Dee’s Firehouse Bar and Grill. The Depew establishment brought its chicken wing soup as well as a beer stew featuring double milk stout beer from the Southern Tier Brewing Company to be entered into this year’s specialty beer challenge.

While neither soup won in an individual category, the restaurant did win the “Best in ‘Burbs” award at its first showing.

The restaurant has a constant lineup of soups on hand.

“We have our french onion all of the time, and we always keep three soups on,” said owner Diana McCrobie. “We make our soups daily, so we’re always switching them out.”

Buffalo Roadhouse manager Chris Hammer lets his customers choose his entries in a way.

The Tonawanda restaurant entered a chicken wing soup as well as a stuffed hot banana pepper soup with sausage.

“The chicken wing soup is more popular for us, and then the other ones, we get a lot of compliments on,” he said.

email: julieh@beenews.com

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