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Culinary excellence in our own back yard

Iíve recently discovered that Hamburg has a lot of excellent restaurants. I may be the last person to realize this, but in my defense, Iíve been obsessively pre-occupied with Japanese and Korean food for the last six or seven years.

Itís not that Iíve stopped loving sushi and kimchi stew. Iím still very partial to these Asian wonders, and I drive long distances to partake of my favorite meals. But, Iíve also come to appreciate that within a mile or two from my home, there are so many great meals to be had.

My first revelation, was the Saturday morning that my family and I were looking for a good breakfast place. Weíre not really morning people, and usually prefer to eat breakfast at home in our pajamas. But this one particular morning, we ended up at Savoryís on Camp Road.

Basically, we were blown away by the menu in the place. Every item is featured on gigantic blackboards, so that there is no doubt about whatís for breakfast. Red velvet pancakes? Yes, please. There was the Irish Benny, which was corned beef, hash and eggs covered in Hollandaise sauce. There were so many imaginative combinations of breakfast food, that we sat for a long time trying to decide which one we wanted.

When our orders came, the food lived up to our expectations and then some. We made Savoryís our favorite breakfast place that morning, and we visit there as much as we can, so that we never miss a creative breakfast.

Quite by accident, we discovered another excellent restaurant. We were looking for a place for dinner, on a snowy, icy night, and didnít want to drive too far. We dropped into Masonís Grille on Main Street, and fell in love with the food and the ambience in their cozy dining room.

Weíve returned there over and over again, and have never had a mediocre meal. Every item that weíve ever ordered has been utterly delicious. We asked the name of the chef, and the friendly staff informed us that Jessica Laski, a Hamburg High School alumni and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is the brilliant artist behind the impeccably executed dishes. Whether prime rib, or fish, vegetables or garlic mashed potatoes, everything on the plate sings in perfect harmony, every single time.

There have been other good meals at other good restaurants right here in our own backyard. I took an informal poll of othersí favorites. Who made the list? Simply Gourmet, for their fresh and healthy lunches, Waterstone Grill for all-round good food, and ZJís for itís old time diner classics and friendly service.

Iím sure there are others in this area who are also fantastic. I look forward to exploring and checking out each and every one of themÖ one meal at a time.

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