Niagara Gazette — When the fourth Buffalo Soup-Fest kicks off Sunday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Niagara region restaurants will be represented with everything from beef on weck soup to loaded baked potato soup to a chili featuring ... chocolate?
The event will feature 28 restaurants, each serving one to four varieties of soup will take part, including Crazy's Jake of North Tonawanda and the Buffalo Roadhouse Grill of the Town of Tonawanda. Grand Island's Village Inn and Saffire Grill will be represented, as will the Lockport Pub from Niagara County.
Buffalo Roadhouse Grill has taken part every year, said manager Chad Hammer. The restaurant will serve its stuffed hot pepper with sausage soup, chicken wing soup and beef on weck beer cheese soup
"It's a lot of fun and it will be really good with this cold weather," he said.
Crazy Jake's of North Tonawanda will be serving spicy banana pepper with sausage soup, which won "Best Spicy Soup" and "Best Pepper 'Hot' " last year. Further up in Niagara County, the Lockport Pub will feature loaded baked potato, creamy tomato soup with grilled three-cheese croutons and spicy chicken and corn tortilla soup.
Ryan Flee, chef at the Lockport Pub, said this is the restaurant's first year taking part in the event. He said it's a great way to highlight small businesses in the area, as the focus is on smaller, non-chain establishments.
"It gets your business out there for people who might not know it's there, lets people sample some of your specialities," he said.
Sarah Mallare, a chef at the Village Inn in Grand Island, also praised the event, at which she has represented the Village Inn for the past three years.
"It's wintertime, it's cold and soup is warm and comforting. It's something different," she said. "And who doesn't love food?