Niagara Holiday Market

In early December, I was invited to take part in a food tasting at the Niagara Holiday Market for local food writers and bloggers. I had read about the outdoor holiday market on Old Falls Street in historic Niagara Falls, and was excited to check it out. I brought along a friend of mine for many years, Chloe Strada, who helped with taking notes and pictures for me (her iPhone has much better camera quality than my Blackberry.) At the end of the post I’ve included photos of vendors that I didn’t mention in the post, or just couldn’t find room for in the post itself.

Kornerstone Coffee is a brand I’m quite familiar with, and therefore very happy to see here. My family frequents the North Tonawanda Farmers Market quite often during the summer. Seeing this new specialty coffee proprietor at the NTFM, we began skipping our ritual of the Tim Hortons Drive Thru , for a large Columbian Roast for a very reasonable $1.50. From what I understand, they have no storefront, instead opting for stands at local markets. They roast all their own beans, and the owner informed us she tries to focus on what I lovingly refer to as  “politically correct” coffee (Organic & Fair Trade). She had prepared samples of  an Organic Ethiopian and a Indonesian Sumatra, both of which were very dark and full bodied roasts. For those who enjoy a strong cup of coffee, I would definitely recommend these two. For those of us who enjoy a little lighter, highly caffeinated blend for that morning pick me up, I would go with the Columbian Roast. Kornerstone sells a wide variety of brewed cups and an even wider variety of coffee beans sold by the pound.

 

 

Visions of Sugar Plums was amazing and go check them out immediately. That was the clearest way I could think of to get my point across regarding this fantastic jam maker. All berries that go into these jams were grown on the owners pesticide free farm. I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly pumped about sampling jam, but now I realize how dumb I was. We sampled the Triple Berry and the Reduced Sugar Strawberry. The Triple Berry was fantastic, there’s something unique about hearing how the product is produced, from the person who produced it by hand, while sampling said product. Those who are looking to eat healthier but not sacrifice flavor can find that in the Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam.

 

 

 

 

 

The well known Buffalo staples, Delish! and Zillycakes provided us with many delicious samples that we had no trouble dispersing throughout our group. Tons of cookies, cheesecake, and little tarts, all very delicious and left me wanting more, especially of the cheesecake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love food trucks, but unfortunately don’t have a chance to experience them much, living and going to school in the suburbs. Well I got lucky here as both The Roaming Buffalo and R&R BBQ were in attendance. We first sampled food from R&R, which again I was not super excited as BBQ isn’t my favorite variety of cuisine but once I smelled the combo platter in front of me, I couldn’t wait to dig in. Everything was great, especially the pasta side dish and the piece of cornbread. The Roaming Buffalo was willing to give our group a little of everything on their menu which was much appreciated, their Buffalo Chicken Wing Soup ranks up their with the best I’ve ever had (my dads is #1 of course). Probably the most memorable item of the day came from them, Buffalo Balls are an example of how something so simple can be made very memorable by executing it perfectly. Buffalo Balls are simply balls of fried dough, covered in sugar and cinnamon, that are absolutely amazing!

A name I recognized well, Sample Restaurant gave us a slice of a fantastic Margarhetta Pizza that had sliced mozzarella (as opposed to the typical shredded most use on pizza.) The sauce was very good, and as someone who is not a huge fan of a simple pizza, I would have gladly had another piece if I weren’t trying to preserve my appetite for the remainder of the tour.

-The last stop of the day was to The Village Inn which I’ll admit, I had never heard of before. That being said, one of the best items I had all day was their Beer Cheese Soup. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love soup. This was good soup that rivals Pearl Streets Smoked Gouda Soup. It was very smooth and contained a healthy proportion of beer to cheese.-

Overall, this was an amazing food experience that I was honored to be invited to, being relatively new to the Buffalo food blogging scene. Not only did I get to enjoy food from some of the best known and best little-known restaurants in the area, but it also gave me a chance to meet some of my fellow food bloggers. With the smell of food and the sounds of street musicians   in the air, the Market makes for the perfect shopping environment. Most of the vendors informed us that they had seen a steady customer flow through the week that increased on the weekends, demonstrating the desire for a European style holiday market in this area.  I’m glad to have been there for the first year of this market, which I imagine can only improve and expand from here.

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