Buffalo, NY

Taste of Orchard Park Returns with Substantial Turnout

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of the crowd at the 2021 Taste of Orchard Park festival in Orchard Park, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

The 16th Annual Taste of Orchard Park in Orchard Park, New York returned to North Buffalo Street yesterday, seeing not only a turnout comparable to the city of Buffalo’s Taste of Buffalo food festival, but also featuring even more locally focused booths and tents highlighting the best businesses and organizations in the community.

Celebrating food, spirits, and simply being able to be outside again, Orchard Park’s annual food festival saw massive numbers, about, if not equal to, the incredible attendance seen at Taste of Buffalo earlier this month, proving once again that Western New Yorkers are ready to eat outside.

With the main streets in Webster’s Corners blocked off for the festival, many local favorites were in attendance for what some estimate was the area’s biggest gathering so far this year. Only one of Orchard Park’s newest restaurants, Flaco Taco, was mysteriously absent from their spot at the festival, though the festival’s official website listed the day of lineup.

A shot of the closed-off South end of North Buffalo Street housing Taste of Orchard Park in Orchard Park, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

One of the more distinctive features of Taste of Orchard Park over Taste of Buffalo was the plentiful availability of numerous types of alcohol. Where Taste of Buffalo had one uniform style beer tent set up at multiple locations throughout their festival this year, Taste of Orchard Park had tents that solely offered up beer, wine, and spirits alike.

Fattey Beer Company was one such tent, set up right outside their storefront on North Buffalo Street, adding even more traffic to the bustling inside as well. Fattey Beer Company offered up their ruby red Kolsch, Jack’s Abby House Lager, and a wrench. First Line Brewing also made an appearance, highlighting their We the People Blonde Ale and Squeeze Deez Lemons Shandy Ale.

The Bubble Bar, one of the few outside the area tents allowed in the festival, was dispensing sparkling wines to festival attendees who so chose to imbibe. Owned by Alchemy Wine and Beer in nearby Hamburg, New York, The Bubble Bar offered up dry sparkling prosecco, dry sparkling rose, and white wine sangria spritzes.

Food trucks, like The Blend and Sweet Melody’s came out to Taste of Orchard Park as well, being one of the rare exceptions to the Orchard Park-only rules. West Seneca-based House of Munch, commonly also at Food Truck Tuesdays in Buffalo’s Larkin Square, offered up all the carnival and fair food classics they are most known for.

Main Street Ice Cream from Hamburg also drove in to offer cones, shaved ice, sundaes, shakes, and floats, while Taffy’s Shake Truck from right up the road a few miles offered up their famous assorted milkshakes.

The Bam Bam Shrimp with a side of ranch from The Byrd House at Taste of Orchard Park.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

With live music right outside the venue and a massive crowd funneling in and out between food tent and inside bar, it is safe to say that The Byrd House saw one of the best days of any participating festival restaurant. Located right on North Buffalo Street, The Byrd House served up three different five dollar offerings: bam bam shrimp, Greek chicken salad, and a mini pulled pork sandwich.

After their massive success at Taste of Buffalo, BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue returned to their home turf for an equally successful Taste of Orchard Park. With a line that spanned sidewalk to sidewalk across North Buffalo Street, BW’s served up jalapeno bombs, BBQ ribs, and their Taste of Buffalo-award-winning peach habanero pork slider.

Local favorites like Off the Wall Sandwich Company and Buffalo’s Best Grill and Catering saw great success at the festival as well, serving up savory sandwiches and sides. Located at 3700 Southwestern Boulevard, Buffalo’s Best Grill and Catering featured their buffalo steak sandwich, pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese, and Gilroy fries.

One of Western New York’s most beloved restaurants, Ilio DiPaolo’s, was out on the scene serving up their iconic Italian sausage cacciatore, penne Bolognese, and limoncello cookies. Alongside Ilio’s was the younger but equally loved Village Smokehouse, serving up beef jerky, smoked salmon, and smoked shrimp to meat lovers throughout the night.

Mangia Ristorante & Caffe was another lucky restaurant to have their tent set up right outside their storefront on North Buffalo Street, seeing double the traffic they normally would. Mangia offered up their signature meatball hoagie as their only food offering, alongside choice of red or white wine for a beverage.

Sweet treats were in no short order at Taste of Orchard Park too, as community staples like Kaylena Marie’s Bakery were constantly on the move. Located at 3144 Orchard Park Road, Kaylena Marie’s Bakery offered up cinnamon rolls, mini cannoli, and cookies to a massive turnout of area festivalgoers. Two different local kettle corn stands were on-site as well, Kettle Corn Shoppe from Orchard Park, and Outback Kettle Corn from Hamburg.

The Cheese Factory, located at 3920 Taylor Road, offered up some amazing fried cheese curds, as well as a charcuterie cup sampler, while 716 Fresh, LLC was on-site with Italian meatballs, hot chopped peppers, and beans and greens for some of the festival’s freshest veggie options.

Fried cheese curds from The Cheese Factory's stand at Taste of Orchard Park.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

The Mansard, located at 3290 California Road, was on scene at Taste of Orchard Park offering up their jalapeno dip, Cajun shrimp and mango tacos, and lamb pop, while OP Social Tap and Grille, located at 4247 North Buffalo Street, highlighted their menu’s crab cakes, arancini, and brisket tacos at their tent.

Cappelli’s Pizzeria made the smart move to simply offer assorted pizza slices to attendees, as did Coldstone Creamery with their pre-made assorted signature creations. Local supermarket chain Tops Markets also had their own tent at Taste of Orchard Park, presenting a red wine cucumber salad, chicken and spinach feta on a French roll, Italian sausage on a French roll, and cupcakes.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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