People argue over the best way to see a city. Some opt for a tour bus, some drive, and others take a walking tour. Over Memorial Day weekend, IgoUgo Editor Charlie Davidson took a slightly different approach: he hit the ground running (literally) at the Buffalo marathon. Other than running the race and seeing some of the sights as he struggled by, he also managed to eat. A lot.
Training for and running a marathon is a lot like digging a grave for yourself: the workout is great, but the end result is ultimately disastrous. Apart from running the race itself, which afforded me some great views of Buffalo, it seemed that the only thing I did all weekend was eat and drink in an attempt to prepare for (and repair) the damage I did to myself. It was Memorial Day—the first day of summer, in my book—so I was prepared to kick back and consume any and all calories in my path.
Not wanting to burn myself out on the night before the race, I paid a visit to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for a mellow day of culture. A beautiful neoclassical building on the fringe of Delaware Park, the museum is a magnificent sight from the outside. The interior is equally impressive, with a fine collection of contemporary art, including textbook-worthy examples of masters from throughout the modern era. The museum can be covered in less than two hours, but take your time to make your $10 admission fee well worth it.
On race day, I limped straight from the finish line to Jim’s Steak Out for a post-race snack. While Philly-style cheesesteaks are Jim’s specialty, they serve plenty of other options, and all sandwiches come in an 8-inch Bomber or 12-inch Sub size and run between $6-9. It was well before noon when I stopped in, still wearing running shorts and a foil blanket, and they had my sub ready in no time. Jim’s also stays open until 5am, just in case your night takes you on a run-around of your own.
I headed out that evening, adorned with my 138th place medal, of course, to Laughlin’s, which classifies itself as a bistro but whose after-dinner bar is excellent and appropriately pub-like. With half a dozen beers on tap—including the local Flying Bison Buffalo Ale, a hopped ale more akin to a pale ale than a pub ale or lager—Laughlin’s is a great place to unwind. They have dozens of bottled beers as well, many of which are reasonably priced ($3-5) local or regional brews, and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.
On Monday, I was craving the chicken wings for which Buffalo is famed. While Anchor Bar seems to be the place everyone knows, my friend and local guide took us to Duff’s in Orchard Park. With cheap beer, great deals on large quantities of hot wings, and more arcade and TV screens than one could focus on, Duff’s was the ideal place for us to fill up, catch a game, and move around as little as possible. Not wanting to deprive ourselves of some more caloric replenishment, we made the short trip down the street to Taffy’s for one of their famous shakes. With over 100 varieties, it’s a tough decision, but one we were happy to make; I settled for peanut butter cup.
It may seem quiet compared to certain other cities in New York state, but Buffalo is a friendly and cultured town that, while a bit difficult to navigate without a car, offered plenty to do (and eat) over a long weekend. And if you’re still bored when you go, I can give you a 26.2-mile route to kill three and a half hours.