We live on Grant and Lafayette above Sweet_ness 7 Cafe on Buffalo’s West side. We moved here from the Elmwood Village almost two years ago and even though it’s only a 15 minute walk between the two vastly different Neighborhoods, we still feel like we’re braving a new frontier. Unlike the Elmwood Village, which is for the most part thriving as we speak, the West Side is just getting its legs back after years of spiraling decline. One surprising source for the slow but undeniable revitalization is a burgeoning immigrant population which has contributed to new business growth in countless ways. Once known as a thriving Italian neighborhood, the West Side has become enriched by the arrival of newcomers from Puerto Rico, Somalia, Sudan, Burma, and many other places in the world.
Recently we enjoyed a very different kind of lunch for us from the Cuchifrito Hut, a Puerto Rican food stand right across from our apartment. Smoked pork with fried plantains and rice with pigeon peas. We had enough meat left over to fashion pulled pork sandwiches for dinner later on. We sautéed some onions, added the pork all chopped up, BBQ sauce, served it on buns dressed with coleslaw from Wegmans deli and pickles. We served Island Beans on the side, also from Wegmans deli. A perfect solution for two meals on a day that was too hot to cook – inside that is. Take a look at that pig!!