Vietnamese-born Tai Truong emigrated to the United States and worked his way up in the restaurant business until he became co-owner and chef at Saigon Cafe. Gayot describes the restaurant’s menu as “a refreshing and tasteful array of pan-Asian classics,” including grilled duck with tamarind and catfish in a spicy caramel sauce. Green, red, and mango curries envelop pieces of chicken, and vibrantly-hued broccoli and carrots pop against the bong cai’s brown sauce.
Meghan Jones had long been intrigued by the art and science of fitness—she earned her bachelor's degree in dance and exercise physiology—but it took personal experience to pique her interest in injury prevention. While recovering from a major car accident, she began to research therapeutic exercise methods, and eventually found her way to the Gyrotonic system's rehabilitating benefits. Her studies led her across the country, studying under Gyrotonic's creator, Juliu Horvath, along the way. Soon, she became a certified Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis instructor.
Mayer Bros. Cider Mill founder Jacob Mayer first squeezed juice from apples in 1852. Local farmers brought baskets of their apples to his mill, and he sent them on their way with jars of cider. Jacob passed his mill on to his son, John, who started brewing hard cider in 1936 by fermenting the fruits of apple trees that he watered with whiskey. Today, Jacob’s fourth-generation heir—also named John—carries on his forebears’ tradition in the same rustic building, painted in the dusky crimson hue of a Red Delicious apple.
Many autumns have passed since that barn was raised, but each year is more or less the same: a stream of visitors flocks to the mill for apple fritters, donuts, and jugs of flash-pasteurized apple cider. Guests can also purchase pies, seasonal cheeses, and apple juice made as Mother Nature intended—without any sweeteners or additives.
Spoth's Farm Market's greenhouse and produce stand is truly a family affair. Opened as a front-yard stand in 1951 by the late Ed “Red” Spoth, the business has expanded into two large plots of land in Clarence and a year-round retail store stocked with gardening supplies, fertilizers, and holiday decor. Today, Red’s sons Dave and Ed carry on the family business with help from their own sons, supplying customers with edibles harvested at the peak of their flavor and a hearty selection of decorative plants, trees, and shrubs.
The Snack Shack satisfies sweet and salty cravings with an arsenal of freshly crafted pick-me-ups. Cookies, muffins, and cupcakes headline the shop's sizable snack list, luring lips and taste buds of all types with a cornucopia of flavors that includes oatmeal raisin, banana nut, and chunky chocolate. For on-the-go noshing, chicken wings, hamburgers, and burritos volunteer to cannonball into empty tummies, and a selection of drinks washes back bites and ensures nearby fountains won't be sucked dry by thirsty snackers. Local corporations can also jump in on the munching, as The Snack Shack provides delivery programs to downtown Buffalo corporations.
Beers of the World stocks refrigerators with brews of multifarious styles and origins. Visitors can sample artisanal creations with microbrewery six-packs ($6.95+) or cases of libations ($19.99+) such as Mendocino Brewing Company's Eye of the Hawk—a concoction of pale malted barley and caramel—or Hawaii's Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale. Each name on a roster of strongest beers contains at least 11% alcohol, the exact percentage at which secrets turn into conversations, and gluten-free brews deliver cold effervescence without the help of grain. Visitors to the Henrietta Road location in Rochester can fill a 64-ounce glass growler with a revolving selection of draft beers such as Brooklyn Brewery's Concoction, an ale that blends scotch, ginger-infused honey, and lemon juice ($9.99/growler). Patrons who wish to take matters into their own hands can brew their own lagers, pilsners, and bahama-mama wine coolers with the shop's selection of home-brew equipment.