If you’re hungry in Buffalo … fill up at La Bella Sicilia

Cheap and plentiful food - Good service, but don't expect 5, 4 or 3 star dining ... it's good and honest food.

For many years, I would come to Buffalo for shopping, drinking and not a little gambling at the Seneca Casino. I would also be amazed by tales of Pizza and Pasta from La Bella Sicilia. This very unassuming joint is something of a local legend in Cheektowaga, Buffalo. Their website advertises both Sicilian and NY style pizza. When you drive up, you definitely know that this isn’t some fancy joint … it’s a working class Buffalonian restaurant.

The location and parking were in an awkward place on the street  but you do feel a sense of home as soon as you walk in the door.  It’s reflected in the signs and decor, which made me laugh … they’re not even trying to be anything but what they are … they know people come for the food and nothing else. I was actually surprised at the lack of decor …I don’t know why I was, but I was! We went during a busy Saturday evening and only had to wait 2 minutes to be seated, which is one of the nice features … the wait time is usually not that long at all, even on a busy weekend night. I was surprised at how crowded it was, but they did a good job of getting us to the food quickly.

As for the food … it’s the star attraction as it should be at a restaurant. After my rant at Trevor Kitchen in Toronto … it was nice to come back to a place where it was about the food. The menu isn’t big, but I noticed they had two different styles of pizza on the menu, a “Sicilian” style and a “New York” style.

I didn’t bother with anything but the “Whole Sicilian”, while the woman went with the Chicken Parmigiana. My high level thoughts were that the food was reasonable and they give you a lot of food – but honestly it wasn’t anything to write home about. Their pasta sauce is good and the prices are very reasonable and they have a pretty large menu.

If you’re on a low carb diet, this isn’t the place for you

I can’t even begin to tell you how much food you get here. Their portion sizes are beyond ridiculous. You know something is up, when they give you a loaf of bread to go with the salad. As for the Chicken Parm … it’s three slabs of breaded chicken with tons of tomato sauce and about a pound of cheese to cover it. At La Bella Sicilia, they believe in cheese … I don’t even know how much cheese they go through in a day, but I assume that half of the kitchen must be just for cheese storage.

As for my pizza … I have to say that while it was GIGANTIC, it wasn’t fantastic. If you’re wondering why there are so many peppers on this pizza … it’s because I asked for “a pound of peppers!” … they obviously obliged. They definitely didn’t skimp on the toppings. If you read this and order the large … know that it will feed 6 people easily, and yes the pizza is almost as wide as my shoulders … which are pretty wide.

The service sometimes is a little curt, but it’s a busy place – but I mentioned that the pizza was dry and my waitress brought back a bowl of pizza sauce for me (free!) …. how can you not like that?

By the time I was done eating, I still had enough leftovers to fill up two medium pizza boxes. As mentioned, you’re not going to go hungry after you’ve left this place.

And the bill was very reasonable, considering that I order probably the most expensive thing on the menu.

La Bella Sicilia on Urbanspoon

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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