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Life Happens: Excellence in our own backyard

SPRINGVILLE ó I recently discovered that Hamburg has a lot of excellent restaurants. I may be the last person to realize this, but, in my defense, Iíve been pre-occupied with Japanese and Korean food for the past six or seven years.

I have not stopped loving sushi and kimchi stew. I am still partial to these Asian wonders and I drive long distances, to partake in my favorite meals. But, I have also come to appreciate that many great meals may be had, without driving farther than a mile or two from my home.

My first revelation occurred on a Saturday morning. My family and I were looking for a good breakfast place. We are not morning people and we usually prefer to eat breakfast at home, in our pajamas. But, this particular morning, we ended up at Savoryís, on Camp Road.

We were blown away by the placeís menu. Every item is featured on gigantic blackboards, so there is no doubt about whatís for breakfast. Red velvet pancakes? Yes, please. There were so many imaginative combinations of breakfast foods, like the Irish Benny, which was corned beef, hash and eggs covered in Hollandaise sauce, that we sat for a long time, trying to decide which offering we wanted.

When our orders came, the food definitely lived up to our expectations. Savoryís became our favorite breakfast place, that morning. We visit there as often as we can, so we never miss a creative breakfast.

We discovered another excellent restaurant, quite by accident. One snowy, icy night, we were looking for a place for dinner and did not want to drive too far. We dropped by Masonís Grille on Main Street and fell in love with the food and the ambience in the cozy dining room.

We have returned to Masonís Grille, over and over again, and have never had a mediocre meal. Every item that we have ordered there has been delicious.

Jessica Laski, a Hamburg High School alumna and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is the artist behind the impeccably-executed dishes.

Whether it is prime rib, fish, vegetables or garlic mashed potatoes, everything on the plate sings in perfect harmony, every single time.

Other delicious meals are offered at many additional restaurants, right here in our own backyard. I took an informal poll of othersí favorites.

Who made the list? Simply Gourmet, for its fresh and healthy lunches; Waterstone Grill, for all-round good food and ZJís, for its old-fashioned diner classics and friendly service.

I am sure that other local establishments are also fantastic. I look forward to exploring and checking out each and every one of them, one meal at a time.

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