If you’ve just awoken from a 20 year long coma, finished wiping hospital crust from your eyes, and are now preparing to wander down to your favorite restaurant for a good meal and a cup of coffee; keep reading! It wouldn’t be good for your atrophied heart to flitter in defeat when you arrive at the site of the laundromat where the old Buffalo Rome once stood. Never mind its 18 year absence; you were asleep during those years, being washed by the thoughts and prayers of countless loved ones. In fact, you’re just in time to experience what might be the finest incarnation of Buffalo’s best third place in its new location at 388 Porter Avenue.
Grazing on into the new Buffalo Rome is a bit like watching a silent film about calm pastures; as the scenes meander gently and allude to greater, greener meanings, the black and white reel turns, hypnotizing us with genuinely soft-churned buttering sensations.
Owner and lead marionettist Victor Mirano’s epigenetic insistence on quality, his synesthetic marriage of flaky crusts and genuflection, work together like two beautiful barehanded nurses, bobbing and weaving together an endearing and wholly epicurean atmosphere in the Porter Avenue café. His decision to reopen the beloved restaurant in 2015 has been met with an excess of positive affirmations, as many of his loyal customers are quick to expound on their appreciation for Mirano’s thoughtful recipes, peerless espresso drinks, and the inviting, inclusive air that is maintained on a daily basis.
The proof is in the putting of a pastry into your mouth.
It’s a struggle not to nod off midway through the first bite of one of his famous (and soon to be government issue patented) endlessly spiraling egg rolls. Endorphins parade, time rises like mist from an amphibian’s back, as dense euphoria romances with simplicity upon your tongue. Ignore any drooled up memories of televised cheap Belgian chocolate that the metaphor may invoke; these warm creations are not saccharin distractions designed to rob from us the joy of a football game, but rather the living offspring of virtuosic humanity.
Now that you mention it, an anagram for the word virtuosic is ‘I—Victor—Us.’
Meaning: there is the Self, Victor, and the Unification of all.
Who is this man; this bridge? Is he the son of an ancient bread crumb? A celestial body?
The details of his life are unimportant insofar as they can be explained here; you can taste them in each nibble of his world class pastries—you can suckle upon his very memories at the lip of the cappuccino cup—each creation is imbued with his very being. For as intimate as the exchange is, the ambience in Buffalo Rome is very relaxed and inviting. One doesn’t feel that they are merely another nametag here, but rather a part of something genuine and unique.
During this climate of stringent legal risk I am obligated to remind you, reader, that it isn’t the corporately held belief of this, or any publication, that Mirano is the sole artist in Buffalo who serves as a doorway to realizing transcendental oneness. He is merely the only one running a humble business on the West Side who charges a gumball’s fee for the sort of high end mouth-art typically displayed behind glass at the Louvre. Artwork such as the “forest mushroom soup” is an amalgamation of over four hundred thousand strains of fungi, designed to loosen troubled eyelids, and remove bad dreams. A popular composition entitled “ham and cheese stuffed croissant” floats down one’s throat like an inner-tube on a lazy river, gently curing mild bouts of vegetarianism. Every item is made from scratch, and reflects its creator’s intuitive, inventive nature.
The veritable moral of this piece, is that our beloved Victor and his wonderful crew are instruments of edible unity; an organic cohesion mechanism of Urban unity; the purveyors of subtle joys and profound merriments. And so remember, reader; when you soon find yourself shuffling through the dismal winter months, head-down, jaw-locked, savoring the bitter taste of habituated solitude, if you happen to feel upon your face a draft of warm dairy steam mixing midair with the gaseous vapors of an inspired oil painting, surrender your defenses, and pause a while at Buffalo Rome. To congeal. To partake of new life in a warm communal space. To absorb some wonderful art, and to remind yourself that you are still alive.