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Sidebars: When in Buffalo, eat wings

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It being summer vacation season, I’m going to take a respite from the normal routine of this column and share with you some tidbits from our family vacation in July. It starts back in the spring of this year when Amy and I discussed over dinner one night with the kids where they would like to go for summer vacation. Niagara Falls became the consensus destination.

While mildly excited to witness one of the Seven Wonders of Canada, I was silently but wildly excited about its proximity to Buffalo, N.Y. Wearing my best poker face, I agreed that the kids’ idea was a great one and we would go. I promptly excused myself and locked myself in the bathroom while my heart jumped for joy. Niagara Falls is only about a 30-minute drive from Anchor Bar in Buffalo, birthplace of the ubiquitous Buffalo wings, a reigning American staple.

Visiting this place was on my bucket list, as it should be for any self-respecting wing fan, and I couldn’t believe I was going to be so close to it. I thought I had to play it cool for a while and devise and hatch my plan with Amy at the opportune time. This is not because she wouldn’t want to go if I flat out asked her, but because I didn’t want her to think I was any crazier than she already thinks I am. I buckled and brought it up right away.

After consulting a few friends who had visited the falls, we learned that the drive there is a relatively easy one – about nine hours. We also learned there really isn’t much to do of cultural substance other than viewing the falls, unless we wanted to take the kids to a bunch of tourist traps and casinos and spend a fair amount of our already deflated American dollars in Canada. So, on the front end of our trip we built in four nights in Toronto, a cultural and culinary gem. (I must give kudos to Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Glickman here. He recommended The Sultan’s Tent in Toronto for Moroccan food, a fine choice complete with a belly dancer who was actually skinny. The look on my 9-year-old son’s face was priceless as she came by our table.)

sidebars Anthony Vaiana wears Buffalo’s answer to the “Wisconsin cheesehead.” (Photo submitted)

On our first afternoon in Niagara Falls the topic of dinner came up, and we naturally (or unnaturally) drove to Buffalo. The bar was a relatively easy find and was bursting at the seams with nostalgia. Amy shared with the host how our romantic destination really turned out as my quest for wings. He chuckled and told her she was not the first spouse to make that comment and promptly seated us.

The Buffalo wing story begins in 1964 when some buddies of Dominic Bellissimo came to his bar shortly before midnight one evening with hearty appetites. He asked his mother, Teressa, to whip up something special for them. She had a mountain of wings in the kitchen that she commonly used for soup stock. She threw them in the fryer, made up a secret sauce (that tastes like mixed Louisiana hot sauce and butter), then tossed the wings in her concoction and served them to the hungry boys. The word spread around town like wildfire about those wings and the rest is history. For obvious reasons, she is now referred to as Mother Teressa.

The bar and restaurant have an expansive menu, mainly Italian influenced. Apart from the usual pub fare, they offer a variety of pastas, pizzas, pies, and, of course, cannoli for dessert. The wings, deep-fried, are flavorful and meaty but really pretty standard. Amy and the kids enjoyed a medium batch while I went for the hot ones. The hot variety was essentially medium wings with a hint of Tabasco sauce. Not very creative, I know, but not at all disappointing. This visit was more about the destination than the food anyway.

One particularly enjoyable aspect of the evening was sharing it with my family. My son, Anthony, has already developed a respectable palate for spicy wings. My 12-year-old daughter, Angelica, has sampled a few spicy wings in the past, but she’s never really made a meal on them prior to this night. Aurelia, my 14-year-old daughter, never even tried a Buffalo wing in her life prior to this visit. She liked them and ate her fill. It was pretty cool to share her first wing experience with her, especially at the place where it all began.

I give Anchor Bar four gavels. Not because of the quality of these wings (more like a 3 or even a 2½ rating), but because of the contribution to American cuisine that one idle night in 1964 produced at this very location. So plan that romantic trip to Niagara Falls with your spouse, significant other, or family members. The falls are stunning. So is the detour. Anchor Bar, 1047 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14209. 716-883-1134. www.anchorbar.com.

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis. Vaiana is a 1992 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Lukemeyer earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1994. The opinions expressed in this column are the authors’.

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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