Taste of Buffalos new Fan Favorite

Taste of Buffalo’s new Fan Favorite Food award is a Healthy Option from Orazio’s Restaurant

BUFFALO, N.Y., (July 13, 2011) – A Healthy Option menu item from Orazio’s Restaurant in Clarence was chosen as the Taste of Buffalo Fan Favorite Food - a new award chosen by festival-goers who texted in their vote during the two-day festival.

With 53 percent of the votes, the winner was Orazio’s vegetable putanesca with whole wheat pasta, which is one of the restaurant’s Healthy Option as identified by the Independent Health Foundation. Thousands of votes came in during the two-day event, with texting information available at each restaurant and in the festival guide.

“We were excited to win with a Healthy Option and show everybody they can eat healthy and have a lot of flavor,” said Orazio Ippolito Jr., owner of Orazio’s.

Carrie Meyer, executive director, Independent Health Foundation, said it’s exciting to see the community embracing healthier lifestyles.

“We are thrilled that the Taste of Buffalo’s Fan Favorite Food is a Healthy Option,” Meyer said. “This award is chosen by festival-goers who are looking to try great food and they picked a Healthy Option. We started this program, in part, to show that healthy foods are not only good for you, but they taste great, too. This award proves that.”

“Everyone walks away from the Taste having sampled a favorite, or several favorite items, and for the first time festival-goers had a chance to text a vote for their favorite,” said Mark Zawodzinski, 2011 Taste chairman. “We are excited that the first Fan Favorite Food Award was also a Healthy Option. Food that is good for you can still taste great and it illustrates the success of our partnership with the Independent Health Foundation in providing festival-goers an opportunity to try healthier items.”

First Place
First Place: Sweet Melody's, East Amherst

The popular Buffalo event, presented by Tops Markets, remains the only food festival in the United States to require all participating restaurants to offer a healthy menu option item through the Healthy Options program. Each restaurant offered a signature healthy dish, which is lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

This year’s Healthy Options award winners as decided by Taste of Buffalo judges are: first place, fresh fruit sorbet from Sweet Melody’s, East Amherst; second place, strawberry/goat salad, Encore Restaurant in Buffalo and third place, Italian ice from Isabella’s Italian Deli, Hamburg. The winning restaurants receive cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250.

Second Place
Second Place: Encore Restaurant, Buffalo

This year’s Healthy Options award winners as decided by Taste of Buffalo judges are: first place, fresh fruit sorbet from Sweet Melody’s, East Amherst; second place, strawberry/goat salad, Encore Restaurant in Buffalo and third place, Italian ice from Isabella’s Italian Deli, Hamburg. The winning restaurants receive cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250.

The Healthy Options program founded in 2004 by the Independent Health Foundation works with local restaurants to prepare heart-healthy menu options for their customers to make healthier choices while dining out. Consumers can visit healthyoptionsbuffalo.com to view a list of participating restaurants and their healthy menu items. The Healthy Options program is offered in more than 50 Buffalo area restaurants and all items are lower in fat, saturated fat,
cholesterol and sodium.

Third Place
Third Place: Isabella's Italian Deli, Hamburg

Established in 1992, the Independent Health Foundation works to improve the health and well being of Western New York residents through awareness, prevention and education programs focused on community health priorities. For more information on the Foundation’s activities, visit www.independenthealth.com/foundation.