BUFFALO, N.Y., (July 6, 2012) – Bruschetta pizza and a dark chocolate dipped banana are just two of the great tasting Healthy Options to try at the 29th Annual Taste of Buffalo this weekend in downtown Buffalo. With more than 50 choices, there is sure to be something to please everyone.
The Taste of Buffalo runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday on Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. The festival will feature 51 restaurants, four food trucks, seven wineries, a culinary stage, music and special offerings from national and local sponsors.
This 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 through the Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options program. Each restaurant will offer signature healthy dishes, which are lower in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
New Healthy Options this year include, garlic grilled shrimp skewers, summer roll, black diamond chicken skewer and chicken in the grass pizza. This is the first year food trucks will be at the festival and there’s a can’t-miss nutella and banana sandwich on whole grain bread at the Cheesy Chick Food Truck and veggie bliss sandwich from the Roaming Buffalo.
Still wondering if a Healthy Option can taste good? Thousands of festival goers thought so last year when they chose the vegetable putenesca Healthy Option from Orazio’s as the first-ever Taste of Buffalo Fan Favorite.
“The Healthy Options program continues to offer delicious and creative foods to try at the Taste of Buffalo, which is the true spirit of this festival,” said Carrie Meyer, executive director, Independent Health Foundation. “Winning the Fan Favorite last year shows what a positive impact this initiative is having and we’re thrilled this program continues to expand throughout our area. Making healthy eating choices are one way we can improve our health and the Taste is a great place to try something new that’s healthy, too.”
“For the sixth year, the Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops is the only food festival in the country that requires all of our participating restaurants to offer a Healthy Option,” said Chris Hitchcock, 2012 Taste Chairman. “Independent Health Foundation has been a fantastic partner in our ongoing efforts to offer a healthy alternative as part of the overall Taste experience. Food that is good for you can still taste great!”
“I appreciate the efforts of the Independent Health Foundation, the Taste of Buffalo, and participating restaurants for the continued emphasis on healthier menu selections, proving that eating healthy can be delicious,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “I want to thank the Taste of Buffalo, one of the largest food festivals in the nation, for attracting more than 450,000 residents and visitors annually to downtown Buffalo, and helping to make our city an even healthier place to live, work and invest.”
The Foundation also will recognize the best-tasting Healthy Options items with cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 as decided by the Taste of Buffalo judges. Last year’s Healthy Options award winners as decided by Taste of Buffalo judges were 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 Foundation is also running a Facebook contest exclusively during the Taste of Buffalo for new fans of the Independent Health Foundation Facebook page. “Like us” on Facebook this weekend for a chance to win a $100 gift card to a restaurant participating in the Taste of Buffalo.
Independent Health is once again sponsoring the Fresh and Healthy Cooking demonstration from 3 to 4 p.m., Sunday, at the Culinary Stage, located in the New Era Cap front parking lot on Delaware Avenue. Independent Health RedShirts will be at the ticket areas this weekend giving out hand wipes, while supplies last.
The Healthy Options program is supported by Roche Diagnostics. Healthy Options, 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 90 Buffalo area restaurants and all items are lower in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
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.