More good news for the winter-weary: A veteran Mexican restaurateur plans to offer authentic Mexican tacos and more on Elmwood Avenue by mid-February.

Sergio Mucino has been turning 765 Elmwood Ave., the former Blue Fin Asian Bistro, into Agave. It’s smaller than his other Buffalo restaurant, Don Tequila on Allen Street, and will have a smaller menu, he said.

But that menu will include Mexican specialties not available in Buffalo now, including tacos al pastor (chile-marinated pork with pineapple) and soups like posole (pork stew with hominy) and menudo (tripe in chile broth). “Some people like it, some don’t,” he said of menudo. “We’re going to try it.”

There also will be more vegetarian offerings, like black beans, Mucino said, and vegan choices too. The place will have about 50 seats, servers and a full liquor license. Lots can stop a new place from opening, but mid-February is the target, he said.

In December 2012, Don Tequila’s Orchard Park location was hit by fire. Mucino moved the operation to Allen Street and reopened Don Tequila in April.

That menu is more American-Mexican. At Agave, he said, he and his partners aim to see if they can sell real Mexican in Buffalo, where Mighty Taco is a staple.

“Tacos like al pastor, that’s what you eat in Mexico City,” he said. We will have it just exactly how we do it in Mexico,” said Mucino. “We’re going to do it authentic and see how it works.”


Furthering Buffalo’s reputation as a drinking town with a sports problem, Blue Monk, Mike Shatzel’s exotic beer showcase and gastropub on Elmwood Avenue, has been named the best beer restaurant in New York State.

Not by some magazine or marketing agency, but, an international beer rating site driven by the beer reviews of more than 100,000 enthusiastic drinkers. Results of the site’s annual best-of contest were released last week.

How did Blue Monk’s 100-beer menu, which runs about 2-1 bottles to draft, outscore better capitalized restaurants of the greater New York area? “What appeals to beer geeks is selection, selection, selection,” said Joseph Tucker,, executive director.

“What we’ve been seeing is beer travel. They’ll come up with a tour, and Buffalo will be on the tour. If they’re anywhere in the area, they’ll stop in to places. They’ll target them.”

Shatzel said the honor shows Buffalo “doesn’t have to take a back seat to New York City or any other place in the country. I’m very proud with what my staff and I have been able to accomplish.”

Online: When HarborCenter named its restaurant (716) last week, it didn’t take long for Twitter users to suggest menu dishes, using the hashtag #716menuitems. Among the best: Korab cakes, Benoit Hoagies, pasta Primeau-vera and, of course, Perreault-gies.

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