Niagara Falls is known for its excellent Italian eateries, such as the world-famous Como Restaurant. Every celebrity and many tourists that visit this town have the Como on their “must visit” list.
While the Como is the first restaurant everyone thinks of when they think about dining in Niagara Falls, there is also the remarkable culinary sensation Leon’s Italian Bistro and Pizza, which offers specialty regional Italian dishes prepared by their superb chefs and is also known for having some of the most delicious pizza in town. For more delicious pizza, you also have Ventry’s Pizza Shop on Buffalo Avenue.
Niagara Falls is also home to David’s Steak Hoagy, known far and wide for its mouthwatering subs, and many new restaurants such as Legends Bar and Grill (a remarkable soup and salad bar), found inside Smokin Joes’ Quality Inn and Suites; Dominic’s Little River Bar and Grill, offering fine dining and five star food quality at bargain prices. Of course, there is that marvelous diner serving comfort food in a most comfortable setting, the marvelous Justin Tyme Café. How about the delectable Figgy’s Town Restaurant on Porter that everybody raves about? Don’t forget about the Greek classic dining delight, Christos Family Restaurant, or the trendy TGI Friday’s.
It is an indisputable fact that, per capita, Niagara Falls has better restaurants than maybe any city.
Then there is another great restaurant in this town to add to the classics listed above, one that is guaranteed to give you a taste sensation; one where you can eat-in or take-out for the most reasonable of prices.
You won’t be asking “Where’s the beef?” should you visit “Tummies Restaurant”on Niagara Street in Niagara Falls.
It is a superb little eatery that specializes in gorgeous meat preparations that one can honestly call “tender and delicately cooked.”
If you go there, you will learn to savor meat eating like you never have before, even if you are vegetarian.
The name implies everything it should, too. If you have ever referred to that digestive organ located in the upper abdomen under the ribs as your tummy, then you will truly understand why the name is so apt. It will please this particular part of your body as much or more than your taste buds.
So many restaurants appeal only to the taste buds. By the time the food gets down to the stomach (or in this case, the tummy) that part of your anatomy is not nearly as happy.
At Tummies, the food satisfies.
You feel good after you eat it. Refreshed, nourished, and strengthened.
And even if you never refer to your stomach as the t-word, you can nevertheless think of the fine digestion and the glorious taste of meat and fine side dishes served at Tummies.
Now for some details.
The food is glorious, even if the restaurant itself is somewhat humble in appearance.
Tummies is an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant with food prepared by Audrey Perez and her brother in the tradition of their age-old family recipes, spiced in the style of their ancestors. This is authentic Puerto Rican food.
No imitations. The menu consists of traditional dinners, appetizers, soups and hoagies, all of which are, surprisingly, under $10.
I first became acquainted with this wonderful place when a friend and I dined there recently. My first meal consisted of an appetizer of a fried meat pocket called a “pastelillo” which was so moist and juicy that I followed it up with another, and then I was ready to consume everything in sight. Next, I ordered the beef stew and it was spiced wonderfully.
The meat in the stew was fall-off-the-bone tender, and it simply melted in my mouth. Chewing was hardly necessary. The portion was copious; the aroma delectable. The food? More than delicious.
My friend enjoyed a salad of very fresh greens and then a slow baked half-chicken with a side of traditional rice and beans; and the beans were not canned, but slow-cooked and spiced well. I consumed half of her portion, then ordered a side dish of it myself.
As she complimented the hostess on how her food tasted homemade, I took the chicken leg off her plate and ate it since she is a light eater.
For dessert, I ordered the pork chops because they looked so good displayed on their menu.
On subsequent visits, I have had the breaded steak dinner (quite satisfying to the tummy), BBQ pork ribs, roast pork dinners, and on Sundays, when Tummies offers an incredible special of homemade chicken soup, a side of your choice and a drink for under $5, I had chicken soup, yellow rice and, because I was modestly hungry, an extra side order of plantains, three alcapurrias (stuffed fritters) and their elegant homemade potato salad.
On a cold winter day, freshly made chicken soup satisfies and cures what ails you. I call it “chicken soup for the tummy.” If you never tasted authentic Puerto Rican food, Audrey and her family serve it up with the best of them and it won’t break your pocketbook.
Visit the Perez family at 2789 Niagara St. or call in advance (716) 286-0966 or (716) 286-0967 for take-out orders.
Be good to your tummy.