Tuesday, March 27, 2007


(Don't miss the pictures of the Danforth celebrations)

I had the chance to visit Buffalo over the week. Other than my work, I was looking forward to a little shopping (they had an Outlets place there and I was hoping to get some cheap brand name shirts). I was also keen to try out International House of Pancakes (Ihops) - a famous breakfast place we don't have in Toronto.

The adventure of course starts at the border. Usually it takes five minutes but I was driving my friend's car (who wasn't with us) so the officer decided to be extra diligent. At this time, I am telling you - one thing works.

Be the ultimate FOB.

"So, why are you going to go to Buffalo?" He asks.

"I.." I replied, ".. I want to do some shopping and see Ihops."

The officer looked at me funny.

"You want to ... see ... Ihops?"

If it was possible he would have actually said 'LOL'. In any case, we entered the States without further delay.

I could not believe Buffalo - there's actually a town more boring than Hamilton (haha!). There's absolutely nothing to do if you are not going to the Sabres game. At least in Hamilton I got my good friends.

I wasn't the only Bengal Tiger in town

I must say after all the hype I was a bit disappointed with Ihops. While it was good and everything, it was more quantity than quality, and everything was just fried to make it better. No taste - very bland. No wonder Americans keep getting obese.

The best omelette I ever had was actually at this Indian dosa place - full of spices and masala and not to mention - meat. I think we need a Desi House of Pancakes on our side of the border. Any takers, anyone?


mousehunter said...

Haha...never thought of being the FOB at a border. But then I got the beard and all, so I usually get the interogation border stop, you where you from, where you born, where do you work....have you ever been arrested (that was a real question BTW).

But I have to agree about Buffalo. We drove through downtown Buffalo to drop my wife's aunt off at the bus terminal...I have never seen a dead town like that.

I find IHOP to by just like golden griddle. However, my best experience was in Orlando 2 years ago. We went to one that was sort of out of the way (looked a little shady too), and the waitress asked the chef of put chocolate chips between my pancakses instead of on the top of the stack ...mmmm.mmm.mmmm. Now those were good pancakes.

Nowal said...

i am sorry but I am just getting nauseated looking at the pictures...eghhhh. artery cloggers.

and meat and masala in an OMELETTE?! dude, why try to be a FOB at the border, you're being a fob right NOW. :P

(disclaimer - i have mad love for them fobs. represent!)

Nowal said...

oh, and just to be anal, they're technically not bengalis in buffalo, they're just the athletic team of buffalo state college.


mezba said...

Mousehunter: believe it or not a friend of mine was asked the same question, of course he was born in Pakistan which could be it.

Buffalo seemed like a ghost town.

Do they have golden griddle in Mississuaga?

Nowal:fob food rocks. Don't we have a copyright on the term "bengal"?

cmamm said...

"everything was just fried to make it better. No taste - very bland. No wonder Americans keep getting obese"
LOOOL. I hate breakfasty type restaurants, probably because I hate breakfast. I view it as a complete waste of time I could be sleeping.

Being a FOB at the border has definitely not worked for my family :) My grandparents were once trying to get me and my brothers across the Buffalo border back into the States to our parents and the guy didn't believe they were our grandparents. (They have majorly thick Russian accents and me and my bros most certainly don't look like Russians or any other white ethnic group for that matter ) They actually took us inside for questioning and then made us turn around and go back to Canada. It was very traumatic :)

mystic-soul said...

There is so much cheese in it

IHOP = Its Hell Of Poison.

mystic-soul said...

By the way nothing beats Halwa puri and aalu-chola breakfast !!

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog!

Suroor said...

Aiyo! Lots of oil ji!

Anonymous said...

IHOOOOOP!!!!! I'm so going this weekend when I'm in Buffalo! And to Chili's! And the Olive Garden!!! I might have to buy a muumuu while I'm there....

Maliha said...

We take pride in our Ihop! :) Let us be bland and fat, it's our *freedom* thank-you-very-much.

Buffallo is one of the dead industrial cities like Philly, Richmond and Baltimore to a certain extent.

It was quite depressing to drive through it on the way to canad-uh.

Anonymous said...

u r right..being a FOB does work sometimes...an other thing that definitly works no matter what is if you respond like this:

"Sorry officer... aint no eeeengleeesh. esl student i learn eeeengleesh."



Em said...

I totally agree... IHOP is way overrated. Nevertheless, it remains tradition for many US MSAs (inc mine) to have the first breakfast after Ramadan together at IHOP's, and the food's always splendid then :).

Re border interrogations, I agree with mousehunter that we get a few extra minutes of consultation as bearded young folk get... we're also really "lucky" when it comes to "random" airport checks. It's a good thing casinos don't use the same scoring process. Meh.

mezba said...

cmamm: haha about the comment on sleeping. There's a place here called Swagat that serves amazing dosas for breakfast but only before 10 on weekends and that's when I wake up!

Mystic-soul: haha nice one!

Personally I love eggs and parathas!

Anon (10.38): thank you.

Suroor: at Ihops surely. Our samosas, on the other hand ...

Ruby: aaagh... so you will miss the CAMP thing. I don't know why girls like shopping.

Maliha: I think that part of USA is like their backdoor, nothing to see at all.

Behbood: As usual you make me laugh.

Em: Our MSA used to just order biryani to go from the pakistani place down the street every year, until people started to complain. Guess the oilier the better.

Anisa said...

you gotta try the harvest grain pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream. mmmmmmmmmm.

but yeah, lots of food in america is indeed just that - lots of food - and covered in grease.

leibniz said...

Mezba, why are you always hatting on us Americans? Don't forget Canada is America Junior. :)

Anonymous said...

You know mezba, whenever I come across *westerners(?)* who think that I don't understand a word of english, well, let's say, I *unleash* the fob in me. LOL. :)(Ever had those annoying telemarketers call you?well,the answer is to speak your inlanguage,hoping that person doesn't understand it and they would hang up!!)
Btw, did you get good deals on shopping???Someone once said it's cheaper in buffalo(at this outlet mall or someplace).sf

singlemuslimah said...

"No wonder Americans keep getting obese." How rude!

Anyway, I can't speak for all American's but for most of us, it's a place to gather after a night out or before hitting the road.

Rawi said...

"You want to ... see ... Ihops?"

LOL. Damn dude, that cracked me up!! I can't believe they don't have IHOPs in Toronto! Also, not all IHOPs are the same, so disappointments are excusable. I love pancakes way too much to be upset with IHOP. Although, in principle, I actually hate most if not all restaurant chains.

Whoever mentioned Ramadan suhoors at IHOP: I totally didn't realize that's a tradition! We've done it at my college, and I know about the folks doing it this past year at Harvard. Though we've also gone for suhoor to Denny's...

mezba said...

anisa: oho... I think I need to go to gym 2 weeks in a row every day after eating that! :-D

leibniz: with Harper in charge of Canada, that statement now applies even more.

sf: haha!

well about cheapness I did see some cheap stuff at those outlets (exit 22) but not a lot. The cheap stuff was not good quality.

Singlemuslimah: *blush*

Rawi: lol. Ya no Ihops in Canada. They do have some breakfast places but nothing specific only.

Salacious Samosa said...



Unfortunatley ain't nothing good ever comming out of Buffalo! And its true that they survive with their obsession with sports. It's a run down city with a looming cloud of depression hanging over it.

I like to think of Buff as the American version of Australia, instead all the Pakistani prisoners were sent there on a boat to perish... HA HA!

Someone shoot me....

Aunty S

mezba said...

Aunty Samosa: have I told you I agree with all you say!

(not the shooting part though ... :D)