Hashbrowns and Hippies
There's something about Amy's Place (3234 Main St) that makes me happy every time I visit. I think that it is the energy of the people that keeps the place rockin'. Amy's attracts a lot of university students who come for a high quality, yet inexpensive meal. They come for the diner-style atmosphere, the laid back music, the awesome menu selection, and the overall cool vibe that hits you upon walking through the front door.
People travel all over to come to Amy's. When RoBear and I ate there this past Sunday we overheard another customer commenting that he missed living in the city and Amy's energizes his soul whenever he arrives. Sunday was hopping... the place was filled with a full staff and college kids as far as the eye could see (school session is starting). We were lucky enough to get a corner booth, which they were cleaning off when we arrived.
It seems that everyone at Amy's has a tattoo... either that or a nose ring. During the restaurant's 26-year lifespan it has managed to attract an eclectic mix of people who gather to eat as an almost religious fervor. That's what makes the place so cool. RoBear and I came for the great breakfast items, but Amy's is also known for their lunch offerings as well. Some of the recipes venture into the Middle Eastern realm and there are plenty of vegetarian choices too.
I opted for the oh-so-boring 2-2-2. It's my standby at almost every diner-style breakfast joint. An example of what makes Amy's so special is when you order pancakes and your server asks back, "What type of batter would you like you pancakes made from"? Now that's special! I still ordered the buttermilk style, and that was OK because just knowing that there were other choices available was different. The service on Sunday was quick and our meals were brought out pronto. Different servers handle more than one table - something that I see nowhere but there ( I don't know how they do it), and that makes for an efficient system.
Sunday must have been one of those days, because as we were leaving Amy's, BFLORome called and said, "You gotta get over to Bidwell Parkway, STAT! There's all of these crazy hippie buses parked there and hippies are dancing around and giving tours of their buses". Now how do you say no to an invitation like that? RoBear and I jumped in the car and headed to Bidwell Parkway to find that the touring Twelve Nations buses had rolled into town and indeed there was a peace/recruitment festival taking place. Now when we arrived we both stared in amazement at the killer buses that these guys and gals travel around in. They built them themselves out of the parts from a few other buses. We toured one of the rides and were amazed to find that they were spacious and tricked out from top to bottom. There is a touring faction of the tribe that takes members from community to community while stopping along the way to entice new members into becoming part of the tribe. We were offered ginger snaps and were told the story of creation... the creation of the buses that is. This 'tight-knit' community was all about the love and was happy to dance for the curious passer-bys, who stared in amazement at this spectacle that had touched down in Buffalo. I heard one person say jokingly, "Don't look into their eyes", and someone else commented on the beauty of the ladies. It's gotta be tough traveling around selling a lifestyle, but how can things not be good when you have a propeller on the front of your bus? We looked through one of the leader's photo albums and almost fell over when he showed us the photo of the mega-yacht that the tribe is currently building... well, it's pretty mega for a humble lifestyle that is for sure. We asked the head dude if he would be willing to bring the yacht up to Buffalo for the day and he said that he would think about it. By this time there were more and more people touring through the bus, so we exited and bopped around watching the dancers and the musicians for a while. Rumor has it that Twelve Tribes is still looking for a retail space on Elmwood Avenue... this is the same group that the community rallied against when the Co-op was selling their bread. From what I remember it was about some sort of illegal child labor practices that the Twelve Tribes were allegedly conducting. That and racist beliefs, along with warped sexist attitudes, etc. Um... Buffalo Pundit actually posted on it a while back... Anyways, sorry for bringing a bizarre twist to the story, but if I didn't one of our viewers would have.
It was quite a day hearing about hippie yachts and freedom buses... and it all started with a great breakfast at Amy's. How's that for bringing a story full circle? Apparently there is no tour schedule as of yet, so weill just have to rely on BFLORome for shouting out about future appearances.
Photos by RoBear