Grab Life by the Bowls (of Ramen)
If you’re in the Buffalo area and you crave hand rolled sushi, house made noodles, or Asian inspired craft beer; you don’t have to look any further than the SATO family of restaurants. My favorite part of any of the three locations (besides the food and drink) is that the big bowl of noodles on the SATO Ramen logo spells out “SATO”. I’ve wondered since my first bowl of ramen, what does SATO mean? Well, instead of reaching out to the owners, getting a definitive answer, and relaying that conversation to all of you, I thought I’d use a little bit of Google and a little bit of my imagination.
While searching “sato” it was no surprise that the search primarily gave me Google Maps results and hours of operation, plus Twitter and Instagram accounts for the restaurants. But “What does Sato mean in Japanese?” gave me the Google Translate box with the Japanese character on the left, and the word “village” on the right. Additional translations gave me “native place”. From that I could gather that SATO could mean that we’re experiencing a taste of home from owner Satomi, and for owner Joshua as well, since he called Japan home for 13 years.
Although meaningful, and completely possible; that was too easy. So after scrolling down only another few search results I found that “Sato” is the most popular family name in Japan. A couple more quick taps on the keyboard answered my next question and I found that “Smith” is the most common last name in the states. So maybe the idea of SATO is to provide a comfortable, casual spot to eat and drink, and the name indicates that it’s a common place, owned by common people. For your entertainment and my own, I’m including the list I’ve made of all three SATO locations replacing the surname “Sato” with “Smith”.
- SATO – “Smithers’”, because let’s be honest, it’s a bit fancier than the other two.
- SATO Ramen – “Smith’s Place”, I’ll admit that’s partially inspired by SATO Ramen’s neighbor and another one of my favorite spots “Amy’s Place.”
- SATO Brewpub – “Smitty’s Pub”
So now you know (kind of) what’s in a name. The next step is for you to get over to any of their locations and experience the care they take in serving up killer food and beers! Oh and if you choose to head down to SATO Brewpub on Saturday, be sure to congratulate them on their one year anniversary as a brewery!
UPDATE: My “Smith” names are completely on track because the Sato Restaurant Group is owned by the Smiths, Joshua and Satomi.