Buffa’s Buffet: 5 things that are on my mind


Dan Buffa, Special to the Jewish Light

Who’s the bald, bearded guy with the loud voice and all these opinions?! It’s me, Dan Buffa. Many of you already know me as the sports and entertainment guide here at the Jewish Light-so think of this new column as a way to get to know me even more. Let’s have a quick cup of coffee first. I’m a proud South City family man who thinks of Kingshighway and Macklind as his neighbors.

I proposed to my wife after just four months. My son, Vinny, is already a wicked negotiator at just nine years of age. We have five pets, two dogs and three cats. My best friend is my dad, the Cards are like a second wife, and movies are my escape. I’ve written for KSDK News and St. Louis Game Time as well as my personal site, Dose of Buffa. What I hope to achieve with the Buffet is to provide a versatile array of topics. So, grab an open-minded plate and let’s get started.

St. Louis sure will be a great city when all those involved are done building it. One of the few negatives of living in the city is encountering rough city terrain that never ceases to be a detriment to good mechanic work. They don’t build cars strong enough to take on the endangered pavement of the Lou. You could be riding easy down Hampton Avenue and hit a series of cracks, bumps, and full-blown potholes within a couple blocks. My hopes are that Vincent, my son, will be able to drive down a slab of Kingshighway Boulevard without having to apologize to his shocks and tires after the trip is over. The spring and early summer is where the prevalent nature of bad roads is at an all-time high. After a good beating from the winter weather, everything needs fixing. Cars pay for it. I despise it. Earth keeps spinning…

Cardinals pitcher Johan Oviedo has a bright future ahead of him. Fourteen starts into his young career, the 23-year-old right-hander doesn’t have a win to his name. The good thing is that pitcher wins mean little when determining the true quality of a starting pitcher. The Pittsburgh Pirates completed a series win over the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon, going through the fiercest Cards sluggers with the ease of a lukewarm knife slicing through butter. A day after actually winning a game, St. Louis dropped a disappointing series to the only team with a worse record in the Central Division. Oviedo didn’t exactly set the table, walking four and giving up three early runs. Durability and pitch count haven’t been his friend just yet; he’s only completed five or more innings in two of his nine starts. Next man up, you may ask? With Daniel Ponce de Leon on the Injured List and other Memphis arms not just ready, the team’s hands are tied—by a front office that didn’t properly prepare them for a 162-game season.

I feel like there’s something that needs to fall off my pizza-loving chest. A confession, really. My favorite kind of pizza is actually cheese. While the right amount and kind of toppings can improve most pizza offerings, a great cheese pizza hits the spot without washing away the things you love about this particular kind of Italian cuisine. The best way to test a new pizza place out is by ordering the cheese. That way, you get to see if they can merge the most important ingredients of any pizza: the cheese, bread, and sauce. Nail those three and the pie is golden. Mess them up and the sequels won’t be any good.

Speaking of the movies, musical fans will adore Warner Brothers’ summer release, “In the Heights.” Starring Anthony Ramos, who should be familiar to fans of “Hamilton” and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born” remake, this colorful and enchanting film focuses on the young grocery store owner on a precious strip of Washington Heights. Usnavi (Ramos) has a chance to leave to open a new store in the Dominican Republic — the same place his late dad owned for decades-but he finds new love and neighborhood loyalty hard to leave behind. With supporting turns from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Grace and featuring uplifting music that even this cynical non-musical fan could enjoy and appreciate, Jon M. Chu has made a memorable experience that puts the fiery and super-proud Latino community in the spotlight. I’ll admit the storytelling moments were just as moving as the songs, but the energy here can’t be denied. Push play on HBO Max any time before July 11 to find out.

Jewish television show fans shouldn’t pass up “Red Oaks” either. Available to watch with an Amazon Prime subscription, this coming-of-age comedy has a decent amount of edge to it and the always dependable Paul Reiser (does the man ever sleep?) in its cast. Set in 1985 at a popular golf club called Red Oaks, the show-which started in 2014 and ended in 2017 revolves around the young David (Craig Roberts), a teenager who works as an assistant golf pro at the club while harboring bigger hopes. What exactly are those hopes? Even David doesn’t exactly know; he’s the kid who tries to please everyone around him. But the show, melding slapstick comedy with more adult-friendly humor, features an eclectic group of personalities, none more charismatic than Ennis Esmer’s Nash, the main golf pro. The actor brightens the screen and breaks our heart as the  No. 1 golf pro at the club who has dreams of his own. My only dream with a TV show is to laugh a lot, and this one fits that bill.

That’s all for now. The next buffet hits your eyes next week.