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There’s nothing like trying to open a wine bottle sans corkscrew to make you swear that you will never ever leave the house again without packing properly. So here to assist you in that endeavor is Annie Bell’s essential picnic checklist, culled from her new book, “The Picnic Cookbook” (Kyle Books, $19.95, 176 pages):1. That corkscrew.2. Stemless wine glasses or p…

Peaches with your Puccini? Mojitos with Mozart?Brewskis and a hoagie or two may suffice for a run-of-the-mill picnic, but when the venue involves arias in the park or opera in the vineyards, picnickers yearn for slightly swankier fare.Great music sounds even better when you have a nectarine mojito in hand, and are anticipating a bright three-pea salad, perhaps, and a pork …

Amherst

With the massive menu of the Taste of Buffalo festival only a memory now, allow us to suggest a few more focused taste sensations that Western New York’s adventurous eaters may consider before summer runs out.• Consider broadening your stand-up eating repertoire to include kabobs, cabbage rolls and cheese pies from ethnic church festivals.• Wine lovers might consider…

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Whatever you call it, the world is agog at the Cronut, a deep-fried croissant-like doughnut. The originals are made in New York, but here’s an option for your own kitchen.Once upon two months ago, a New York City bakery unleashed upon the world a New Thing. They called it a Cronut – a deep-fried doughnut made with croissant dough, plumped with pastry cream, then glazed…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau Lots of interesting businesspeople show up at farmers markets, besides the farmers. At the North Tonawanda market, there's fresh doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, soup, Chinese dumplings, pork rinds and more for shoppers to snack on as they stroll. But I haven't been to most farmers markets in Western New York. So, dear readers, what would y…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau If the Taste of Buffalo isn't your jam, learn about some of Buffalo's leading ethnic groceries by joining Slow Food Buffalo guides for a tour. The tours are free, can you beat that? Here's all the details. From the post: "The ethnic grocery stores to be featured and the tour guides at each are: 9:30 a.m. — Guercio & Son…

Food and Drink

By Rebecca Bratek Trying to decide which truck to chase? Here’s the Buffalo News Food Truck Guide. (Send truck news, changes and additions to agalarneau@buffnews.com.) Click on the truck to see more details. Lloyd Taco Truck | Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs | R&R BBQ | ThaiMeUp | Knight Slider | House of Munch | Hot Off The Press | The Sweet Hearth | Pizza Amore | Roll…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau Serious Taste of Buffalo freaks are already planning their strategy. Days ago they downloaded the 2013 Taste of Buffalo guide, or picked one up at Tops, and have annotated its pages with Post-Its and several shades of highlighter. What's the most efficient route among the booths, factoring in the assistance of friends and loved ones to bring bac…

Food and Drink

Red Top, with its char-grilled hot dogs and a great view of the lake across from its outdoor tables, has become a Southtowns tradition for generations of families.In fact, Red Top is celebrating its 67th season this year, so the great-grandparents of youngsters who are chowing down on its perfectly grilled Wardynski’s dogs could have had that same experience back in 1946…

Alex’s Place (July 4) 8322 Park Road, Batavia (585-344-2999, www.alexsribs.com). Smoky, sticky ribs, cream pies, old-school charm; plenty of reasons for hungry to exit Thruway. 8 platesDuke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (June 27) 253 Allen St. (240-9359, www.dukesbohemiangrovebar.com). Fresh seafood, smoked wings, truffled fries alongside live music raise the bar in Allentown. …

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August Bistro & Bar officially opened on May 21, promising an emphasis on local meat and produce, fresh seafood and French technique. ¶ So expectations have been high for this new space on Main Street in Hamburg, formerly occupied by O’Brien’s Farm Fresh Meats & Smokehouse. There’s not much more than old French food posters for decorations right now, but the range…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau Pumpernick N’ Pastry, one of Buffalo’s last great traditional bakeries, is closing its Kaisertown store on July 20. The Kaisertown bakery, famed for its bread, cakes, cookies, paczki and more, will end its 40-year history with New York State taxes as one culprit. Another cause was the big supermarkets and warehouse chains shouldering their way in…

Food and Drink

Grilling fish and seafood can be intimidating. Many of us either overcook the fish or undercook the fish or can’t pry the fish off the grill in one piece. We try special seafood grill baskets and every spatula in our kitchens with little improvement. We end up sacrificing more fillets and shellfish to the flames than we have eaten for dinner.So we reached out to a handfu…

Food and Drink

While doing research recently, I came across a recipe for Ice Cream Bread on the Taste of Home’s website. It had a four-out-of-five star rating.I glanced at it and remembered I had flagged an email about this recipe from the Taste of Home’s public relations folks. It caught my eye then because, besides sounding interesting, the recipe makes a mini-loaf. Readers are alw…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau Intrepid Buffalo News intern Rebecca Bratek tracked down the characters behind Buffalo's growing fleet of food trucks. She shares the most up-to-date information on how to find them, what they offer, and most importantly, a good old-fashioned phone number.  Bratek lists all their Twitter handles, Facebook pages and websites. She also got wo…