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Machu Picchu, that ancient city built into a Peruvian mountaintop, is no secret. You’ve seen the pictures, seen the Facebook posts. ¶ Yet people travel. Nothing like standing there in person, marveling at it all. And thinking that humans did this, on purpose. ¶ That’s what it felt like going to Salvatore’s Italian Gardens for the first time. ¶ My wife, Cat, incredul…

Food and Drink

Machu Picchu, that ancient city built into a Peruvian mountaintop, is no secret. You’ve seen the pictures, seen the Facebook posts. ¶ Yet people travel. Nothing like standing there in person, marveling at it all. And thinking that humans did this, on purpose. ¶ That’s what it felt like going to Salvatore’s Italian Gardens for the first time. ¶ My wife, Cat, incredul…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau HarborCenter, Terry Pegula’s hockey-hotel complex next to the First Niagara Center, has set a press conference at 3 p.m. to announce some details on its planned 13,000 square-foot restaurant. Project officials have already said its menu will include local culinary favorites and local ingredients, three feature bars and a 36-foot television screen des…

Food and Drink

By Andrew Z. Galarneau One of the most unusual fast-serve restaurant concepts to show up recently has emerged in the food court at the Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence. If I said it was Chinese cooks who grew up in Brazil, no one would blame you for expecting an exotic menu. But Tom and Betty Chung’s specialty is right in the heart of down-home Americana: pies. Piemania (4…

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One of the most unusual fast-serve restaurant concepts to show up recently has emerged in the food court at the Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence. ¶ If I said it was Chinese cooks who grew up in Brazil, no one would blame you for expecting an exotic menu. ¶ But Tom and Betty Chung’s specialty is right in the heart of down-home Americana: pies. ¶ Piemania (4545 Transit R…

The old Lay’s Potato Chip challenge, “Betcha can’t eat just one” was not only a testament to the salty-crunchy deliciousness of the chips, it was also an unknowing hat tip to the ingrained human tendency to eat more than is probably good for you, at least in the 21st century.Ever notice how, even if you’re not really hungry, taking a bite of a tasty food – that potato chip…

Food and Drink

Q: Recently, I joined a group of friends on a tour of the wonderful Getty Center in Los Angeles. We had heard good things about the restaurant and had made reservations for lunch. Several in our party ordered the honey-chipotle shrimp salad with cilantro-lime dressing. I have dreamed about it many times since that day. It was so good. Could you please see if the chef might…

This simple, quick recipe makes two rich and creamy custardlike pies with a mildly tangy buttermilk flavor. I tested it using refrigerator pie crusts, and I’m sure it would taste even better with a homemade crust, but I doubt you will get any complaints either way. It is best to allow the pies to cool completely before serving, otherwise they may be a little runny when you…

Food and Drink

“Who moved my cheese?”You might hear that question asked more literally in the coming days as game-day cooks fumble through grocery stores searching for America’s favorite cheese loaf. Recently, Kraft announced a Velveeta shortage, saying only limited quantities would be available until late February.A Super Bowl party without Velveeta nacho cheese dip, preferably with spi…

Food and Drink

Entertaining family and friends can be full of challenges whether you’re the guest or host. Those challenges may increase if food allergies, food intolerances and those who choose to follow special diets, perhaps vegan or vegetarian, are in the mealtime mix.Your vegan brother won’t eat a dessert that uses honey. A lactose-intolerant cousin will pass on the butter.“When it …

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A bubbling pot of chicken stew with potatoes is a hearty, comforting thing. But substitute sweet plantains for the tubers, and suddenly your dinner leaps from familiar and predictable to unexpected and a whole lot more interesting – at least for someone who doesn’t eat plantains very regularly.I tried this recently when I was desperate to cook something imbued with sunshin…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau In December, Fiamma Steak (1735 Hertel Ave.) was planning to reopen as BOSS, a restaurant concentrating on steak and seafood. But complications with the ownership change stopped the changeover, said Jason Briandi, Fiamma's food and beverage director. Work is continuing on the building, and the restaurant could be open again by the middle of…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau In the run-up to the Super Bowl, one of the most massive, all-American, all-consuming spectacles of chicken wings ever, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would like eaters to drop the drumette. In furtherance of that goal, PETA has issued a press release proclaiming the Top 10 chicken-free chicken wings in the nation, featuring the veg…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau As the wind howls outside, there's this to look forward to in February: real British fish and chips, in South Buffalo. In their ongoing efforts to cater to British cravings, Vicky and Damian Parker have announced plans to add an authentic "chippy" to the side of English Pork Pie Co., their South Buffalo pie factory (1176 South Park Ave…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau Most of Western New York’s food trucks are launching culinary careers, but at Elma’s Blue Lantern Lounge, adding a food truck is just the best way to expand the business. Owners Tom and Donna Pease expect to debut their Da Blue truck at Buffalo’s Larkin Square at lunchtime, Jan. 31, a Friday. “Expanding our footprint at our current location just wasn…