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When economic development officials extol the University at Buffalo's benefits to Western New York, they should brag about how the university's large Chinese student population has resulted in better Chinese food here. More than 1,000 Chinese students are enrolled at UB and their hunger sustains places like Gin Gin (3244 Sheridan Drive), Uncle John's No. 1 (267 Grover C…

Tom Cooper of Lovejoy would like your vote. The retired restaurant worker, 53, has taken to Facebook and hit the phones to garner support for his culinary dream: seeing his hot sauce on Wal-Mart's shelves. "Buffalo Tom's Gourmet Hot Sauce" -- "The Only Real Choice," the label says -- is one of about 4,000 products in the retail giant'…

Check out this terrific primer on encountering Ethiopian cuisine from Buffalo.com's Ben Tsujimoto. Replete with excellent color photos and video, Tsujimoto tells you everything you need to get started exploring this intricate cuisine. He hadn't tried Ethiopian food before he encountered it at Lucy Takeout, 388 Amherst St. (Buffalo Rising's Newell Nussba…

Here's another no-fuss classic from Depew's Elaine Pampalona Bartkowiak, the News March Cook of the Month. It's dead easy to knock together. The result, with a cheesy bottom layer and whipped topping -- is impressive for the effort. Italian Love Cake 1 box lemon (or fudge marble) cake mix 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese ¾ cup sugar 4 eggs 1 teaspoon …

It'll be frothing nozzles at 10 paces as Buffalo coffee artistes duel to create the best latte art, Friday March 30 at Spot Coffee, 1406 Hertel Ave. The Buffalo Barista Jam is a "latte throw-down," said organizer Jacob Casella, Spot's coffee operations manager. "Baristas go head to head in a single-elimination bracket. They pull their sho…

Most of the tables are probably spoken for in the best restaurants on the Local Restaurant Week list (Buffalo version). But if you want to gamble on finding new favorites, the ticket price won't get much lower. For $20.12, you can get a meal or two at more than 175 restaurants in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. So instead of getting the same pizza, why not …

Molly Stevens' latest cookbook, featured in the News in November, was honored with a nod in the "Single Subject" category of the 2012 James Beard Awards, among the nation's most prestigious cookbook honors. Stevens, a Buffalo native and Nichols alumna whose 2005 book "Braising" won numerous awards, spent five years researching roasting techniq…

A new gelato cafe with outdoor seating may be in Elmwood Avenue's future, according to an application to the City of Buffalo. Owner J. Letizia has filed a request to use five feet of the sidewalk for an outdoor seating area with a 42-inch railing, according to city records. Because it's a proposed change in use, and because it's in the Elmwood special z…

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The question has nagged me for years. In a town with a celebrated abundance of excellent family-owned restaurants, why are so many chain restaurants crowded at dinnertime? I don't have the answer, but I've started to gather evidence. Exhibit A: Gordon Biersch, the upscale brewpub in the restaurant row at Cheektowaga's Walden Galleria. Walking through the doorway, we …

Having worked in serious kitchens for a decade, Ivy Knight writes about the Toronto restaurant scene and Canadian food from a cook's point of view. With her husband Kerry, she writes for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, and lots of other publications, plus Swallow Food, their own site. So with the Greater Toronto Area as her oyster, she doesn't …

In this week's Elements, standard potato chips are used as the filling in a Spanish potato omelet, or torta. Suggested by world-renowned chef Ferran Adria in his highly accessible cookbook "Family Meal," using potato chips makes a torta much simpler. Regular torta recipes require frying sliced potatoes in copious oil before draining the slices and proceeding with the dish.…

Here's Mary Ann Giordano's recipe for Pasta con Sarde, from "The St. Joseph's Day Table Cookbook," featured in today's Buffalo News. It's a classic Sicilian pasta that includes fennel bulb, sultana raisins, sardines and toasted pine nuts. It's sometimes garnished with bread crumbs, said to evoke the sawdust of St. Joseph�…

A Clarence woman is proposing to build an addition on the front of an Elmwood Avenue home for a Louie's Texas Red Hots. Lori Labonte has applied for a city permit for the project, which would add a 755-square-foot addition and a 200-square-foot patio to the front of 1049 Elmwood. (That's on the east side of Elmwood, just south of Bird Avenue, across Bird from Mister Pizza.…

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Tabletop barbecue is the easiest on-ramp to Korean cuisine. My first time was Kang Suh, a Manhattan Koreatown restaurant. All I knew about Korean food at the time were nasty cracks from "M*A*S*H" episodes, but my friend Deb had never steered me wrong. We gaped as a sure-handed waiter lowered a tub of glowing hardwood charcoal into the tabletop's aperture. The table w…