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Duck and the Blue Monk, Elmwood Avenue’s Belgian-centric beer temple, have been linked in customers’ minds practically since the place opened in 2010.You can blame the duck frites for that, hand-cut potatoes crisped in rendered duck fat and served at the restaurant with a variety of dipping sauces. Recently the Blue Monk (727 Elmwood Ave.) doubled down on duck with a burge…

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How does a place become an institution?In the case of Taffy’s, the photo above the door inside the teeny building says it all – a lonely hot dog stand, circa 1940s, sits amid open fields.Celebrating its 65th anniversary, Taffy’s is still owned by Nellie Eliah (age 96). Her son Rich runs Taffy’s, which was named for his dad. (And no, they don’t serve candy.)Taffy’s survived…

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Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar invites different kinds of customers to step through its door at the corner where Allen Street turns into Wadsworth. ¶ Live music lovers, dancers, diners and drinkers are all courted. Looking for a potent cocktail of food, fun and frosty drinks, spiked with diverse live music? Duke’s would like a word with you, because it’s the only place in All…

Steve and Ellen Gedra's Bistro Europa does more with local farmers' products than just about any restaurant in Western New York. On Sunday, the Gedras and staff will serve up an edible ode to local food, in the pastoral setting of Oles Farm in Alden. Can't get fresher than that. Seats are $150, including food, wine, beer, cocktails and transportation from an…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau Tomorrow, JJ and Kevin Richert open their third place, The Garage Deli (1139 Kenmore Ave., 768-0780) right next to Torches, the innovative fine dining restaurant in Kenmore that brought JJ Richert acclaim and a Nickel City Chef apron. Sandwiches and salads are the mainstays, with house-smoked pastrami and turkey leading the way. The first menu i…

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Thanks to farmers who are growing under polytunnels – also known as hoophouses – fresh, local beets are available practically year round.That’s a reason to rejoice, especially for beet lovers.Yes, it’s hard to believe that not everyone is a beet lover, but there are skeptics out there. And those are the very folks who should be buying fresh beets in their beautiful shades …

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A large bowl of steamed clams, some parsley potatoes and a chilled glass of white wine bring back memories of sitting on a deck overlooking the sparkling water in Connecticut.Clams are easy and quick to make but are rarely made at home. Here are some buying and storing tips:Ask for steamers. They are considered soft shell clams (although their shell is hard to the touch.) …

At the Taste of Diversity, you can travel the world – in flavors, at least – without ever leaving Grant Street.Here’s the multinational selection of restaurants you can explore at Saturday’s festival. Food tickets are available for $1 each, and festival admission is free. Vendors are subject to change; visit tasteofdiversity.org for more information.• The Gypsy Parlor (376…

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It’s strawberry time.Locally grown berries are ripe for the picking and plenty of farms have opened their gates for pick-your-own. You can find a county-by-county list of pick-your-own farms in many states at www.pickyourown.org.But if you don’t feel like trekking through the farms and searching for the perfect berries, there will be plenty to buy at local farmers’ markets…

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It’s the vaguest food festival name in Buffalo: Taste of Diversity.Most food festivals are dedicated to one food, or one neighborhood, or one culture. But what, you may wonder, is diversity supposed to taste like? Where do you find it? And what makes this different from the already diverse array of food festivals happening here every summer?As the next Taste of Diversity a…

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As generations of Italian-Americans know, one of the best ways to learn real Italian cuisine is to watch an Italian grandmother cook her specialties.Unfortunately, not every would-be risotto master has an Italian grandmother readily at hand. Those poor souls might want to consider “The Italian Cooking Course: more than 400 authentic recipes and techniques from every region…

Sangria is the world’s most democratic beverage – all things to all people. And it’s just the thing for summer.At its simplest, it’s red, white or rose´ wine with juice, fruit and water – still or sparkling. Lower in alcohol than regular wine, light in body, a bit sweet from the juices.At its most bombastic, it can also have sugar, rum, vodka, absinthe, elderflower liqueur…

(This is a reprint of an article that was published April 15, 2011.)The television cooking superstar who gave the world deep-fried butter and the egg-topped bacon burger nestled between Krispy Kreme doughnuts isn’t about to apologize to anyone for her recipes.After nearly a decade of Paula Deen’s hugely popular cooking shows, and millions of copies of her cookbooks, all ce…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau A couple years ago, it was her recipes that had people asking Paula Deen to apologize. Today, her admissions to using racist language, confirmed in a lawsuit deposition, had Deen take to YouTube with at least three videotaped apologies.  Whether or not it won over critics, it wasn't enough to save her contract with the Food Network, which h…