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10/30/08 02:52 - 45ºF - ID#46429

Buffalo's Wine Bar Craze

So I will be the first to admit I'm not the most knowledgeable person about wine. I do however love it and am very excited that two new wine bars have opened in Buffalo in the past several weeks. The Wine Thief on Elmwood and Bryant opened sometime around mid September, Just Vino on Main and Virginia opened on Saturday.

Wine Thief:

I really like this place a lot, sure there are some things I don't like but all in all it's a great place to have a glass of wine. I love the interior of the place, the woodwork of the bar is beautiful and I think the wine room being showcased behind a huge pane of glass is very sexy. They also have a high tech looking wine tap system that pumps nitrogen into open bottles of wine thereby keeping them fresher longer. Whether nitrogen changes the taste of the wine or increases my car tires life I have no idea. But it is pretty cool looking and allows them to sell more expensive bottles by the glass. They have several wines on the list and although I didn't count it seems like one quarter of them are available by the glass. They also have a decent but limited beer selection for those in the group who would prefer malted hops to fermented grapes. The food menu is probably my biggest disappointment with the place. It's really pretty boring. I was surprised that they didn't have a cheese plate even listed on there or at least I didn't notice it. That's probably the number one thing I would want at a place like this. The one thing I did try that's on their "Summer Menu" is the duck tacos. Not bad but not really outstanding either. The wine menu has plenty of wines that I have never tried so I can't be the biggest critic about what they have. It's what they don't have which surprised me. They only had two Rieslings on the entire list, surely it's a much more popular wine than that! Also if you are looking for dessert wine you have definitely stumbled into the wrong place. There wasn't even a category for it. That is almost shocking to me since we are only a 45-minute drive away from ice wine country. I'm sure that they are in the preliminary stages of figuring out exactly what people want, which shouldn't be difficult considering how busy they were both times I was there. I hope to see additions to the list in the coming future.

Just Vino:

Although the location of this new wine bar seems like a peculiar choice, I'm more than happy to welcome them to my neighborhood. As with the Wine Thief the interior looks great. They certainly didn't cheap out in building costs. They have a nice looking copper bar and some equally appealing woodwork. I love that there is no TV in the entire space. It's nice to not have muted sports everywhere I go. They are considerably smaller than the Wine Thief but they have a large selection of wine. One page each front and back for whites and reds. There are some really delicious wines on this list and some that I can't wait to try. The food menu is limited to small platters of cheeses, pate and chocolates. I think the menu is appropriate for what they are trying to sell. The kitchen is actually in the dining room and is about a 2'x2' space. So I don't see them ever adding a whole lot more to their offerings. They like The Wine Thief are also lacking in the dessert wine category, with only one on the list. Talking with the owner its sounds as though he may consider adding some in the future. They do offer four different wine flights and will change them on a rotating basis. Also they have very small beer list, I think around 6 or 7 kinds. Nothing too specialized here but then again I would rather have wine at a place like this. Being that I am so close I'm rooting for this place to succeed.

I think both places are great for different reasons. Wine Thief seems like a place people go to be seen and Just Vino is more of an intimate setting. I would love to see more Finger Lakes and Niagara Region wines. They seem to be regions that are highly neglected by both operations. The huge bonus to the patron is that Just Vino is open 7 days a week. Wine Thief is closed on Sunday and Monday. I'm not sure how receptive Buffalo will be to either place, but in my opinion I think they are a welcome addition.

P.S. both websites are pretty horrible

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Permalink: Buffalo_s_Wine_Bar_Craze.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


10/30/08 12:20 - 40ºF - ID#46425

The Stinger

So I have been in Buffalo over a year now and I thought I had my head pretty well wrapped around the regional specialties. I mean who around here doesn't know about Wings, Beef on Weck and crummy pizza? Last week though a couple of my coworkers were having a heated debate about who makes the best Stinger. Apparently a Stinger is steak and chicken fingers chopped together on a sub with onions, lettuce and tomato. I assume there are endless variations of this but this seems to be the standard. I can't believe I had never even heard of this until now. So last Saturday after work and several beers I stumbled to Jim's Steakout to see if they even made such a thing. It wasn't on the menu but if you ask the right people they will definitely make it for you. Haute cuisine it's not but it may possibly be the ultimate drunk food.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


10/05/08 10:17 - 48ºF - ID#45939

SNL is funny again


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Location: Buffalo, NY


09/22/08 10:04 - 55ºF - ID#45765

I want this for christmas



Geeky? maybe. But still totally freakin cool!
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Permalink: I_want_this_for_christmas.html
Words: 11
Location: Buffalo, NY


09/22/08 08:29 - 64ºF - ID#45762

Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew
Since autumn officially started at 11:44am today I figured it was time to break out the fall recipes. This recipe is pretty easy to make, I stole ideas from so many different recipes over the years of making this I think its now officially mine. So first off you need to buy a few things.

3 lbs lamb, with the bones or 2 lbs without.
1 large onion or two small ones
1 lb of carrots
2 lbs potatoes
garlic
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Parsley
Bay leaves
Guinness
Beef stock
Flour
Oil
Salt
Pepper
Alright first thing:
Crack open a Guinness and start drinking.


Thinly slice the onions. Thinner is better for the texture of the stew.

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Peel the carrots, chop them up

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Peel and chop the potatoes.

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!Warning! Cooking may result in injury (e:paul,45754)

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Peel and roughly chop 3 cloves of garlic.

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Ok, here is the hardest part. Take the meat and cut it off of the bone. It's kind of a pain in the ass really. The bones really make the stew taste a lot better. But if you are pressed for time or really just don't like to touch meat just them skip this part and buy less meat and cut it into bite size cubes.

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Take some flour and season it with salt and pepper. Coat all of the lamb meat and bones with this.

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Heat some oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot till its screaming hot.
Take 1/4 of the floured lamb parts and add it to the pot. If you put it all in at once it will turn grey. Once the first batch is done remove it, keep doing this till its all cooked. You might have to add more oil.

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Now add the onions, you may have to reduce the heat. You don't want to hear that sizzle sound for very long. Just for the first minute or so. Cook these for 4 or five minutes.

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While you are hanging out getting drunk chop some thyme, rosemary and parsley.

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Once the onions have given off some juice add the garlic, potatoes, carrots, rosemary, thyme, the lamb and a few tablespoons of flour. Stir it all around till its smooth. Cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of that flour taste and to heat everything up.
Once it starts getting hot add 3/4 cup of beef stock and 3/4 cup of Guinness to the pot.
Stir in a handful of parsley.

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Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer and cover it. Stir it every no and again. Once the potatoes are soft enough to eat its done. Pull out the bones and the bay leaves and serve it with bread and Guinness if you have any left by the time you are done. Happy eating.

Its currently still cooking. I will update with a final picture in a bit.





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Location: Buffalo, NY


09/11/08 10:44 - 66ºF - ID#45651

Whatever happened to loans?

So this girl in California has decided to sell her virginity to pay for grad school. My favorite part about this is her undergrad degree is in women studies. What the fuck did she learn in those four years?
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Permalink: Whatever_happened_to_loans_.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


09/10/08 06:51 - 66ºF - ID#45631

Never loan a book to me

I realized today that I currently have in my possession five books that were loaned to me that I still haven't returned nor read in their entirety. Three of them were loaned to me BSE (before September 11th 2001). I took possession of the other two quite some time ASE. It's not that I have no intention of reading any of them. In fact the most recent ones I have read at least a portion of them. But I have to face it, I will never read the other three. Now I face the dilemma of returning these books unread. What will the loaners think of me? Will they want to engage in some sort of book critique? Should I just look for some sort of brief synopsis so I can fake knowing what the book was even about?
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Permalink: Never_loan_a_book_to_me.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


08/24/08 04:58 - 72ºF - ID#45440

Stolen journal

So I guess I have been in a blogging rut this summer. I have posted very little lately. But I did manage to steal this from my brothers blog , who originally stole it from this blog

Here's a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don't worry if you haven't, mind you; neither have I, though I'll be sure to work on it. Don't worry if you don't recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here's what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you've eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile     (does alligator count??)
6. Black pudding

7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses

17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth �60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail

79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse

90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

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Permalink: Stolen_journal.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


08/17/08 12:20 - 74ºF - ID#45348

The post concerning engrish

Engrish.com is one of the web sights of my taste. But in addition as for me this one is liked. That translates English in engrish. That when being boring, is large for the sake of. Elizabeth concerning that called to me. Occasionally, the place shows completely nonsense exactly, but other things measure somewhat strange time.

I had not posted the difficult here of the thing which ever since May is believed. I show the image of my dinner perhaps after the tonight.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


05/24/08 01:12 - 58ºF - ID#44440

Trip Pictures (Part one)

Well it has been a long few days adjusting back to eastern standard time, starting class and working full time. It was a fun trip and nice to see (e:ladycroft), (e:lizabeth), and (e:john). I was a little worried about how meeting up might work with only one of us having a phone. But despite our lateness at Zagreb airport to meet (e:ladycroft) it went pretty smoothly. Anyway I'll let the pictures do the talking.

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On the Danube across from the parliament building

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Oh absinthe, the headaches you create.

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Phone box and Metro station, Budapest

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I love the separate traffic lights for bikers

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(e:lizabeth) with cotton candy the size of her head

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Szechenyi Thermal Baths at the city park, Budapest

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I have no idea what this building is, I just thought it looked cool

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view of the Danube from the Citadella

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Whats left of my gulyas leves. I was told by the guy who served this to us that Hungarians take a shot of Palinka( which is a fruit brandy) after they eat gulyas leves.

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Chain Bridge at night, Budapest

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mmmm meggy minifank!! Which is mini doughnuts with sour cherry sauce.

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The streets of Tokaj in Northeastern Hungary. Home of the world famous dessert wine Tokaji. And to think I used to hate dessert wine.

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Rakoczi Pince, Tokaj. This is the largest and most famous wine cellar in Tokaj. They store and age wines from the Hetszolo Vineyards.

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The tasting room at Rakoczi Pince, Tokaj. This is where we sampled some really awesome wines.

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Gyomolcsleves, don't ask me to pronounce this, Hungarians couldn't understand me when I tried. It's a cold fruit soup that is served in the summer. It varied everywhere we tried it. Its basically a creamy soup made with sour cream and pretty much any kind of fruit can be added. Towards the end of summer when sour cherries are in season they are used more often than the pears we encountered frequently. This one also had whipped cream, black currents and blueberries. One place we had an awesome one(I don't have a pic), but is was a lime and peach cream soup with mint sorbet, absolutely delicious.

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Train ride to Zagreb, to meet with (e:ladycroft)


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Permalink: Trip_Pictures_Part_one_.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


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paul said to mike
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i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...

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i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...

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i'm glad you documented this. I was actually looking for a picture but came across this and am glad ...