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05/23/09 01:48 - ID#48729

Going to Market

Today was such a beautiful day to ride my bike to get some groceries. I didn't really need much It was mostly an excuse to try to fight off this cold. First stop was price rite. I do like the proximity of this store, But the size of much of what they sell is frigging enormous. I really don't have much of a need for 10lbs of anything. I went there to get some flat parsley(which they didn't have) and Goya olive oil, which I love. This stuff is so delicious and unbelievably cheap. Much better than Wegmans brand crappola.

Next stop was this place:

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I didn't even know this existed till last week. Its located on Connecticut st. near Niagara. Most Asian markets have a certain stink to them. I was almost knocked over by the unmistakable smell of rotten produce marinating in urine. I still looked around out of curiosity. The produce mostly looked bad. I would never buy the stuff that looked decent for the simple fact that its on the floor and next to the shit that is half rotten. They meat section was something to behold. There was a box of clams, not in the cooler, dying in the warm air, also on the floor. They had five gallon buckets of chicken feet, liver of unknown origin, and some unidentifiable meat substance swimming about in a mysterious golden liquid. They did have a large selection of fish sauce, but I think I will avoid buying anything there...ever.

Last stop was the farmers market. I love farmers markets, but the one on Bidwell needs more vendors selling produce. Actually I think it just needs more vendors in general. There is some good stuff there though. I got a huge bundle of chives that looked really fresh, and some of this stuff:

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I read an article about this company, White Cow Dairy, in the latest issue of Edible Buffalo. $5.75 is more than I usually spend on yogurt/pudding but I am really curious about how this stuff tastes. I really do love buying local products. Especially ones that are good. So hopefully this stuff pans out to be awesome. They also had a couple of other things there, a mustard horseradish sauce, and a mocha creme full fat yogurt. They were both $4.00 each. So I'll come back for those next week possibly.

BTW: Does anyone know where I can get some ramps in Buffalo? They are in season but nobody seems to have them.
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Permalink: Going_to_Market.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


05/06/09 09:03 - 60ºF - ID#48607

Three months off

Well my blog has finally hit the inactive status, so I figured it was time I graced these parts and post my latest dinner project. I finished my finals on Friday and finally have some time to goof off. It had been so long since I had cooked that on Monday I made a terrible stir fry with tofu, red pepper, and baby bok choy. I will spare you the pictures. But tonight I think I redeemed myself. I made "Crispy" Duck with Chardonnay Braised Asian Pears, Roasted Artichokes and Hoisin Butter.

It has been ages since I cooked something worth writing about. It was nice to be able to enjoy a day off finally. So I know the picture is full of brown but my plating skills and photography skills are equally in need of improvement.

So anyway for the "recipe". I marinated the duck in soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and Chinese five spice. I pan seared it and finished it in the oven. Its a major pain in the ass to make duck crispy. I took the advice of a few chefs and scored the skin before I seared it. It was crispier this time, but it still isn't exactly how I want it. For the pears I just diced and sauteed them. Then deglazed the pan with a generous amount of chardonnay. The artichoke idea I stole from the web. I just simply cut the top and sprinkled a little bit of lemon juice, olive oil and shoved a garlic clove in the center and roasted it for an hour and a half. I made the hoisin butter by taking some of the rendered duck fat and sauteed some shallots and deglazed them with white wine and chicken stock and reduced it till it could "coat the back of a spoon". I strained it and whisked in butter under low heat. Here are the results.

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Permalink: Three_months_off.html
Words: 323
Location: Buffalo, NY


02/18/09 03:57 - 36ºF - ID#47800

Buffalo needs more cameras!!!

Today has been such a hassle. I went to move my car last night and noticed somebody punched a hole in my window. They didn't take my stereo or CD's so I figured it was just some moron vandalizing things randomly. So I called the Buffalo Police, but they told me I had to call 911? Does this really qualify as an emergency? Anyway I didn't think anything was stolen till I talked to the glass guy this morning. He told me to make sure my inspection sticker wasn't taken. Well I went and checked and sure enough the inspection sticker was half ripped off. So now I get the pleasure of going to several different places to get this remedied. After talking to all of these people today(cops, mechanics, and DMV workers) this is really common these days. I guess someone was really desperate to get a sticker. I mean it took me three tries to get the car inspected last month and cost several hundred dollars. I really wish NY State would make the inspection stickers crumble to unusable bits when they are removed and it may end up stopping this crap. Well either that or get rid of the new emissions requirements on vehicles. But I'm sure neither of these things will do much.

ps I was kidding about more cameras
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Permalink: Buffalo_needs_more_cameras_.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


01/12/09 06:36 - 25ºF - ID#47382

I guess this makes me a groupie?



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Permalink: I_guess_this_makes_me_a_groupie_.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


01/10/09 02:32 - 21ºF - ID#47350

Buffalo Rising Strikes Again

Instead of comparing buffalonians plight to that of the jews, Buffalo Rising has managed to capture a photo of our black mayor chomping down on some chicken. Now this may be an appropriate picture had it been a story about the chicken wing festival or who Byron Brown's favorite wing joint is in town. But of course the article is about who will be appointed to the NY State Senate seat. I am having a hard time taking anything I read in this publication/website seriously anymore.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


12/19/08 01:41 - 22ºF - ID#47113

Merry Christmas from Star Wars!



This is really creepy.
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Permalink: Merry_Christmas_from_Star_Wars_.html
Words: 5
Location: Buffalo, NY


12/04/08 10:47 - 36ºF - ID#46952

Client #9

I thought his career was totally dead. But I guess someone wants him.


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Words: 18
Location: Buffalo, NY


11/24/08 05:46 - 36ºF - ID#46821

The point of a website (rant)

I'm getting very annoyed with crappy websites. Restaurant websites in particular. I mean the point is not to show glamour shots of your dining room. I want some freaking information! Tell me the hours of operation, maybe a menu or two and how to get to the place. I don't care about your personal mission, lame ass flash programing or some stupid little jingle you have programmed to go off when I click on something. And what is with all of this PDF menu shit? Is it really that difficult to just have it in HTML?? Is it really necessary to have to open another program so I can find out that you serve chicken wings?



Ok I feel better now
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Permalink: The_point_of_a_website_rant_.html
Words: 121
Location: Buffalo, NY


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
Words: 808
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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Permalink: The_Stinger.html
Words: 157
Location: Buffalo, NY


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