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Buffalo food truck law under discussion

In today's News, City Hall reporter Brian Meyer reports that city officials have talked about writing a law permitting food trucks, but thorny issues remain before they're declared legit.

"The food truck movement has long-term potential in Buffalo, according to (City Council Member Joseph) Golombek and others. The city lawmaker held a meeting in late April with some entrepreneurs and permit officials.

City License Director Patrick Sole Jr. stressed the importance of devising regulations that address a variety of concerns. One provision would likely require food trucks to be at least 100 feet from any restaurant, unless the establishment is closed. Mobile food vendors also would be prohibited from setting up too close to festivals and other special events unless they have been approved by event sponsors."

Coming a few days after Buffalo Police reportedly shut down The Whole Hog truck on Allen Street, the article and accompanying video explores the food truck situation in Buffalo. After Lloyd the taco truck rumbled onto the scene last year, lots more potential operators have considered opening mobile kitchens.

But the absence of a law regulating food trucks leaves them confined to private property, even if they pass all required health department inspections.

'Whole Hog' truck opens with a BBQ hit

Looks like Kathleen Haggerty got everything together to debut her food truck, The Whole Hog, on Allen Street last night.

According to this account, the pork ran out around midnight, but that's a pretty good problem to have on a day that began with your new food truck on a semi-trailer someplace.

Looks like Christopher Taylor, prospective operator of another truck, The Roaming Buffalo, pitched in to help Haggerty launch. Here's to many more.

The Whole Hog is supposed to start serving today at 8 p.m., by the way. Its regular lunch spot during the week will be in Fireman's Park, just south of the downtown bus depot.

Will 'Whole Hog' food truck debut on Allen Street tonight?

Late-night noshers are hoping the answer is yes.

Barbecue pork sandwiches and crispy sweet potato fries will join the menu on Allen Street tonight, if the debut of "The Whole Hog" goes as planned.

Right now the truck is on a bigger truck, headed for Buffalo, owner Kathleen Haggerty said early this morning. But she's a seasoned professional with restaurant and catering experience, who has obtained her permits and prepped her food, so she expects to serve. A little rain isn't going to change her mind.

Haggerty, a Buffalonian who has returned after selling her Buffalo-centric deli in Seattle, aims to use local pork, vegetables and bread in all her dishes.

The menu includes barbecue pork sandwiches at $7 and $5, regular and sweet potato fries at $5, $5.50 beans on greens - vegetarian for now - and more.

The truck will be parked at Holly Farms parking lot, 233 Allen St., from 8 p.m.-2 a.m., and Saturday at the Buffalo First Indiesound music festival, from 3 to 6 p.m., she said. She's going to try to do one festival per weekend.

Her regular spot will be Tuesday through Friday,  10 a.m.-2 p.m., downtown in Fireman's Park, across North Division Street from the bus station.


Weird food: Cooking quinoa, David Lynch-style

With quinoa on the Taste page as our featured Element, I thought you might check out another caliber of cooking video.

Did you enjoy David Lynch's work in television shows like "Twin Peaks," or movies like "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive?"

Want to cook quinoa?

Answer "yes" to both, and your ship has really come in. Lynch, a Palme d'Or-winning director with a penchant for translating surreal visions to film, is a quinoa enthusiast. In this two-part short, totalling about 20 minutes, he makes a favorite meal of quinoa and broccoli, flavored with vegetable bouillon, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, and extra virgin olive oil. It was an extra with the DVD of his film "Inland Empire."

Rated "likely to supply 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of weird."

Besides ominous, tuneless background music, and a simple recipe, watchers also get Lynch describing a 1965 journey into Yugoslavia on a coal-burning train.

"Back in time, 1965, in the summer, maybe early in August of 65, the train pulls out of Greece into Yugoslavia at night," Lynch intones. "The train went through a barren landscape, you couldn't see anything, it was so dark, I mean a moonless night. Suddenly the train slows and stops."

The train stopped at a place with no buildings, Lynch says. The passengers were told they could get off to buy drinks. "You come off the metal stairs on the train, and dust was blowing, dust was filling the air. It was somehow warmly lit from the interior lights of the train spilling out onto the barren dust-filled landscape.

There through the dust we saw a little stand, canvas and wood, some small lamps around it."

For the rest of the story, here's part two


CSA recipe of the week: Bok choi, two ways

Bok choi, pak choy, to-may-to, to-mah-to. This leafy little cabbage relative is usually blanched, then stir-fried with a flavorful sauce.

Here's a classic Chinese approach from Saveur, with oyster sauce and sesame oil.

Here's a slightly Westernized version from Kalyn's Kitchen, with a hunk of butter in there with the soy.

Prize-winning Spam recipe: Maui Manwich

Spam Clare Banigan at Klondike 
Above, Clare Banigan (left) brings buns, slaw and some apple swans to meet their Spam destiny.

Here's another recipe from the Spam cooking contest at the Greater Niagara Boy Scouts' annual winter camping event in January. Clare Banigan, a Venture Scout from Crew 93 in Clarence, took "best tasting" honors with this recipe. Jim Yuhnke, the "Spam King" and Troop 107 leader featured in today's Buffalo News, entered four recipes, but didn't win any prizes.

Maui Manwich1 Maui Manwich

For BBQ pork filling:

1 12-ounce can Spam Lite or Spam Regular

1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

For cole slaw topping:

16 ounces cole slaw mix (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 small can canned crushed pineapple with juice (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup craisins

   For filling: Slice Spam into 1/4-inch thick slices, then lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices.

   Fry Spam slices in hot frying pan until crispy and browned, turning frequently. Drain

   Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup barbecue sauce to frying pan and mix. Keep hot.

   For slaw (can make ahead): Mix everything together and chill.

   Put hot BBQ pork filling on soft kaiser roll or bun, top with cole slaw mix and serve.
Makes about 6 sandwiches.  

Recipe: Squid with Ginger-Soy Sauce Marinade

Here's a simple recipe from The Japanese Grill, featured in today's Buffalo News.

Squid with Ginger–Soy Sauce Marinade

Serves 4

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons mirin

1 pound small squid (bodies and tentacles), cleaned

Mix together the soy sauce, ginger, and mirin in a large bowl to make the marinade. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade and set aside. Lay the squid in the remaining liquid, gently turning 4 times to coat all over. Marinate the squid for 10 minutes at room temperature, turning once.

Preheat a grill to hot. Grill the squid for about 4 minutes (5 minutes if they’re larger than 1 ounce apiece). Every 30 seconds flip the squid and brush on the reserved marinade. The squid will turn from translucent to white when they’re ready, becoming tender and releasing a rich aroma. Be careful not to overcook; squid turns rubbery if grilled too long. Serve immediately.

(Reprinted with permission from The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.)

CSA recipe of the week: Veggie-packed frittatas

The asparagus frittata recipe in last week's Taste section provoked lots of positive reaction, including remarks that made me think this every Italian dish isn't as widely known as I thought. Here's another dose of frittatas, heavy on the veggies, from Serious Eats' Crisper Whisperer.

The bottom line: If you eat eggs, frittatas are a terrific clean-out-the-fridge (and crisper) dish to add to your repertoire.

Most of the specific examples here use vegetables available over the winter, but you can start adding greens, peppers and squash as soon as they become available.


Alton Brown pulls plug on 'Good Eats' - is food policy next?

Alton Brown, the geeky television commercial director who ended up creating the most popular food television of his generation, has announced his main show, "Good Eats," is over.

Here's a Chicago Tribune story on the news. Here's some of the reaction, from Alton lovers and a smaller number of not-fans, at Metafilter.

What's next? Brown says that "good things" are coming, without getting specific. Perhaps some tea leaf reading is appropriate for die-hard fans. Here's an extended transcript of his comments in 2008, when I asked him about the future of the show, including some Brown statements that might be clues.

I asked him:

I saw that your contract calls for some specials. Are you going to go a little Edward R. Murrow on us there?

He said:

"If given the opportunity, yeah. I have said for a few years that I would like to do more serious - I don't mean serious, as in boring - things that really look at things.

Sustainability, and some of those other food issues.

If it is a concern about food, if it is an issue pertaining to food, it is suitable and appropriate for the Food Network to deal with it. Whether it's sustainability, or green this or green that, whatever it is. I'd love to see Food Network as being the place where people who have any question about food can go. Whether it's current events, or making a wedding cake. Or political ramifications of different things.

But the thing that we have to do is that we also have to make it entertaining. That's the challenge. And I think it's a good challenge. It's one of the things I'm most looking forward to, the next decade of my career."

See the rest here.

Recipe: Barbecue nachos

Neil Gallagher, the News May Cook of the Month, is down in Memphis competing at the World Championship Barbecue Contest. But he left a couple recipes behind for dishes to go with the oven-cooked Memphis-style pork detailed in today's story.

This one's great for using up leftover pork and spice rub, the seasoning mix from the main recipe.

Barbecue Nachos

1 bag tortilla chips

1/2 cup barbecue rub (seasoning mix), from pork recipe

6 ounces pulled pork

4 ounces barbecue sauce

4 ounces nacho cheese, melted

1 (4-ounce) can sliced jalapenos, drained (optional)

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

Make a pile of tortilla chips on a platter. Sprinkle with barbecue seasoning. 

Spread pulled pork on top of chips. Dust with seasoning, again and pour the barbecue sauce onto meat. Top with the melted nacho cheese.

Lightly sprinkle more rub onto cheese. Top with onions and add jalapenos for additional spice.


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