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Buffalo's first Ethiopian restaurant could open this weekend - second on way?

Lucy Takeout is the name of the first place, and it'll offer Ethiopian cuisine and variety store items. It's at 388 Amherst St., former site of Experiencia Latina.

Contacted by phone, owner Abba Biya said required work has been done, and he's only waiting for the fire department inspection. If that happens tomorrow, he could open for business on Saturday. So we'll see how that goes.

"I got everything, veggie, kitfo, chicken wings," he said.

When news came that an Ethiopian restaurant was apparently opening, I thought of Newell Nussbaumer. The Buffalo Rising founder has publically wooed Canadian Ethiopian restauranteur Wassie Mulugeta to open a place in Buffalo.

But the operator at Amherst and Grant isn't Wass, who continues to explore the possibility, Nussbaumer said.

Does the future hold not one, but two Ethiopian places? It's the restaurant business, so stay tuned.

ADDITION: Nussbaumer chatted with a female co-owner there, and adds more details at Buffalo Rising.

Live chat with News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau

Join me at noon for a live chat, right here. Tell me about great dishes you've eaten recently, ask about ingredients you're looking for, or tell me if you've ever had Ethiopian food. Because it's coming to Buffalo and people who like it are thrilled.

Restaurants lining up for Local Restaurant Week, March 26-April 1

The Spring 2012 edition of Local Restaurant Week is starting to take shape, with 61 restaurants already on the list. Many more are expected in the coming weeks.

If you're interested, make reservations now for your favorite spot.

The specials will be priced at $20.12, said organizer Vince McConeghy. (In 2011 the specials were $21.11, which gave businesses an extra dollar but proved too confusing, he said.)
Restauranteurs can sign up here.


Bread share program kickoff, tasting party Saturday

Fancy and Delicious, a community-supported bakery, is hosting a bread tasting party on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Nickel City Housing Cooperative, 208 North Street.

Bakers will offer samples of their wholesome, handmade breads and the opportunity to sign up for the bakery's bread share program. Similar to community support agriculture offered by local farmers, participants "invest" $50 and will receive a loaf of bread every 12 weeks.

Shares run from March 3 to May 16. The bread can be picked up Saturday afternoons at Nickel
City Housing Coop.

Fancy and Delicious also holds monthly donation-based bread baking workshops. For more information, call 534-8385 or visit

- Maki Becker


Ethiopian restaurant reported opening in Black Rock

At least according to the Facebook page of Gallery 464 owner Marcus Wise, which has a picture  of a sign painter at work on a storefront. "New Ethiopian restaurant opening on the corner of grant Amherst," the page says.

Could Newell Nussbaumer's efforts to lure Canadian Ethiopian restauranteur Wassie Mulugeta have been successful?

We'll look for more details tomorrow. At least for tonight, it looks like Ethiopian cuisine in Buffalo may finally be around the corner.

Recipes: Polish apple pancakes, roast duck and more from 'Rose Petal Jam'

Here's some of the recipes from "Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland," by by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target, featured in today's Buffalo News. Included are a twist on deviled eggs, apple pancakes, "Russian" salad, and roast duck with apples.

Józefa’s ‘daisy eggs’   Jajka w skorupkach

In my last week of high school before I went off to sit the exams that would determine whether I had any hope of becoming a doctor, Jozefa made a special trip to our apartment in Jelenia Góra. She came so she could cook me ‘daisy eggs’ for breakfast. 

This is a popular way to serve eggs in Poland – the eggs are boiled, then chopped with herbs and butter and served in their shells. Józefa arranged them on the plate in a daisy pattern – hence her nickname for one of my childhood favourites. 

Józefa returned the used egg shells to the village for Julia to feed back to the chickens. Julia would first pulverise the shells in her bronze mortar, especially if they had been imprinted with communist slogans from their newspaper wrapping. 

3 fresh eggs (or as many as the family can eat)

1 tablespoon dill, parsley and chives, finely chopped

butter for frying

Hard boil the eggs for 5 minutes, then run them under cold water for a moment so they are not too hot to handle. Using a sharp knife cut the eggs (still in their shells) lengthwise into 2. Scoop out the yolks and whites, keeping the shells intact. Chop the egg roughly and mix with whatever herbs you have to hand – dill, parsley, chives. Add salt and pepper to season and carefully replace the mixture in the egg shells without breaking them. Fry face down in a little butter for a few minutes until lightly brown. Arrange like daisy petals on a plate and serve with fresh bread for breakfast, lunch or a snack when studying.

Russian salad  Sałatka jarzynowa

Russian Salad is a popular party dish, made with mayonnaise and often decorated - my grandmother put roses carved out of carrot peelings on top. The recipe also has a more humble life as a day-to-day snack, in bars and cafeterias, even at railway stations.

You can make this with your own fresh mayonnaise or one of the good-quality mayonnaises available by the jar.

(Serves 4 as a starter)

4 medium-sized potatoes

5 carrots

1 parsnip 

1/2 celeriac

2 dessert apples, peeled and cored

3 hard-boiled eggs

2 small pickled cucumbers (see pickling recipe, page 22)

1 leek (white part only) or white onion

1 teaspoon English mustard

1/2 jar of mayonnaise, about 250gm (9 oz)

125g (4 1/2 oz) cooked green peas

Wash the vegetables well, peeling and cutting if necessary. Boil the potatoes, carrots, parsnip, and celeriac and cook until they are just starting to soften (but avoid overcooking them as they will then be not so easy to slice and chop). Strain and allow to cool. When cool, cut all the cooked vegetables into little cubes the same size - 6 mm (¼  in) is good - but you can choose your own size. Also chop the apples, eggs, cucumbers, and leek or onion to the same size. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl with the mustard, mayonnaise and peas. Season with salt and pepper. You can add more pickled cucumber if you would like a more piquant taste. Serve with fresh bread.

Apple pancakes Placuszki z jabłkami

These are small, sweet pancakes served for breakfast or afternoon tea. My grandmother placed whole apple slices on the batter while it was still sizzling in the pan.

(Makes 8 pancakes)

2 eggs

350 ml (12 fl oz) milk

2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar

300g (11 oz) self-raising flour

4 small eating apples

50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter for frying

icing (powdered) sugar for decoration

Whisk the eggs, milk, and sugar together, then fold in the flour. (These pancakes are like pikelets and need to be thick and fluffy so it is best not to use an electric mixer). Add a pinch of salt, cover and put aside for 30 minutes. Peel the apples, cut into halves, de-core and slice thinly. Melt a knob of butter in a hot frying pan and add a dollop of the batter mix to form a pancake. Lay one or two slices of apple on top of the batter then fry for a couple of minutes. Turn over and cook the other side. Sprinkle with icing (powdered) sugar and serve hot.

Roast duck with apples Kaczka pieczona z jabłkami

A popular, traditional Polish dish. It is as simple and easy to roast a duck at home as a chicken. Roast duck goes down nicely with a bottle of dry red wine.

(Serves 4)

2 kg (4lb 7 oz) duck

2 medium sized apples

2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) small potatoes (any type)

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Preheat the oven to 240°C  (475°F). Rinse the duck with water and pat dry. Wash, peel, core, and chop the apples into small chunks and stuff the cavity of the duck. Rub the skin well with the marjoram, the garlic, and salt and pepper. Place on a large plate, cover, and leave for 45 minutes to marinate. Place the duck in a roasting tray. Collect any marinade left in the plate, and add some more water to make up one cup of liquid. Pour this liquid around the duck in the roasting tray – not over it or you will wash off the marinade.

Roast the duck uncovered for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C (320°F) and cook for 2 hours. Every half an hour or so use a fine skewer to pierce the duck skin with holes to release its juices and then baste the duck with the liquid that collects in the bottom of the pan. Clean the potatoes and cut into halves or quarters (there is no need to peel them). When the duck still has about an hour to cook, salt the potatoes, place them in the tray with the duck and sprinkle with caraway seeds. They should start to fry gently in the duck fat. When you next baste the duck, turn the potatoes, making sure they are well covered with the duck juices. Add another sprinkle of caraway seeds if you like. The duck should be so well cooked that it can be easily pulled apart and served in chunks. It’s no fun trying to carve a duck.

(Recipes from "Rose Petal Jam" by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target, (c) Tabula Books 2012)

Recipe: Stuffed eggplant (Imam bayildi) from 'Classic Turkish Cooking'

Here's a classic stuffed eggplant from Ghillie Basan's "Classic Turkish Cooking" (Palgrave Macmillan), featured in today's Buffalo News.

"Imam bayildi" means "the Imam fainted" in Turkish. This vegetarian dish is one of Turkey's most famous zeytinyağlı dishes, referring to a group of largely vegetable offerings cooked in copious amounts of good olive oil.

Imam bayildi (Eggplants with onion and tomato)

“As the story goes, the imam swooned with sheer pleasure at the sight of this dish, lavishly dripping in olive oil. The aubergine, onion and tomato should be so tender and delicately intertwined that they melt in the mouth. To achieve the effect enjoyed by the imam, there is only one way to cook this dish, and this is it. A green pepper, finely sliced, can be added to the mixture.” (Ghillie Basan)

Serves 4

2 aubergines (eggplants)
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Bunch each of fresh parsley, dill and basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup/150ml olive oil
2 ounces/60ml water
1 tablespoon sugar

Halve the aubergines lengthways. Sprinkle with salt and leave to weep for 5 minutes. Rinse well and place the halves side by side, flesh side upwards, in a wide pan.

In a bowl, mix the onion, tomatoes, garlic and herbs with the salt and a little of the oil. Carefully pile the mixture high on top of each aubergine half until all the flesh is covered. Mix the rest of the oil and the water with the sugar and pour it over and around the aubergines.

Cover the pan and cook gently for 1-2 hours. Occasionally baste with the oil, pushing the onion and tomato mixture down into the halves as they cook. The aubergines should end up soft and flat, completely filled with the mixture, sitting in a slightly caramelized flavoured oil.

Leave to cool in the oil. Transfer to a serving dish, spoon the oil over them, and serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over.

It's Pierogi Love Night at Ukrainian Club

The Ukrainian-American Civic Center (Narodnij Dim) welcomes Ukrainians, and those not fortunate enough to be born Ukrainian, for "a ritual of late winter," Pierogi Love Night.

Tonight, the flavors of Ukraine will be offered at 205 Military Road, near Hertel, at "serious Glasnost pricing." There's pierogi, $6, holubtsi (cabbage rolls) $4, and borscht with vyshky (dumplings) $2, plus combinations.

Not to mention Ukrainian beer, a DJ, the chance of getting your photograph taken against a handpainted Ukrainian backdrop, and more. Cash only.

Remember: this is a social club first, not a restaurant. "How To Order:" the event listing says. "Grab a menu from a table or the bar. Place your order at the door in the rear. 'Waitress' will bring you your food."

So if it takes a few minutes to get fed, relax and socialize, and you'll survive. 

Live chat with News food editor Andrew Galarneau at noon

Exciting food news of the day: after lengthy speculation, Dinosaur BBQ CEO John Stage confirms his company is looking at possible Buffalo sites, as reported in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Would a Buffalo Dinosaur devour existing local competition, like Kentucky Greg's, Fat Bob's, Suzy Q's, BW's and the rest? We can chat about that, and all things foodish, here at noon.


Dinosaur BBQ scouting Buffalo locations, finally

Dinosaur Barbecue, the Syracuse barbecue joint that's a favorite of many upstate smoked pork aficionados, is considering a Buffalo location.

Dinosaur CEO John Stage gives Matthew Daneman of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle the scoop.

The Dinosaur has built quite a fan base as its leadership turned a biker joint and blues bar into a contender for the best Southern-style spare ribs, pulled pork and smoked chicken in the state.

Dinosaur outposts are now open in Rochester, Harlem and Troy, with plans for Newark, N.J., Stamford, Conn., and Brooklyn, Daneman reports.

Would a Dinosaur Barbecue be enough to draw citizens to the barren wasteland of the waterfront in winter? Could it survive between Sabres games? Or would a central location near Shea's and the convention center be more stable?

If they build it, we'll see who comes. Who says the Senecas have the corner on legalized gambling in downtown Buffalo?

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