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Correction: No toast for the masses Wed. at private Larkin Square fete

CORRECTION: Kevin Gardner says he just learned that this is not a public event, and offers his regrets. So if you go there, unless you were already on the invite list, you will not get toast. A prior version of this item said otherwise.

Correction: No toast for the masses at Larkin Square's Wed. fete

CORRECTION: Kevin Gardner says he just learned that this is not a public event, and offers his regrets. So if you go there, unless you were already on the invite list, you will not get toast. A prior version of this item said otherwise.

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Outside Buffalo, the restaurant world's new darling is pop-ups - chefs doing one-night menus in other restaurants or unsual locations. When Five Points Bakery gets its toast menu cranking at Larkin Square on Wednesday, with six heavy-duty toasters firing at once, it'll make pop-up history.

It's a one-night-only deal as part of the cermonial opening of the plaza, at Seneca and Swan streets, from 5-9 p.m. Five Points partner Kevin Gardner said.

"Everything we do, it'll be hot off the presses," Gardner said. Their setup can make 24 slices of toast per cycle, meaning they'll try to keep the line moving. For only $3 (less than at the Five Points Bakery itself), eaters can try toast combos aimed at pairing with adult beverages, Gardner said:

Extra sharp cheddar toast with French St. Agur blue cheese and Frank's hot sauce, whole wheat with homemade spicy garlic free-range egg mayonnaise, hardboiled egg and fresh ground pepper; vollkornbrot (100-percent rye sourdough) with raclette cheese and organic sauerkraut.

 

East Park Pops puts Watermelon Pineapple, Toasted Coconut in your hot little hands

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(From left, Raspberry Pineapple, Watermelon Pineapple, experimental fruit in pear ice number)

At $2.75 a pop I wouldn't lavish East Park Pops, covered in today's Out to Eat column, on those who would honestly prefer a Popsicle dyed a neon blue color not found in nature. I'd save them for me. I mean, people who would appreciate hunks of fresh pineapple suspended in watermelon ice. (They're available at Delish on Amherst Street.)

Heidi Freedman's confections were so lovely I wanted to share photos, since the newspaper version is black-and-white (photos by Sharon Cantillon):

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The clear ice is an experimental pear flavor, Freedman said, and that's Toasted Coconut at two o'clock.

Live chat at noon with News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau

What's cookin'? Had anything to eat lately that you want to talk about? See you here at noon for my live chat.

 

Recipe: Jeff Rexinger's sweet potato haystacks

Jeff Rexinger, the News' June Cook of the Month, likes to serve these baked mounds of shredded, seasoned sweet potato with beef brisket.

Sweet Potato Haystacks

3-4 sweet potatoes

¾ cup of rice flour

¼ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

½ tablespoon sea salt

3-4 eggs

Directions

Use a food processor or hand grate the sweet potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion and stir. Sprinkle the mixture with the rice flour (You don’t have to use the entire ¾ cup amount) and coat everything evenly.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, salt and pepper and cinnamon. Pour mixture over the sweet potatoes and mix well making sure to coat all of the potatoes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Convection ovens will work the best for this recipe. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Using an ice cream scoop or your hands form the mixture into a round haystack shapes, and place on the baking sheet.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until the outside is a dark golden brown color. Top with butter and more fresh ground pepper.

New barbecue restaurant adds smoky note to Hertel Ave. lineup

A catering couple is taking their barbecue cuisine to restaurant form on Hertel Avenue, opening Billamy's BBQ.

Bill and Amy Wesolowski, who have had a catering operation since 2008, hope to open their eatery at 1260 Hertel Ave., between Crestwood and Commonwealth avenues, this Saturday.

The menu at Billamy's BBQ will include everything from steak and ribs to pulled pork, pulled chicken and grilled portabellos, Bill Wesolowski said after today's city Planning Board meeting.

The Wesolowskis are looking for permission from the city to have an outdoor patio as part of their restaurant. A public hearing on that proposal will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Common Council's Legislation Committee meeting. The full Council is expected to vote on the measure next Tuesday.

The Planning Board approved the patio plans this morning.

The restaurant will seat 28, Bill Wesolowski said, with the patio seating 15 to 20 people.

--Aaron Besecker
Follow me on Twitter: @BeseckerBN

Taste of Diversity: Try Peruvian, Native American, Burmese and more at Saturday festival

Ever tried Peruvian stuffed potatoes? Native American roasted corn soup? Ethiopian lentils?

Try them all, plus Burmese, Pakistani, Italian and more food vendors at tomorrow's Taste of Diversity, at Lafayette and Grant streets.

Review: Refocused on small plates, Sample shines on Allen Street

Adam Goetz said he's been fine-tuning his operation at Sample (242 Allen St., 883-1675), and I thought it showed in a recent visit. The chef-owner said that in addition to having a capable second in Donald Cook, he's added the talents of a pastry specialist, Kelcey Reen. A strawberry sorbet with a finishing bite of black pepper was one of the highlights of an outstanding meal. 

If you go as a couple, I'd suggest ordering the chef's tasting, then deciding on two to four more small plates that catch your fancy. (If vegetarians, vegans and gluten-averse diners warn the kitchen when they make a reservation, Goetz said, he can deliver a chef's tasting that meets their needs.)

That's $60-$80 in food, not crazy money to feed two. I found myself making a list of things I wanted more of next time. Speaking of next time: even Goetz fans have complained that Sample's menu could use more seasonal offerings. For a complaint, it's a good one - diners are expecting more from Sample. We'll see if Goetz and company can deliver.

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