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Best meals of the year from Buffalo Eats' cast of characters

At Buffalo Eats, Donnie Burtless has been interviewing cooks, food writers, and a horde of other wide-ranging eaters all year long for his podcast, called Eat It Up.

With 2012 drawing to a close, a crew of his guests offer their memories of their favorite meals of the year, plus lots of delicious pictures. It's a generous buffet of vicarious appetites, delights-by-proxy and, incidentally, ideas for special meals. Plus, it's a hoot to read.

ADVERSE REACTIONS MAY INCLUDE: Stabbing hunger pangs, wrenching envy, involuntary salival overflow.  

It's a three-parter, with sections one and two already online, and three coming soon.

Grilled cheese and soup coming to Allen Street

By Jill Terreri

A new grilled cheese and soup take-out restaurant is coming to the site of a former hot dog place on Allen Street. 

Plans to re-establish a take-out restaurant and sidewalk patio at 244 Allen St. were approved by the Planning Board and the Common Council's Legislation Committee on Tuesday. 

Matthew Yuhnke, who appeared before both bodies on behalf of Buffalo Melting Point, said he hoped to be open at 244 Allen, formerly Lagniappes Lucky Dogs, in the next few months.

He promised sandwiches with a variety of inventive cheeses and different ingredients.

Buffalo Rising's Newell Nussbaumer wrote about plans for Melting Point in July.

Guide for adventurous eaters: Map to Buffalo's international food

Look below or click here to download a PDF of the International Institute of Buffalo's map for adventurous eaters, featured in Wednesday's News.

Published in October 2012, it already needs corrections. Shawarma King and B. Ferrante are closed.

Please send additions, corrections, or offers of tech help towards a digital edition to Erin St. John Kelly at

International Institute of Buffalo's map for adventurous eaters

Recipe: Warm beet soup, from 'Canal House Cooks Every Day'

Here's a soothing wintertime soup from "Canal House Cooks Every Day," featured in today's Buffalo News.

Warm Beet Soup

serves 4–6

Beets are one of the first root vegetables we plant in our gardens each year and one of the last we pull from the cold dirt in the fall, usually after a frost. We steam or sauté their stems and greens, then season them with a good olive oil and lots of salt and pepper. Or we bathe them simply in melted salted butter with a splash of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, or serve them with a generous spoonful of garlicky aïoli. The beets themselves, roasted or boiled, can be served just like the tops. But beets are also one of our favorites for making soup, cold or hot—in this case a warm velvety soup of outrageous color, and sweet, earthy flavor. We hope it puts the roses back in your cheeks (it always does in ours).

Garnish this soup with a lot of snipped fresh chives and a dollop of sour cream. A small handful of finely diced roasted beets is a tasty finishing touch too.

 2 pounds beets (4–6 medium beets)

1 large onion, chopped

1 large russet potato, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

6 cups beef broth

2 tablespoons freshly grated or store-bought prepared horseradish

Juice of ½ lemon, preferably Meyer

Salt and pepper

Small bunch fresh chives, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wrap each beet in foil and bake until tender when pierced, about 1 hour. Unwrap the beets and when they are cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin. Coarsely chop the beets and set aside.

Put the onions, potatoes, carrots, and broth into a heavy large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Add the chopped beets and horseradish to the pot. Set the soup aside to cool slightly.

Working in small batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Thin the soup with a little more broth or water if it’s too thick. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Before serving, return the soup to the pot and warm it up over medium-low heat. Garnish with plenty of chives.

—From Canal House Cooks Every Day by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer/Andrews McMeel Publishing