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Food trucks selling at Canalside tomorrow as 'Food Fight' kicks off

Food trucks
An assortment of area food trucks cater to customers in this 2012 file photo. (Charles Lewis / Buffalo News)


Sightseers to the Canalside area along Buffalo’s waterfront can expect to see an unusual sight indeed tomorrow: food trucks selling their wares to customers.

The city’s licensed food trucks, barred from the Canalside area in most times, will be allowed to park and sell food tomorrow for the opening date of Canalside Food Fight, a season-long cooking competition, said organizer Matt Carlucci.

From noon to 4 p.m., seven trucks will be serving paying customers, Carlucci said.

At 12:15 p.m., a “secret inspiration,” described as “anything from snow to steel,” will be revealed to the audience. The five food truck crews competing will have two hours to fashion a dish, working in their limited truck kitchens, that best reflects the inspiration. (Fans of Food Network’s “Sweet Genius” will find the inspiration part familiar.)

At 2:15, the competing food trucks will submit their work to a panel of judges, who will pick a winner. Food trucks will be allowed to serve until 4 p.m., as part of the Canalside Open House event.

It’ll be the first of four contest days where food trucks can gather and sell food at Canalside, Carlucci said. The others will be in July, September, and finale in December, when points that the food truck competitors earn during the four events will be added up to determine a winner, he said.

There’s more information at Carlucci’s website,


BuffaloEats interview: News restaurant critic grilled by Buffalo food blogger


After two years of saying no, I finally sat down with Donnie Burtless, who with his wife Alli Suriani runs, Western New York's premier restaurant blog.

Donnie started as a guy who liked french fries, and had something to say about that. Since then Alli and he have eaten in more than 400 restaurants, and offered readers original reports on 387 of them. Usually there are lovely color photographs too. Alli's a better writer, but Donnie can eat more, so it's a team effort. His brother Tom runs the soundboard for recording sessions.

They added recorded interviews - podcasts - with people in Western New York with something to say about food. The show, called "Eat it Up," recorded 68 episodes before mine, including a who's who of the Buffalo food world. And me.

On listening I sound a touch whiny, but that's the way it goes. I sat down with Mr. Burtless because the Buffalo Eats staff is offering hungry readers flavorful, unique intelligence on how to feed their appetites in Western New York. They are working for free, so this is straight-up payback.

Check it out.


Correction: Pizza Amore 2nd WNY mobile food operation to open store


In today's dining review on Pizza Amore, I wrongly identified the wood-fired oven outpost, located in a Grand Island gas station, as the first brick-and-mortar store grown from a food truck operation.

Actually, the first was in December, when R&R Barbecue opened their location at 5952 Seneca St., Elma (472-7130). 

Sorry about that.

Recipe: Mum's Vinegar-Braised Pork Belly and Eggs, from 'Have You Eaten?'


Here's a relatively simple recipe from "Have You Eaten?," featured in today's Buffalo News. Billy Law grew up in Malaysia, a home cooking recipe straight out of his mother's kitchen. Law, an Australian food blogger at A Table for Two and contestant on "MasterChef: Australia," calls it "my favorite dish of all time," one he asks for every time he comes home.

Mum’s Vinegar-Braised Pork Belly and Eggs

 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) water

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pork spare ribs, chopped into 2.5–5 cm (1–2 inch) pieces (see note)

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pork belly, skin off, cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) cubes

5 cm (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 garlic bulb

10 star anise

5 dried chillies (optional)

3 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons dark soy caramel, or dark soy sauce

100 ml (3½ fl oz) light soy sauce

220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) sugar

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

(extra for the egg lovers)

Serves 4

1. Pour the water into a large non-stainless steel pot (such as a large Chinese claypot or enamelled cast-iron casserole dish), and bring to the boil over medium–high heat.

2. Add the pork ribs and pork belly to the boiling water, then add the ginger slices, the whole garlic bulb, star anise and chillies (if using), and bring back to the boil. Scoop out all the impurities floating on the surface.

3. Turn the heat down to a simmer, then add the vinegar, dark soy caramel, light soy sauce and sugar. Give it all a stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add the hard-boiled eggs. Braise the pork for at least 2 hours, or until the pork is meltingly tender, stirring occasionally.

4. When the sauce starts to thicken, have a taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. If it is too sour or too salty, add a little more sugar. If it is too sweet, add more light soy sauce. Do not add more water unless it dries out too quickly. Serve hot with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice.

Note: You can usually buy pork spare ribs in major supermarkets. You might have to call a few butcher shops to find pork belly, and it's available in Asian markets. If possible, ask your butcher to cut up a whole piece of pork belly with bones left in.

Source: (c) Have You Eaten? By Billy Law, Hardie Grant, 2013.


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