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DeGennaro’s Division Market

If you yearn for the days when you knew your neighborhood butcher by name and could purchase quality meats at reasonable prices, pay a visit to DeGennaro’s Division Market in North Tonawanda.

David Korzak, Jr. and Michael Korzak are the proud new owners of DeGennaro’s and they’re excited to welcome existing customers and new patrons to their store.  The brothers offer fresh, affordable proteins that are butchered by hand on the market’s premise and patrons can shop there Monday through Saturday.  Market staples include, poultry, beef, pork, homemade sausages, deli meats & cheeses in addition to dried and canned goods like imported pastas and tomatoes from Italy.

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Michael Korzak may be the new butcher on the block but he’s well seasoned in preparing homemade pork and venison sausage, hand-cut bacon, and tender roast beef.  He’s also adhering to the tradition of butchering meat on wooden blocks and using a hand-operated meat grinder.

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If you’re grilling over Mother’s Day weekend, Division Market sells Barbecue Packs for $12.99 composed of fresh ground Hamburger patties, homemade Sausages, and Hot dogs. If you’re in the market for high-end barbecue fare, try the Filet or Delmonico. Butterflied chicken breasts are also on sale and perfect for prepping in summertime marinades. If you enjoy making pizzas on your grill, Pizza Packs are sold for $9.99 and include 2 balls of dough by Camelot products, tomato sauce, grated mozzarella, and pre-sliced pepperoni.

Pizza pack

DeGennaro’s Division Market is located at 165 Division Street in North Tonawanda, New York 14203 / Phone: 716.693.7722.

Tweaking Your Tailgate Menu: A ‘Game-changer’

Filed under: Drinks, Food Events, Sports

If you’re interested in healthier alternatives to traditional game day fare, you may want to assess what you prepare and ingest before you plan your tailgate menus.

According to Jennifer Oswald, a Registered Dietitian/ Certified Dietitian Nutritionist at ECMC, the daily caloric goal for the average person depends on height, weight, age, and sex. Recommended food groups that should make up our diet include, lean protein, complex carbs (e.g. whole grains), fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and healthy oil/fat. This diet will ensure that you keep saturated fat to minimum of <10% of daily calories; based on 2000 kcals, this would equate to 200 calories or less per day.

Miss Oswald devised a chart illustrating common game day food/beverage, estimated total calorie and empty calories found in that specific food.

GAME DAY Indulgence food (Estimated calorie consumption for game day) included:

Type of food Total calories Empty calories Sat fat
Buffalo chicken wings (6 wings) 441 126 8
1 slice pepperoni pizza 250 42 4
Hot dog+bun 253 93 6
Nachos+cheese (2 cups) 362 70 6
French fries (1 ½ C) 252 17 2
Light Beer, 12 oz6 pack 104*624 78*468
1 ½ oz Distilled spirit (80 proof) 96 96
Total: 2278 912 26
unhealthy pizza

Your Standard Tailgate Pizza/Wings

Steve Christie, a former Buffalo Bills Kicker who played in the NFL for fifteen years, said he adhered to a specific diet before a big game. Christie explained that larger meals were often consumed the night before a game. However, pre-game breakfasts for Christie were modest and usually constituted bacon and eggs. Christie attributed his breakfast choice to wanting to remain lithe on the field during a game. He also said that The NFL began to reevaluate what players were consuming around the year 2000 due to Coaches and Nutritionists recognizing that even professional athletes who burned tremendous amounts of calories on a daily basis needed to modify their diets and consume nutritious foods that were lower in saturated fat and cholesterol.

(Moderately) Healthy Pizza Alternative

Healthy Pizza Alternative, Hydraulic Hearth. Photo Credit: Sarah Barry

(Moderately) Healthy Wings Alternative

Wood Fired Wings by ROCCO’s. Photo Credit: Sarah Barry

Jennifer Oswald, R.D./C.D.N. explains, “an NFL Athletes daily caloric recommendation can vary between 4000- 10,000 calories per day (based on a height and weight of the athlete). Dietary recommendations prior to hitting the field comprise lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and low fat and low fiber products. Common pre-performance food include: Eggs, waffles, fruit smoothies, milk (alone or with carnation instant breakfast and/ or protein powder), chicken breast, fish, pasta/rice and vegetables. Unfortunately, game day food for NFL fans are higher in total calories, empty calories and saturated fat than an NFL athletes diet.

If these facts don’t motivate you to explore alternatives to what you cook and consume on game days, hopefully the recipes in this week’s FALL HARVEST issue will inspire you.

Buffalo’s Best Mixologists Face Off in Cocktail Showdown

Tommy Lombardo's "Bellweather" featured cucumber-infused Nolet’s Gin, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, creme de violette, lemon juice, and fresh lavender.

Tommy Lombardo’s “Bellweather” featured cucumber-infused Nolet’s Gin, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, crème de violette, lemon juice, and fresh lavender.

On Monday, INdustry Night (IN) celebrated one year of bringing together Buffalo-area culinary professionals, writers, and food enthusiasts for twice-monthly themed events with a booze-soaked, open-to-the-public party and cocktail competition showcasing some of the finest mixology talent Buffalo has to offer. My fellow party-goers and I had the pleasure of sampling each of the four drinks vying for the title of “best,” and, overall, I was very impressed.

The Ruby-Fennel Fizz from Bacchus’s Michael “Greenie” Green was the first drink served. A combination of Nolet’s Gin, fennel seed-infused simple syrup, fresh grapefruit juice, and club soda, garnished with fennel fronds and a slice of grapefruit, it was a light and refreshing way to start the night.

Tony Rials’ winning “I Dream of G&T” earned high marks for its name, technical execution, appearance, and cohesiveness.

Tony Rials of Mike A at the Hotel Lafayette followed with I Dream of G&T, another Nolet’s-based cocktail whose name, I’m guessing, is a nod to its pink hue. With green Chartreuse, strawberry-chamomile tonic, strawberry water, and Chandon rosé, the drink tasted of herbs and flowers with an undercurrent of berry and a hint of of clove. It had an understated sweetness and complex flavor profile. The judges named it the night’s winning drink, scoring it particularly well for drink name, technical execution, appearance, and cohesiveness.

My personal favorite drink of the evening (and the crowd favorite, based on popular vote) was a Don Julio Reposado number called Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The drink was created by Vera Pizzeria bar manager Kerry Quaile, who combined the golden amber tequila with cucumber syrup, grapefruit shrub, Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Bitters, and champagne. The boldly flavored drink managed to be lip-smackingly tart upfront and sweet and spicy at the finish without overpowering the floral and herbal notes of the tequila. I could have kept drinking these all night.

Barely behind Breakfast at Tiffanys in terms of deliciousness and downright craveability was the judges’ pick for second-placea cocktail called Bellweather by Ristorante Lombardo’s Tommy Lombardo. For this unique riff on the classic Aviation, Tommy mixed cucumber-infused Nolet’s Gin with Dolin Blanc Vermouth, crème de violette, lemon juice, and fresh lavender. I worried that the drink would be overwhelmingly floral, but the bright acidity of the lemon and the drink’s ice-cold presentation tempered but didn’t mask the violet and lavender. It’s a drink that should put the bar at Ristorante Lombardo on every cocktail connoisseur’s must-try list. If you’re planning on attending the Italian Festival in August, note that the restaurant will be serving specialty drinks on its patio throughout the event.

A full rundown of how the judges scored each drink is available on IN’s Facebook page, where you can also find details on the group’s August 5 event: a pie bake-off and coffee tasting.

Your Monday Just Got Better: IN Invites You to Its Second Annual Cocktail Competition

At IN's 2012 competition, Vera served the North Star, a blend of tea-infused Rittenhouse Rye, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, egg white, and absinthe, with cinnamon, Angostura bitters, and star anise garnish.

At IN’s 2012 competition, Vera served the North Star, a blend of tea-infused Rittenhouse Rye, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, egg white, and absinthe, with cinnamon, Angostura bitters, and star anise garnish.

Just because it’s Monday doesn’t mean you can’t party like it’s the weekend. Tonight at Seabar, four of Buffalo’s best mixologists—Michael Green of Bacchus, Tommy Lombardo of Ristorante Lombardo, Kerry Quaile of Vera Pizzeria, and Tony Rial of Mike A at Hotel Lafayette—will compete for the honor of best drink at INdustry Night’s One-Year Anniversary/Second-Annual Cocktail Competition, and you’re invited.

The event, sponsored by Empire Merchants North and KegWorks and hosted by Chef Mike Andrzejewski and Feed Your Soul’s Christa Glennie Seychew, runs from 9:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public. If you are at least 21 years old and enthusiastic about good food and drink, stop by for complimentary tastes of all four craft cocktails and vote for your favorite. Attendees can also expect giveaways, samples of gourmet Luxardo-brand maraschino cherries, a cash bar, and, to satiate cocktail-induced taco cravings, a special appearance by Lloyd.

Check out IN’s website for more info on the boozy, fun-filled party. For those who can’t make it, I’ll be posting an event recap later this week.

On Corn Cookies and Food Trucks

Corn CookiesDo yourself a favor and head over to Blackbird Sweets at Horsefeathers Market and get your hands on a freshly baked corn cookie.

I discovered this unassuming treat at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, where Blackbird vends on Saturdays, and I can tell you with certainty that it is my favorite cookie from a Western New York bakery to date.

It is not particularly beautiful, but don’t let its simple appearance deter you. It’s dense, moist, and chewy in the center; crunchy and caramelized around the edges; and peppered with just the right amount of corny grit to keep things interesting. It is rich and nuanced with the flavor of nutty butter and sweet corn, and it is subtly sweet, not cloying, which perfectly balances the salty finish that lingers after each bite. I ate mine plain but have since thought about using them to make homemade ice cream sandwiches or crumbling one over a bowl of chili.

Blackbird Sweets owner Andrea Amodeo tells me she is experimenting with a gluten-free corn cookie recipe and hopes to have both versions at the farmers market this Saturday. In addition to corn cookies, Blackbird Sweets carries an array of cupcakes and other baked goods, and makes custom cakes, cupcakes, and cookies by special order. Check out the bakery’s Facebook page for store hours.

Food Truck Tuesdays Kicks Off at Larkinville

While you’re downtown grabbing a corn cookie, stop by Larkin Square today from 5 to 8 p.m. for a veritable food truck smorgasbord. Lloyd Taco Truck, R&R BBQ, Roaming Buffalo, Sweet Hearth, and the Whole Hog Truck will be there selling grub to the public as part of the summer event series Food Truck Tuesdays. Regular Larkin Square vendors Square 1 Sandwiches and the Larkin Ice Cream Cart will also be open, and beer and wine will be available for purchase, so grab some friends and seize the opportunity to sample the cuisine of some of the area’s finest mobile kitchens.