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French fries. No, they weren’t invented in Pittsburgh (or France for that matter) but Pittsburgh has taken these crispy slices of gold to an all new level — as a condiment. In the ‘burgh, fries are as likely to be on a sandwich as next to it, especially if you’re at Primanti Brothers, which is to Pittsburgh what Geno’s and Pat’s are to Philadelphia. The sandwiches are served on thick slizes of Italian white bread, layered with vinegary coleslaw, tomato, French fries and — if your a true ‘burgher — a fried egg. Every table has a bottle of Trappey’s…

laurellake_2002cabfranc_1

Despite the warmer-than-usual temperatures we’ve been enjoying lately, this time of year calls out for comfort foods — especially roasts and stews. They fill our kitchens with warming, alluring aromas and pair wonderfully with hearty local red wines. Unfortunately, it seems like most of the East End’s recent releases are white wines — either chardonnays with a couple years of bottle age that are finally ready for release, or fresh, young aromatic whites like riesling or steel-fermented Chardonnay. Thankfully Laurel Lake Vineyards and winemaker, Claudio Zamorano, have bucked that trend, recently releasing two reds and an ice wine. The Laurel…

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Holly Howell, wine columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle, has been named director of education at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, a$7.5 million center, backed by corporate, university and government sponsors, that is expected to open this summer in Canandaigua. Holly comes from a family of food lovers and her parents run their own cooking school. She also teaches food and wine classes at Wegmans, RIT and Casa Larga Vineyards.

chippedham

Before I continue with this post, let me just say that I am well aware that this isn’t even close to the authenic use of the term "BBQ." Though it is slow cooked (or at least it can be) and includes a yummy pork product, there’s no smoke and not even an open flame necessary. As a kid, one of my favorite sandwiches was mom’s ham barbeques. They aren’t the most sophisticated or complicated sandwiches in the world but they are a ‘burgh tradition and — frankly — they are home for me. You’ll noticed the main ingredient is "chipped…

check_1

Even though Nena and I have been living on this overgrown sand bar for over six years (has it been that long already?) there are a ton of restaurants we haven’t gotten to yet. You may be asking "Why not, Lenn?" Well, we usually stay fairly local to wherever we’re living at the time and sometimes fall into ruts. Our main group of friends also seems to frequent five restaurants…all within a few miles of the town we live in. So, to help Mrs. LENNDEVOURS and I branch out a bit over the next 11 months, I’ve compiled a list…

AFC Championship

In case you haven’t heard, the Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5. I’m also a huge fan…I bet you didn’t know that   Even though the game is in sure-to-be-cold Detroit, there is no doubt in my mind that the Steelers faithful will be turning out in full force, both for the game itself and long before. Tailgating is a bit of a religion in the Steel City. I’ve gone to 4 p.m. games where we arrived at the stadium at 8 a.m. Tailgating is important after all. But Steelers fans, what would you eat…

foxrun_03reschard

Every week, I write a "Vintage of the Week" for the Long Island Press lifestyle section. For whatever reason, I hadn’t been republishing them here, but thought I’d start doing so when the wine isn’t written about in another post. The Finger Lakes are best known for their world-class rieslings, but with a cool grape growing climate, the region is well suited for other classic varieties, chardonnay included. This bottling from Fox Run Vineyards — a nice value at $13 — is a nice example of cool climate chardonnay. Rather than being heavy and flabby like many California bottlings, it’s…

bettissb

(picture borrowed from ESPN.com) As you may have noticed yesterday, I presented a challenge to Seattle-area food bloggers as my hometown Pittsburgh Steelers take on teal-clad Seattle Seahawks in this years Super Bowl. Well, the mind behind the Culinary Fool has accepted the challenge. What’s on the line? When the Steelers win, she has to send me one of her last bottles of Matthew Cellars 2001 Columbia Valley Red. If by some miracle the Seahawks win (and then go ice skating with the devil), I’ll have to part with my last bottle of Martha Clara Vineyards 6025. Think of it…

superbowl06

Every year, the mayors of the two Super Bowl participant cities make a wager on the game…usually special items that are only available or that are particularly good in each city. Well, it’s time to bring that spirit to Super Bowl XL. I’m willing to play the part of Pittsburgh representative…any Seattle bloggers interested in a little friendly wager? Of course there are a ton of Seattle food bloggers…some of you are among my favorites. But, Kate is a native Pittsburgher…so I know she isn’t going to bet against the black and gold. Any takers?

For the second straight year, Alder Yarrow, the founder of Vinography, has won the award for the Best Blog on Wine, Beer or Spirits. Congratulations to Alder, yet again! It would appear that the only way any of the rest of us will ever win this competition is to put a hit out on Alder. Unfortunately, his blog is so good and he’s such a good guy, it’s hard to hate him It was an honor just to be nominated…as it appears that’s all any of us can shoot for until Alder hangs up his keyboard. And let’s not forget…