Local Heroes: Beef on weck
June 18th, 2010
02:00 PM ET
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Celebrating America's regional sandwiches, one bite at a time.

Hometown: Buffalo, New York, and surrounding area

Specs: Freshly sliced roast beef on salt and caraway-covered roll. The top of the roll is dipped in the beef jus, and a pot of strong horseradish is served alongside.

Backstory: The soul of Buffalo's favorite sandwich is the bread: a round Kaiser-style roll with caraway seeds and coarse pretzel salt baked onto the top. The roll, called a kümmelweck, is the source of the sandwich's name, was brought to western New York state by German immigrants, probably at the beginning of the 20th century. The origin story gets a little murky after that, but the most accepted version is that a bar owner was hoping to sell more beer and added the salty, thirst-inducing sandwich to his lunchtime buffet table.

How to eat alone at the bar
June 17th, 2010
03:00 PM ET
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Previously: Steven Stern's ode to eating alone at the bar

Tips for best bar eating

Find a good spot

If you're next to the place where the waitstaff picks up drinks, they're going to be squeezing by you all night. If you're all the way at the end of the bar, the barkeep is going to have to do a lot of walking back and forth to take care of you. Choose somewhere central, and settle in.

Start with a drink

Sure, you can ask for the wine or cocktail list, but if you sit down and immediately order something – a beer, a Campari and soda, a club soda if you don't do alcohol – the bartender knows they're dealing with someone decisive.

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Filed under: Bars • Bite • Etiquette • Restaurants • Sip • Solo dining

Grazing the bar
June 17th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
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Sometimes my friends are a little shocked, a little concerned maybe, when they find out how much time I spends sitting at bars by myself. Perhaps they imagine I'm just tossing back whiskey, crying into my drink, singing along to the jukebox. Well, sometimes, yes, I am doing precisely that. Most of the time, though, I am eating. I love eating alone at bars.

I eat at bars that serve food and restaurants that have bars. I eat shepherd's pie in Irish pubs and beef cheek ravioli in fancy Italian joints. I seek out odd little local spots in cities I'm visiting, looking for the perfect cup of gumbo, some regional burger variation I've never encountered before. I stroll into high-end restaurants that are booked up for the months and get wonderful meals without waiting.

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Filed under: Bars • Bite • Culture • Etiquette • Restaurants • Sip • Solo dining

Cooking dinner? There's an app for that
May 10th, 2010
08:00 AM ET
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The last few centuries of kitchen innovation have given us indoor plumbing, refrigeration, microwave ovens and the Slap Chop. But one piece of kitchen equipment hasn't changed much: the cookbook.

In terms of format, the earliest known cookbook ­ - De Re Coquinaria, written in 4th century Rome ­– isn't all that different from Rachael Ray's latest collection.

But now, everyone seems to be saying print is going the way of the Roman Empire. Compared to the rest of the publishing industry, the cookbook market is holding up relatively well, but the iPhone era may finally bring some innovation into a very old genre. Digital devices are entering the kitchen, and they're changing the idea of what a cookbook can do.

Read the full story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Bite • Make • Recipes • Techniques & Tips • Trends

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