The Tip Jar here at Chow Hound HQ is currently overflowing with news, and it's my job to serve it up to you in carefully measured portions so you can efficiently digest all this data. First, though, let's grab a bite in Swillburg...
• "That's Zemeta," owner Natanael Beshah said, proudly motioning toward his cheerful wife as she bustled around her namesake Zemeta Ethiopian Restaurant (1015 S. Clinton Ave., 244-3344), a warm, welcoming space located in the former India House Vegetarian Café. Like other Ethiopian eateries, Zemeta offers diners the options to order a la carte or sample different dishes through a variety of combination platters. There are several meat-based combos featuring beef, chicken, and lamb, but at $8.95, the vegetarian version is a steal, consisting of an array of exquisitely seasoned lentils, greens, and other vegetables, all artfully arranged atop the traditional teff flatbread known as injera, which diners use to scoop up the food. (Besides being totally nutritious, teff flour is gluten-free.) Zemeta also serves a popular vegetarian buffet on Fridays and Saturdays, and coffee lovers might like taking the high-octane Ethio coffee ($2.25) out for a spin.
• On a Dishcrawl, you and your new best friends explore a particular neighborhood via its vittles. Past events have gone down on Park Avenue and in the South Wedge, and the next Dishcrawl, scheduled for Tuesday, September 17, and Wednesday, September 18, 6:30-9 p.m., will take participants on an eating tour that stops at four East End restaurants. Tickets are $45; visit dishcrawl.com/rochester to learn more, and follow Dishcrawl on Twitter (@dishcrawlroc) for hints about the destinations.
• Apple Country Spirits, Wayne County's first distillery since Prohibition, has recently debuted its Tree Vodka, distilled from apples (but not apple-flavored) grown on Williamson's DeFisher Fruit Farms. Other spirits are in the works; call 315-589-8733 for more information, or visit applecountryspirits.com.
• Congratulations to Heather Saffer, whose "Dollop Book of Frosting" recently hit bookstore shelves. Winner of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," Saffer closed her Penfield bakery space Dollop at the end of last year to concentrate on ventures like her new book, which goes beyond the typical cake-and-icing partnerships to include savory ideas like beer-boiled pretzels with cheddar-bacon frosting. Learn more at heathersaffer.com.
• Good Luck, currently in the throes of celebrating "Five Years of Luck," is again partnering with Greentopia | Film for Short Courses II, taking place Tuesday, September 10, at 7 p.m., and consisting of four courses of food paired with the four short documentaries that inspired them. (Also: wine.) Tickets are $100 and going fast; visit greentopiafest.com/film for details.
• "Seeds of Change" is the title of Unity Health's series on cooking with beans, legumes, and soy, a low-fat, plant-based approach designed to help manage diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, as well as promote weight loss. It's $120 for the four-session class, which begins Wednesday, September 11, 6-8 p.m. at Unity Diabetes & Endocrinology Services, 2655 Ridgeway Ave., Suite 220. Visit unityhealth.org to register, or call 368-4560.
• Well, the bad news is that The Wafel Cart is winding down, its final appearances scheduled for the Rochester Public Market on Saturdays in September, as well as the August and September Food Truck Rodeos. The good news? Owner Nick Musson is planning to open a waffle shop "unlike anything you've experienced before." Stay up to speed at thewafelcart.com.
• The Seedfolk Store recently celebrated its grand opening at 540 W. Main St., staffed by volunteers and selling fresh produce as well as other locally made items. Operating with the support of Prosper Rochester, The Seedfolk Store also provides entrepreneurship training to neighborhood kids, along with opportunities to flex their own green thumbs. Call 224-5119 for more info, or visit The Seedfolk Store's Facebook page.
• Enjoy England, Ireland, France, and Belgium without the jet lag? Of course not; don't be silly. But you can drink some good beer with a PassPOURt, which entitles the bearer to suds, swag, and more through visits to the Old Toad, Murphy's Law, Fraîche Bistro, and Victoire on Saturday, September 14, 2-5 p.m. Tickets are $20; call 255-0103 or visit victoirebar.com to learn more.
• Sunday, September 8, brings with it the debut of the Penfield Farmers' Market, located at Grossman's Garden & Home, 1801 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road. Open Sundays year-round 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the Penfield Farmers' Market will offer locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with meat, eggs, dairy, baked goods, and other handcrafted items. Call 377-1982 for more information, or visit grossmans.com.
• Foodlink's annual fundraiser Festival of Food is on the horizon, scheduled to take place Monday, September 16, 6-9 p.m. at the Rochester Public Market. The largest independent tasting event in Upstate New York, Festival of Food showcases the efforts of more than 100 local restaurants, breweries, wineries, caterers, specialty food purveyors, and farms, all of whom will offer samples of food and drink. Proceeds support Foodlink's mission to provide hunger relief. Tickets are $50 in advance; get 'em at festivaloffood.org.
• There's a new outpost of the popular pho spot SEA Restaurant; this one recently opened in the former Thai Taste at 675 Mount Hope Ave. Call 461-4154 for more information, or visit SEA's Facebook page.
• Welcome to Rochester, Duke's Donuts! The Buffalo-based doughnut maker now sets up at the Rochester Public Market on Thursdays and Saturdays, tempting shoppers with its wares, which include cider doughnuts that are positively heavenly when still warm from the fryer. You can stalk — um, follow — Duke's Donuts on its Facebook page.
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