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Restaurants

Filipino Family Owned Restaurant Turned Community Kitchen Now Needs Your Help

At the heart and soul of every community, you’ll usually find a place where people gather to feel at home, at peace or whole.  A lot of times that place is around a table — a kitchen table, where loved ones gather to do more than just break bread. 

Since late 2019, Bebot has set that table as Long Beach, California’s first modern Filipino Soul Food restaurant.  But when a worldwide pandemic forces you to shut your doors and re-strategize, chef and owner, A.C. Boral, and his team realized that the only way to get through the pandemic was together with the community that supported them.  

In true Filipino fashion, A.C. and his team asked their community: “Have you eaten yet?” and added “Community Kitchen” to their title; then partnered with various community organizations to help feed the most affected families and frontline workers in their neighborhood.  Over the course of six months since the COVID lockdowns and closures began, Bebot Community Kitchen has provided over 5,000 meals to those in need.

Unfortunately, an accidental electrical fire ripped through the restaurant in the middle of the night on August 18th, leaving irreparable damage to their kitchen, their home.  For a new restaurant that has not even had its first anniversary, having to face a worldwide pandemic and a fire within the same year, most others would fold — but not Bebot.  A.C. is optimistic for the future and realistically hopes to have a place to reopen in the Spring of 2021.  

With all they’ve done for people in need, they are the ones who now need our help — so they can get back to being great ambassadors for the community.  

A GoFundMe page has been set up in hopes of recouping some of their losses, going towards a temporary space to continue their community kitchen operations, and subsidizing lost wages.  

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Hit-Or-Miss

Olive Garden’s Breadstick Bouquets Return For Valentine’s Day

olive garden breadstick bouquet

If you haven’t made those all too necessary Valentine’s Day plans yet, don’t stress because Olive Garden has your back (and your wallet) with a to-go dinner for two special, so you can get back to more important things planned for the evening. And if you’re lovers of their breadsticks (who isn’t), then it’s about to be a celebration!

Starting February 13, Olive Garden’s 3-course special includes your choice of soup or salad, a shareable entree of their Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno or Chicken Alfredo, or your choice of tiramisu or mousse cake, and a box of after dinner mints. Of course, you can’t leave without a bouquet of fresh breadsticks. Flowers are played out anyway!

Pasta, breadsticks… its hard to imagine a more perfect way to carbo-load for that marathon you two had planned, right?

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Hit-Or-Miss

Dunkaroos Are Making A Comeback This Summer

90s kids have another reason to rejoice because the popular childhood snack, Dunkaroos will indeed be making a sudden comeback in the Summer of 2020!  The Betty Crocker branded bites just created a less than cryptic account dedicated to the creamy cookies with one post simply captioned with the “looking eyes” emoji.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

👀

A post shared by Dunkaroos (@dunkaroos) on

Dunkaroos distribution was halted in 2012 in the United States, and 2018 in Canada.  The snack has garnered a cult following since the years of its discontinuation, with many fans urging a comeback, and few even attempting a homemade recreation.

The reintroduction to the market will begin with its original cookies, with vanilla frosting and sprinkles flavor.

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Adventures Brand Features Hit-Or-Miss

Parmigiano Reggiano’s Impact on Food Culture

A couple hours south of Milan is one of Italy’s most treasured and storied regions that you may not know about. The Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy is a beautiful countryside that encompasses a lush pasture — the ideal place to cultivate epicurean goods. This region is home to important staples of Italian cuisine, with deeply rooted traditions that stretch their influence worldwide, lending itself to be superior producers of ham, balsamic vinegar, and of course Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese) —”The King of Cheeses.”  If your travels ever take you to this land of plenty, it would be easy to see why the culture of food in this region is especially valuable.     

Parmigiano Reggiano is a cheese that bears the weight of centuries old tradition. It carries with it an immortal process of cheese making that has been unchanged since its conception.  The process, developed by the Benedictan monks in the thirteenth century, uses only three ingredients: raw milk, rennet, and salt. With that, they were able to develop a method that safely aged cheese over a long period of time.  To this day, Parmigiano Reggiano, the authentic parmesan cheese can only be produced within the Emilia-Romagna region, using the same ingredients and methods.  

The 352 dairy farms within the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium (the union of producers and traders) abide by a strict process in creating this natural cheese.  The process begins by combining fresh, raw, unpasteurized milk from local cows with calf rennet — the enzyme used to jumpstart the curdling process. It is whisked around in a large copper vat, separating the solidifying cheese and the liquids over a short period of time.  Once the cheese completely sinks to the bottom, it is scooped up and molded into a large wheel. It is later brined in salt and is set to mature properly over the course of at least two years before being sold.

This arduous and meticulous process requires a masterful hand to create, and goes on year round without fail.  It makes absolute sense that these wheels (of fortune) cost what they do at market.   

True Italian chefs know that there is no substitute for authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, and it’s potential in dishes soar higher than as just a garnish on a bowl of bolognese.  Unlike its American counterfeit of the grated variety, parmesan in its truest form can be delivered in innovative ways that take advantage of its robust flavor.

Over time, Parmigiano Reggiano was established as a Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP), a product with a protected designation of origin — which means that it is a good produced only in a specific region of Italy, requiring a specific production process that cannot be duplicated elsewhere, due to its association to culture and historical value. 

Parmigiano is truly valued in many frames of Italian culture, especially in the Emilia-Romagna region.  It’s special to all the chefs and gourmands — who value true craftsmanship and artistry; and the pursuit of authenticity.  But especially for the Consortium’s 352 dairy farms and its farmers — the literal nine centuries old art of cheesemaking tradition that spans several generations; all families that are prepared to pass down a noble livelihood to the next generation.  It is pride, passion, and genuine love that is at the center of this story.

Categories
Design Fast Food Food Fashion

KFC Indonesia Has A New Merch Collection With SANDALBOYZ

In recent years, the roads that have separated streetwear and the food industry have continued to converge. Restaurants with a hyped following have collaborated with popular streetwear brands to create limited edition collections for the truly dedicated fans who enjoy what they wear, as much as the food they eat. KFC Indonesia and Los Angeles-bred streetwear company, SANDALBOYZ are the most recent brands to come together for a capsule rooted in community.

Apparently, the popularity of The Colonel’s fried chicken is on a different scale in Asia, particularly Indonesia, which has grown to over 750 storefronts since its arrival in 1979. Despite being a young company based in Los Angeles, SANDALBOYZ holds some cultural heritage within Indonesia, while also having their manufacturing efforts within the country. Both brands want to continue and emphasize an expression of family and community, with the KFC signature bucket serving as its inspiration.

The result of this collaboration from the two brands is a full clothing capsule, featuring the signature SANDALBOYZ Court Slide, along with tees, hoodies, shorts, and socks.

To celebrate the collection’s launch, there will be a pop-up shop on December 14, 2019, where fans who purchase a “Pop Up Combo” at the 12 particiating KFC locations in Jakarta until December 12 will receive an entry wristband. This Indonesia exclusive capsule collection will only be available at the SANDALBOYZ x KFC pop-up at the KFC Kemang store in Jakarta, Indonesia.

 

Categories
Culture Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Now Trending Restaurants

The Origins Of The Chicken Sandwich Wars Of 2019

Back in 2017, we at Foodbeast broke a story that caught the eyes of many outlets around the country that came to be known as #PopeyesGate. It involved a restaurant named Sweet Dixie Kitchen in Long Beach, CA that incurred some backlash from the public after being caught using store bought Popeyes chicken, and repurposing it to be served in their chicken and waffles dish. An angry yelper recounted his dismay when he saw the boxes being brought in, feeling bamboozled, especially for having to pay for a meal that would cost significantly less at Popeyes. That led to a sneering reply from owner, Kim Sanchez, who defended her actions on the premise that “Popeyes was the best chicken.” We even paid them an incognito visit, in hopes of getting a better understanding of the whole story.

The whole thing blew up, and long story short, the internet agreed that an ethical line was crossed. Without full disclosure to customers, Sweet Dixie Kitchen passed off someone else’s work as their own. It’s just like school, nobody likes the weak link in the group project that still gets the same grade as everybody else.

While food plagiarism is indeed controversial, the practice isn’t illegal, and who knows if this specific case is even grounds for filing a lawsuit? At the end of the day, Sweet Dixie Kitchen embraced their infamy, benefited from it and continued with operations as normal but with a bit of added transparency.

Fast forward to August 2019, after all was thought to be said and done: Sweet Dixie returns to the spotlight after two years, but this time, with help from an unlikely collaborator: Popeyes!

“To be honest, I thought they were calling to sue me,” detailed Sanchez. Instead, Popeyes invited them to debut their biggest product launch in thirty years! Apparently, the folks at Popeyes were so honored by the whole #PopeyesGate situation that they felt a little collaboration was in order. What better way to show their appreciation than to allow Sweet Dixie Kitchen the honor of launching the new chicken sandwich into the world? How odd is it that a series of strange moments of virality led to a neighborhood eatery having the Popeyes chicken sandwich before Popeyes itself.  Nobody could have guessed that things would come around full circle, and we would end up with a sudden cultural phenomenon in our hands.

The internet is a wild place where things happen in the blink of an eye, and word just gets around real fast… like that one time you gave your friend a piece of gum during recess, and suddenly you’re surrounded by parasites with their hands out. On the day that Popeyes dropped their new chicken sandwich at all their stores, #BlackTwitter set social media ablaze, pronouncing a (chicken) coup d’etat set to dethrone Chick-Fil-A’s hold on the matter.

Honestly, I’m just glad we’re done with licking tubs of ice cream at the grocery store—that was a dark time for all of us.

Let’s be real, up until the past month, Chick-Fil-A was “Top Cow,” the heavyweight champ, the superhero (but the one everyone would be ashamed to be saved by…you know, cause of the homophobia thing). No one challenged the status quo until Popeye’s dared to rinse the pickle juice out of our eyes and showed us how to throw some Cajun into the mix.

Popeyes Initial Announcement 8/12

Chick Fil A Tweet:

Popeyes clapback:

It was at that moment, the dam broke, and any fast food chain who felt they had a say in the matter, did—which is why the Internet stays undefeated. From petty clapbacks to side-eyed comments, the “Chicken Sandwich Wars” between the nation’s top fast food chains had the internet at a standstill, with everyone and their mama trying to get their opinions in.

While the exchange between Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A was mild at best, Wendy’s wasn’t afraid to get into it, tweeting: “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich.”

Wendy’s Gets In The Ring:

Popeyes Counter:

Wendy’s Huge Hook:

Shake Shack somehow enters this royal rumble, tweeting: “If you’re looking for a chicken sandwich (without the beef), you know where to find us.”
Shake Shack:

I See No Lie There…:

But swiftly gets tossed out by this short tweet.

Popeyes Sold out announcement 8/27

After just fifteen days of long lines, brawls, and countless “Come Back Later” signs, Popeyes just could not keep up with the demand and announced a temporary SOLD OUT sign on their beloved chicken sandwich. Like a bright comet, it came and went, with a brilliant flash that blazed through our timelines. Until it’s return, we wait (or just go back to contaminating tubs of ice cream).

Twitter reactions/memes:

Chick Fil A employee @ Popeyes:

Flu Game:

AAHS:

Categories
#foodbeast Brand Cravings Culture News Now Trending Pop-Ups Products

90s Kids Rejoice, Cheez Balls are Back and Better Than Ever

Ahh, yes!  Who would have thought that the sweet scent of nostalgia would also be so Cheez-y!  All you 90s babies asked for it, and finally Mr. Peanut is ready to give it to you — Cheez Balls are back, and this time it’s here to stay!  

The limited release of Cheez Balls in 2018 sent nostalgic hopefuls into a frenzy when it didn’t last long, so PLANTERS put the work in to bring the neon orange snack to this decade.  Fortunately for the hordes of cheese lovers out there, Cheez Balls didn’t return alone. Also available now are pocket-sized shakers of Cheez Powder to use on just about anything you want!  

To celebrate, 350 lucky fans can win their own bottle of Cheez Balls Cheez Powder by commenting or tweeting @MRPEANUT what food they would top off with the new powder using #CheezBallContest starting today, August 20, until September 1st.  

If you’re also lucky enough to be in New York City on Wednesday, August 21st, you are invited to indulge in a Cheez-y one-of-a-kind pop-up by food truck Made From Scratch and Chef Richard Blais.  Stroll over to Astor Place between 11am-7pm to try tenders, lobster rolls, tots, and many more — dusted in all the Cheez Powder your heart can take.  

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#foodbeast Culture Features Film/Television FOODBEAST

‘Ulam: Main Dish’ Is the First Filipino Food Documentary To Be Distributed Worldwide

ULAM: Main Dish – Official Trailer #2 (HD) from Alexandra Cuerdo on Vimeo.

It’s pretty safe to say that over the past couple of years, Filipino cuisine and culture have continued to sizzle slowly into the hearts of America’s dinner table.  Highlighting this cultural shift is Ulam: Main Dish, a documentary that shows the true “underdog of Asian cuisines’” rise to center stage — and is the first Filipino food documentary to be distributed worldwide through Hulu

Aside from the love that late greats Jonathan Gold and Anthony Bourdain have heralded in regards to Filipino food, the rest of the world was slow to take notice. Regardless, its voice grew louder, its proponents adjusted to the contemporary dining climate, and its ascent rose high enough to the point that it could no longer be denied.  

Ulam: Main Dish is a documentary by filmmaker Alexandra Cuerdo staging how the cuisine moved beyond being known for lumpia and ube to become a phenomenon, all through the efforts of a handful of celebrated Filipino-American chefs and restaurateurs like Alvin Cailan (Eggslut, The Usual), Chase & Chad Valencia (LASA), Johneric & Christina Concordia (The Park’s Finest), and Nicole Ponseca (Maharlika, Jeepney) to name a few.

The film is a compelling confrontation of the issues that come inherent with representing an authentic Filipino culture and cuisine within an American community — but ultimately, is a celebration of the representation and validation that the Filipino people and advocates of the cuisine have longed for.