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Alcohol Beer Culture Opinion

Breweries Are Not A Playpen, Stop Bringing Your Kids

Though I haven’t been drinking for long, I’ve come to know a thing or two about bars and breweries. One thing everyone accepts is that you must be 21 or older to enter. Unless you’re a child, that is.

Look, I get that this might come off as arrogant or exclusionary, but with breweries on the rise in the last few years, it’s becoming a little ridiculous when every time I go to one I’m invariably met with a toddler scurrying about my feet or a toy patiently waiting for someone to step on it.

These instances aren’t rare. “I walked into a brewery with a group of 10 to 12 children running around outside, with waiters dodging them. It was like daddy day care out there. It looked like lazy parenting,” said Foodbeast Managing Editor, Reach Guinto.

Kids get me and I get them, I know they just want to eat and play. Who the hell doesn’t want that everyday? But look kid, I just worked eight hours and half of that pay is going to bills and the other half is going right down my throat with these few flights of beers.

I walk into a brewery with the mindset of shooting the shit with some friends and casually getting day drunk and hoping nobody notices.

Now I’m not saying to ban babies from breweries — the alliteration is nice, sure — but that’s a terrible sentiment. However, there should be some rule or guideline that a parent should consider when visiting a local brewery.

I get that a babysitter will cost a dumb amount for a few hours and as a parent you need some time to chill out with friends and have a beer and go out sometimes. That’s perfectly fine. But after a certain hour there’s a time when a brewery becomes bar-like and a baby’s presence seems, for lack of a better term, weird.

I’m not the only one that shares this sentiment.


Around 7pm is right when a brewery takes on the vibe of a bar, that’s the beauty of a brewery. It’s the feeling of having drinks and being social but not having to pay $30 for two cocktails and hear, for the millionth time, how terrible our political climate is.

Although a fair point to bring up by parents is that it’s a great way to introduce children to casual drinking at an early age, I hardly doubt that little Tommy is going to grow up a better person because you brought him to a brewery. Kids don’t care where they are, they aren’t socially aware of what is going on. You could be drinking turpentine for all they care.

The general climate around children at a brewery isn’t hostile in the least bit. Most people will try to ignore the child or even play with them, it’s a mixed bag when it comes to these crowds. But generally speaking, people find drinking and smoking a little less enjoyable while a child is present, and for good reason.

A normal patron won’t say anything negative about the children there, that’s why it’s up to the establishments to figure out the best way to go about this minor dilemma.

This problem could be solved relatively easily. There’s no doubt that there are some breweries that have a vibe children can play and relax at, then there are some that aren’t so flexible.

Take Golden Road Brewing in Anaheim, CA for example, a perfect place to bring a kid right after a game at Angel’s Stadium. They’ve got cornhole, a great outdoor play area for kids, and an awesome menu that caters to children.

But Ballast Point at night? With the condensed crowds overlooking the ocean, a very specific menu, and no play area, that kid might end up in the ocean.

If these two breweries advertised some sort of “children’s hours,” or something that would more outwardly show how equipped they are to handle the toddler crowd, then us thirsty patrons can plan ahead. Maybe take it easy in the afternoon at Golden Road, play some cornhole, then head to Ballast Point and forget everything we came with.

Drinking is a simple thing really, but it’s also sacred. Any disturbance in the force is felt with great magnitude.

It’s 7pm, hide yo kids and lemme drink.

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This Dino-Sized Dorito Chip Is Everything We’ve Ever Wanted

It’s like Universal Studios and all the pathos that comes with it was mailed to us at Foodbeast.

Unbridled child-like joy is what a group of grown men felt when we opened this big ass box, following some corny instructions and getting hyped over a foot-long Dorito chip, taking pictures like some eager tourists.

It’s a good move from the Jurassic Park movie series and I’m not surprised that their marketing has taken on such a ridiculous yet amusing tactics. Chris Pratt helped, I’m sure.

After opening the gargantuan over-the-top packaging, we found what Doritos is calling, “the world’s largest” Dorito chip.

It’s as big as my head, and apparently my head is as big as a baby dinosaur because this chip hatched from a dinosaur egg.

Check this out.

Jurassic World has partnered with Doritos to promote the upcoming movie and in doing so has released this colossal chip. However, this promotion is not just some gimmick, as there’s actually some cool stuff Doritos has offered to fans.

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From June 13th until June 20th, a bidding auction will go on putting up the Jurassic Dorito, so you have your own chance to crack this huge thing and find your very own T-Rex approved snack. All proceeds from the auction will go to help funding disaster relief efforts for the American Red Cross chapter in Hawaii.

Until them, I’m gonna spend the rest of the day chomping on this foot-long chip.

Categories
Culture Drinks Humor

10 Tips From a Former Barista That Will Ensure The Best Coffee Experience Ever

Listen, I get that the empire that is Starbucks has been crumbling in the past few weeks. With closures due to public outrage, the coffee conglomerate has seen better days.

However, it doesn’t mean that one bad egg ruins the bunch. The bunch is human, the bunch gets that what happened is abhorred, the bunch still has to go into work the next day and deal with the hundreds of people yelling and screaming at their faces for something so insignificant like coffee being too bitter.

So show the bunch some humanity.

I’m not asking for sympathy, just decency towards the people that have been up since 4 A.M. trying to give you a little pep in your step.

I’ve been a barista for five years, give or take. I’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see when it comes to inept customers not getting the simple and relatively easy to understand ins and outs about coffee.

I see how this complaint could be petty, but petty turns to torture when it’s hammered into my head every day. The fact that I have nightmares of my face melting off from someone angrily throwing coffee at my face, telling me it tastes “like dirt,” is a problem.

Instead of getting angry for not getting what you want like a child, there are steps you can take to  keep your latte from being spat into, and make your experience a little more pleasant at your local coffee shop

If You’re in Line, Decide

Figure out what you want before you get to the register. I can’t tell you how many times someone will mess around on their phone until they get to the register and still not know what they want. I’m not your mom, I’m your barista, I will help you if you know what you want. If not, at least lead with that.

Caffeine ≠ Coffee

Too many times people will walk in and say they want coffee, but aren’t down to drink a 16 oz cup of dark roast, or squeal when their cup is full of espresso. If you want coffee, say coffee; if you want caffeine, that’s a different story.  There’s so much more for you if you want caffeine. You can have espresso, iced coffee, cold brew, tea, or a mix.

There’s More Than One Type

Not all beans are equal. Certain coffee beans produce a different flavor profile and complexity. Even Starbucks, with their unicorn bs, still has three different types of coffee brewing in the morning. Ask the difference and taste it too, you’ll have a better morning if you have the coffee you like best.

Hot is Different From Burnt

Extra hot milk is just burned milk. Anything over 200 degrees is just burned. If you’re trying to save it for later just get a stopper to keep the heat from escaping, or get it later, I doubt there isn’t a starbucks around wherever you are.

Ethnocentricism is no Excuse

Cold brew has been around for a long time. Just because Starbucks recently began doling out the new drink doesn’t mean they created it. According to historical records, cold brew finds its origins in Japan, specifically in Kyoto. It used to be referred to as Kyoto-style coffee, and only recently has been proliferate amongst US markets. See, pretty interesting huh? Ask a barista, and if they’ve got an ounce of intelligence and care, they’ll gladly tell you any further information or tidbits.

Don’t Play Yourself

Milk/cream and sugar are not needed. Sometimes the reason your coffee tastes so bad is because it’s just not the right type. Not all black coffee is a bitter charcoal pit. This isn’t a one size fits all type of situation. Just like there are different flavors of tea, there are different roasts with varying characteristics. Experiment a little, baristas are there to help you with that. Don’t just say it’s gross and expect us to read your mind, tell us what flavors you’re into.

This is Not That

If you order a Caramel Frappuccino with extra caramel because you want “coffee,” I will slap you. In my mind, at least.

There Are Actual Sizes

“Regular” is not and has never been a size. I assume you mean medium, which is mostly correct, but for those special folks that think I’m being dumb when I ask what exactly they mean, regular is not real.

Seek Within

If you really don’t know what you want, just ask yourself these three questions: 1. Do I want something hot or cold? 2. Do I want caffeine? 3. Do I want sugar? If you just tell your barista these three things and give them free reign to do whatever, they’ll have a blast and you’ll probably find a new favorite drink.

Enjoy

Overall, enjoy the experience that the barista is trying to impart. We genuinely care about the coffee, it’s what’s keeping us from throwing a bagel in your face at 5 in the morning. So take a minute, soak in the environment and know this isn’t a vending machine, it’s a cafe and we have real beans with real hot water and real people, not a robot.

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Cravings Drinks Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Products What's New

Hummus Shakes Are A Thing Now And Are Looking To Be The Milkshake Alternative

So we’ve all had hummus, it’s the best alternative to a cheese dip for any party platter, or a great healthy late-night snack. For a while now it’s been coming up in popularity, we’ve seen hummus on burgers and even in burritos, but it wasn’t until I heard about a new shake coming from the east coast made up of hummus that my attention was really piqued.

The Hummus & Pita Co. is debuting an original and justifiably questionable new product called the Hummus Shake starting May 13.

Right off the bat it sounds like you’re gonna be sucking down a tub of Sabra. But never judge a book by it’s chickpea cover.

While the shake might look like a Frappuccino on the outside, inside is an entirely different beast.

Rather than being made up of fats and sugars like a regular shake, this one is a combination of basically the same ingredients as hummus, with added natural flavors.

Chickpeas, tahini, frozen bananas, dates, almond milk, a little pure vanilla, and cinnamon are all that this healthy little dessert consists of.

And no, it won’t taste like Sabra either. There’s a variety of flavors, just as with any other shake, like butter pecan, chocolate, pistachio, and strawberry.

The Hummus Shake is an all-natural vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free treat that boasts many health benefits, including high amounts of protein and fiber.

Though I haven’t had the pleasure of satisfying my curiosity and trying the shake myself, food bloggers have had a great time detailing their reviews of the shake.

One in particular, David White, said, “the simple ingredients and the health factor of each individual ingredient create a two-fold feeling of comfort and ease in knowing that what you’re ingesting is good-tasting with benefits that are also good for you.” You can read White’s complete review here.

Seeing as this is primarily in NYC, an apt comparison could be to the prominent Shake Shack with their frozen custards.

A normal serving of frozen custard at the Shack is going to clock in at around 600 calories, with a heap of sugar and fat indicative of a traditional milkshake.

While the sugar levels are too close to call, the Hummus Shake is blessed with all natural sugars.

If any of those details are still not enough to convince you to try the new hummus shake, here’s a bit of incentive: From now until 5/20 you can buy one shake and get another free at any Hummus & Pita Co.

So go out and try the shake, let us know what you think, and maybe it’ll end up being the new worthy shake of the summer.

Categories
Deals Feel Good News

Häagen-Dazs’ Free Cone Day Is Back And Still Helping To Save Bees

For over a decade now you’ve been enjoying free ice cream from Häagen Dazs, but we bet you never took the time to actually learn why this blessed day comes around once a year.

It’s crazy to think that those little flying demons that we are told to stay still around are actually responsible for nearly every delicious flavor we put into our mouths.

Bees, through an incredible amount of pollination, are the sole suppliers of over 70 percent of the crops that humans rely on. Foodbeast did a write-up on what your food would look like if bees went extinct, maybe checking this out will help push you to donate instead of gorge on free ice cream all day.

And Häagen Dazs has been thanking them for 10 years as a part of their “Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees Initiative” with Free Cone Day being focused directly on thanking and supporting the bees.

While there’s no feasible way to physically thank said bees, supporting the effort in preventing their extinction is definitely the better alternative.

And what better way to support a cause than by getting free ice cream? There’s no other way and it is amazing.

On May 8th, between 4 – 8pm Häagen Dazs is coming back again with their annual Free Cone Day. Pop into a local shop and receive one free scoop of ice cream or sorbet in a cup, sugar cone or cake cone between specified hours. 

The purpose of this day is to recognize the bees and their gift of pollination, without which we wouldn’t have delectable flavors like Rocky Road, mango, or even strawberry.

The fact that you’re getting a free cone might push you to actually thank the bees in a viable way, because face it, most people don’t care about anything else if free ice cream is offered.

Think of it like this, you would have paid for the ice cream at some point anyway, this way you can use whatever you thought you would have had to pay and donate it here, to help fund research in preventing the decimation of bees.

One day you might not be able to get that delicious strawberry cone again and you’ll wish you spent even a fiver helping fight for bees.

For more information on bees, here’s a great article Foodbeast did on bees and their importance in the world.

Who: Häagen-Dazs

What: Free scoop of ice cream or sorbet in a cup, sugar cone or cake cone

When: May 8th from 4pm-8pm

Where: Participating Locations

Why: TO HELP THE DAMN BEES 

 

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/haagendazs_us/
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News

Detention Center Worker Steals Fajitas From Kids To Make $1.2 Million

The Pablo Escobar of fajitas has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. That sounds ridiculous, but what’s more insane is that Gilberto Escamilla, 53, abused his power over a juvenile detention center and made more than $1.2 million over nine years by selling fajitas.

Photo: Clay Junell on Flickr

Instead of smuggling drugs like a normal conman, the public servant would order huge batches of fajitas in the name of the detention center, but never actually serve the food that was received. Instead, he would sell it on the side and after nine years amassed over $1 million.

The crime itself wasn’t exactly Ocean’s 11 stuff, but here’s how he got caught. Escamilla had a doctor’s appointment and missed the delivery he’d been keeping secret for nine years, which led to officials being tipped off on the scam.

The worst part about this, however, is that it was done at the cost of juveniles. Despite being locked up, these are still children, and abusing their situation is incredulous. Their meals are already scant, to say the least. With each meal costing under $2 per person, they aren’t exactly being fed lobster and caviar.

Justified in the sentencing, the judge felt that 50 years would be a proper amount of time to send a message to other public servants, instilling the severity of the crime.

Categories
Culture Opinion

Wolfgang Puck Has Been Innovating for 30 Years, And Is Nowhere Near Done

Behind swank velour curtains, surrounded by a genius staff, is a mastermind, an artist, but most prominently, an innovator.

Chef Wolfgang Puck stands across from me in his domain. We’re separated via the greatest spread of food I have ever seen, a stunning and glowing preview of what the legendary chef has cooked up for this past year’s Oscars dinner.

It isn’t surprising that every article or interview with Wolfgang Puck revolves around his repertoire, seeing as he’s the seminal celebrity chef of modern American cuisine; his reputation radiates and draws attention like the proverbial moths to a flame .

However, I was pleasantly surprised to be joined in this interview by Wolfgang Puck’s son, Byron Puck, which led to some rather not-so-formal chit chat that revealed some illuminating facts of Wolfgang’s past.

Wolfgang came from incredibly meager means. At the age of 14, he worked in a kitchen for a hotel in Austria. After days of being berated by his stepfather, telling him he was good for nothing, he decided to leave the house for good. So Wolfgang left to go to the only place he found any comfort — the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the kitchen wasn’t having it this fateful day, and his boss, who chose Wolfgang as his punching bag, told him that he was fired and to never come back. After this, a dejected Wolfgang decided to go to a bridge to drown himself. After hours of sitting on the bridge, he decided that the only real option, the one that he felt his bones dragging him to, was to go back to the kitchen.

It’s in this kitchen that Hollywood can find some of its glitz and glamor, not the facades like in the backlots of studios, but the stuff called passion and culinary artistry. It’s a fitting choice to have the one and only Wolfgang Puck as the chef to feed Tinseltown on their biggest night.

It’s with the values and morals Wolfgang walked away with through his tough time coming up that he has instilled in Byron, which are reflected in his form and methodology when cooking.

Though Byron has somewhat followed in his father’s footsteps, he is also still trying to find his own culinary voice and style.

Byron cooks at an LA restaurant/incubator, called Rogue, helmed by his father, which features a crew of young artists searching for their own narratives through food. While Byron has the option to train under and obviously mirror one of the greatest chefs on the planet in his father, he instead discovered a way to tread his own path with the tools his father gave him.

Ultimately, that’s what every parent wants, to afford their children the ability to fend for themselves. With Byron, that faculty is palpable and palatable.

Through seemingly simple dishes like steak and carrots, Rogue and Byron Puck are showing the culinary world that traditions don’t need to be ditched in order to innovate. Instead of simply fine tuning a classic dish until it’s reached perfection, Byron flips what the general public might view the dish as and create something entirely new while still respecting tradition.

It’s refreshing, too, to see that Wolfgang posits the same ideals when recounting the reason for Spago’s — his seminal restaurant — success.

“It’s really interesting because Spago has been there for over 30 years, and all the other restaurants that were open around that time have closed. Why? Because there was no change. I think change is really important, but we also cannot forget where we came from. So you have to have a good mixture of tradition and innovation,” Wolfgang posits.

“One thing I didn’t like was when people would be kept to doing small things, like dishwashing then chopping potatoes and beans, like I did for three years. I said no, I’d rather have someone who’s innovative,” he asserts.

Especially being surrounded by remakes all over Tinseltown, it’s important that there is some originality being strewn into the mix, and what better way to start than with the gut.

Rogue is doing just that, with Wolfgang allowing young chefs to experiment without worrying about economic constraints.

Now, this can very easily be painted as some elite, privileged restaurant and these young chefs are being given an advantage. But anyone who truly looks at what this restaurant means can see that it is essentially a brick and mortar of the American Dream.

With Wolfgang, he’s got both hands on the wheel, his flagship restaurant Spago is still as iconic as ever in fine dining and Rogue is showing the culinary scene what’s what in terms of pushing the envelope of culinary ingenuity.

Wolfgang Puck is synonymous with modern cuisine, and with the help of his son and the chefs of similar mind at Rogue, he can become the father of contemporary cuisine and immortalize what it truly means to be a modern chef in a performance that should be deemed Oscar worthy.

Categories
Deals Fast Food

Take a Break With These Sweet Tax Day Restaurant Deals

April is the cruelest month. With lilacs dying off because of the bipolar weather, worrying over an array of tax forms and having an existential crisis as you realize how scant your income has been this past year really puts a damper on things.

However, while you scrounge out those old receipts to find any form of a tax benefit, there are some companies out there that have you in mind.

Whether you need some tropical shaved ice to cool you off or a free pizza with a big ass mouse, this tax day doesn’t have to be as dire as it might seem.

Here are a few spots offering a deal on that fateful Tuesday:

Great American Cookies

The 1977 classically American cookie company is once again sharing some sweetness on a bitter day by giving away one free Cookies & Cream cookie to any individual aware of the deal. Although you don’t need any proof of taxes to receive the cookie, the sullen, groggy, and broken look will fare as evidence.

Hot Dog on a Stick

While it might not be the first place you would run to, Hot Dog on a Stick is still attempting to alleviate any stress the day might bring by offering one veggie or turkey dog to each customer. Nothing amazing, but if you happen to be in a mall and you see one, now you know.

Chuck E. Cheese’s

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Okay, this one is amazing. You get an entire large pizza for free with a purchase of one large pizza from April 18-20. I don’t know if you remember these pizzas, but they tasted like how playing Mortal Kombat against the big, sweaty competitive kid and then beating him felt. I mean, you have to have a kid to get in, but that’s not a problem, just go to the Party City that’s invariably across the street and find one.

Cinnabon

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This one is pretty delicious. Anyone who follows the scent of these succulent little morsels to the source will be treated with two Cinnabon bites. While it might not be worth it to go out of your way to get only two of these tiny little dudes, consider the fact that most of the deals on this page can be found in a mall, so just go to a mall and take in the sweet tax day deals.

Hungry Howie’s

Though locations are sparse, this is a pizza joint on a level above Little Caesars and they’re giving away a one topping medium pizza for 15 cents with the purchase of a one-topping large pizza at regular menu price using the promo code 18TAXDAY. The deal is valid for online carryout purchases only through 4/15-4/17 at participating locations. Can’t really go wrong with pizza for 15 cents.

Piada Italian Street Food 

If you’re craving something more Italian than pizza, then look no further than Piada Italian Street Food which will be handing out a free blackberry lemonade with every purchase on Tuesday.

Potbelly Sandwiches

So if you’re on the West Coast this isn’t a great deal, mainly because there are no locations there. However, if you’re close to one of these shops, try to get their app and sign up for their perks program. Customers who sign up for Potbelly Perks by downloading the Potbelly app (iPhone / Android) or online will receive a free sandwich (the free sandwich offer ends until 75,000 sandwiches have been given away). Those already enrolled in Potbelly Perks can enjoy a BOGO Sandwich that will automatically load in to the app for redemption on Tax Day (April 17). For a fast food sandwich joint, this one knows what it’s doing, and what it’s doing is delicious sandwiches.  

Sonic

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For when you don’t feel like moving too much after you’ve experienced once again how bleak your economic life is, Sonic is the place to go. Without even stepping outside of your car — hell you can even keep the car going and listen to a podcast about why living a healthy life is the key to stability — all while chowing down on a half-priced burger at any time of the day, because this is America.

Kona Ice

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The traditional shaved ice company is hoping to help the hot headed tax payers by offering a free cup of shaved ice on their National “Chill Out” day, which is really just tax day. If you like shaved ice, this aint’ a bad pit-stop on your Tuesday. 

Chili’s

Finally, something that’ll actually help everyone in misery. For $6 you can get a pretty average blueberry or pineapple margarita from this fine establishment. Hey think about it, you get a pretty significant amount back for your taxes in a few weeks, right? Just consider it already in the bank and use this time in life to reflect. No better place to do that than Chili’s at like 11 AM, sitting next to a 70 year-old woman wearing stilettos, with a chihuahua in her leather purse, who smells vaguely like your grandmother’s dishwasher.

 

Well, that’s basically all of the deals you’ll want to consider. I mean there’s other stuff, like Quizno’s, but it isn’t worth it. If you have to be a member of something to get a deal that’ll save you a whopping $4 on an average sandwich, that might just stress you out more.

 

 

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/dtngreen/