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#foodbeast Feel Good FOODBEAST SPONSORED

Foot Locker Partners With Foodbeast to Deliver 500 Meals to 100% COVID-19 Hospital

Last week, Foodbeast teamed up with Foot Locker LA and HiFi Kitchen, a local Filipino restaurant to announce a delivery of 500 meals to the Los Angeles Surge Hospital over the span of two weeks.

The hospital, which sprang up in the formerly closed St. Vincent Medical Center, has become one of Los Angeles’ treatment epicenters, as it remains a 100% COVID-19 facility.

The meals look to alleviate the ever busy essential staff, whose shifts have left them with little time to eat any substantial meal, according to sources on the ground at the hospital. Options looked to account for any dietary restrictions as well, with workers choosin from Chicken Adobo, pescatarian La’Ing, or vegetarian La’Ing rice bowls.

In addition, Melissa’s Produce will be donating fresh produce to the hospital’s staff weekly for the next eight weeks, so as to make eating healthy ever convenient.

Austin, TX-based distillery Garrison Brothers contributed to the cause as well, donating 200 6oz bottles of their housemade hand sanitizer, which has become one of the city’s rarest commodities.

“Just to be able to give back in some way and show our appreciation for these literal heroes putting their well-being on the line to care for the health of others is special. Let’s all go show love to medical, essential, and front line workers, and give them their roses while they can smell them.” said Reach Guinto, Foodbeast managing editor, who helped deliver the first batch of 250 meals last Friday.

The next round of meals will be delivered Friday, May 8. Stay tuned to Foodbeast for updates, as well as any news regarding food related pandemic relief.


Created in partnership with Foot Locker LA.

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Alcohol Beer Culture Features Feel Good

Burps For Bartenders: Water Brand Donates $20 A Belch, On Instagram

liquid death

Liquid Death. You read that right.

That’s the name of a contemporary, canned-water brand willing to help the thousands of bartenders without work currently. The name is silly, their new mission is not.

With every social post with the hashtag #BelchForBars and tagging @LiquidDeath on Facebook or Instagram, the brand will be donating $20 to the United States Bartender’s Guild. There’s up to $250,000 on the line for our bartenders, barbacks and hospitality staff affected by the new normal.

I know you’re just sitting at home, so… kick back a toast of sparkling water, or anything else that shoves air down your gullet, and do it already.

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Cravings Culture Deals Fast Food Feel Good News What's New

Checkers & Rally’s Are Giving Out Free Meals to Healthcare Workers

 

Known for their “Crazy Good Food,” Checkers & Rally’s have shifted their focus towards crazy good hospitality.

Now, at all 250 locations nationwide, first responders and medical workers can get a free small combo at the fast food chain, solely by showing up in their uniform.

Each combo includes a small order of fries, a small drink, and a choice of one of the following entrees: Big Buford (which may be the best name out there for a fast food item), Cheese Champ, Chili Dog, BBQ Bacon Roadhouse, Half-Pound Chicken Bites, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Baconzilla, 5-piece Wings, or a Deep Sea Double. 

The restaurant’s employees will also benefit from the policy, as they’ve been deemed “essential workers,” and will get a free small meal for every shift they work.

This is in addition to the $100,000 they donated to No Kid Hungry that’s estimated to provide a million meals to children, and certainly shows a commitment to helping the communities that surround each location, which is rare for such a large chain. 

Hats off, Checkers & Rally’s.

 

Photo: Jeremy Brooks
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Celebrity Grub Culture Feel Good News

Celebrity Chef Jose Andrés Says Doctors And Nurses Will Eat Free At His Restaurants For A Year

Chef Jose Andres is no stranger to philanthropic efforts centered around his love for food and community through his charity World Central Kitchen, as evidenced by the massive contributions he’s made during this COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it be turning the Washington Nationals’ baseball stadium into a community kitchen to feed thousands or jumping on board the quarantined Grand Princess cruise ship to feed its guests and crew, Andres has been an active force of good that’s become a regular highlight during the coronavirus news cycle.

In his on-going efforts of doing good through food, Andres has promised in a recent tweet that doctors and nurses will eat for free at his restaurants for the rest of the year.

My mom and dad, and uncle, and godmother were nurses, doctors, pharmacist! When I reopen my restaurants, I hope I will, every active Doctor and Nurse will eat for free for the rest of the year!

We’re all just as grateful for the work that medical workers and other frontline staff have been putting in during this turbulent pandemic, and for Andres to show his gratitude in such a way is to be commended — especially since most of his restaurants are high-ticket, fine dining, one-of-a-kind gastronomic experiences.

This gesture is but another in a long line of positivity and service that the lauded celebrity chef has displayed in his career, and we’re sure that Jose Andres’ generosity will continue on.

Feature photo: Geoff Livingston
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Feel Good Restaurants

The Great American Takeout: An Urgent Call To Support Your Favorite Restaurant On March 24

The restaurant industry has taken a serious beating over these last few weeks due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. With Americans staying home and practicing self-distancing, restaurants have seen a massive plunge in revenue — many of which have had to close their doors for the time being.

In an effort to support restaurants and restaurant workers across the nation, a coalition of restaurants are starting that they call The Great American Takeout.

Beginning tomorrow, March 24, here’s what everyone can do to support local restaurant and their workers:

  1. Folks are challenged to order at least one delivery or takeout meal to help the struggling restaurant industry.
  2. Encourage others to participate in the upcoming event on social media, using the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout
  3. Share a photo of your takeout after it arrives with the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout

Created by a coalition of restaurants that include Panda Express, Panera Bread, Noodles & Company, Jason’s Deli, Veggie Grill, El Torito, California Pizza Kitchen, The Habit, Lemonade, Modern Market, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, PizzaRev, and Chevys, the group came up with an unconventional way to support their fellow struggling restaurant owners during these trying times.

The movement is a modern day Hands Across America, but with a little more social distancing and chicken wings. The idea is to get the ball rolling in the country’s minds that there are still restaurants open and in need of support in the weeks or months to come. Gotta think of a good spot to support for this tomorrow. Though, there are three meals in the day, right?

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Feel Good Science Sweets Technology What's New

New THC Gummy Is First With CBN, A Cannabis Compound That May Help With Sleeping

Always on the cutting edge of cannabis infused edibles, Kiva Confections has announced their latest creation, Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies. These new chewy delights continue Kiva’s canna-crusade by being the first to incorporate CBN. CBN stands for cannabinol. Different from CBD and THC, CBN is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is typically found in aged THC. Bursting with medicinal potential, research has revealed that the combination of THC and CBN benefit restlessness, counteracting the morning-after groggy feeling THC typically produces alone. 

The National Sleep Foundation reports that an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorder and intermittent sleep problems that can significantly diminish health, alertness and safety. With the new Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies, Kiva gumshoes leveraged their powers of deduction to create custom combinations of cannabinoids and plant-based terpenes that offer a uniquely relaxing mixture of THC and CBN. Each gummy uses 5mg of THC and 1mg of CBN with an added hint of chamomile and lavender oil that help support a healthy night’s rest. 

Suffice to say, we’ve come a long way from counting sheep. Rather than potentially risky medication, Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies presents a natural, yet sweet and chewy alternative to sleeplessness. Retailing at $18 each, Camino Midnight Blueberry Gummies can be found at dispensaries throughout California.

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Features Feel Good News Products What's New

Cannabis-Infused Sriracha Hot Sauce Exists, Is Also Fast-Acting

Potli THC Sriracha

The love for Sriracha hot sauce is practically ubiquitous, what with the way Huy Fong’s marketed their take to the tune of universal recognition and appeal. But such extensive appeal doesn’t grow legs without a sauce that’s comprehensive in its application on damn near any food and dish. Simply put, Sriracha sauce has earned its place in the pantheon of daily hot sauce go-to’s.

But what if I told you that Sriracha can reach another level of allure through a little bit of cannabis? Yes, you read that right, the possibility of a medicated, THC-infused Sriracha sauce is in fact a delicious reality thanks to the brilliant folks at Potli. Founded by Felicity Chen and Christine Yi, Potli offers CBD-infused food and cooking essentials, which range from honey to chili oil.

Potli THC Sriracha

As part of an exclusive Lunar New Year release, Potli will be officially announcing today the drop of this cannabis-infused Sriracha hot sauce that’s aiming to elevate your next meal in more ways than one. That’s because nano-emulsified THC used in it allows for faster, more efficient absorption. Translation: your tastebuds and mind-state are taking the elevator up a few floors in about 15 minutes or so.

Availability for now is limited to select dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay Area, with wider availability trickling in throughout this week. If you’re not near a California dispensary, buy Potli’s other THC-free products online at www.potlishop.com.

For more info, check their website.

Also, for more of my commentary on this weed-infused Sriracha sauce from Potli, check out the latest episode of the Foodbeast podcast, The Katchup, below.

Categories
Culture Features Feel Good Restaurants

Why One of 2019’s Most Hyped Indian Restaurants Doesn’t Serve Curry

Heena Patel is mad. 

As the owner of Besharam, an acclaimed San Francisco restaurant that serves cuisine from Chef Heena’s home state in India, Gujarat, she’s tired of the expectations for Indian restaurants. Buffets, chicken tikka masala, curry — this isn’t what Indian food means to her, so none of it is on the menu. 

“Why call it curry, if it doesn’t even mean anything?” she says, referring to the fact that “curry,” as most people know it in America, is a catch-all term used for a number of dishes that span the entire Indian subcontinent. Curry isn’t a dish, it’s a spice blend, and Heena wants her menu to reflect that. 

She refuses to use the umbrella term (or any others, like naan) on her menu for ignorance’s sake. And, when oft-seen Indian dishes do appear on her menu, she uses their traditional name. So, no, she doesn’t serve butter chicken. She serves murgh makhani. 

Indeed, she’s fiercely insistent on not indulging uncompromising customers. But, she has no problem educating them, and she’ll do so excitedly.

For serving such spicy food, Heena is remarkably sweet. She says your name constantly throughout conversation as if you’re lifelong friends, she sighs softly before talking about something that excites her, and she’ll tell you to give her a call if you’re ever in the area a mere 30 minutes after meeting her over the phone. She’s a mainstay at the restaurant, along with her husband, Paresh, who runs the front of house operations.

“I’m here everyday, to tell my food that I put on my menu… We are ready to say the stories. We are not just putting [food] in front of them!” she emphasizes before giving the background behind her shrikhand cheesecake, which is a hybrid of two childhood treats: shrikhand, a popular Indian yogurt dessert, and Parle-G, a crunchy biscuit sold in most Indian stores.

When Besharam originally opened in May 2018, this sense of homeliness wasn’t exactly the case. 

Initially opened in partnership with esteemed chef Daniel Patterson’s restaurant investment group, Alta Restaurant Group, Besharam was described as “Californian Gujarati cuisine.” The menu aimed Gujarati cuisine palatable towards those who would otherwise be thrown off by its distinctions, like its lack of meat options. While the restaurant received encouraging reviews, and business was good, conflict was brewing behind the scenes. 

For Heena, staying true to herself is of the utmost importance. Sometimes, that means going against the grain. Born and raised in Mumbai, the second largest city in India, Heena had a traditional upbringing. 

“In my household…  if you stay home, if you manage your house, if you feed your in-laws, your children, then you’re the best daughter-in-law in the world… If you decide to go out of that box, you are not. You are besharam, you are shameless,” she says, shining light on the name of her restaurant. “I always wanted to have a different life than my grandmother and my mom. It’s sad to say.”

Despite this, she followed in their footsteps. She moved to London at 21, where an arranged marriage was waiting, and, after spending five years helping her mother-in-law around the house, moved to Vallejo, CA five years later. There, the Patel’s opened a flower shop and liquor store. While their businesses provided enough for a comfortable life, Heena still felt unfulfilled.

“I wanted to have my own path. I won’t wait for someone else to give me my happiness, I realized I had to go for it.” she said.

During those 20 years, Heena delved into her culture’s cuisine, and learned how to make the childhood dishes she often craved. She began introducing it to her friends, who suggested she open a restaurant. 

Heena initially wanted to open a food truck. This meant joining La Cocina, an incubation group that assists underrepresented populations in the restaurant community in organizing a plan to achieve their restaurant aspirations. After a couple years of running successful pop-ups and catering events, the food truck idea became a restaurant idea that soon became reality.

In early 2018, Alta approached her. At the time the group was looking to support underrepresented chefs, most of whom it has since split with in highly publicized feuds, and offered her a space. Besharam opened later that year, in May, in the Dogpatch San Francisco neighborhood in which it still resides, as a partnership between Heena and the restaurant group. 

Often restricted by this agreement during the initial run, Heena found her restaurant, and herself by extension, pandering to those who only want to eat what they know. After not even a year, Heena and Alta split in April 2019. Backed by investors, she took full control of the restaurant space, and introduced a revitalized menu.

Since then, Besharam has excelled. In 2019, it was named Eater SF’s Restaurant of the Year and was featured in Thrillist’s roundup of the best places to eat in San Francisco, among other praisings.

“Not to show off, but it boosts my confidence… I wanted everyone to recognize me as a chef,” she says of the recent hype. “Because I don’t have any process, I don’t have any template to follow. I don’t have any… say, my mom or grandparents are in the hospitality business. I’m doing it because I know. All I have is me and my confidence.” she professed.

At the end of the day, that’s all any of us have: ourselves and our confidence in who we are and what we do. And Heena Patel, the chef unabashedly bucking her family’s traditional desires to fulfill her own, and carving a space for an Indian restaurant that scoffs at relying on popular Indian dishes, is living proof of what can be done with that.