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Matthew McConaughey Just Won A Celebrity Burger Showdown, Here’s What He Made

May 28 was a big day for burger lovers.

In celebration of National Burger Day, Off the Menu, the LA-based food discovery app, teamed up with Uber Eats to host The Burger Showdown. The challenge paired more than 60 celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, Paris Hilton, and Dwyane Wade with restaurants in 10 cities to create their ultimate burger, available exclusively on Uber Eats. Even better, the Showdown supported Frontline Foods, a grassroots organization that supports local restaurants while feeding frontline workers and impacted communities..

Each pairing created a video sharing their burger inspiration and recipe, which lived on theburgershowdown.com for fans and burger lovers to watch and vote on their favorite before ordering on Uber Eats from May 28-31. 

And, the winners are in: 

Best Burger (US):

The Best Burger in the US was awarded to The Jacobite, made by Scottish actor Sam Heughan and Boston’s The Haven. It’s made with a chuck beef patty smothered in bacon-infused marmalade, pickle sauce, arugula, tomatoes, Huntsman cheese, deep fried onions, and a hand-cut french fry wedge served on a milk bun to create a deviously rich burger. 

Best Burger (Canada):

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

The Best Canadian Burger was won by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner and The Burger’s Priest. The Mitch One-Six Burger kept it simple, with a smashed patty, cheddar cheese, thick cuts of bacon, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, the famed High Priest Sauce, and a classic, soft house bun. Simple, to the point, and dependable. 

Most Creative Collaboration:

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

The winners of the Most Creative Collaboration, Shay Mitchell and NYC’s Flip Sigi, created the Filipino-inspired Shay Sigi Burger, which featured a three-meat burger that bonded longanisa, ground beef, and bacon. Seared on a hot pan, the amalgamation of a patty was topped with pickled onions, tomato, lettuce, a homemade banana ketchup, and a pan de sal bun.

Best Plant-Based Burger:

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

Max Greenfield and Chicago’s Busy Burger’s collab, the Busy Max Veggie Delight, won the Best Plant-Based Burger presented by Lightlife. Here’s the juicy deets: Two Lightlife Plant-Based Burgers topped with pepper jack cheese and cut with guacamole and sauteed veggies, were topped with butter leaf lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Busy Burger’s signature Busy Sauce. 

The Burger Showdown Hall of Fame:

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

Rounding out the awards by being inducted into The Burger Showdown Hall of Fame is Matthew McConaughey and Aaron Franklin of Austin’s Loro, who created a burger for those who hate when their patty slides out the back (or “slidie-out-backie,” as deemed by Mr. McConaughey) when bitten. Dubbed the “And…” burger, it is made with a brisket and chuck patty and brioche buns, then stacked with double-cut smoked bacon, American cheese, pickled jalapeños, butter leaf lettuce, thin-sliced tomato, mustard, and a jalapeño aioli.

The Burger Showdown was truly something to behold this year. Make sure to peep the builds of all the burgers mentioned, and more here.

Keep an eye on @offthemenu and @ubereats to see what they’re cooking up for their next tasty event, The Wing Showdown.

Created in partnership with Off The Menu.

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Recipes

Tamago Sliders Are The Egg Sandwich Game Changer

Probably one of the most common ingredient in any culture is the beloved egg. Versatile for thousands of recipes, it could be argued that any dish could be elevated with a little egg in it.

Such is @Dandy.Eats‘ innovation she calls Tamago Sliders.

In the latest Foodbeast Recipe challenge, the team was challenged to come up with an egg recipe from home.

One of the standouts was hands down these Tamago Sliders, made with fresh sushi-grade salmon and topped with ikura.

Man alive.

Check out the video above to see exactly how Kimberly pulled off this mouthwatering feat.

This week’s hearty line up of recipes is also composed of dishes such as a Basil Mozzarella Omelet Egg Roll, Nopales con Huevo, Oyakodon, Egg Jello Shots, and Bacon & Egg Rice Bars.

Foodbeast chefs that participated in the egg challenge include Marc, Oscar, Kyle, BMX Gold Medalist Jamie Bestwick, and Costa.

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Grocery Packaged Food SPONSORED

Make Pho In Under 3 Minutes With These Game-Changing Instant Noodle Bowls

Instant noodles aren’t normally seen as a delicacy, but be prepared to have that notion flipped. Malleable yet texturally distinctive, they can be found in most pantries, regardless of cultural background. But sometimes the average batch of instant noodles doesn’t quite satisfy the craving for that big bowl of pho, ramen, or whatever noodle soup floats your boat. It’s this spot that Snapdragon Foods aims to hit. 

Snapdragon’s noodles, highlighted in our newest News Bites video, look to provide an authentic experience with some of the world’s favorite noodle soup dishes, but in an accessible, take home package.

That means that their Vietnamese beef pho bowls come with real rice noodles and authentic spices. My personal favorite, the Singapore-style Laksa Curry Bowls, includes not only rice noodles and a spice mixture, but also coconut powder and chili oil that give the dish far more depth than what’s expected from a bowl of instant noodles.

Their other soup flavors include Veggie, Mushroom, and Garlic. Some are in bowl, some are in packets, and all are delicious and can be found on their website. Oh, and don’t forget the newly launched ramens, either.

All of their products are inspired by the streets and kitchens of Asia. They take special pride in their noodle quality, already giving the brand a step up on many instant noodle makers. Their noodles are made in Vietnam, and whether made for pho or ramen, have a delicateness to them, yet also hold a chewy bounce and remain highly slurpable. 

Snapdragon’s noodle soups can be found at retailers across the country, although the deepest and most consistent stock of all noodle flavors is housed on the brand’s website. While you’re there, use the code BEAST15 for 15% off your purchase! 

Make sure to peep Snapdragon’s Instagram for noodle inspo once you get a pack in hand, then top them with your favorite toppings, and tag us and Snapdragon to show us your creations.

Created in partnership with Snapdragon Foods.

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#foodbeast Food Fashion FOODBEAST

This Merch Line Will Literally Venmo Funds To Your Favorite Restaurant

restaurant protection bureau

It took one night into quarantine to make me realize the magnitude of how the restaurant industry will be hit by the pandemic. As someone who values the dining experience for more than just a meal, the communal aspect and direct connection you get to make with whoever you’re dining with has always been the crux of the joy I find in it. However, the advent of dine-in restrictions due to the scourge that has been COVID-19 has forced many a restaurant’s hands into business pivots, layoffs, or sadly, closures altogether.

That’s why seeing grassroots efforts and local movements, however large or small, popping up to support restaurants in dire need have been a welcome source of encouragement and hope. All forms of charity have fortified a sense of community these days, from meal donations for frontline and essential workers to crowdfunded campaigns to merchandise that donates proceeds to said restaurants.

Since the restaurant industry has been left reeling, The Paycheck Protection Program, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was created with the intention to provide financial assistance for small business owners who are struggling to stay in business due to the pandemic. However, what was intended available for small business and restaurants has ended up in the hands of larger corporations in disproportionate numbers. More unfortunately, a recent survey reveals a disappointing figure that shows black and Latino businesses have been widely overlooked by the PPP and other programs.

Per the New York Times:

“The survey, conducted by the Global Strategy Group for two equal-rights organizations, Color of Change and UnidosUS, included interviews with 500 business owners and 1,200 workers from April 30 to last Monday. Just 12 percent of the owners who applied for aid from the Small Business Administration — most of them seeking loans in the $650 billion paycheck program — reported receiving what they had asked for, while 26 percent said they had received only a fraction of what they had requested. Nearly half of all owners said they anticipated having to permanently close in the next six months.”

A sizable population of colored business owners and employees are among the ranks of the restaurant industry. Knowing that many of them are unable to rely on government protection programs while already trying to navigate the success of their business during such precarious times is wholly unacceptable, alarming, and frustrating.

restaurant protection bureau

Mentioned earlier were the efforts of certain restaurant merchandise programs to keep businesses afloat, which has been a two-pronged approach to helping all parties affected. Keeping that same energy, Foodbeast has just debuted a line of merchandise dubbed the Foodbeast Restaurant Protection Agency. This fresh line of graphic tees was created with your favorite restaurants in mind. That’s because with every purchase from any of the collection’s six t-shirts, $10.00 will be donated directly to your favorite restaurant’s Venmo or Paypal account. This streamlined donation approach allows for a wider network of restaurants to be helped out in some way, while also giving fans the opportunity to show appreciation to their go-to spots that have held them down with a good meal throughout the years.

Check out and shop the merchandise here.

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#foodbeast Drinks Fast Food FOODBEAST

Taco Bell’s Newest Secret Menu Hack Is a Tie Dye Freeze

 

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In terms of secret menus, not many hold a candle to Taco Bell. The chain is famous for encouraging people to customize their menu items in any which way, occasionally creating an entirely new menu item, the newest of which is called the Tie-Dye Freeze.

The restaurant recently introduced the Pineapple Whip freeze, adding onto the line up with their current flavors of Baja Blast and Wild Strawberry. It was only a matter of time before someone got the impulse to mix them.

Luckily, we’re talking about one of the few restaurants that takes no issue with that idea. This hack is confirmed to be a go. Just ask for the Tie-Dye Freeze at the drive-thru, and pick your flavors.

The result will be a colorful, layered slush drink that hits all the marks: sweet, tangy, cool — all while sporting an IG-worthy aesthetic.

The new freeze will be available for purchase when the Pineapple Whip flavor gets put in nationwide rotation, on May 21, just in time for summer. And, let’s be honest, there’s no time for a Taco Bell freeze like a hot summer afternoon.

So stay sharp, and make sure to remember this secret menu hack the next time you pull up to Taco Bell.


Created in partnership with Taco Bell. 

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#foodbeast Culture FOODBEAST Opinion Restaurants The Katchup

5 New Things You’ll See At Buffets As They Re-Open

The bounty of a buffet has always been the crux of its appeal: all-you-can-eat, get your money’s worth, it’s the American way. Whether it be the high end flourish of a Las Vegas buffet or the comforts of a local Hometown Buffet or Golden Corral, folks have always used the linchpin of a seemingly unending feast to maximize their dining experience. Yet 2020’s pandemic has crippled the restaurant industry, and with the restrictive nature of the new norms, the buffet concept has fallen victim to it.

With social distancing and forcibly limited dining capacities being implemented as the U.S. slowly reopens different segments of business, the future that buffets face has been bleak. Dwindling interest among millennials pre-pandemic already had buffets trying to steer themselves into relevancy by experimenting with different models. But a covid-19 reality these days has universally constrained restaurants, forcing them to take-out and delivery options only, a pivot that doesn’t fit the model of a buffet at all, though places like Golden Corral and Old Country buffet have turned to them for their survival.

However, the challenges the pandemic has brought on buffets have been insurmountable to some, namely the company Garden Fresh Restaurants, owner of AYCE salad bar concepts Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, who recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In the latest episode of Foodbeast’s The Katchup Podcast, hosts Elie Ayrouth and Geoff Kutnick, along with myself, wax poetic and eulogize just how much Souplantation meant to them, while also exploring the immediately unfortunate prospects buffets have post-pandemic.

Though Souplantaion and Sweet Tomatoes did not decide to give it a go at pivoting to new business models to keep afloat, other buffets have turned to such alternatives, all with varying results. The following are a number of adjustments they’ve done just to survive. Which begs the question: Would Garden Fresh Restaurants have been able to stick around if they tried to maneuver with the times as well?

Cafeteria-Style

Big buffet chain, Golden Corral, has been slowly reopening locations across the country with a new cafeteria-style service model. So think restaurant employees directly serving diners menu items at what otherwise would have been various buffet stations. Also, stanchions are set up as a perimeter around buffet areas, with floor markers indicating where customers can stand safely away from one another. This model also eliminates the prospect of multiple diners touching utensils at once.

Take-Out

Take-out has been the new standard these past couple of months for restaurants to survive. A reliance on third-party delivery apps and their exorbitant fees have proved to be difficult for restaurants to deal with, yet has been enough to keep them afloat, a conundrum in itself that’s brought on separate ethical discussions on the business practices of these apps. Curbside pick-up has also been a helpful option for diners to enjoy their offerings through modified menus designed to coincide with the efficiency of the pick-up.

Family-Style

In this service model, servers treat customers to an “endless buffet” from a selection of menu items. What immediately comes to mind to compare to this would be Brazilian steakhouses, also known as churrascarrias, such as Fogo De Chao, who serve a constant of meats until the diner indicates to stop via a red coaster flipped up. Turning it over to the green side tells servers that they’re welcome to offer more meats to the customer.

Different Payment Options

Before the pandemic, Golden Corral tried to address the waning interest millenials had in buffets by dabbling with different pay systems, namely dropping the pay-one-price model. Further, it was being tested where customers pay at their table, while also being offered three buffet options: soup and salad only, a single trip to the food bar, or unlimited trips. Could experimenting with different pay systems work even better in post-pandemic dining?

Stay As-Is

Fifteen locations of Golden Corral have opted to stick with the old service model. They plan on adhering to the traditional buffet format with an implementation of rigorous cleaning standards and other precautions such as adding hand sanitizing stations and checking diners’ temperatures before being seated. It’s worth noting that 12 of the 15 locations sticking to the original buffet model are in Florida.

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Fruits & Vegetables Grocery Recipes SPONSORED

CHEESE-STUFFED HASHBROWNS: An All-American Breakfast Of Red, White, and Blue Potatoes


For some, Memorial Day weekend means a backyard barbeque. For others, it means heading to the nearest beach for a sunsoaked day of play with eighteen of their closest friends. Now, for Foodbeast and our close friends at Melissa’s Produce? It means giving a bag of red, white, and blue potatoes to five contestants and letting them go to town to see who can create the most mouthwatering dish in the newest, Memorial Day-themed episode of Foodbeast’s weekly recipe challenge.

Since the weekly recipe challenge brings out the best in the participants, the competition was fierce. But, at the end of the day, a colorful hashbrown brimming with melty cheese took the crown.

The guests for the week weren’t playing games: Twae (@twaydabae) served up a red, white, and blue pesto gnocchi, and Camly (@camly.me) brought a spicy vegan Hasselback potato to the mix.

Foodbeast’s very own made some intriguing dishes as well, with our resident food scientist Costa (@constantine_spy) making a not-so-Spanish Spanish omelet, king of meats Chris (@wefeedourfriends) forking over a Blue Potato Bun Burger with red and white waffle fries, and head of video Marc (@marckharrat) throwing down a cheese-stuffed hashbrown that leads off the video.

To do this, Marc compressed two scoops of a batter of shredded potatoes, green onions, garlic, egg, flour, and pepper, placed them on top of each other, and sandwiched some mozzarella in between before frying. Needless to say, this’ll make you want to have breakfast even if you’ve already had it for the day.

No one was really caught lacking, though. Regardless of the shape, form, or iteration of the proposed dish, each chef came through with something palatable, and easily made at home, which is certainly something to be said considering the ambitions of each dish.

Check out the video above to see each dish and its creation process, and show us the creation process to your own red, white, and blue dishes by using the #RedWhiteAndBluePotatoChallenge. The most creative recipe will have the chance to win a free produce box of their choice from Melissa’s!


Created in partnership with Melissa’s Produce.

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#foodbeast Drinks Fast Food FOODBEAST SPONSORED What's New

Taco Bell Launches A Creamy Pineapple Whip Freeze

As the summer heat begins to lay a sweltering blanket over a spring spent inside doing home activities, Taco Bell is looking to inject some cool air and color into our lives with the release of the Pineapple Whip Freeze.

The newest flavor of their iconic freeze, releasing nationwide on May 21, blends the flavors of tropical pineapple and a vanilla cream to create a smooth, sweet whipped treat that lives up to the delicious reputation of their freezes.

But, if choosing just one flavor isn’t in the cards, Taco Bell is letting fans combine the flavors for a limited time with their secret menu item: the Tie Dye Freeze. For now, you can get a freeze with a blended swirl of the newest flavor and one of their two standby freeze flavors, Baja Blast and Wild Strawberry.

The Pineapple Whip Freeze will be available in two sizes, as per any Taco bell freeze: a regular runs for $2.39, and a large for $2.59. But (and this is the key caveat here, deal-seeking reader) during their Happier Hour, which runs daily from 2-5 PM, a regular can be acquired on the low for just $1.

I don’t know about you, but the prospect of getting anything for a single dollar nowadays is more than enough to reel me in.

Now, a Taco Bell freeze for a dollar, though? I’ll be first in line.


Created in partnership with Taco Bell.