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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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Hit-Or-Miss

Street Dog Taquitos Exist and Here’s How to Make Them

It’s happened.

We have, unfortunately, come to the final installment in our series of recipes inspired by the recent release of Hidden Valley Ranch’s Secret Sauces and their pursuit in bringing restaurant-style meals to your home.

This one is a love letter to a Los Angeles staple: the street dog. The bun has been ditched though, and replaced with a tortilla, to create the HVR Street Dog Taquitos.

This is a one pan recipe, but requires the cooking of a couple different things on said pan, so find a decently large one. Then preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and gather your ingredients.

While the oven is warming up, cover both sides of a tortilla with non-stick spray, or some kind of oil. Wrap it around a hot dog, and lay the wrapped dog on the pan, seam side down. Repeat for as many hot dogs as needed. Make sure to leave some room on your pan, as some space will be needed for the onion and pepper mix.

Prepare this mixture by cutting some onions and bell peppers into strips, both at about a cup each. You could use a frozen mix as well or whatever you have at hand. Spread them out over the remaining empty pan space, and toss them in non-stick spray, or some kind of oil.

Throw the pan into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until everything has achieved preferred doneness.

Make sure to prepare some garnishes as well, such as sliced jalapenos, bacon bits, or anything else that sparks your imagination.

Once the taquitos are done, top with the onion and pepper mixture, whatever garnishes you selected, and, most importantly, a strong helping of HVR’s Spicy Secret Sauce for some much-needed heat.

The best part of this recipe, besides how easy it is to make, is its versatility. Perfect for an appetizer, a party favor, or a late night snack– it’s hard to imagine a situation where these wouldn’t hit.

See the full recipe below, and check out our previous installments of HVR’s Pub to Plate recipes to see some other unmissable dishes.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Disneyland Foodies Take Note, The Parks Reopen In July

If you’re a Disneyphile like myself, your Disneyland annual pass has been burning a hole in your wallet. Both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure park have been closed for over three months since their initial shutter back on March 14th, 2020.

In Disneyland’s 65+ year history, the COVID-19-induced closures mark one of only six times the park has ever had an unscheduled close time, the last of which being in 2001 following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Today, a glimmer of hope shown through — Disney has announced their proposed reopening plans for the Southern California-based parks.

As a Disneyland fan, I been longing for lazy days at the park, pummeling through food, getting drunk around California Adventure and falling asleep on the Pirate’s of the Caribbean. With no immediate end to “COVID-19” in sight, it seems Disneyland has found what they believe the minimum viable product in a reopen would look like. Here’s a recap of what we know:

  • Theme park capacity will be significantly limited to comply with governmental requirements
  • Attendance will be managed through a new theme park reservation system (even Annual Passholders must reserve their spot to enter the park)
  • There will be a temporary pause on new ticket sales and Annual Passport sales/renewals
  • Parades and nighttime spectaculars will not be available on reopen — they will return at a later date not yet announced
  • Character meet-and-greets won’t be happening, but Characters will be roaming the park in unexplained “new ways to entertain and delight guests”

All other information is still under wraps and has yet to be announced, including details surrounding the enhanced cleaning, health and safety measures throughout the park.

No word on how the food courts will look like either — but assuming if they’re open at all, they’ll likely take pre-packaged measures akin to how Wholefoods’ hot and cold bars currently look like (pre-portioned instead of scoop-and-serve).

My Disney foodie family — does this news excite you? What are your concerns? Let me know how you feel and what questions Foodbeast can work on answering for you by interacting with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

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The Meal Prep Service Behind Zac Efron’s Fit Physique

Meal prepping always seems like such a good idea, since eating healthy and saving time is invaluable to most. Putting the plan into action, however, is where the wheels fall off. Besides the challenge that is cooking healthy en masse, the idea of eating the same meal everyday is quite a dreary prospect. However, a Los Angeles company, Z.E.N. Foods, is looking to solve this issue for people, with their personalized, fresh meal plans.

Z.E.N., which stands for Zero Effort Nutrition, provides their customers with a healthy meal plan of three meals a day. What separates them from the pack of diet planning companies, though, is that these meals aren’t some pre-packaged, TV dinner-style meals that coagulate and become homogeneous once microwaved.

What Z.E.N. Foods provides are restaurant quality meals which are sourced from local food vendors, crafted by hand in their LA-based commercial kitchen, dropped off at their customer’s door every morning, and tailor made for each customer’s dietary needs. The budding company offers five different genres of meal plans, each of which can be further customized.

“From the very beginning, those with health problems, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, were very grateful to have an effortless way to change their lives through healthy, nutritious meals. We can customize just about everything. With nutritionists on staff and R&D chefs creating new products every day, the variety is amazing and it’s impossible to get bored,” says CEO and founder Mariana Rossano.

They currently do this for over 2000 people, including A-listers like Zac Efron and Chris Bauer, who have turned to the service to get their bodies in shape for various roles.

This budding success is leading to projected growth this year for the brand.

“We have expanded on the existing program from Z.E.N. Foods… It has just started in May and it’s called “Z.E.N. Classics.” The Classics is basically pure convenience, offering everything in an al a carte fashion from breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, healthy desserts, kid’s meals, to protein shakes and cold pressed juices. The menu will be constantly expanding and we will be adding meals from all cultures,” detailed Rossano of this expansion.

Z.E.N. Foods has also partnered with Southern California’s own Melissa’s Produce to guarantee the freshness in their meals that one would expect from a company that is a top choice for high profile clientele.

With an ever expanding menu, and a multitude of clean eating options, Z.E.N. Foods is poised to make a splash in the fresh meal delivery sector in the coming year. Or, as Rossano succinctly put it:

“Sky’s the limit in 2020.”

Check out www.zenfoods.com to peruse through and purchase one of the various meal plans. Or if you’re looking for pure convenience, check out zenclassics.com for their a la cart meal plan.


Created in partnership with Melissa’s Produce.

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Hit-Or-Miss

PizzaRev Is Now Letting Kids Eat FREE At All Their Restaurants

While everyone’s advised to stay home, parents may have it pretty tough balancing a work-from-home life as well as the responsibility of feeding kids currently out of school. Yes, it’s every parents’ responsibility to make sure there’s food in their child’s stomachs, but what if that meant free pizza?

In an effort to bring some relief to stressed out parents, build-your-own pizza chain PizzaRev is letting kids eat FREE all day everyday.

With the purchase of an adult entree, a child will get his or her own personal cheese or pepperoni pizza, a healthy drink, and a dessert of their choice. Parent and child can sit down together and enjoy their own personally crafted pies from the safety of their homes.

PizzaRev is also offering beer and wine through DoorDash with proof of ID upon delivery. Just in case y’all feel like stress drinking.

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss News SPONSORED

Yogurtland’s New Create Your Own Smoothie Bowls Are Made With Real Fruit

Yogurtland will soon become the land of not only frozen yogurt, but all things fruit, as the California-based frozen yogurt shop launches its newest treat, Smoothie Bowls, this spring.

Premiered in our most recent News Bites, the new dairy-free, vegan Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl is made with real blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and bananas — no sugar added*! Grab a bowl, pile up as much as you want, and in typical Yogurtland fashion, from there it’s up to you.

Yogurtland’s topping bar is a Foodbeast’s dream, with 30-plus options to choose from. And, just like their swirls of frozen yogurt or ice cream, you’re free to top your smoothie bowl with any of them. While the treat goes best with fresh fruit and crunchy granola, if gummy worms in smoothie bowls are your thing, go crazy.

We think the best addition to the smoothie bowl, is Yogurtland’s new Plant-Based Chia Pudding. The velvety, creamy delicacy has popped up in recent years as a popular addition to acai bowls and provides a boost of nutrients, including fiber and omega-3. But, unlike your average smoothie bowl shop, the amount of chia pudding in your bowl is at your disposal. Want some chia pudding with a side of smoothie bowl? Go for it.

We couldn’t help ourselves and, drunk with topping power, ended up making a massive Foodbeast version of the humble smoothie bowl. It’s unfathomable to think that it could get any bigger, but if you think you can make a better smoothie bowl then show us by taking a picture and post it using the hashtag #smoothiebowldare.

If this made you want to dive headfirst into some fruit, you’re not alone. They’ll be available at Yogurtland locations nationwide from March 2 to May 31, or until supplies last.

*Not a low-calorie food.

Created in partnership with Yogurtland.

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Hit-Or-Miss

I Made My Exes Into Puppets For Free Food On Valentine’s Day

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

In what’s turning into my least favorite tradition, I decided to turn an otherwise mundane Valentine’s Day alone, into a cathartic food story full of burritos and “Drake tears.”

Around this time of year, every restaurant attempts to offer a unique Valentine’s Day deal, and of late, some are even getting into the “Single Awareness Day” spirit, realizing there’s also money to be made in getting sad schmucks like myself into their restaurants.

Hooters has made it a yearly tradition to literally shred a photo of your ex in exchange for wings, and this year, Burger King is getting into the mix with a similar promotion where you can exchange a photo of your ex for a Whopper.

So instead of staying home and binge-eating ice cream while re-watching That 70s Show on Netflix, I decided to pursue a little food-filled adventure, where I could celebrate the single life.

With that said, I’ve had three impactful relationships of my life, and while breakups are never ideal, I’m thankful that I can still get something out of these failed relationships thanks to the power of restaurants marketing for a holiday built to push consumerism — all in the name of love.

In order to take advantage of these deals, I printed out photos of all three of those special exes; let’s call them Leia, Ivy, and Topanga for the sake of this article. I pasted the photos onto a set of puppets, and started my quest for additional closure.

Burger King

 

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

The first stop was Burger King, as this year they did a pretty solid promo for not just Valentine’s Day, but in conjunction with Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. The movie’s premise is that Quinn and the Joker split up, and she goes off to do her own thing.

With breakups in mind, Burger King offered free Whoppers in exchange for a photo of your ex.

So off I went to Burbank, CA, which was one of the participating locations.

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

I chose my sweet Leia for this offer. Leia represents my first love, my first relationship. A youthful love that represented simpler times like that of just playing basketball in the schoolyard or watching Star Wars without a care.

You’d think walking in with a puppet and handing them over a photo of your ex would turn some heads, but the staff was all for it, happy that someone actually did this whole Harley Quinn thing.

@yungfoodbeastFREE FOOD USING MY EX PT. 1. Burger King exchanged free Whoppers for photos of your ex on Valentine’s Day! #fyp #foryourpage #foodbeast♬ Talk – Khalid

So off went my first photo of my first love, and honestly my first Whopper in years. They dropped the photo into their little “ex box” — and step one of my quest was a success.

Qdoba

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

Qdoba’s promotion consists of a BOGO, where you “kiss a loved one,” and get a free entree after purchasing a first one. It’s a Valentine’s Day offer they’ve run for years, and it was due time that I took advantage.

I chose Ivy for this one, as a tragic kiss of death is what “did in” this relationship a few years back.

@yungfoodbeastFREE FOOD USING MY EX PT. 2. Qdoba has a V-Day BOGO deal when you kiss a loved one. 😘💔🌯 #fyp #formyvalentine #foryourpage♬ Thinkin Bout You – Ciara

As much as that kiss of death led to so much sorrow, this Qdoba kiss led to nothing but happiness in the form of a burrito.

As I puckered up and laid a smooch on this puppet, I felt additional closure. If anything can make everything better, it’s a burrito.

Hooters

 

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

Hooters also runs a yearly deal where they encourage you to shred photos of your exes in exchange for 10 boneless wings. They literally have a shredder, and like the folks at Burger King, they too were stoked that someone was actually taking advantage.

I guess not too many people are jumping at the chance to get over their old flames to the tune of free wings.

Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

For the third and final trip, and possibly the most dramatic, I chose to bring in a photo of Topanga. This relationship was the freshest on my mind, and it made it that much harder to go through with.

See, Topanga was supposed to be “The one.” And just as Corey Matthews found it hard to accept when Topanga up and left him in season 3 of Boy Meets World, I couldn’t help but feel the same.

@yungfoodbeastFREE FOOD USING MY EX PT. 3. Hooters has a buy 10 wings get 10 free boneless wings if you bring a photo of your ex to shred. #formyvalentine #fyp♬ I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston


So there I was, at Hooters, walking around the dining room with an Italian puppet of my ex, and booty cleavage as far as the eye can see.

It was rough, but I went through with it.

Into the shredder went the photo, as did my relationship.

Was this the closure I needed in order to finally feel something again? Was a benign moment inside a Hooters in West Covina going to turn everything around for me?

Probably not. But hey, free wings.

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Hit-Or-Miss

The Device That’s Fixing McDonald’s Broken Ice Cream Machines

One of the most damaged relationships in fast food is that of McDonald’s ice cream machines and its sweet-toothed fanatics.

It seems like 9 out of 10 times you want a nice ice cream cone or sundae, you get hit with that dreaded, “The ice cream machine’s broken.”

There is a glimmer of hope, however, as a company called Kytch created a tool that helps prevent breakdowns, and is being used at some McDonald’s restaurants, according to Business Insider.

 

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Kytch describes its ice cream machine technology as a tool that, “connects to your ice cream machine and provides remote control, real-time data & analytics, and AI powered predictive maintenance.”

It basically analyzes the notoriously complicated machines so you know exactly what’s wrong, and immediately fix the problem.

 

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The technology keeps the machines from being under or over-filled, keeps track of their cleaning cycles, and can even predict if something within the machine will cause it to soon break.

While insider reports that several McDonald’s franchisees have already seen success with this technology, it isn’t something that is being incorporated company-wide.

A source close to McDonald’s said it could not verify the number of restaurants or franchisees using the technology.

This is at least progress, as a 2017 report said that McDonald’s would push forward efforts to replace its current machines, but it never happened.

Rejoice for now, McDonald’s employees, as you can still use the broken machine excuse. But the day of reckoning is coming, and you will be forced to give us all the ice cream to our hearts’ desires.