Culture Food Policy News

Restaurants In Austin Can No Longer Throw Away Excess Food By Law

The city of Austin, Texas is pushing forward the food waste narrative by forcing its entire restaurant industry to get creative with its excess food.

Photo: Peter Pham // Foodbeast

KXAN reports that restaurants in the city are now barred from tossing their excess food in the trash at the end of each night. It’s part of the city’s new Universal Recycling Ordinance, which is part of a Zero Waste initiative that Austin hopes to complete by 2040.

A lot of waste coming from the city’s businesses fell into the “organic materials” category, which included food, based on a previous study. Thus, Austin was looking for ways to cut down the waste.

It also means that restaurants will have to get creative with what they do with their food. They can donate the food, compost it, or give it to local farms, giving them a variety of options to deal with the leftovers.

Many potential solutions have been developed on a global scale for what’s going on in Austin right now. Food hackers have developed apps that allow restaurants to declare excess food, meaning that food banks or individuals looking for something to eat can then head to that spot to pick it up.

An app like that would definitely be useful for Austin’s food community, and help create a solution that combats food waste and feeds the hungry at the same time. Considering that the US throws out enough food to feed nearly the entire country, we’re going to need more of those to combat that massive issue in the years to come. Austin could be a great testing grounds for that technology as a result.

Celebrity Grub Restaurants Video

Gordon Ramsay Admits He Cut The Line At Franklin’s BBQ And Got Away With It

Franklin’s BBQ is considered to be one of the best barbecue spots on the planet. It’s only natural that such a popular spot would have a line that lasts hours long. In fact, Franklin’s BBQ takes their patrons’ patience so seriously that they’re strict on cutting in line. A while back, Kanye West tried getting a pass at some of their BBQ and was told to wait his turn. Sorry, Yeezy.

However, during a late-night interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live, chef Gordon Ramsay revealed that he did get cuts at the iconic BBQ joint.

The reason, Ramsay gave, was that chefs tend to look after one another when it comes to these things. So he just hopped in through the back and got his BBQ fix without arousing any suspicion. Guess Kanye’s gotta start a new career in food if he wants to avoid that wait.

Ramsay did say that this dining experience was so good it was the first time he ever had to ask for a doggie back to take home from any restaurant. Sounds like our trip to Frankin’s is now long overdue.

While on the show, Ramsay also shared with the audience what his top 5 worst Halloween candies were.


This Epic 99 Pack of Beer Will Cost You $99


Here’s a solution for all those problems of yours.

Because you’ll run through a six pack of good, drinkable beer in no time at all, the Austin Beerworks brewery in Texas decided to create the world’s “first and only” 99 pack for its new Peacetime Anytime Ale. Seven feet long, 82 pounds, and $99 dollars a box, the limited edition behemoth is, believe it or not, currently on sale in select stores in Austin for a limited time.

Drink it “when sneaking a beer into a non bad-ass cinema,” when the “mail’s here,” when you get summoned for “jury duty,” when you want to “out-recycle the neighbors,” because it’s Monday, or pretty much whenever.

Actually, better buy two cases just in case.


Shake Shack Expanding to Multiple Cities in 2014


Good news for Shake Shack fans who aren’t on the East Coast, the chain is planning on expanding to select cities across the country. Shake Shack will open two new locations over the summer: a second storefront in the JFK Airport as well as a new shop in the Tysons Corner Center in Fairfax County, Virginia. A fourth location in Florida will open in Winter Park sometime in mid-2014.

We’re pretty juiced about Shake Shack expanding since we’ll finally have some Midwest and West Coast locations. Brand new storefronts are set to open in Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, and Las Vegas. Notice there’s still no California location.

What the hell Shake Shack I thought we were cool? Big Gay Ice Cream is already expanding over here so why are we still being deprived of our beloved Shack Stack and Concretes? For now Angelinos will have to road trip it up to Sin City to get our fix, which I guess isn’t so bad.

H/T + PicThx Serious Eats


Robots Threaten to Replace Baristas & Offer Consistent, Quality-Controlled Coffee


They are growing stronger, they are studying us, and now: they know how you like your coffee. Briggo recently launched a kiosk at the University of Texas named “The Coffee Haus” that can take your order via text, make it, and have it for you to pick up exactly how you like it. Every possible detail is yours to control, down to the amount of milk and what type of sweetener you want. They serve a variety of options, from ice drinks to hot chocolate. If customers create an online account, their favorite drinks can be saved to make it easier to order in the future. But the most interesting part by far is that the whole process involves no people, just machines.

When you arrive at the unmanned kiosk,  you notice it takes up about fifty square feet total, and has a sleek wooden design. It is divided into two parts: Order, for those who didn’t in advance, and Pick Up, where you can grab your coffee and go.

“The coffee tastes good and it always tastes the same,” Yamit Lavi, a student at UT Austin, told NPR. “I would say the consistency of the taste makes it better than a standard coffee shop.”

As more of these coffee shops open, there are many complaints that naturally rise up. Some say that these kiosks will run coffee shops out of business, while others say that this takes away the human element of forming a relationship with your local barista. I think these concerns  are to be encouraged. I mean hey, robots are cool but is it really better than talking and connecting with another human being for a few precious seconds?

H/T NPR + PicThx Briggo


The ‘Sonoran Burger’ is Topped With Bacon, Hot Dogs, Refried Beans and Cheese


via HopDoddy


Starbucks Testing Handcrafted Sodas; Trenta Size Bloomberg Approved?


In an attempt to dominate the caffeine world (and someday take over the universe, probably), Starbucks is currently testing a line of fountain drinks in Atlanta and Austin, according to The Wall Street Journal. These made-to-order drinks are being offered in spiced root beer, ginger ale and lemon ale flavors, with Starbucks fans already raving about the new line-up.

Others weren’t too stoked on the prices, which range from approximately $2.45 for a tall, $2.95 for a grande and $3.45 for a venti. No word yet on what a trenta will run you.

While the company stated that it’s too early to tell whether these “handcrafted” sodas will get a national roll out, we have a pretty good feeling that an order of “Lemon ale, please. Medium carbonation. Hold the whip” isn’t too far off in the bizarre future.

H/T Wall Street Journal + PicThx @EverydayUrban


Top 10 Dating Trends for Foodies Across America, According to a Dating Site


Lucky for us hungry data gatherers, the folks at “offline dating” site HowAboutWe have just released a visual compilation of the dating network’s first 1 million dates recorded.

The results? Enough information for us to get an idea of top food dating trends across the United States, noting the top 10 cities in the country with the highest percentage of dining dates and a little bit about each. You can imagine our excitement when Philly cracked the top 10, and BYOB was a key selection when choosing a date in the city. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans are proud today.

Here’s a look at the rest of the data:


1. Atlanta: ⅓ of all date ideas in Atlanta suggest getting a bite to eat. Artisan pizza is a hot trend.


Admittedly, when I think pizza, I think New York or Chicago. Yet while Atlanta isn’t the first thing on my mind when I think of wood-fired pizzas topped with fresh local ingredients, I’m not complaining. Kudos to all those singles feasting on gourmet savory pies.


2. Philly: BYOB date spots have a higher response rate than other dining dates in Philly.


Bringing your own PBR and Two Buck Chuck to your favorite Italian date spot? Stay classy my friends.


3. Boston: Bostonians are 3x more likely than average to suggest tapas on a first date.


Boston is known for its wealth of history and culture, so it’s no surprise that taking out a date for tapas, a Spanish tradition, is more common in this city. Note: In Spain, Tapas consist of appetizers usually eaten during the time between the end of the work day and dinner, as well as weekdays around noon. Tapas are seen as dishes that encourage people to socialize and mingle, so we can see why they’d be an excellent option for a date.

Picthx tapastryrestaurant


4. Austin: Food trucks are more popular in Austin than in any other city, accounting for 1 in 5 dining dates.


We can jump on this bandwagon food truck. Ranked as one of the World’s Best Cities for Street Food by Food & Wine, Austin steals the show when it comes to getting grub on wheels.


5. New York: New Yorkers love a progressive meal: 28% of their dining dates involve multiple stops.


New York restaurants alone bring in a projected $31.9 billion in sales and for a city famed for it’s vast collection of ethnic enclaves, we understand why it would be difficult to settle on just one spot.


6. Chicago: 1 in 11 dining dates in Chicago is veggie-friendly, the third highest in the country.


I suppose this means that Chicago is the place to be if you’re trying to find your veggie-eatin’ soulmate. Consequently, the Foodbeast Staff would probably be single for eternity if we lived there.


7. Los Angeles: There are more breakfast dates in Los Angeles than in any other city.


We’re thinking that this has more to do with late-night hookups making breakfast the default date of choice, than an actual preference for bacon and eggs. Hey, we don’t judge. There’s a reason LA alone has two Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles.

Picthx Roscoe’s


8. D.C: Cupcakes are extremely popular in D.C., accounting for 1 in 7 of their dining dates.


Cupcakes are the top choice for eats in D.C, as 14.1% of dates involve feasting on this petite towers of icing. But really, who doesn’t like cupcakes? They’re like the bacon of desserts and if you don’t like bacon… smh.

H/T Our Kitchen


9. St. Louis: Going out for tacos is suggested 3x more often in St. Louis than in any other city.


Busch Stadium is the most popular date spot in St. Louis, because sharing a hotmess of tacos while cheering on your team screams sexy.


10. San Francisco: S.F. has more brunch dates than in any other city, accounting for one-third of their dining dates.


Apparently, San Francisco is chock full of genius singles. It’s about time we’ve recognized brunch as the most important meal of the day. When else is it socially acceptable to get boozy at 12 noon off delicious mimosas while simultaneously munching om french toast and gruyère sandwiches? SF, we see you.

Picthx Chow

H/T HowAboutWe