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This New Food Festival Is an Ode to the Chicken Strip

Chicken tender fanatics often live out their passion in silence. The dish can draw some serious side-eyes if ordered for dinner during a night out. Once the age has passed where “being picky” is a legitimate excuse for not wanting to try new menu items, the childhood favorite is usually reserved for the occasional bar order or desperate fast food buy. But, those crunchy breaded chicken strips are loved by most for a reason — they’re easily made and moldable to just about any profile. 

Later this month in Los Angeles, tenders will be getting the recognition they deserve, when Off the Menu and John Terzian of the H.Wood Group will be teaming up to throw the city’s first TenderFest at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on November 15. The festival aims to show off the tender’s full potential by bringing together some of the area’s top chicken vendors, including Delilah, Fuku, Raising Cane’s, Hot Mutha Clucker, CAULIPOWER, and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

Additionally, famed chefs Nancy Silverton, Wolfgang Puck, Chris Oh, and Timothy Hollingsworth will each be crafting their interpretation of a tender to serve in front of a panel of judges. The winner of this showdown will be gifted a cash prize to give to a charity of their choice. 

Tickets for TenderFest are available now for $65, which pays for unlimited tenders and beer. The VIP tickets, which run for $175, also include the food and booze, as well as event merchandise, a VIP lounge, access to VIP-only vendor Dave’s Hot Chicken, a gift bag, and a 6 month membership to Off the Menu.

Off the Menu has been throwing dope food-focused events for a while now, and is a consistent source for innovative and creative flavors, which stands out in a Southern California culinary universe that can tend to stagnate on flavor-of-the-month trends. 

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Cravings Restaurants

You Can Order MASSIVE Loaded Pretzels At This Korean Gastropub

I’m always in search of some great bar food. Whether those come in the form of chicken wings, burgers, or pretzels — I’m game. In fact, I love a good pretzel. While my body rejects cheese like a C-student’s application to an Ivy League, there was a time I would enjoy a soft pretzel dunked in rich beer cheese. Man, do I miss beer cheese. Biergarten, located in the Koreatown are of Los Angeles, CA,  doesn’t just do a simple pretzel. In fact, the Korean fusion gastropub created three massive loaded pretzels to appease any and every kind of craving. Let’s dig into the delicious details:

Best of Wurst Pretzel

The Nuremberg bratwurst, kielbasa sausage, and Spam topped pretzel is essential for meat lovers. Garnished with plenty of sauerkraut and spicy mustard, the bar also adds some sautéed kimchi, perilla leaves, and pickled daikons to marry German and Korean flavors. It’s served with a side of… *sighs*… beer cheese.

Supreme Nacho Pretzel

Nacho lovers will want to revel on this loaded work of art. This supreme pretzel is topped with Spam bits, sliced knackwurst sausage, nacho cheese, Angus chili, pico de gallo, and jalapeños.

Dessert Lover’s Pretzel

Finally for those born with an incurable case of the “sweet tooth,” there’s the Dessert Lover’s Pretzel. Sweet with a hint of salty, the soft pretzel is topped with chocolate syrup, sugar cinnamon powder, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Heath toffee bits, and pretzel chips. Just be sure to bring a friend before diving into these things. Sure you can knock one out on your own, but these should be enjoyed with some beers and good company.

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Products

DIY Edamame Kit

Eating out isn’t cheap, especially if you’re frequenting eateries as much as I do.

Let’s face it, there are some things that a restaurant does for you that you can easily do yourself. I probably can’t serve up a perfectly prepared tuna tar-tar complete with a red wine reduction as well as a five-star restaurant, but I can definitely serve up some some fresh-baked bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar along with some other fancy eats at significantly less cost to me.

Now, I can add fresh edamame beans to the list of stuff I can make instead of the restaurant I’d be going to if I had more money, and I don’t even need to go to the store! I do, however, have to wait for them to grow out of a ceramic pot that looks like a glass of Japanese beer. In any event, a little light farming is a small price to pay for some delicious soy beans right in my own home.

($12 @ Firebox)

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Cravings

Craving: Cashew, Pretzel, Beer Caramels

The ultimate bar food. Peanuts, ya right! (Thx lisaiscooking)