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Restaurants Are Now Gifting Toilet Paper With Meals

Normally, if a restaurant handed you a roll of toilet paper with your purchase, it’d probably make you think twice about what you’re eating.

These are not normal times, though, and the toilet paper struggle is real.

You wouldn’t think new food trends would pop up during a pandemic, but there are actually a handful of restaurants that have started giving toilet paper to its customers.

 

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We first saw it done by Guerrilla Tacos, who were selling “Emergency Taco Kits.”

Like many restaurants during the pandemic, the Los Angeles staple had to pivot their model and find a solution for the surplus of food they currently had in stock. As a solution, Guerrilla Tacos came up with the kits which included 5 lbs of roasted chicken, 5 lbs of carne asada, and all the side fixings.

The real gold however, was the addition of a roll of toilet paper and 30 eggs, which also have been scarce in grocery stores of late.

As of this writing, the kits are being sold for $149 on their site, and are available via pick-up.

 

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We then saw the county fair staple-turned-restaurant, Chicken Charlie get in the mix.

Chicken Charlie’s Table in San Diego, California, is offering a roll of toilet paper with a minimum $20 purchase. The king of fried food has his famous Deep Fried Oreos on his takeout menu, along with his classic fried chicken and plenty of other goodies to stack up that $20 order.

The Beacon Tap in Chicago, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a minimum requirement. If you just buy something, they’ll give you a roll.

Schmizza Pizza in Oregon is another notable toilet paper Santa, as they’re giving a roll when you buy a $15 pizza.

Last but not least — and the first chain we’ve seen do this — is Ike’s Love and Sandwiches. Ike’s is now offering a free roll with the order of any of their sandwiches.

While Ike’s restaurants are delivering, the toilet paper offer is only applicable for in-store pickup orders. Those who order delivery will not be left in the dust, though, as you can get free delivery through their app, up until March 30.

Hell, there’s probably a lot of restaurants with leftover toilet paper, and no customers dining in to use it. If you’re not lucky enough to be get that TP at the store, check your local restaurants. They might be the new hookups.

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#foodbeast Culture Features FOODBEAST

This Man Revolutionized Fried Food With An OREO

It’s opening day of the OC Fair, and Charlie Boghosian is being pulled into so many different directions, it’s a surprise his limbs haven’t fallen off. His phone is ringing off the hook, as every local morning news program covering the fair wants a piece of his new deep-fried goodies. As he walks toward his newest “Pineapple Express” stand to see what’s going on in the kitchen, his family arrives at the fair. His oldest daughter Abby, 6, passes by, realizes it’s him and yells, “Daddy!”

It’s total chaos as summer fair season kicks off in Southern California, and as is the case every year for the last 20+ years, “Chicken Charlie” is the man of the hour, every hour.

“Let’s take this into my office,” Boghosian tells me, as the attention storm seemingly passes and he finally gets a chance to breathe and give his wife and four children proper hugs.

His office is a trailer behind one of his four food stands within the Orange County Fairgrounds. Before we go inside, we walk by a graveyard of pineapple boxes, easily in the hundreds, as he debuts a deep-fried pineapple on a stick, to accompany his classic hollowed out pineapple bowls.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Boghosian

With beads of sweat dripping from his brow, the 95-degree Southern California heat was in full effect, but still not stopping the hottest summertime commodity.

Boghosian is living the classic American dream: At the tender age of 11, his family immigrated to the U.S. from Syria, with dreams of working toward a better life. Boghosian took those dreams into a new dimension, however, creating a name for himself as the “Fry King,” and bringing off-kilter concepts into the mainstream, paving the way for the mind-blowing fried fair foods that have now become commonplace.

Charlie and his father atop the World Trade Center on their first day in the U.S./Photo courtesy of Charlie Boghosian

Make no mistake, that very American Dream that Charlie is living, has been molded by the fair.

Before foods such as fried Kool-Aid or bacon-wrapped pickles launched him into stardom, Boghosian was a kid who just wanted to get out of the routine of working at his dad’s San Diego grocery store.

“I saw an ad for the [San Diego County] fair, Del Mar Fair at the time,” Boghosian recalls. “I said, ‘Hey, Dad, can I go get a job at the fair? We can call it my vacation.'”

His dad gave him permission, and Boghosian worked the 1984 summer with a fair vendor by the name of Robert Jackson, who sold charbroiled corn at the Del Mar Fair and showed him the ropes.

What was supposed to be a break from monotony for Boghosian, turned into 12 straight summers of working the fair with Jackson.

With two criminal justice degrees in hand from San Diego State University, Boghosian was done with school. But instead of joining the force like he originally planned, he knew his true passion was making people smile with the power of food.

Deep-Fried Filet Mignon/Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

The inspiration for his fried foods can come from anywhere, whether it’s strolling through the supermarket or sitting at a drive-thru. However, there are times that Boghoshian’s innovation comes, literally, from home.

Charlie and his wife Dawn Boghosian will take a couple of days out of the year to gather friends and family for what they call “Fry Fests.” The Fry Fests are a free-for-all at their San Diego home, and some items even make it onto the fair menu, like the iconic deep-fried Kool-Aid.

“They’re fun, crazy and a whole lot of mess, but all worth it,” Dawn Boghosian said of the backyard Fry Fests. “We invite whoever wants to be part of our shenanigans—family, friends…anyone who’s a little creative and likes to eat.”

Charlie with Guy Fieri/Photo courtesy of Charlie Boghosian

Boghosian recalls 1996 being special, as it was the year he took the fair into his own hands. After purchasing a vendor’s old broasted chicken trailer, and re-branding it as “Chicken Charlie’s,” Boghosian finally decided to take what he learned the last 12 years, and start his own fair food legacy.

After a couple of years selling broasted chicken, Charlie felt he needed to mix things up from just chicken and fries — that’s when the deep-fried Oreo was born.

“I went to the Hostess rack at 7-Eleven and started frying everything under the sun,” Boghosian said. “The Oreo cookie ended up being the best tasting one.”

Being a huge fan of McDonald’s growing up, Boghosian was inspired by the McDonald’s apple pie, which was previously fried before the 1992 baked version debuted. He knew his chicken needed a sweet pairing, and the Oreo experiment ended up being a hit.

Content with the deep-fried Oreo’s success, Charlie didn’t even anticipate going any further with fried items, but when pressed for more by a reporter at the Fresno County Fair, Boghosian felt he had to think of a way to top himself the next year.

“I was like, ‘Well, I fried an Oreo and it was delicious. Everyone loved it. What do you guys want?” Boghosian remembered.

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An expectation of new fried foods was set, and Charlie wanted to deliver.

The following years, Boghosian started deep frying strawberries, bananas, pretzels, and even avocados — and the reputation of Chicken Charlie catapulted into stuff of legend.

“I’ll deep fry just about anything I can get my hands on. I’m looking at your glasses right now, and I want to fry them,” teased Charlie.

For the summer of 2018, Chicken Charlie’s hot new item is deep-fried filet mignon, where he fried 7,000 pounds of the premium cut for the San Diego County Fair alone. You’d never expect that a steak that’s considered a top cut, would work as a deep-fried food, but Charlie made it work, deliciously.

To produce such a massive frying operation for the fair, Chicken Charlie requires five truckloads, carrying around 22 pallets full of frying oil. Not to mention another two truckloads for the flour that coats all these delicious fried concoctions.

And the fairs love it all.

“Charlie is a great ambassador for the OC Fair and his innovative creations keep fairgoers coming back year after year to see what’s new, and what’s crazy,” Terry Moore OC Fair spokesperson said. “He has a knack for combining things that shouldn’t work together, but do. He really is an institution at the OC Fair.”

Being in fairs across California, Texas, and Arizona, Boghosian has launched an unexpected food career that has transitioned into the brick-and mortar Chicken Charlie’s FRYBQ in San Diego, California. At the FRYBQ, Boghosian offers an array of fried foods that he has built his name with, along with some less intense salads and wraps, for those who need a breather from all the fried food madness.

Grilled teriyaki chicken and rice inside a pineapple bowl/Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

Now, Charlie is opening a second San Diego location, as he envisions his restaurant becoming a nationwide chain, and eventually even finding a spot on The Las Vegas Strip.

“I want to be a legit restaurateur and have restaurants across America,” a determined Boghosian expressed. “My dream is to have a restaurant in Las Vegas, on the strip. Las Vegas, here I come.”

Chicken Charlie sure has come a long way from the young boy who just wanted a new summer job.

“Coming to America as a young kid, I wanted to work. I wanted to do great things. Who knew a little Oreo cookie would change my life the way it did?”

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7 Crazy Foods To Eat At The 2017 LA County Fair

Each year as summer comes to a close, the Los Angeles County Fair begins as a way to bookend a long, hot summer. From the hundreds of vendors, to the delicious-looking and beautifully fried foods, and the variety of exciting exhibits, there’s always has something new people can’t wait to experience. 

Here are seven must-try items from the 2017 LA County Fair.  

1. Chicken Charlie’s: Cotton Candy Ice Cream Sandwich

2017 la county fair

It’s safe to say Chicken Charlie’s is an innovator when it comes to creating amazing fair foods that are just as delicious as they are memorable. This year, Charlie’s is giving us a reason to celebrate dessert with two never-before-seen items.  

Charlie’s Cotton Candy Ice Cream Sandwich is a colorful creation of sugar, sweetness and creaminess. Picture one large scoop of vanilla ice cream, sandwiched between two cotton candy patties and rolled in Fruity Pebbles Cereal.  

2. Chicken Charlie’s: Funnel Cake Burrito  

2017 la county fair

Another sweet creation from the mind of Charlie is the popular Funnel Cake Burrito. Starting with a funnel cake and a giant tortilla, this burrito is topped with cinnamon apples, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. Then, this sweet and savory behemoth is wrapped up burrito-style and ready for consumption!

3. Afters Ice Cream: Strawberry Funnel Cake & Mango Sorbet Milky Buns

2017 la county fair

Afters Ice Cream has quickly become an LA and OC favorite for milk buns and exotic ice cream flavors. With that said, Afters will be showing off its skills with Strawberry Funnel Cake And Mango Sorbet Milky Buns during this year’s festivities. Make sure you swing by!

4. Pink’s Hot Dogs: The Enchilada Dog

la county fair

Introducing, Pink’s Enchilada Hot Dog. It’s a foot-long hot dog topped with cilantro, onions and cheese. But, in order to make this true enchilada-style, the hot dog is wrapped in a tortilla with a bit of enchilada sauce. If you love hot dogs and Mexican food, stop by Pink’s for this 2017 LA County Fair exclusive.  

5. Cowboy Kettle Corn: Unicorn Nitro Candy Pop

2017 la county fair

This isn’t your average kettle corn – it’s Unicorn Nitro Pop from Cowboy Kettle Corn, and it’s dipped in liquid nitrogen. In addition to being delicious, this treat is definitely something to capture on Instagram. Each mouthful of this frozen treat produces a cloud of icy vapor that will keep you entertained for hours.    

6. Plant Food For People: Vegan Jackfruit Nachos

2017 la county fair

It wouldn’t be the LA County Fair without nachos, but you’ve probably never had these nachos before. PFFP, or Plant Food For People, serves an all-vegan, gourmet menu that includes these very popular vegan jackfruit nachos that are potato-based, and topped with jackfruit, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.

7. Chef Cricket’s Culinary Kitchen: Bug Tasting Bar

2017 la county fair

If there’s one thing you try at the 2017 LA County Fair, make sure you check out Chef Cricket’s Culinary Kitchen and Bug Tasting Bar. Offering an assortment of freeze-dried and chocolate-covered bugs, this is definitely one of the most unique culinary attractions the LA County Fair has seen, and apparently they actually taste pretty good!  

The Fair is open from Friday, September 1st to Sunday, September 24th this year. We hope to see you there!

Photos by Peter Pham


Created in partnership with LA County Fair

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#foodbeast

Chicken Charlie’s Latest Creation: The Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger

Triple Krispy Kreme Burger

PicThx Twitter

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Adventures

Deep Fried Cereal, Porkabello Kabobs and Other Crazy Foods of the 2012 OC Fair

Is it that time of year for deep fried everything, with a side of deep fried everything else? HELL YEAH IT IS!

Friday, July 13 marked the first official day of the 2012 Orange County Fair and we were fortunate enough to swing by on opening day. Bringing back all of your favorite deep fried foods and snacks from last year, you can expect to find new items, such as the Deep Fried Beer Battered Bacon Dog On A Stick and Deep Fried Cereal, slowly, greasily, and deliciously making their descent through your pie hole.

Running until August 12, you’ve got less than a month to make your way to the OC Fairgrounds before the fair closes its doors. Keep in mind that they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so please don’t show up unless you just want to hang out in a parking lot and get sunburned.

Here’s a look at the 2012 OC Fair and some of the crazy new foods:

Bacon A-Fair always doing things big. This year they had three new items to the mix: The Caveman Club, Porkabello Kabobs and the Deep Fried Beer Battered Bacon Hot Dog On A Stick.

The Caveman Club — A gigantic turkey leg wrapped by an entire pound of bacon that can feed [up to] a family of 4.

Looks kinda burnt, but tasted delicious. This is the Deep Fried Beer Battered Bacon Wrapped Sausage (JUMBO SIZED, BABY!).

Not pictured was the side of delicious nacho cheese that came with it. Tasted sooo good together.

The last of the 3 new items was the Porkabello Kabob — Portabello mushroom stuffed with gouda cheese and wrapped in bacon on a stick… plus fries and more cheese, because fair.

Juicy’s doing what they do best — serve tons of meat with a really worried looking dude on the grill.

Chicken Charlie’s is always doing something crazy with their fried foods. This year’s hottest item? Deep Fried Trix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which are both part of a healthy, well-balanced breakfast and diet.

I only had the guts to try the Deep Fried Trix. I wasn’t sure if my body was ready to handle the Cinnamon Toast Crunch right after a ton of other deep fried foods.

Aaaand I lied. I couldn’t say ‘no’ to Deep Fried Zucchini Twirls with nacho cheese, bacon bits and jalapenos. Maybe I could have had the Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

 

Surprise! Chicken Charlie’s also had another stand open. Dubbed The Pineapple Express, they’ve got Deep Fried Spam, Fried Pineapples, and two (or one depending on how you look at it) new items — The Maui Chicken and the Naked Shrimp, both of which are served with rice and pineapple in a pineapple.

$2 Sample Fridays = Garlic French Fries to take a break from deep fried foods speed up my chances of a heart attack. Ah, damn it. I guess I missed the mark on that one. But zing! Still alive!

Ribbed for your pleasure — The last of the newest items is known as the Big Rib. With 2 pounds of USDA beef rib on a 17-inch stick, how much more American could you get?

Proud of his Big Rib, if you catch my drift. If you don’t, it’s in his hand. And he’s the cook, ya freak.

Who quenches their thirst with water? Pshhh. The only way to get hydrated was through waffle ice cream sandwiches and soft-serve ice cream cones.

Santa Claus in the off-season.

The last of the food for the day. I’m surprised I actually made it here to show you guys and gals all of these pictures.

——

That’s all for now, folks! Best believe that I’m still alive, and still [relatively] healthy enough to tell you all to hit up the fair if your’e in town.

Make sure to use #FOODBEAST in your Instagram photos so we see what you’re grubbing on at the fair if you’re the foodie photo type. Eat on!

[Thx & Photo Credits: Vince Pacubas]

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Cravings

Deep Fried Trix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, Because This is America

In our country’s never-ending quest to deep fry every food imaginable, and in our never-ending quest here at Foodbeast to make sure the world knows where and how to get all these fried goodies, we’ve come across some special ones today: Deep fried Trix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

Brought to you by Chicken Charlie’s in San Diego, CA, a new level of deep fried food has been reached, again. Yes, it is the same Chicken Charlie’s that revealed last year that it is possible to deep fry Kool-Aid.

Chicken Charlie’s has again created a buzz so far at the San Diego County Fair, so much so that the guys over at the Orange County and L.A. County Fairs already have mouths watering over pictures of these fried morning treats.

It is typical to see all things fried at a fair, but Chicken Charlie’s has built a reputation of showing off eye-popping fried meals that leave one wondering, ‘What more can be fried?’

The San Diego County Fair will run up until July 4, while the OC Fair will begin its festivities July 13 through Aug. 12. After that, Chicken Charlie’s will take its frying skills to the L.A. County Fair Aug. 31, to Sept. 31.

There was a day when frying chicken was enough to satisfy the palate. Those days are long gone, my friend.

[Thx Chicken Charlie’s, ABC News]

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Hit-Or-Miss

More Food-Focused Orange County Fair Sets Attendance Record

At 3:55 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2011, the 2011 Orange County Fair hit an attendance record surpassing the previous year’s attendance numbers, with three full day’s left in the event’s runtime. Many seem to think it was the fair’s heightened focus on food culture that incited the record numbers.

One of those under that impression was the Orange County Fair and Event Center CEO and president, Steve Beazley, telling the OC Register

this year’s theme, ‘Let’s Eat,” has resonated well with the audience.

Last year’s record of 1,154,969 attendees was surpassed Thursday afternoon, tallying 1,154,972 by 3:55 p.m., reports Robin Wachner, the fair’s communications director. A slew of food competitions, cook-offs, and popular food trucks and food carts really shifted the attention to the foodie mentality for 2011.

Even before the fair was underway, word of the upcoming fried food goodness was permeating on a national level. Deep Fried Kool-Aid from fair-favorite Chicken Charlie’s was getting heavy media coverage in the weeks prior to the fair’s grand opening.

The OC Fair 2011 concludes this Sunday, August 13th.

 

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Restaurants

Fair Famous ‘Chicken Charlie’ Looking To Open Restaurant in OC or SD


chicken-charlie

Fair Food Stand Owner and Entrepreneur Charlie Boghosian, AKA Chicken Charlie, told FOODBEAST exclusively about his current search for an appropriate retail space for his first brick-and-mortar restaurant. That’s right Southern Californians, imagine all the totally fried Oreos and Klondike Bars you want, anytime of the year.

Orange County-ites and San Diegans (/glass case of emotion), where should the first Chicken Charlie’s restaurant come to fruition? Main Street Huntington Beach? The Gaslamp District?

Chicken Charlie released 4 new items at the San Diego and Orange County Fair including FryBQ Ribs (Deep-Fried BBQ Ribs), Totally Fried Cool Aid, Fried Thin Mints and Totally Fried Browines. Chicken Charlie serves approximately 3,000 customers a day at the OC Fair, otherwise known as 3,000 diets broken.

RUMORMILL:

Chicken Charlie also told FOODBEAST of plans to launch a home fryer appliance of similar novelty to the George Foreman Grill (estimated price around 75 dollars). And lastly don’t be surprised if you see a Chicken Charlie Recipe Book down the line to be sold with his collection of rubs, marinades and sauces. Charlie’s Spicy BBQ sauce is our favorite, and we want to see FryBQ in Orange County real soon.

Any California residents have a chance to try any of Chicken Charlie’s Fair Food? Which were your favorite?