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Fast Food What's New

We Found A Taco Bell Location Testing CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS

While Taco Bell has begun phasing out some parts of its menu, that change also means there’s the potential for some unique new items to arrive at the fast food giant.

Photo: Elie Ayrouth // Foodbeast

Foodbeast has come across one of those potential test items, as fellow Foodbeast Elie Ayrouth found a location in Fullerton, California that had Crispy Chicken Wings on its menu.

Served in a box of five with a side of Spicy Ranch to dip into, these wings came in at a cost of $4.99 each. These weren’t boneless wings, either: as you can see in the above clip, Elie was able to get all of the meat off the bones in one single bite, choosing from a selection of drums and flats.

Photo: Elie Ayrouth // Foodbeast

He told me that the wings themselves were “very crispy,” and had a mild Taco Bell seasoning flavor to them. “I would have loved something like their Volcano Sauce mixed with the ranch, or the Volcano Sauce on its own,” he mentioned.

Still, to him, “Taco Bell nailed it on what they’re good at, textures. The flats did what they needed, the drums were crispy, had a fair amount of meat.”

Elie also recommended adding some packets of Fire or Diablo sauce to your order if you want to turn up the heat on this chicken. Combining the hot sauce, ranch, and wings together were the best bites he had, in his opinion.

Photo: Elie Ayrouth // Foodbeast

We’re naturally curious to learn more about these wings, so we’ve reached out to Taco Bell to get a deeper insight on this possible test item. They’re not sharing too much as of yet, saying that “We’re always innovating and listening to our fans, and chicken is just one category that we’re excited to explore further and put our Taco Bell spin on.”

It also seems that Taco Bell is ramping up their food innovation efforts, according to a recent article from Forbes, with chicken as a key focus, so there’s a good chance we’re gonna see some more exciting items come from them in the near future.

Photo: Elie Ayrouth // Foodbeast

For those looking to try the Crispy Chicken Wings in the meantime, the location we found them is at 131 E. Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton.

Categories
Restaurants

Red Robin Is Offering A Build-Your-Own Wing Bar For Home Delivery

Photo courtesy of Red Robin

A few months back, there were times when I would eat wings two or three times a week either after work or during lunch. Being at home these days, frequenting wing bars isn’t as easy as it used to be. That, however, hasn’t stopped me from finding alternatives to enjoying wings at home.

That’s because Red Robin Catering is offering a massive box of wings that you can order for the family, that comes with their own sauces, dips, and sides.

Each Big Red Box of Gourmet Wings & Sides come with 50 juicy bone-in chicken wings. While naked wings are delicious, it wouldn’t be considered a wing bar without your choice of sauces and the build-your-own box includes the chain’s signature Buzzard Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, and Whiskey River BBQ.

Finally, because no wing experience is complete without dipping sauces and sides, guests will also have sides of Ranch and Bleu cheese to dunk their wings into and some carrot sticks.

Wing lovers can get their hands on this box through the Red Robin site. Each package is about $50, serves 10 people, and is available at all participating Red Robin locations.

Categories
News What's New

Hooters Is Giving Out Free Wings to Single People on Valentine’s Day

Most Valentine’s Days spent single are passed in a concentrated effort to forget your ex but, on this year’s Valentine’s Day, Hooters is asking for your remembrance of what was.

On February 14th, during the yearly reminder of our societal obligation to companionship, Hooters is offering up the chance to get 10 free boneless wings. The only condition is you must bring in a picture of your former significant other to be shredded, because people still shred pictures like it’s a mid-2000’s lowbrow romcom, evidently.

But, if you’re living in 2020 like the rest of us, and your photo library is on your phone or computer, you can digitally shred your ex as well. You’ll be presented with a voucher you can use to redeem your chicken nuggets — er, boneless wings, excuse me.

Unfortunately, a rather difficult dilemma faces you after your former flame has been extinguished and 10 boneless wings are in your possession: Do you squad up with all the other people who decided to go to Hooters on Valentine’s Day or do you go home and eat your Hooters wings alone while solemnly curled up on the couch? Both are equally as existential crisis triggering but, hey, at least you’ll have ten free wings, right?

Right?

Categories
Culture Features

12 Vietnamese Dishes That Everyone Should Try In Their Lifetime

You may remember Connie Bang-Co Aboubakare, also known as @occomestibles, the influencer who took us on a trip to Southern California’s Little Saigon and all the amazing Vietnamese restaurant foods highlighted during the tour of her Chomping Grounds.

Connie was a recent guest on the Foodbeast Katchup podcast and spoke about her origins as an influencer and how she had to learn to cook Vietnamese food once she got married. What set her apart from many food bloggers is that she photographs the Vietnamese meals she would make for her husband and sons and fills her feed with them.

Vietnamese food has always been a beloved cuisine here at the Foodbeast office and while many of us have tried it, there are always those few dishes that not too many know about, but wish they had sooner. Towards the end of the episode, host Geoffrey Kutnick asks Connie what were some essential dishes she could not live without, to which she replied with quite a few Vietnamese options.

Looking at all the different dishes in her feed really inspired us to dive into Vietnam’s rich cuisine.

Thanks to her Katchup visit, we’ve compiled a comprehensive Foodbeast list of all the amazing Vietnamese dishes everyone should try at least once in their life.


Cá Kho Tộ (Braised Claypot Fish)

 

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One of the first dishes Connie mentions, that she can’t live without, is a braised claypot fish dish called Cá Kho Tộ. Catfish is cooked in a braising liquid of sugar and fish sauce within a clay pot in a process referred to as “kho.” Because the dish is so rich in flavor, it’s typically served with plain white rice and vegetables. It’s one of the more common dishes she would make for her family, and looking back, my mom would make this about once a week as well.

Bánh Xèo (Savory Crepes)

 

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A while back, Connie also hosted a Foodbeast Kitchen live stream that highlighted her love of Bánh Xèo, another item she mentions in the podcast. Essentially, Bánh Xèo are thin Vietnamese crepes that are cooked with flour and turmeric powder and filled with fresh meats such as shrimp, chicken, or pork, as well as fresh vegetables. You can eat them directly with fish sauce, or rip them up and roll them into a spring roll.

Cơm Tấm (Broken Rice)

An inexpensive comfort dish, Cơm Tấm translates to “broken rice.” What originated as a street food item, you would typically find grilled meats on top of broken white rice, a steamed egg cake, julienne pork, and pickled greens.

Bánh Bột Chiên (Fried Flour Cake)

A hearty breakfast dish, Bánh Bột Chiên translates to fried flour cakes. Cooked with fried eggs and green onions, the dish is popular in both Vietnam and China. The flour is cut into thick rectagular strips, and served with a tangy soy sauce that the cakes can be dipped into. There is also a turnip cake and radish cake variation that can be cooked in the same way.

Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm (Fish Sauce Fried Chicken Wings)

One of my personal favorite Vietnamese dishes, Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm is mores an appetizer than a meal — unless you’re me and double up on orders. Not too different from how Cá Kho is made, the chicken wings are fried and coated in a glaze made from sugar and fish sauce. Sometimes, fried garlic is also added to the mix.

What I love most about fish sauce chicken wings are that every restaurant has their own take on them, and you can easily get yourself a few wings for relatively cheap.

Bánh Bột Lọc (Savory Tapioca Dumplings)

 

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Made with tapioca flour, the dumplings are stuffed with shrimp and pork, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. Once cooked, Bánh Bột Lọc is served with a sweet and spicy fish sauce and fried shallots. From Central Vietnam, the dish is eaten as an appetizer to a full meal. Foodbeast producer Theresa Tran mentions this as one of her favorite Vietnamese dishes, although it will take about 15 of them to fill her up.

Bún Riêu (Pork and Crab Soup)

 

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One of the more popularized Vietnamese dishes, Bún Riêu is a soup made with pork, crab, shrimp paste, dried shrimp, egg, rice vermicelli and lots of tomatoes. This leads to a super robust and umami flavor compared to the more classic Pho dish. After pho, this is one of the more popular Vietnamese soup dishes around.

Bánh Khọt (Savory Pancake Bites)

 

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Bánh Khọt, mini savory pancakes, feature pretty much the same exact ingredients as the more popular Banh Xeo, but comes in a sort of cupcake form. Because of this cooking method, the texture comes out much more different giving it a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. Unlike Banh Xeo, the proteins of Bánh Khọt are cooked on top of the dish rather than inside. Not unlike a gourmet cupcake.

Gỏi Cuốn (Spring Rolls)

 

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One of the lighter Vietnamese dishes, spring rolls are served cold with fresh greens, prawns, pork, and rolled together with rice paper. Gỏi Cuốn can typically be enjoyed with a peanut flavored dipping sauce, or a simple fish sauce that’s mixed together with chilis. Easy to eat either as a snack or even for a long road trip in the car. Just make sure not to spill any fish sauce.

Canh Chua (Vietnamese Sour Soup)

 

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Tart and savory, this Vietnamese dish is typically served with rice. Made with a catfish base as well as tomatoes, pineapple, okra, beansprouts, and Vietnamese herbs. This is one of the dishes you wouldn’t typically find at a Vietnamese restaurant, but rather from the kitchen of a Vietnamese household. During the podcast Connie also mentions that this is one of her essential dishes that she likes to make at home.

Ốc Len Xào Dừa (Stir Fried Snails w/ Coconut Milk)

 

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A common street food in Vietnam, Ốc Len Xào Dừa roughly translates to stir fried snails in coconut milk. While the dish itself sounds pretty intimidating, the flavors that go into this dish make it a top contender for Foodbeast producer Theresa Tran. Made with coconut milk, lemongrass, Vietnamese coriander, chilies, and sea snails, you would find the Ốc Len Xào Dừa at street food carts throughout many Vietnamese cities.

“You can give me a cup of that broth and I’d drink it,” Tran says. “Also trying to get the snails out is pretty fun too.”

Phở (Rice Noodle Soup)

 

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One of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes, you can’t go wrong with phở. An elegant broth made from either chicken or beef, phở utilizes the flavors of charred ginger, onions, and other vegetables over a long period of time. Sure it’s on everyone’s list, but phở is so prolific to Vietnamese culture that you kind of just have to add it to the fold. Both Connie and myself enjoy beef pho, with strips of brisket that you can dip into a mixture of sriracha and hoisin sauce.

Categories
Cravings Features News What's New

Fill Up A Bucket With LA’s Best Wings At The City’s First Chicken Wing Festival

Off The Menu Wing Fest

Los Angeles is going to a have a chicken wing festival. Writing that out seems like a dream to me — I, connoisseur of any fried bird, one who considers fried chicken as the only food group that matters. But here I am drooling at the prospect of filling myself to level ten out of ten on the full as f*ck scale on glorious, crispy, crunchy, sauced up chicken wings. And what’s even better is that said wing fest is equipping patrons with their own bucket to fill up with as much wings as they can fit.

Yes, this all you can eat chicken wing festival, aptly named Wing Fest, is coming to bless Angelenos’ wing lovin’ hearts on July 29 AKA National Chicken Wing Day at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard. And it’s all courtesy of Lawrence Longo of Off The Menu, who has switched his focus from eating a burger everyday to chicken wings. What fans can expect is a lineup of the best of the best: Pizzeria Mozza’s wings Alla diovola, Button Mash’s double fried sweet and spicy wings, The Greyhound’s sweet cherry BBQ wings, Banh Oui’s Vietnamese-style wing, Chef Kang Food Rehab’s Korean-style wings, and even Anchor Bar, the originators of the Buffalo Wing, all the way from New York, amongst a roster of other solid wing purveyors.

General admission for unlimited wings starts at $45, and tickets are available online. Pro tip: the Guatemalan Insanity wings from The Greyhound should come with a roll of Tums and a quart of milk. Trust me. They don’t call it “Insanity” for nothing.

Categories
Celebrity Grub

John Mayer Writes A Song About Eating Hot Wings, While Eating Hot Wings

If you’ve ever had any doubt about John Mayer’s raw talent as a musician, pull yourself together and listen to this instant classic he wrote on a ukelele, while eating some of the spiciest wings in the world.

OK, so maybe the song wasn’t life-changing, but Mayer put his skill on display while on First We Feast’s Hot One’s challenge.

If you’re not familiar with the show, celebrity guests eat 10 hot wings, each with a sauce that’s hotter than the last, while host Sean Evans asks mind-bending questions.

While Mayer did hit a few rough patches, he actually went through all 10 wings. On the 10th wing, Evans handed John a uke, as the two proceeded to jam out together.

Mayer, as he often does, kind of freestyled and put together an easy-on-the-ears tune about he and Evans “eating scarily.”

In the interview, Mayer also shared nuggets about his song writing process, why he loves Air Jordan 5 sneakers, and why he has god-awful facial expressions while bending chords on the guitar.

The interview as a whole was pretty insightful for fans of the guitar god, and he showed that he can push through the pain of dangerously hot wings burning his esophagus.

Categories
Health News

7-Eleven Employee In Utah May Have Exposed Thousands Of Customers To Hepatitis

Customers of a 7-Eleven in Utah may want to pay close attention, ’cause those heat lamp pizza and chicken wings may have put them at risk for hepatitis.

According to health officials, a location of the national convenience retailer may have exposed about 2,000 customers to Hepatitis A, GrubStreet reports.

The Salt Lake County Health Department announced that customers who visited the 7-Eleven located on 2666 West 7800 South in West Jordan between Dec. 26 to Jan. 3 may want to consider getting a Hepatitis A shot after potential exposure occurred when an infected employee worked while ill.

Customers who consumed the store’s fresh fruit, self-served fountain drinks, hot items (hot dogs, pizza, chicken wings, or taquitos), or used the store’s bathroom, are said to be at risk. Those who ate and drank items sealed in packages shouldn’t worry though.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include jaundice, nausea, fatigue, and fever, and could take up to a month to even show.

Since the discovery of the possible exposure, the location has been sanitized to the health department’s standards. Still, any customers of that specific Utah location may want to look into the injection. Those who are already fully vaccinated against Hep A should be alright.

It should also be stressed that anyone who handles food regularly should be washing their hands.

Categories
Cravings Culture Video

North Korean Refugees Try American Chicken Wings For The First Time

Earlier this year, we witnessed North Korean refugees try American BBQ for the first time. As they tasted the plethora of meat before them, they talked about their life and experiences growing up in North Korea.

Digitalsoju TV, the YouTube channel that found these men and women and documented their experience eating BBQ, has now launched a tasty new experience. This time, North Korean refugees try American-style chicken wings for the first time.

Watch these North Koreans try a variety of chicken wings

The flavors they tried include buffalo, lemon pepper, smokehouse, BBQ, and even a Korean glaze. South Korea-based restaurant Nekkid Wings played host to this panel of taste testers. Nekkid Wings’ chef and owners had studied abroad in North America to perfect their wing recipe.

In addition to these wings, they were also served popular sides and dips that can only be found at chicken wing spots.

As they ate, the group recalled their youth in North Korea, immigrating to South Korea, and their perceptions of Americans and American culture growing up in the country.

Check out the video to see what these former North Korean citizens think of American chicken wings. In like manner, we too shall have some wings for lunch today.