Fast Food

Del Taco Unveils Upcoming Prototype Restaurant Design: FRESH FLEX

Photo courtesy of Del Taco

Del Taco is starting the New Year fresh. The fast-food chain released designs for their new prototype restaurant concept aptly named Fresh Flex.

This new store will feature significant upgrades to the traditional Del Taco concepts in both design and service models wrapped within a sleek and contemporary aesthetic.

Del Taco’s new Fresh Flex store focus will be towards accessibility, speed of service, and transparency.

The drive-thru will feature a double-lane system allowing for mobile orders and delivery driver pick-ups to efficiently check-in and get their meals. There will also be third-party delivery pick up stations to expedite the speed of service.

Photo courtesy of Del Taco

Del Taco‘s Fresh Flex will also feature a designated parking area for those who wish to eat in their cars.

Within the restaurant, coolers display ingredients to be prepped at the restaurant daily and a working kitchen format that guests can easily see to provide transparency.

Photo courtesy of Del Taco

Could more fast-food chains be pivoting towards this even quicker-service store model as we continue through our current pandemic?

We reached out to Del Taco who are anticipating a late summer 2021 opening in the Orlando Market. Very excited to see this go national.

Cravings Fast Food News Products

Meet The HAMDOG, A Hot Dog Perfectly Fitted Inside A Hamburger

A photo posted by (@ad_nl) on Sep 20, 2016 at 1:15am PDT

A brilliant new concept for a hamburger and hotdog hybrid is making its presence known on the Internet. The appropriately named HamDog is the combination of the two staple fast food dishes.

Unlike most quick food combinations, it’s not a hot dog with chopped hamburger meat and cheese on top, but rather a carefully designed hamburger with a hot dog placed inside with a custom bun to fit both proteins.

Here is the official image for the concept, courtesy of Google Patents:


The inventor, Mark Murray, was first seen pitching his concept on Shark Tank Austrailia last year.

Response to his product was pretty tepid from the panel, but after working in the food news industry for so many years we think it’s a GENIUS product.

According to, Murray has been selling the product at local markets in Perth, Australia, and has been met with “incredible” response. Murray is currently looking for “resellers,” similar to franchisees, to buy a HamDog marquee for $10,000.

Hopefully one of those investors will find their way to California. We’d love to get our hands on a HamDog and slather the sides with mustard and relish, then load the middle with thousand island.


Cover Photo: Facebook


You Can Now Get WASTED At These Barnes & Noble Bookstores


With Amazon shipping you pretty much anything you could want in a matter of days, it’s kind of understandable that book retailers are getting harder and harder to find. Seriously, we miss you Borders. Barnes & Noble Booksellers, considered the one of the last major book retailers in the United States, has devised a plan to get more customers in the doors and away from online shopping: Booze.

CNN Money reports that the bookstore chain will open four new concept stories that will begin serving food, beer and wine. While some locations already have little coffee cafes, the concepts will more than likely lean towards something a little more gourmet than pastries and coffee.

The four locations will be in Eastchester, NY, Edina, MN, Folsom, CA, and Loudon, VA.

Our only concern is a bunch of drunk people in a bookstore. Kinda feels like throwing a bull into a China shop. Ah well, we’re sure they’ll figure it out. It’s not like it’s a library.


This Laptop Stove Design Lets You Cook While on the Internet


If I’m flying through episodes of House of Cards, the last thing I want to do is get out of bed and make something to eat. If only there was a way I could whip up something without ever having to take my eyes off the laptop. Binge-addicts know that pausing is not an option.

So, Dragan Trenchevski, a Macedonia-based designer, created the Electrolux Mobile Kitchen, a concept for a laptop-stove hybrid. The designs for the hybrid will allow one to both peruse the seedy underbellies of Reddit while also stir-frying some veggies. Inspired by notebook computers, it features a four-tier induction cooktop and a cutting board, connected to a touch-screen computer.

The Electrolux Mobile Kitchen is powered by an internal battery, essentially making it a pretty wicked hot plate.

Laptop-Stove-Features-1 Laptop-Stove-Features-2

Imagine never having to go back and forth from stove to computer when working with a new recipe.

On the list of futuristic inventions we need to see now: hover board, laptop stove, personal jetpack.

H/T DesignTaxi, YankoDesign


Fast Food

FIRST LOOK: Taco Bell’s Bougie New Fast Casual Concept U.S. Taco Co.


Take Taco Bell. Subtract the dubious ingredients. Add a beachy-chic aesthetic and Dia Del Los Muertos skull. Keep the pink and purple. Now you have U.S. Taco Co.

Sure, the exact math is a bit more complicated, involving 50 different states and 18 months of planning, but the result is still a fancy new fast casual concept from Taco Bell that’s just about as authentically inauthentic as you can get.


Co-founded by T-Bell chef Rene Pisciotti and Marketing Director Jeff Jenkins, USTC is Taco Bell for folks who don’t like Taco Bell. Inspired by travel and foodie culture, the menu takes America’s most iconic dishes, from philly cheesesteaks to fried chicken, and transforms them in a way only Taco Bell knows how. That is, by making them into tacos that aren’t really tacos, but taste pretty bomb anyway.

According to Pisciotti, all ingredients on the menu are either house-made, sourced from the same suppliers as Taco Bell, or flown in from where they were inspired, such as brisket for the “Not My First Rodeo” from Texas, or the lobsters for “The 1%-er” from the North Atlantic. Most of the restaurant’s ten tacos feature six inch, soft flour tortillas from Mission brand, though flatbreads, corn, and crispy corn shells also make an appearance.



On the rest of the menu you’ll find steak-cut fritas, real leche milkshakes, a broad selection of craft sodas from all over the country — a play on the traditional American spread of burgers, fries, and shakes — and an extensive craft beer and cocktail program for future locations, the next of which will “probably” be somewhere in Southern California, near Taco Bell’s Irvine HQ. Due to riots at last year’s U.S. Open of Surf, the city of Huntington Beach would not issue new liquor licenses for the Huntington Beach flagship.

Check out more of our photos from the press preview below, and relish in the fact that there is not a single Doritos Locos Taco to be found.














U.S. Taco Co. opens next Monday, August 11. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.


U.S. Taco Co.
150 5th St.,
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Fast Food

Wendy’s Now Testing Build-Your-Own Sandwich Program


Wendy’s has always been a touch bougier than fellow burger-shillers McDonald’s or Burger King — what with its fancy pretzel buns and sea salted french fries — but now it seems the red-haired farm girl wants to go full fast casual, with a build-your-own sandwich test program out in Columbus, Ohio.

Like similar customizable platforms Smashburger or Five Guys, Wendy’s customers get their druthers from within five different categories: Proteins, Buns, Cheeses, Sauces, and Toppings. That is, single, double, or triple hamburger patties or homestyle or spicy breaded chicken patties; regular, pretzel, or no (“protein-style”) buns; Asiago, American, Cheddar cheese slices, blue cheese crumbles, or cheddar cheese sauce; mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, bbq sauce, asiago ranch, or garlic aioli; and, finally, pickles, red onions, tomato, lettuce, spring mix, jalapeños, sautéed onions, and/or bacon. Most ingredients are included in the base BYO price, though some are available for a small upcharge.

Last year McDonald’s tested a similar concept in Laguna Beach, Calif. Wendy’s build-your-own sandwich program is currently only on trial at two locations in Columbus near Wendy’s HQ, though Brand Eating notes that any Wendy’s burger is customizable if you ask for it. Pretty sweet, but when can I order bacon in my Frosty?

H/T QSR MagazinePicthx Wendy’s


Colorful Simpsons Wine Bottles Look Just Like Homer and Marge

A fancy bottle of wine might be the last thing you’d break out for a Simpsons binge-watching session. But then, you’ve probably never found a wine that looks quite like this.

Russian designers Constantin Bolimond and Dmitry Patsukevich dreamt up a pair of wine bottles meant to resemble the iconic husband and wife duo from television’s longest running animated sitcom: Homer and Marge Simpson. Inspired by the color block paintings of Piet Mondrian, the bottles are clean and minimalistic, with sections clearly demarcated to match their characters’ appearances. As a little tongue-in-cheek nod, the wines are also said to be aged since 1987, or the year the family first debuted in shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show.



As neat as the designs are, the wines are of course just a concept. Which is probably for the better. We’d rather take a can of Duff, anyway.


Fast Food

Panda Express Innovation Kitchen Now Shilling Boba, Orange Chicken Burritos


In Pasadena, Calif., Chinese American fast food chain Panda Express is currently testing a trendy new concept that’s somehow Chipotle, Teavana, a mom and pop boba shop, and good ol’ fashioned Panda all at once.

Just opened last week, the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen looks like the love child of Panda Express and one of the newer, sleeker Starbucks-es. According to Los Angeles Magazine, there’s a tea bar serving up a bevy of hot or iced teas, fruit teas, milk teas, all the requisite add-ons like boba and egg pudding, as well as a Chipotle-esque assembly line that lets guests compose their own rice, chow mein, or salad bowls, or scallion pancake “burritos.”


In case the name didn’t give it away, the key here is innovation, meaning nearly all Panda toppings are on the table, even, as LAMag illustrates, fried rice and Orange Chicken. Yes, in a “burrito.” Yes, like mothereffing Kogi Truck. Sure, you could just snooze it up with an Eggplant Tofu salad, but we doubt you’d be on this site if you would.

As of now, there’s no news of Panda Express 5.0 making its way outside of Pasadena, but it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea if it did.


As for us, we’d like to order a Double Wide with Honey Walnut Shrimp and Orange Chicken and chow mein and fried rice and cream cheese rangoons. Washed down with an Orange Chicken milkshake, of course.

H/T + Picthx LAMag, Yelp