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The Fyre Fest Burger Is A Flaming Spectacle At This Outrageous Burger Joint

In recent years, the craft burger movement hasn’t really evolved that much. The creativity behind the toppings, patties, and accompaniments has grown, but how we think about the burger itself has remained constant.

One restaurant in Downey, California, is out to change all that with their flaming tableside burger presentation.

Photo: Reach Guinto // Foodbeast

Aptly named the “Fyre Fest,” this burger from Lock & Key Social Drinkery is changing how we serve the classic American meal. The burger itself comes with a meaty stack of three cheese-covered patties, drenched in an aged Cheddar Mornay sauce. When it arrives at your table, it comes with a gravy boat filled with truffle demi-glace and a shot of overproof Jamaican rum. The fireworks start when it gets lit on fire and drenched all over your burger, resulting in one of the most flavorsome fork-and-knife burgers you can find.

Lock & Key doesn’t stop with the creative flair there. Their menu offers up a variety of burgers that bring something different to the presentation. Whether that’s their literally smokey Doc Holliday burger or their Filet Mignon-loaded take on a Big Mac, the burgers here are starting to change the discussion on how we approach the old-school sandwich.

You can view some of Lock & Key’s most creative burgers in the above Foodbeast YouTube video.

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This Donut Shop Brings Mexican Pop Culture To Life With Each Bite

There’s a little shop in Downey, California that not only offers an array of whimsical doughnuts, but offers a taste of pop culture, experience, and taste that many Latinos grew up with.

While a glittery purple or silver doughnut might be convincing enough for you you to come in and snap a photo of, Donas also serves as a gateway into the nostalgic memories of Mexicans who grew up with Selena, El Santo, or Abuelita hot chocolate.

“It is very important for us to be able to offer these flavors, and a sense of culture, tradition, and a sense of nostalgia,” Ashley Leon-Vazquez, part owner of Donas said.

Even its name, Donas, comes from a common mispronunciation of doughnuts in the Chicano community. As is the case with its name, every item on the menu had a lot of thought put into it, as Leon-Vazquez attributes the bulk of the flavor creations to her husband David, and sister Amber Bobadilla.

For example, their doughnut ice cream sandwich isn’t merely to entice with shock value. With flavors of a classic Mexican fruit salad, the coconut and strawberry-topped sandwich gives you an unusual spin on the beloved “bionico.”

Same can be said with their chicharron doughnut, which is essentially supposed to mimic a maple bacon one. And there’s their signature purple Selena doughnut that’s blasted with glitter, just like the late great singer’s famous jumpsuit.

“The idea behind the flavors of the doughnuts is mixing a Latino element to it,” Leon-Vazquez said. “At first, our purple doughnut was just a honey-lavender doughnut, but when we made the doughnut, it was like, ‘Oh, my God. This looks like Selena’s outfit.’ Those are the kind of things we played with while naming the doughnuts.”

The minds behind Donas also created a Mexican drink-inspired shop called Horchateria Rio Luna, which has quickly become a go-to spot for Horchata lovers in Southern California. Similar to what they did with Donas, Leon-Vazquez and Bobadilla found a flavor essential to Mexican culture, remixed it, and made it attractive to a wider audience.

“About 90 percent of the time, those who aren’t Latino, but are interested in what we’re doing, and the flavors, and the culture, and the colors, and the art— they get it, they get what we’re trying to do, and are willing to try something new. And they usually like it,” Leon-Vazquez said.

The doughnut shop is clearly more than just its colorful Selena doughnut, and while it is definitely a flashback for Latinos who grew up with these familiar tastes, the cultural details are delicious enough for all doughnut lovers, regardless of background.

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Instagram’s Hottest Mexican-Lebanese Fusion Restaurant Was Conceived In Prison

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Looking through the menu at Fatima’s Grill in Downey, California, you’d never guess it was mostly designed and envisioned within the walls of a prison cell. No, they don’t serve Ja Rule’s “Prison Casserole” or makeshift chocolate cakes, but its owner, Ali Elreda, spent almost eight years in The Federal Correctional Institution, Safford, working the kitchen, and dreaming of a day he could let his passion for food shine.

Fatima’s Grill beautifully marries Elreda’s Lebanese roots, with an appreciation for Mexican food that he gained during his time behind bars. He chose to work in the prison’s kitchen where he spent most of his days learning about cooking food (which he knew nothing about), Mexican culture from his fellow inmates, and how to be efficient under the pressure of having to cook for over 1,000 inmates.

“I was in the kitchen five days a week, from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m,” Elreda said. “I would write down certain things that I came up with or would invent, and I had 1,500 inmates that I had to feed, so if I could please them, I knew I could please anybody.”

Elreda is very much open about his incarceration, because it is a chapter of his life he has comfortably put in the past. In the early 2000s, he was young, made some mistakes with bad company, and slipped up to the tune of 7-plus years of imprisonment for intent to distribute methamphetamines and cocaine.

Not an ideal path, but he regrets nothing, as his experiences led to his current success as a restaurant owner.

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Without his checkered past, there would be no Shawarma Quesarritos, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-topped carne asada fries, or tacos crowned with his hot sauce — which was inspired by ingredients straight from the Federal Correctional Institution, Safford commissary.

“I learned everything inside,” Elreda said. “My hot sauce came from the prison commissary…I had to go back to the place where I did time, just to get a copy of the commissary items. You can’t find those out here on the street.”

Without his past he also would have never met Jorge, the savvy cook who mans the kitchen at Fatima’s Grill, and has been by Elreda’s side from day one, helping him make these tasty and photo-friendly dishes.

One look at the Fatima’s Grill Instagram account, and you can tell Elreda is quite an eccentric character who’s having a blast feeding the city of Downey, CA. With every video of him cooking, bumping Cardi B and dancing around in the limited space within his kitchen, you get a glimpse of not only his infectious attitude, but his extensive and  mouthwatering menu.

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The menu itself can look a little intimidating, but at its core, the restaurant consists of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, wraps, and fries. From there, you can top or stuff anything with his halal-based meats, and even Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, if you’d like. All in all, he’s found a formula tailor-made for Instagram success, not only getting the Foodbeast seal of approval when we paid a visit, but getting rave reviews on Yelp, Google, and EZ Cater.

Elreda admits he’ll draw you in with his giant burritos, and Hot Cheeto mixtures, but he’ll keep you with the quality of ingredient and simple halal dishes such as the restaurant’s chicken kabobs and shawarma wraps.

All Elreda needed was an opportunity, and with help from family, lessons through a rough past, and a vision of blending two cultures together, the final result was a pretty special experience for customers.

“I said, ‘I’m gonna take the best of both worlds when I get out… let me see if I can put this together. Tacos, gyros, shawarma, quesadillas, let’s put it together,'” Elreda said. “And it worked.”

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Can You Handle This Hot Cheetos Eloté Burger?

There’s nobody in this world who has ever said that they prefer small and neat burgers with the least amount of ingredients as possible. Well, I guess that’s what you call a slider — but that’s beside my point. One of the major charms of a great burger is how messy it can get.

This burger topped with an avalanche of eloté corn and crushed Hot Cheetos comes from Lock & Key Social Drinkery (LKSD) in Downey, California. Complete with two grass fed beef patties and adobo crema sauce, you’ll be scraping up every single kernel off your plate.

If eloté and Hot Cheetos dust is not for your palate, LKSD has burgers for just about anytime of the day:

  • Breakfast — The BAE Sandwich: an aged sharp cheddar cheese omelet, sunny side egg, avocado, applewood smoked bacon, and chipotle adobo mayo between a buttery croissant.
  • Brunch — The FML Burger: two grass fed beef patties, American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, maple mascarpone, all between a French toast battered bun, and drizzled with hot maple syrup.
  • Dinner — The End All Burger: two grass fed beef patties, a secret sauce, American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, New York-style pastrami, shredded duck confit, sunny side egg, lettuce, tomato, and onion, on a buttered bun.