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Without DACA, Vegas Wouldn’t Have Its Best Al Pastor Tacos

Sure we’re all familiar with Plato’s quote, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s true, for the most part. But invention isn’t exclusive to the phrase as well. Survival is a logical byproduct of necessity, facilitating dreams to be manifested and goals to be achieved. Such is the case with sisters Faviola and Gabriella Trujillo, whose own chain of successful taco restaurants, Taco Y Taco, was born from a need to simply survive, especially with odds stacked against them.

Their father is an entrepreneurial success story as well, starting from a small butcher shop in Mexico, to opening up multiple full-service markets in Las Vegas, NV. But when economic downturn forced him to close up locations save for one, the Trujillo sisters knew that their circumstance as undocumented individuals made it likely that no one would hire them or offer them a work permit. The necessity to survive immediately grew from that seed of uncertainty and led them to formulate a sound business plan that would serve as the blueprint for their now successful business.

But defying the odds isn’t new to Faviola and Gabriella, who beyond their immigration status in the country, also broke through the typical perception of what a Mexican restaurant is, and presented a unique and different approach to a customer’s dining experience. Fresh ingredients, tried and true recipes, and attention to detail highlight Taco Y Taco’s model, creating a meal that’s memorable through a couple euphoric bites of their nationally-recognized al pastor tacos or simply knowing that it was built through taking a chance and living out one’s own dreams, no matter what circumstances or how daunting they initially seem to be.

Faviola and Gabriella have definitely made their mark in the world — have they or other similar experiences inspired you to do the same? 

Recognizing that everyone has the ability and potential to do so, Cerveza Montejo wants to empower people to share their ideas with the world and turn them into pathways for extraordinary success. With the launch of their Stories That Defy Contest, Montejo is providing an opportunity for someone to win $10,000 to start their own business, artistry, or pursue creative endeavors. Find out more and enter now at StoriesThatDefy.com.

MONTEJO “STORIES THAT DEFY” CONTEST

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to AZ, CA and NV residents 21+.  Entries must be received by 8/31/20. See Official Rules at www.storiesthatdefy.com for prizes and details. Message and data rates may apply. Void where prohibited.

Created in partnership with Montejo.

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#foodbeast News Restaurants What's New

Chipotle Debuts Carne Asada Nationwide


Photo: Omari Allen

Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced the long awaited arrival of Mexican food staple, carne asada. Having tested the new menu item in Fresno and Cincinnati to amazing results, they’re now launching it nationwide for a limited time. It took two years of research and development by Chipotle’s Director of Culinary and Menu Development Chad Brauze in order to nail the perfect recipe. I had the opportunity to sample their new protein and am pleased to say that it hits the mark in terms of flavor and consistency. 

Chipotle’s carne asada is thinly sliced and grilled with lime juice, cilantro, coriander, cinnamon, and cumin, giving it a distinct taste next to their usual steak option. Citrusy hints mingle with aromatic flavors further enhanced by a kick of spice. The consistency is tender and buttery; a lighter steak alternative with a fresher finish. It manages to maintain the carne asada experience one would experience at a tried and true spot while elevating the typical Chipotle experience. Moreover, keeping in line with their commitment to quality assurance, the new carne asada is Keto, Paleo and Whole30 compliant.

Photo: Omari Allen

For those that live in Dallas, Detroit and San Diego, Chipotle is also testing out a new sauce to pair with your protein. It’s called Queso Blanco and is made of Monterey Jack, white cheddar, serano, chipotle, and poblano peppers mixed with various spices. I had the pleasure of sampling it and can confirm that it’s cheesier and creamier, with a spicy whisper at the end which makes it stand apart from their current queso. It can be used as a dipping sauce or a perfect compliment to your burrito or bowl. Depending on reception, the Queso Blanco sauce may soon join the Chipotle menu officially. 


Photo: Omari Allen

Chipotle’s new carne asada is now available at all locations nationwide for a limited time.

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#foodbeast Cravings FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Packaged Food Restaurants SPONSORED

This Torta Goes Full Beast Mode With STACKS Of Salami And Tater Tots


The chilly streets of San Francisco just got a warming new dish that takes torta ahogada to tasty new heights.

Found at Tacorea, a downtown San Francisco spot fusing together Korean and Mexican specialties, this Tortally Beast Mode Torta comes loaded far beyond the standard sandwich. It’s based on Tacorea’s Big Ricardo, a massive wet burrito drenched in salsa, but also salutes locally-made charcuterie.

You’ll find stacks of Bay Area-made Columbus Craft Meats Italian Dry Salame and mountains of crispy tots piled inside with carnitas, guac, cheese, and pico de gallo. The entire sandwich is then covered in an ahogada sauce whose heat will wipe out any traces of the SF winter.

All of the torta’s ingredients combine to create a unique combination of sensations. The Columbus Italian Dry Salame adds an aromatic punch, while the tater tots provide a crunchy twist to the sandwich.

The Tortally Beast Mode Torta will be sure to keep your body warm and belly content while walking through San Francisco’s Winter Walk, a Union Square holiday event sponsored by Columbus Craft Meats. However, you’ll have to be quick to get it. Tacorea will be serving up limited quantities of the torta for the entire month of December.


Created in partnership with Columbus Craft Meats. 

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Fast Food News

Here’s What Could Have Led To Jack In The Box Selling Qdoba

Photo: Bobak Ha’Eri | Wikimedia Commons

This morning, news broke that fast-casual Mexican brand Qdoba had been sold by Jack In The Box. The restaurant chain was sold to Apollo Management Group, who also owns Chuck E. Cheese’s, in a $305 million deal expected to close in April 2018.

USA Today attributes a number of factors that led to Qdoba’s less-than-ideal fiscal year. Company-owned same-store sales dropped 4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, with overall same-store sales dropping 2 percent. There was also a 50 percent hike in avocado prices that definitely didn’t help.

Qdoba was purchased by Jack In The Box in 2003 when they only had 85 locations. In the 14 years since, the brand grew drastically under Jack’s ownership with more than 700 restaurants in the United States.

This, however, was during the era where fast-casual eateries like Chipotle were flourishing.

With a concept so similar to Chipotle, it was understandable that Qdoba had trouble finding a way to differentiate itself from the Steve Ells-founded brand. Between the two, Chipotle was much more recognizable.

It also didn’t help that Chipotle began serving queso dip this year, one of the few things that set Qdoba apart from the fast-casual chain. Ultimately, there wasn’t too much that made Qdoba stand out from other fast casual spots.

Earlier this year, Jack In The Box announced that they would prioritize value, soon announcing the release of a 2018 value menu. During that announcement, the burger chain kept pretty hush about the future of Qdoba.

Jack In The Box Chief Executive Lenny Comma did mention earlier this May that having two different business models has impacted the value of the company as a whole. He also said in a second quarter earnings release that one of the things that would cause Jack to reconsider their plans for Qdoba was valuation. Paired with higher wages affecting restaurant margins, the sale to Apollo began to make much more sense.

So what’s Jack planning after the sale goes through?

According to the release, Jack in the Box will use the proceeds of the deal to retire outstanding debt.

Hopefully, under Apollo, Qdoba will have a second chance to rebrand themselves into something fans will flock towards. An al pastor spit, for example, would blow our minds.

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Fast Food News Restaurants

Chipotle Says They Are Constantly Running Out Of Food

Chipotle-Bowl-Stk-001

Have you ever been waiting in a Chipotle line, stomach roaring and ready to chow down on a beefy burrito, only to find that the restaurant has run out of steak for the day? Well, this is because Chipotle is facing a food shortage.

Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, Mark Crumpacker, said that running out of food tends to happen pretty frequently at Chipotle restaurant locations. This means, specifically, that restaurants are miscalculating demands and not producing enough food (meats, guac, etc), leaving customers wanting occasionally.

NRN reports that food shortages are customers’ second largest complaint after the quick service chain’s not-so-quick lines.

In other recent news, one of Chipotle’s co-CEOS, Monty Moran, had recently stepped down from his position. Founder Steve Ells, the main face of the brand, will become the sole CEO of Chipotle. Not sure yet if losing a CEO will affect Chipotle for the better, or for worse. However, the company did say they will be working on solving the food shortage issue through careful training.

Gotta make sure customers are fed first if Chipotle wants to increase sales.

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Restaurants

This Restaurant Used A Lobster To Brilliantly Reimagine Elote

Lobster-Elote-Cover

If there’s one corn dish I’m always craving it’s the elote. The popular street dish in Mexico features a cob of corn that’s slathered with butter or mayonnaise. It’s then topped with a variety of flavors like lime juice, cheese, chili powder, or salt.

I didn’t get to try an elote until my early twenties. One bite, however, and I was hooked.

Before that, the closest dish I’ve had was the Vietnamese variation. This featured charred corn topped with a salty green onion oil. Still delicious in a different way.

Hop Phan, one of the co-owners of Dos Chinos and Sit Low Pho, came up with a dish that combined both the traditional Mexican flavors with some Vietnamese highlights. It’s called Lobster Elote and it’s beautiful.

Dos Chinos‘ Lobster Elote features a halved lobster that’s topped with a garlic aioli, fried shallots, green onions, shredded cheese, corn kernels and chili powder.

Check out how it’s made at the Southern California-based food stall.

You can find the Lobster Elote on the Dos Chinos secret menu. Your chances are better off at the brick-and-mortar location in Downtown Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market than at one of the truck’s, as they carry a limited supply.

They’re available for $27.75, unless there’s a promotion.

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Humor

Korean Girls Try American & Mexican Sodas For The First Time [WATCH]

Digitalsoju TV is back with another hilarious adventure with foreign girls trying local things! We’ve seen Korean girls try American barbecue and American pizza. This time, we’re going to see these lovely young ladies try American and Mexican sodas for the first time.

The girls are given a variety of drinks, from Mexico’s famed Jarritos to America’s classic Barq’s Root Beer to the oft forgotten citrusy taste of Squirt.

According to the girls, many of the flavors are flavors not often found in Korea, like root beer and guava Jarritos.

You can check out the girls eating barbecue here, or cruise here to see them trying good ol’ fashioned American pizza.

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#foodbeast Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss SPONSORED Video

Del Taco Spices Up Breakfast With New Mexican Chorizo Sausage

Chorizo at Del Taco? Dreams do come true.

It all started on my drive to work, passing my local Del Taco I’m always neck-craned looking over to see if they have any new menu items calling my name. Today was my lucky day, as I caught a sign I hadn’t read before…something about chorizo tacos:

Store Front 1

I arrived at work a few minutes later, the photo on my phone burning a hole in my pocket. I shot over an e-mail to Del Taco asking for more information. A few short minutes later, I received a response with the info I wanted and what was essentially a Willy Wonka-esque golden ticket invite to their headquarters in Lake Forest (a few minutes up the freeway from our office in Orange County).

Feeling like Charlie bringing the golden ticket home to show my decrepit family, I snagged fellow Foodbeasts Peter and Marc, and we went on our merry way to the Del Taco headquarters.

At Del Taco’s Headquarters

We learned from their culinary team in the short hour we were there that Del Taco has been serving breakfast for over 30 years.

They gave us a quick tour of their kitchen, showing us how they grate their cheddar cheese from huge blocks every morning (damn, who’da thunk?!), and hand chop their pico de gallo, then we got right down to how the chorizo sausage is fresh grilled in every restaurant’s working kitchen (yes, Del Taco actually cooks in their kitchens), until golden brown and juicy. While the new slightly spicy chorizo sausage can be added to anything on their menu during breakfast hours (more on that later), here are the featured chorizo items:

Chorizo Breakfast Taco: fresh grilled chorizo sausage and scrambled eggs, topped with freshly grated cheddar cheese and served in a warm flour tortilla—available for only $1, this is one of six items on Del Taco’s Buck & Under Breakfast Menu.

Chorizo Half Pounder Burrito: fresh grilled chorizo sausage and scrambled eggs, freshly grated cheddar cheese, and red sauce served in a warm flour tortilla

Epic Chorizo Scrambler Burrito: fresh grilled chorizo sausage and scrambled eggs, freshly grated cheddar cheese, crispy hash brown sticks, handmade pico de gallo, and red sauce served in a warm, oversized flour tortilla

They also introduced a new coffee blend, including an iced version (not too sweet and great coffee flavor) that’s available for $1 on their Buck & Under menu all day long. Currently, the Chorizo items are all available during the chain’s breakfast menu hours of 11am — 11pm. If the stuff takes off, which I hope it does, it should find its way into more non-breakfast items.

The entire squad of new items:

chorizo breakfast menu items 2

Left-to-right, lightest-to-heaviest:

chorizo breakfast menu items

Closeup of that Epic Chorizo Scrambler:

epic chorizo scrambler epic chorizo scrambler 2

chorizo burritos

Inside that $1 Chorizo Taco:

chorizo breakfast taco

After throwing around some thank yous for the exclusives, Pete, Marc and I decided we weren’t quite done with chorizo, plus we wanted to grab some grub for everyone working back at the office. So, we decided to cruise through an actual Del Taco location on our drive back.

Once we were in line, we decided to take advantage of Del Taco’s  claim that “you can add chorizo to anything on the menu.” Rushing to Del Taco, we made it with 20 minutes left on their breakfast timer (11 am), and proceeded to order EVERYTHING with chorizo on it, and BOLD (fries + secret sauce).

And damn did they do it, here are some of my favorites from our haul:

 

Chicken Soft Taco, BOLD, w/ Chorizo:

BOLD chorizo fish taco

BOLD chorizo chicken soft taco

Double Del Cheeseburger, w/ Chorizo:

BOLD chorizo double del

We didn’t think they’d do this one…but they did, and it tasted better than you’d think…Chorizo Vanilla Milkshake:

chorizo milkshake

So, there you have it. After our Willy Wonka-like experience, we stepped out of Del Taco’s glass elevator ridiculously full and happy. The good thing is, a golden ticket isn’t necessary to chow down on Del Taco’s new spicy chorizo, perfect for late night (which I personally love) or as a pretty damn effective hangover cure the morning after.

Created in partnership with Del Taco