Categories
Fast Food News

Chipotle Is Testing A Drive-Thru, So No More Standing In Ridiculous Lines

Chipotle is finally testing a drive-thru window in one of its locations, adding convenience to the Mexican-ish fast-casual restaurant that is going through a PR nightmare at the moment.

The drive-thru is going to begin testing at a currently undisclosed Ohio location, according to Food and Wine.

Of course, since Chipotle considers itself above the typical fast-food restaurant concept, it wouldn’t dare call this a drive-thru, but is instead going with “vehicular pickup window.” (Your food gives people the shits, Chipotle. Stop acting like you’re special, and just call it a drive-thru.)

Upon first glance, a Chipotle drive-thru sounds like a godsend, as you wouldn’t have to stand in those lines, and you can order your favorite burrito in the comfort of your own car. On second thought, we’re not sure how the hell a drive-thru would work for a restaurant that requires to build your own food. It just sounds like it’s going to be hell for the employees, unless the drive-thru consists of pre-made burritos.

Of course, since this is the first test run, there aren’t talks about expanding the drive-thru, but if successful, you might see them more often. Let’s not forget that Ohio was where Chipotle has been testing its underwhelming burger concept, that has yet to expand.

Chipotle is obviously interested in jumping into the fast food realm, though it should focus on no longer getting hundreds of people sick.

Categories
Fast Food News

Burger King Employees Rescued By Boat After Being Stranded In Flooded Restaurant

Some crazy rain hit Brooklyn, Ohio this past Wednesday, to the point where they had to conduct rescue missions, according to Fox8 Cleveland.

With streets and businesses flooded, rescue crews had to deploy boats in order to save employees from a badly flooded Burger King. The fast food restaurant was so deep in water that they could not even open the front door to attempt an escape.

Employees in the Burger King said they were scared for their lives as the water kept rising, to the point of waist-deep. However, the rescue teams showed up just in time to get them out of there.

Thankfully there were no injuries reported during the flooding, but there were seven cars in the area, headlight-deep in rain water, stuck and unable to move.

There were no reports of how many Whoppers were lost in the flooding, though, but you have to imagine that not many made it out.

Categories
Alcohol Beer Culture Feel Good Hit-Or-Miss

The World’s First Beer-Themed Hotel Will Have a Brew-Filled Hot Tub

Start planning your next vacation. The world’s first beer hotel is opening soon in Columbus, Ohio, courtesy of Scotland-based BrewDog — yes, the same brewery that gave us the beer stuffed inside a dead squirrel. Forget Disneyland — this is the Hoppiest Place on Earth.

This tipsy resort is set to have an IPA hot tub, minibars in the shower, beer on tap in each room, and beer pairings with every meal. It will be a brewster’s paradise — that is, if the project can raise enough crowdfunded money on Indiegogo. (Right now, they’re only $13,000 short of the $75,000 goal.)

“This hotel will provide a complete experiential environment in which to truly immerse yourself in the world of craft beer,” the Indiegogo campaign reads. “From waking up to a view of our sour beer foeders and the smell of freshly mashed malt, to hop-infused spa treatments and beer breakfasts, and even amazing craft beer on tap in your bedroom — this hotel will have it all.”

If crowdfunding is successful, the hotel will open sometime next year.

Original post written by Joanna Fantozzi for The Daily Meal

Categories
Restaurants

A Cleveland Fine-Dining Restaurant Only Employs Former Convicts, Providing Them A Second Chance

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Ten years ago, Brandon Edwin Chrostowski founded EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. The award-winning French fine-dining restaurant has one unique feature that set them apart from every other food establishment in the country: the entire staff was comprised of men and women who have been incarcerated.

Edwins isn’t only a restaurant, it also teaches its staff basic culinary skills, helps them find housing, provides basic medical care, clothing, job coaching, and offers literacy programs.

With more than 166 students trained, Edwins only has a 1.2 percent rate of re-offenders.

As a reckless teenager (weren’t we all?), Chrostowski was arrested one night and thrown in jail. Instead of a 10 year prison sentence, however, a judge cut him a break and put him on probation. During his probationary period, he met a chef who mentored him. Since that meeting, he’s felt he belonged in the kitchen for the rest of his life.

In a recent Reddit AskMeAnything, the founder dove into the Internet’s most curious questions regarding his institute of second chances.

Here are some things we learned.


Do you have any favorite stories to share about people who have worked at Edwins and have now moved on to other things?

They’re all favorites because our graduates have shown great courage. Lynn graduated in 2016, and has since bought his own hot dog cart, Udi Dogs. He comes by the restaurant every few weeks so the staff and students get to enjoy his food.

I loved being able to send Darwin, our current sous chef, to France, too.

How do you find former inmates for your staff — do they come to you through a referral program or do you post the jobs online, or… something else?

There are a number of different routes. We teach in prison, have connections with local judges, parole officers, etc. We also get good responses from our stories and features in the media.

Why do you think the food service industry is more willing to give people a second chance? I feel like many other industries are not as open to hiring people who are trying to get back in the workforce.

This industry is more forgiving, they are looking for people who work hard, they want people who show up and they are hiring. It’s the perfect opportunity for people to have a second chance.

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Can you serve alcohol at your restaurant? If so, are there any challenges w/ your employees?

Yes, we can definitely serve alcohol. If someone is doing a 12-step program or something similar, they don’t necessarily have to work behind the bar. They are required to know the spirits but they don’t have to be around the spirits.

What has been the most negative experience you have had with an employee or applicant?

Attitudes, mostly poor attitudes, coming in with a sense of entitlement.

I’ve been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder and have a PCL-R score of 33/40. Meaning I’m a psychopath.

A lot of people like me end up going through the prison system. Would you/have you hired someone like me (knowingly)? If so, then what pros/cons do you think there would be/have you noticed?

Yes, you could be part of our program. We have a tough first three weeks to see if you can handle the intensity of the the industry. We have come across many people with different issues and we make sure there is a strong network to support all of them. Your honesty about the situation can make it better and easier, if you are willing to understand the issues you face we will be there to help you through them.

What has been the reaction around Cleveland with you hiring convicts at an upscale restaurant?

Very positive. We’re the pride of CLE. People have really embraced it and they’re quite proud of what we’ve accomplished. We’ve received national recognition, which highlights how proud CLE is. More than $8 million has come through the doors. It’s been a smashing success.

What reaction did you usually get when you told someone about your idea of starting this program?

You are a fucking idiot, or something similar to that.

What is your most popular dish at the restaurant?

Our most popular dish is the Paupiettes de merou: grouper wrapped in crispy potatoes with haricot verts & beurre rouge. Hope you can come try it sometime if you’re in CLE.

Where do you see Edwins in the next 10, 20 years? How do you hope to expand your mission and brand?

By having the best culinary school in the country and being a civil rights leader for returning citizens. By also continuing to do what we’re doing already.

The campus was first, the building for the butcher shop is ready, after that it will be a bakery, cheese shop, etc. We’re isolating each one of the skills in the school and teaching in a real world environment.

We are affecting every aspect — the culinary aspect and the school aspect. We’re also teaching a culinary program in all state prisons. The fact cannot be denied that every human being deserves a fair and equal second chance.

Note: The AMA has been edited for spelling and flow. Photos: Edwins Facebook

Categories
Fast Food What's New

McDonald’s Is Testing A Spicy New Sriracha Big Mac

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The Sriracha trend has died down quite a bit over the last couple years, but apparently McDonald’s is still going to hold on to it, albeit kind of late, with their testing of a Sriracha Big Mac.

The new burger still has the essence of the standard Big Mac, with a sriracha-infused modification to their Mac Sauce, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

While the testing is only being done in central Ohio, it will reach 128 McDonald’s locations, through the end of 2016.

“Offering the addition of Sriracha to our Big Mac Special Sauce was a fun way for our culinary innovations team to think outside the box and continue to answer the call of our customers who are always looking for the next great innovation in food experience and taste,” Scott Nickell, Central Ohio Co-op president, said in a statement.

The new spicy Big Mac announcement comes a week after the fast food joint got people hyped over their two new Big Mac sizes, so if the testing goes well, we might soon see a Sriracha Mac Jr. and Sriracha Grand Mac as well.

McDonald’s also flirted with signature Sriracha burgers in Southern California and Seattle back in July, calling the spicy Big Mac-based sauce “Awesome Sauce.”

You can’t really fault McDonald’s for jumping onto the Sriracha bandwagon. Although the popular hot sauce was at its peak a few years ago, the overall sales of hot sauce have grown by 150 percent since 2000.

Hopefully this leads to wide release and we can all give it a shot, and dunk our fries into their Sriracha Mac Sauce.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Incredible Safari Tour Lets You Get Drunk While Catching Pokémon

Drink Up Columbus just announced that Actual Brewing in Columbus Ohio will be taking Pokémon players on an amazing adult adventure this Sunday, July 17.

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Photo by Drink Up

This is definitely the most genius idea yet in our quest to catch ’em all, it’s a Pokémon Safari Beer Tour. The recently released Pokemon augmented reality game spawned many memes and even a drinking game.

Tickets are on sale here at a modest $37.50. It’s a 3-hour tour with beers included and the event description reads:

“On this 3 hour tour, we’ll visit intriguing PokéStops, hunt for elusive monsters, and act like this is all perfectly normal. There may be a chance to catch a rare beer in the wild.”

Fred Lee, the owner of Actual Brewing, is excited for this to go down as he told Drink Up: “I just want to catch them all and drink them all.”

He is also trying to figure out how to offer draft beer selections on the tour! One of their beers to be offered on the bus is their Lemongrass Saison which will be released this Thursday.

Our big kid Pokémon dreams just came true and it looks like we’re headed to Columbus Ohio, see you Monday!

Photo Credit:  Funky Junk

Categories
Fast Food

McDonald’s Testing A Fried Chicken Version Of The McGriddle

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It’s been a while since McDonald’s added a new breakfast sandwich. We still remember the southern chicken biscuit fondly. According to Columbus Business First, select McDonald’s in Central Ohio are testing a new McGriddle made with crispy chicken patties.

The Chicken McGriddle can be found at 11 McDonald’s locations in the state. Made with the fast food chain’s pancake buns filled with syrup and a fried chicken patty the new McGriddle is probably the closest one can get to fried chicken and waffles sandwich from a major fast food chain.

McDonald’s recently made breakfast available all day, albeit with a smaller selection. One of the fan-favorite items missing was the McGriddle. A few weeks ago, however, we reported that the company was trying out McGriddles as an all-day option.

In a perfect world, the Chicken McGriddles will make a national release and eventually grace all-day menus.

In a perfect world.

Photo: McDonald’s

Categories
Fast Food

Mac & Cheese Is Being Tested At McDonald’s And I Can’t Contain Myself

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If you’re a Mac & Cheese lover near Ohio, you might want to head to McDonald’s. Brand Eating reports that the fast food chain is now testing Mac & Cheese at a Cleveland location.

Customers can get the dish a la cart or as a Happy Meal. The cheesy noodles have been available at multiple fast food places over the years, and it looks like McDonald’s finally decided to go with it.

The individual serving of Mac & Cheese is going for $1.75.

If this makes a national release, you can expect customers to start throwing the cheesy noodles on their Big Macs or breakfast sandwiches. Heck, we’d love to do that right now if we had some Mac & Cheese.