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Restaurants

Bye, Diet: Applebee’s Has AYCE Shrimp, Riblets & Tenders

The Applebee’s holy trinity of bar food is joining forces in an all you can eat deal.

For a limited time, the grill and bar will be be offering an AYCE special for its classic riblets, shrimp, and chicken tenders, for $14.99.

They’ve offered AYCE deals for their riblets and tenders in the past, but this year, they added their Double Crunch shrimp to the mix.

And yes, you can mix and match between the three, so there’s no fine print with some terrible stipulation about only choosing one.

 

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Joining the AYCE deal is their $2 Captain and Cola. Apparently Applebee’s is a Pepsi supporter, so that’s why it’s Captain and Cola, and not Rum and Coke.

Probably the best thing about this new deal is the “trailer” Applebee’s put way too much budget into. It’s got a deep baritone narration, random explosions, and Vin Diesel-like driving scenes.

While family-friendly fast casual restaurants aren’t quite as popular as they once were, Applebee’s still cranks out interesting and useful deals, such as the AYCE appetizers and $1 cocktails.

It’s never a bad idea to stuff your face, and for $15, you can do a lot worse.

Categories
Drinks News Packaged Food

Pepsico Just Bought SodaStream, A Sparkling Water Rival, For $3.2 Billion

The battle for the top spot in the soft beverages industry just got a little more lopsided, as Pepsico just bought one fast-rising competitor SodaStream in a bold move.

sodastreamPhoto: Wassersprudler // Wikimedia Commons 

In a press release, Pepsico unveiled that they paid $3.2 billion for the at-home sparkling water maker that’s made their new owner a common target over the years. In the past, SodaStream targeted Pepsico and other beverage giants on their heavy use of plastics. Now, Pepsico is utilizing SodaStream’s strength to their advantage as they aim to both reduce plastics and move into healthier beverages.

Both sides will benefit from the new acquisition, which is expected to complete in early 2019. Pepsico wants to reduce their environmental footprint and reduce plastics, and SodaStream appears to be a part of that new strategy for them. They have tested out products with the sparkling water machine in the past, so reintroducing those could be part of their plan.

As for SodaStream, they will get a massive boost in distribution as a result of their new owner, meaning that they can rapidly scale who and what their product goes to. That means that you can expect to find more SodaStream machines and products in stores, while seeing a drop in plastic bottles used by Pepsico products.

The transaction also brings into question the future of soft beverages. As sparkling waters continue to dominate the market and soda continues to drop, Pepsico’s acquisition could be a telling sign that making full-sugar sodas may no longer be feasible for the industry’s giants. Only time will tell if that ends up being the case, however.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Humor

Introducing The Backup Food Choice Hall Of Fame

We all know the frustrating feeling of a restaurant carrying Pepsi products instead of Coca-Cola. You kind of say, “Fine,” and try to enjoy the rest of your meal. Yes, there are plenty of people who enjoy Pepsi, it’s obviously one of the biggest soda brands in the world, but in our heart-of-hearts, we all know it is #2 in the soda world.

There’s nothing wrong with being No. 2, obviously. You can make the argument that #2’s are often better than the most popular foods or restaurants out there.

Because of that, we’re going to show love to these backup options, as they’ve served us when, for whatever reason, what we really wanted wasn’t available. They need not be ashamed of being the second option, though. They’re like the NBA player’s go-to mistress when their wife isn’t in that particular city. They’re the side pieces of the food world.

The world doesn’t follow Ricky Bobby’s mantra of, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” If you can’t get Kevin Hart in a role, just get Katt Williams. If Beyonce couldn’t headline Coachella, Rihanna could have stepped in and done just fine.

Being someone’s backup choice is something to be proud of — at least you’re in the game.

Without further ado, here is the Backup Food Choice Hall of Fame:

Pepsi

The most well-known backup option in the world has to be Pepsi. Through the years, they’ve tried to woo us with flavors, gimmicks, and celebrities such as, “Pepsi Man,” Beyonce, Britney, Pepsi Twist, and a strange energy drink called Pepsi X. They even tried to convince us that Pepsi was the future in, well, Back to the Future. Pepsi might not ever jump over Coca-Cola, but we have to give them props for always innovating, and reminding us how much we love Coke.
__________

Five Guys Burgers


Is there a little West Coast bias in this entry? Maybe, but around these parts, we feel Five Guys is a solid backup option to In-N-Out burger. It’s nice that Five Guys offer so many toppings to mask their often over-seasoned burger, and that’s an honorable deed that’s not lost on this list. Salute to the five men who aren’t quite In-N-Out, but still get it done.
__________

Burger King


Calling yourself the Burger “King” is bold, and being a top-5 restaurant chain in the world warrants bragging. Unfortunately for them, McDonald’s exists. If it weren’t for that red-headed clown and his iconic golden arches, Burger King could actually be king. BK still rides hard, though, often creating noise with trendy limited time offers such as Froot Loop shakes, Flamin’ Hot Mac n Cheetos, and Surge-flavored slushies.
__________

Qdoba


Even with Chipotle hitting hard times, Qdoba is still looked at as the backup build-your-own burrito when you need to get white girl wasted. It’s probably not even fair, because Qdoba isn’t the one dishing out E. Coli every six months. Chipotle is weathering the storm, and that legendary guacamole seems to be keeping them afloat, while Qdoba chugs along with burritos that are just as good, yet just not quite as popular.
__________

Del Taco


Here’s another solid fast food taco spot whose only fault is that it’s not Taco Bell. Del has a similar taco concept to Taco Bell, plus surprisingly good burgers and fries. Taco Bell just has more clout than them on a global scale, and always stays relevant with new products. Shout out to Del Taco for being open late, though. That’s always appreciated.
__________

Maruchan


The Cup Noodles brand is so powerful that people inadvertently call Maruchan, “Cup Noodles.” There’s a good chance you saw the Maruchan photo above and said, “Don’t trash talk my Cup Noodles.” People still eat a lot of Maruchan, they just don’t realize it because as far as we’re concerned, every noodle in a cup is Cup Noodles. The power of Nissin’s effective branding.
__________

Powerade


Growing up, drinking Powerade was the equivalent of wearing off-brand shoes. Gatorade commercials had all the popular athletes, and they brainwashed us into wanting to scoop up all the electrolytes we can. You probably don’t even know what an electrolyte is, but Gatorade made you want it. Powerade usually has those grocery store bulk deals, so they at least win in that respect.
__________

Peet’s Coffee


Starbucks pretty much runs the world at this point, right? As much as we like to say, “Support the little guy,” and try our darndest to find coffee elsewhere, but Starbucks is on every corner. Peet’s holds its own, however. If your city isn’t littered with Starbucks and actually gives you the Peet’s option, take it. While Peet’s is a pretty big chain in its own right, they’ll serve your dine-in coffee and baked goods in actual dishes. It actually makes you feel human, instead of like a vehicle passing through for fuel.
__________

Ruffles


Let me start off by saying I love Ruffles. Cheddar and Sour Cream is my jam, but for whatever reason, those ridges sometimes turn people away. When you’re at a party and see a bowl of Ruffles and a bowl of Lays, those Lays disappear real quick, leaving Ruffles out in the cold. Y’all need to stop disrespecting Ruffles.
__________

7UP

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Usually, 7-Up is one of those drinks you enjoy at home, and hardly anywhere else. They’re rarely offered at restaurants, as we all know the lime soda of choice is typically Sprite. On that note, shout out to Mist Twist (though it’s still Sierra Mist to almost everybody) for being there when Sprite isn’t. It sucks not having Sprite, but you have to drink something.

__________

Dunkin’ Donuts

Stacks on stacks on stacks 📸: @frostingandfettuccine

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They have “donuts” in the name, but you’re more likely to go there for their coffee than anything else. Sure, you can eat an OK donut there, but it will never match the warm feeling you get from a fresh Krispy Kreme donut. Yes, Krispy Kreme is the king of donuts, but Dunkin’ has the name power and will always be there to break your fall when you can’t get to a Krispy Kreme.
__________

Shakey’s

The Shakey’s experience is underrated, and the pizza is solid, but it unfortunately comes behind Chuck-E-Cheese’s, every time. Shakey’s was the birthday destination when you couldn’t get Chuck-E plans set up in time. Everything about Chuck felt magical, from the games, to the freaky animatronic band. Shakey’s is as good of a backup as there is, and it surely beats out Round Table. Oh, and have you ever had their mojo potatoes? Fire.
__________

Sam’s Club Samples

Costco food samples are an event. It’s one of the reasons the warehouse is so enjoyable, especially as a kid. Sam’s Club has samples, too, so that’s good, I guess. Good for them. I’m sure some people enjoy Sam’s Club samples, but they sure as hell aren’t Costco.
__________

KFC


Sure, KFC is the biggest fried chicken chain in the world, but if you put them side-by-side with Popeye’s and asked people to choose a crispy drumstick, Popeye’s would win that fight, hands down. There was a day when KFC’s 11 herbs and spices were all the hype, but the quality of Popeyes fried chicken has surpassed KFC, and has even gone global.
__________

BONUS: Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay has become a bit of a household name, but he’s no Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay has become synonymous with celebrity chefs, and Flay is just behind him. The two have had a playful feud over the years, threatening a formal cook-off against each other, but never following through. Even then, we all know the fiery Scotsman would take down Flay.

Categories
Drinks What's New

Pepsi Celebrates Christmas With Cake-Flavored Soda In Japan

As the holidays draw closer, we’re seeing tons of cool new flavors dropping ahead of the winter festivities. You can bet your bottom dollar that Pepsi’s new cake cola is one of the flavors we would love to wet our tongues with.

Kotaku reports that Pepsi is launching a cake-flavored beverage in Japan they’re calling Pepsi Christmas Cola.

So what’s Christmas have to do with cake? The soda is based off the Japanese custom of celebrating the Christmas season with a traditional sponge cake that’s covered in whipped cream, and stuffed and garnished with strawberries.

Fellow Foodbeast and veritable mack daddy of food science Constantine Spyrou was flabbergasted at the thought of cake-flavored cola, having just one question:

WHY?

For the holidays, man. Get into the spirit.

Pepsi Christmas Cola will be available throughout the region beginning Nov. 21. Any readers based in Japan be sure to send us a care package! We’d love to try some.

Categories
Drinks FOODBEAST

Multiple Major Soda Brands Sued Because Their Diet Soda Claims Are ‘Deceptive”

Six different individuals have filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. for misleading advertisements regarding the companies’ diet soda options.

The six individuals, who have all struggled with obesity and looked to diet sodas to help with weight loss, claim that the aspartame, a low-calorie sweetener that’s used in the diet sodas, have made them gain weight instead.

Aspartame, a sugar substitute that’s also sold under the name NutraSweet and Equal, is used heavily in “diet” labeled foods. According to Boston Magazine and a 2016 study from Massachussets General Hospital, when aspartame is ingested, a compound called phenylalanine is produced. Phenylalanine has been proven to interfere with IAP, or intestinal alkaline phosphate, an enzyme that helps prevent diabetes and weight loss. According to that same article, artificial sweeteners have been shown to make consumers hungrier, leading them to binge eat in the long run.

Therefore, with these proven studies, the suits claim that marketing these beverages as “diet” is false, misleading, and unlawful.

Derek Smith, whose law firm is the lead counsel for all three lawsuits, said that their case will focus on aspartame, but noted that all artificial sweeteners behave the same in our bodies.

Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple has called the lawsuit “meritless” and claims to “vigorously defend against it.” PepsiCo has yet to make an official statement.

Categories
Drinks Grocery News Packaged Food Sweets

Crystal Pepsi Is Back On Shelves For What May Be The Last Time Ever

Photo: Mike Mozart on Flickr.

Last year, Pepsi listened to the cries of many and brought back its Crystal Pepsi for a limited-time small release that had fans wanting more. They may very well have just gotten what they wanted, but with a heartbreaking catch.

Crystal Pepsi is officially back on the shelves now for a limited-time launch across the entire country, just a couple of days after a summer concert series promoting its return wrapped up. That’s great for all of us who loved this clear soda back in the 90s, but there was also some sad news hidden in this limited-time release.

A statement that online site Fuse obtained from Chad Stubbs, Pepsi’s VP of Marketing, said that “we’re excited to see this special tour come to life and to celebrate Crystal Pepsi’s last return.” That statement signifies that there may not be another release of Crystal Pepsi ever again following this one. The finality of the word “last” definitely gives it that feeling.

If you find yourself constantly wanting a 90s nostalgia fix, I’d make sure to grab as much of this drink as possible, while it’s still on the shelves. You may never get the chance to do so again.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss News Now Trending Video

Walmart Loss Prevention Accuses Shopper Of Stealing Items She Actually Paid For

Megastores like Walmart go through so many customers on a daily basis, that they usually have someone standing at the gates checking receipts to make sure nothing extra makes it out unpaid for. Usually they’re pretty chill. Usually.

A video recently went viral after a Walmart loss-prevention duo tried to stop a shopper they believed was stealing groceries and other items from the store. Specifically, a Lion King toy.

Two employees from the Burnsville, Minnesota location stopped shopper Gina Lescarbeau as she tried to leave the Walmart, Heavy reports.

Lascarbeau’s toy was believed to be $15 by blond lothario Kenny Swanson-Peck, where she adamantly claims she paid $7 for it. Swanson-Peck and his coworker, Thomas Ewalt, soon discovered that they were in the wrong after some price checking.

It should be noted that at no point does the Walmart employee apologize to the understandably angry customer. Hopefully they got a stern talking to from upper management since this video went viral.

Man, if someone accused me of stealing my deli fried chicken fix, I probably wouldn’t show the amount of restraint this lady did.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss Packaged Food Sweets

People Were Once Legitimately Scared To Death Of Pop Rocks, This Is How Bad It Got

I remember the first time I tried Pop Rocks. I was a little suspicious of the crackling candy. My neighbor bought a couple of packets from the ice cream man, ripped open the package, ate a handful, and opened his mouth so I could hear the sizzling sound within. The thought of having little candies snap and pop inside my mouth was weird, but I tried it anyway, and it was fun, I guess.

Even with that slight fear, I never thought that the candy would kill me. Although, that was a legitimate fear that parents had when Pop Rocks first debuted in 1975, according to Pop Rocks itself.

Before the myth that you could explode when combining the candied rocks with soda, parents were terrified that their kids would choke to death, too.

It got so bad that the FDA had to create a telephone hotline, so they could put people’s nerves to rest and assure them that Pop Rocks were safe.

After being out in stores for a few years, in 1979, the “exploding kid” story came in hard and fast. A rumor was going around that the kid from Life cereal’s “Mikey Likes It,” commercial mixed six packs of Pop Rocks with a six-pack of Pepsi at a party, and his stomach exploded.

This forced Pop Rocks to put out full page ads in 45 different news publications, and wrote 50,000 letters to school principals, trying to explain to people that the story was completely fabricated, and that the worst thing than can come from it is a strong belch.

Their attempts initially failed, even though the kid in the urban legend is literally still alive right now, and Pop Rocks were discontinued in 1983.

Obviously, the crickly crackly candy came back, and people are still scared of exploding stomachs, even though Mythbusters tried to put and end to the false rumor.

Even Rhett & Link from Good Mythical Morning debunked the myth:

Maybe the thought of a candy that comes alive is way too much for some people to fathom, but rest assured, you cannot die from eating Pop Rocks. Well, I mean, there’s always diabetes and a potential slow death, but your stomach definitely cannot explode with the candy.