Categories
Fast Food News

For One Day, In-N-Out Will Open A Burger Pop-Up In Canada

Here in the West Coast, we’ve been spoiled with the abundant avaliablilty of In-N-Out Burger. At a whim, I could merge into a drive-thru and order up a 3×3 with Animal Style fries in a matter of minutes. We sometimes forget that it’s just not that easy in other parts of the continent.

For places like Metro Vancouver, you’d have to wait once a year to sink your teeth into a glorious Double Double. Next month the Langley Good Times Cruise-In, a massive charity event for fans of retro cars, will once again play host to the California-based burger chain.

According to the Daily Hive, In-N-Out will travel to Canada to spend a day serving burgers to hungry car enthusiasts by food truck. Fans eager to try In-N-Out will be able to order burgers throughout the day of the event.

Unfortunately, they won’t get the full experience though. While the previous years offered the chain’s famous burgers, accoutrements such as their fresh-cut fries and milkshakes have yet to make an appearance. Still, here’s hoping.

Those living in, or near, Vancouver who have yet to try In-N-Out may want to mark their calendars. The burger chain will be around only on Sept. 18. Proceeds from the In-N-Out burger sales will be donated to the Cruise-In charities.

Categories
Culture Design

Every Single Item In This Whimsical Supermarket Pop Up Is Made Of Felt

I once had a dream as a kid that everything inside a candy store was made of cardboard, only for me to discover it was an elaborate ruse by my dentist to get some teeth pulled.

While not quite as deceiving as the fear-based dream Dr. Nguyen instilled in me, an actual place exists that’s pretty similar.

Sparrow Mart, located inside the Standard Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, is a new pop-up experience that features 31,000 different types of items one would typically find at any grocery store. The only difference, however, is that every single one of these items is inedible — because they’re all made entirely of felt.

The brilliant mind behind this whimsical pop-up is Lucy Sparrow, a British artist known for her creative work with the material, reports Travel + Leisure.

While at the pop-up, you can actually buy anything you see on the shelves. This includes felted remakes of everyday brands like PAM cooking spray bottles, Frosted Flakes cereal boxes, and bags of Skittles.

Perishable items like meat and produce are made with little eyes and mouths to make the experience that much more adorable.

In 2017, she held a similar pop-up called “The Convenience Store” in Manhattan, which sold out so quickly that the exhibit closed a week earlier than intended.

Sparrow Mart opened Aug. 1 and will run through the end of the month, every day (except Mondays) from 11a.m.-9p.m. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and want to check it out, it’s probably better to go sooner rather than later.

Categories
Culture Features Feel Good

This Unique Non-Profit Pop-Up Dinner Series Features Refugee Families As The Chefs

An accurate indication of having a good neighbor is sharing; they share tools, holiday cards, and favors, but the single most appreciable thing one can share with another is food.

This past Valentine’s Day, Miry’s List, a non-profit dedicated to aiding refugee families founded by Miry Whitehill, hosted its one year anniversary of a monthly event called New Arrival Supper Club, and on a day to celebrate love, this dinner did exactly that, only through food.

These monthly dinners are catered by a different New Arrival, or newly admitted refugee family, each time; Abdul, Maysa, and Amer Kanjo featured as the cooks for this evening.

 

Hostility and danger targeted the Kanjo home back in Syria, forcing them to leave familiarity and live for four years without a permanent address. Despite going through this tumultuous time of unrest and uncertainty, the Kanjos were able to prepare a meal that brought everyone savoring each bite right back to their mother’s kitchen.

Adbul and Maysa Kanjo dealt with the grueling process of coming into the U.S. to find refuge, and despite their arrival, the trouble of acclimating is what gets most refugees to question their decision.

Without any form of help these new arrival families are left to learn how to jump onto a proverbial treadmill set at max speed, and it doesn’t help that the overwhelming majority of citizens aren’t sure how to handle refugees.

The term itself sounds foreign—  calling someone a refugee already alienates and creates a bubble around these families.

However, Miry’s List, and the families that are a part of it, is finding a different way to speak to the masses — through their stomachs.

“Nobody knows what refugees are, they don’t know what to do with them. But by doing dinners like this we can raise awareness of the problem and help aid anyone in The States who would need help,” Maysa Kanjo said.

Through simple acts of help a domino effect occurred within Miry’s List. More and more people decided that these New Arrival families were asking for nothing more than a helping hand, and, as a neighbor, that’s just what they should give.

“The refugee crisis is unsolvable, that’s a crisis. One family needing a jumper for their baby, that’s no problem, I could do that 100 times a day,” Whitehill said.

After visiting families and experiencing the love of cooking and feeding they all shared, Whitehill decided to host pop-up dinners where a new former refugee family would cater foods from their culture.

“Every time I go visit these families they wouldn’t stop feeding me, it was the most amazing, nurturing thing. It was so exciting to feel taken care of, it really motivated me to continue,” Whitehill said.

These dinners are not only a good way for the families to make a living, as 100 percent of the revenue from tickets goes to them, staff, and the organization they also allow a window into the lives of these refugees that isn’t often portrayed. With Los Angeles being one of the largest hosts of refugee families, this opportunity isn’t something to pass up.

The initiative led by this organization is admirable, to say the least, but the food is what really takes the cake.

Wednesday night was filled with Arabic culture, from food made by the hands of Maysaa and Abdul Kanjo, to Arabic music, and even belly dancing.

Though some attention was diverted from the beautiful dishes by the belly dancers, it didn’t take long for the aromas to catch the crowd.

The Kanjo family was initially worried that their food wouldn’t be finished, another part of Middle Eastern culture is to never leave leftovers, and with such a great number of people in attendance, the family of chefs doubled their quantity in anticipation.

It should be noted, Abdul, Maysaa and son Amer didn’t pick up their plates until every guest in attendance was fed. Standing behind the dishes they proudly served, the family would then explain what each dish was and helped share the best parts to each guest.

Rachel Castillo, a last-minute attendee who tagged along with her friend and member of Miry’s List, attested to the great opportunity this dinner took to better understand the refugee experience.

“Food is so many things, it’s representative of culture, it’s a way to show love as an action, it connects people to the place that they left, it brings life, and it’s delicious,” said Castillo.

And with having such a rich culture to share, the Kanjo family allowed the food to speak for itself.

Three large picnic tables ladened with trays upon trays of traditional Arabic cuisine were the star of the backyard setting. The smells of the rice and chicken lingered out into the front door, and the spinach and cheese pastries were stacked on top of each other like savory pyramids.

A crowd favorite was the fattoush salad, a simple yet decadent offering that consisted of veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, along with feta cheese and parsley. It stood out with the not-so-common fried pita chips on top, which added a perfect texture and crunch to the whole dish.

On the next table came one of my favorites of the night, baba ghanoush, a dip made of eggplant, tahini sauce, and olive oil. Mixing this with hummus might seem blasphemous but it’s a happy accident, as the two pair wonderfully on warm pita bread.

On top of that came Abdul and Amer Kanjo’s favorite dish, the roasted chicken with potatoes. A wonderful tip that I accidentally stumbled upon by way of stuffing my small plate with as much as I could, is to let the baba ghanoush shake hands with the chicken. Coating the chicken with the eggplant-based dish brings out the best of both worlds. The savory, tender chicken is brought to another level with the earthy flavors of the baba ghanoush.

While all the entrees so far were delicious, it wasn’t until dessert that I found my eyes rolling to the back of my head.

The Kanjos laid out their baklava in the shape of a heart smack dab in the middle of the table, knowing full well that this was what the people would want.

Baklava is sticky, it’s messy, and it’s hard to get right. Prepared differently than most other baklava, this one lacked the incredibly sticky exterior and kept all of the flavor right in the flaky middle. The bites were tiny, which made for each one to be savored respectfully and patiently.

After savoring my eighth piece of baklava, there was kanafeh, similar to baklava except it had cheese hidden inside of it. That might sound like a weird sweet and savory thing, but this cheese is buried within the sweet excess of sugar this pastry is dipped in. All of that is then topped with kataifi, a shredded and fried dough used to crown desserts, that fell from atop the kanafeh like snowflakes.

At the end of the night, after the toasts were made and dinner had finished, guests mingled pleasantly and it felt like any other family dinner — the goodbyes were long and many thank yous were exchanged.

The Kanjo family considered the night a success. Maysa Kanjo felt she did a mother’s duty by feeding her guests and Adbul Kanjo was glad everyone had a good time.

Now, their goal is to be a good example for other refugee families trying to adjust in the States, and allowing their son to thrive in a world of opportunity.

“Going back home wasn’t an option, so coming here gave us a chance to settle down. And we now live in a peaceful environment and are helped by many. Now we wish for a better future for our kids,” Maysa Kanjo said.

While the Kanjo family might’ve needed a translator to speak extensively to guests, a homemade meal made with love and care is a language anyone can understand.

Dinners like these are an important part of building a community. While they might seem easy to put together, they rely heavily on the public to keep them running. Donations and ticket proceeds are the primary way these families are able to get the essentials they need to thrive in a pricey place like Los Angeles.

Any and all donations towards Miry’s List are encouraged, helping refugee families get the supplies they need to continue these dinners helps grow a loving and diverse neighborhood.

If you are interested in donating to Miry’s List, donation options can be found here.

Categories
Fast Food

Finally, An ATM That Spits Out FREE McDonald’s Big Macs

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Where do you go when you’re short on Big Macs? The Big Mac ATM, of course.

According to Metro Boston, a Big Mac-themed pop-up in Boston will feature an ATM that dispenses McDonald’s iconic burgers. Not only will the ATM feature the classic Big Mac sandwiches, but also the two new variations introduced this year: The Mac Jr. & Grand Mac.

Located at 540 Commonwealth Ave. at the Kenmore Square McDonald’s, the machine will feed patrons free burgers until Jan. 31 between the hours of 11am to 2pm each day. There will be a constant stream of fresh Big Macs loaded into the ATM on a daily basis.

Sounds eerily like one of my three wishes as a child.

If you’re in the Boston area for the next week and you’ve got some Big Mac cravings, but you’re short on cash, this is definitely a cheap option to feed your bellies.

Categories
Restaurants What's New

The ‘Saved By The Bell’ Pop-Up Goes On A National Tour

Earlier this year, Chicago was lucky enough to be the home of the Saved By The Bell pop-up restaurant called Saved By The Max. This left the rest of the country extremely envious of the Windy City’s claim to Zack and the gang.

Don’t worry, there’s hope.

The pop-up announced that they’ll be packing up in Chicago and heading on a nationwide tour so that the rest of the country can enjoy the food inspired by the Bayside High gang. Heck, they even got Big Bopper himself, Mr. Belding, to break the news.

Menu items include both a dinner and brunch menu that feature dishes like the Bayside Burger, Tori’s Fried Chicken, a Time Out Benedict, and Mr. Belding’s Fries.

We still don’t know where exactly they’ll visit, but the pop-up says they’ll stay in Chicago for one more “semester” before hitting the road. If you are in the Chicago area though, you can make a reservation at Saved By The Max and get your nostalgia on.

We’ll keep you posted on when exact tour dates and locations will be available.

Categories
Feel Good Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Toasty

Cannabis-Themed Dinners Are High-Key Becoming More Frequent

The latest in dope things that chefs are bringing to the table are cannabis “infused” multiple-course dinners. What a time to be alive! With recreational marijuana gaining speed in way of legalization it’s about time that it’s recognized in fine dining culture. Garden to table has taken on a whole new meaning with the inventive and elegant cannabis-themed dinners, and they’re a beautiful thing of the very near future for all of you Foodbeast marijuana enthusiasts.

Chefs are collectively one of the most creative groups of people in today’s society, so it’s no surprise that they’re continuing to find ways to introduce new and exciting techniques in the culinary industry.

One young California chef, Chris Sayegh has established quite a name for himself as the “Herbal Chef.” Born in New York, educated in Santa Cruz, and trained in Michelin-starred restaurants, he cultivated a successful career combining cannabis culture with his passion for cooking after growing tired of the pot-brownie edible scene. Sayegh has a background in molecular gastronomy so naturally, the science behind the infusing of ingredients with THC was something he found intriguing.

Said “infusing” consists of using cannabis oils and a vaporizer to very literally, infuse any ingredient with THC. This results in a strategically dosed ingredient that makes up an entire dish, therefore yielding diners with a precisely desired high.

Sayegh hosts these unconventional pop-up infused dinners around LA for $200-$500 a seat with the catch being, according to LA Weekly, “can only be hosted by a medical collective of which all diners are a member.” So you’ve got to be a part of the club.  Other cannabis pop-ups around NY and LA occur at undisclosed locations and are held in “secret,” but not for long.

A little taste of what you can expect from a pop-up hosted by Sayegh include dishes like: confit carrot gnocchi with cannabis infused pea emulsion, NY strip steak with parsnip puree and a “medicated” red wine reduction, and a sticky toffee pudding with toasted coconut and cannabis-infused chocolate. 

Now, I’m the kind of person who will order dessert before the main course, (some of you will call this gluttonous, I call it “priorities”) so this is like music to my ears as dessert is often my most highly valued course of a meal. I fully embrace the opportunity to experience one of my favorite things like dessert in an entirely new way: getting high by way of THC-infused sugar. 

Chefs across the globe are beginning to incorporate these infusions and other techniques and influences of the herbal dining in their upscale and multiple course diners. The primary focus still lies heavily on the use of fresh ingredients and unique dishes, as the cannabis infusions are only a way to elevate the fine dining experience to make it that much better. 

Some other big names in this cannabis cooking game include: Melissa Parks, who helped write the cookbook Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis, which teaches us how to make cannabutters and cannaoils, then use them in various recipes.

Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg orchestrates another kind of elevated herbal dining experience with his “strain-pairing dinners.” He prepares several courses and appropriately pairs each dish with a complimenting strain. According to High Times, one of the parings at a Harvest Dinner hosted by Rosenberg included the use of a “more intense and spicy” OG White paired with the main entree of Boulder County flatiron steak, potatoes and squash, charred corn and herb sauce, supplemented by a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. Rosenberg is also the guy behind the cannabis infused YOGA BRUNCH in Colorado this past August.

An expertly paired and prepared cannabis brunch following yoga with a view is something that likely came out of my dreams.

Come November, I sincerely hope that we are all fortunate enough to experience one of these extra special cannabis dinners as they’ll likely be popping up somewhere near you.

Categories
Fast Food News

In-N-Out Popped Up In London And Hundreds Of People Came

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It’s like that movie Field of Dreams. If you build it, they will come.

In-N-Out had a pop-up yesterday in London and hundreds of people showed up to get their hands on the iconic California burgers, according to Business Insider.

While In-N-Out’s manager of special foreign events didn’t say how many burgers were sold, customers had already started to line up at 8am to get their In-N-Out fix. The one-day pop began at 11am and lasted until 3pm.

Because of the massive line of people, wristbands were handed out as the event started so patrons could claim their burgers. Unsurprisingly, they sold out quickly, leaving some customers burger-less and wanting.

If the chain was trying to scope out a location to open an international spot, this might be a great place to sell burgers. Last year, In-N-Out also held a pop-up in Austrailia, which also yielded similar burger-loving results.

The devastation of waiting in line for hours to not get a Double Double really makes me appreciate living two blocks from an In-N-Out. Wanna take a guess what I’m grabbing for dinner?

Categories
Adventures Celebrity Grub Features Restaurants

I Went To A Wu-Tang Dinner That Was Nothing To F*ck With

wutang-menu

This Wu-Tang Clan-themed pop-up dinner was nothing to fuck with. That’s for sure.

Mesa Lounge, a restaurant and bar located in Costa Mesa, CA, is known for having various chefs come in and hold pop-up dinners. One of the most recent ones we were fortunate enough to be invited to was hosted by our very own chef Linh Nguyen. The theme: The Wu-Tang Clan.

Mesa has a monthly rotating chefs table that’s music themed. When the Wu-Tang theme was brought up, the Mesa staff thought it would be appropriate for me to guest chef, because of my love for hip-hop and being the former executive chef at the Crosby.

The Crosby was a very hip-hop-fluenced restaurant venue that was located in Downtown Santa Ana. The restaurant closed its doors in early 2014, though many people still remember it fondly.

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Linh’s passion for Wu-Tang goes way back.

My love for hip-hop culture started when I was around 10. I was DJing at 12 and the first time I heard the Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) record I was awestruck. It was one of the first albums I bought in ’93: the Golden Era of hip-hop. It was an album where every verse was dope and every track could get played till my record was worn.

With the help of fellow chefs Ashley Guzman, Aron Habiger, and Mesa mixologist Katerina Mikoultchik, Linh set forth creating his Wu-Tang Dinner. He even got blessing from Wu-Tang affiliate, Killah Priest.

Killah Priest gave me the blessing for the #WUTANG #chefstable August 31st wed @mesalounge Happy bday Killah!

A photo posted by Chef Linh Nguyen (@cheflinhnguyen) on

Here’s what was on the menu, with each dish cleverly named after a Wu-Tang track close to Linh’s heart. The Warrior is the hero of the course and the Spirit is the alcoholic pairing to accompany it.

Can It All Be So Simple

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Warrior: Roasted Tokyo Turnips, Miso Brown Butter, Black Sesame, Turnip Greens, Crunch Garlic

Spirit: Anna de Codorniu, Sparkling Cava

Ooh Baby I Like It Raw

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Warrior: Hamachi, Blood Orange, Quinoa, Compressed Melon, Mint, Chili Threads

Spirit: Rum, Montenegra, Blood Orange, Lemon, Thyme

Da Mystery Of Chessboxin

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Warrior: 6 Minute Scotch Egg, Bulgogi Sauce, Kimchi Puree, Shiso, Furikake.

Spirit: Gin, Melon, Lemon, Shiso Mint, “Smoke”

Wu-Tang Clams Ain’t Nuthing To F*** With

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Warrior: Manila Clams, Spanish Chorizo, Tomato, Fennel, Harisa, Thai Basil

Spirit: Tequila, Grapefruit, Lemon, Cucumber, Thai Basil, Jalapeno

Tri-Umph

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Warrior: Wakame, Tri Tip, Burnt Onion, Rainbow Carrots, Carrot Top Pistou, Fried Enoki, Radish Sprouts

Spirit: Smith & Hook, Cabernet Sauvignon

C.R.E.A.M. (by Ashley Guzman)

wutang-cream

Warrior: Hazelnut Dacquise, Caramel, Namelaka, Black Truffle Ice Cream, Edible Gold

Spirit: Apple Brandy, Aged Rum, Vanilla, Falernum, Ancho Reyes, Nitro Cold Brew, Chocolate Bitters

—–

The meal was accompanied by a live band playing Wu-Tang covers and featured Chef Nguyen coming out to chat with his patrons and guide them through each course. Fellow Foodbeast Molly and I were throughly impressed with the concept, even after going to many tastings and dinners ourselves over the years.

Here’s what she had to say:

I think the dinner says a lot about how food and the way it is experienced is changing. The food was both inspired by and paired with their music and, to me, it felt like with this dinner we were essentially experiencing a crossover of multiple mediums, and considering and digesting multiple artistic aspects. In other words, I really liked how engaging the experience was.

Shout out to the Wu-Tang dinner crew for the outstanding dinner. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

(Guzman, Nguyen, Habiger)

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