Categories
News What's New

A Birria Festival Is Coming to Los Angeles, Of Course

Birria’s popularity appears to be reaching critical mass as Birriamania, an entire festival presented by L.A. Taco in honor of the stewed meat, will be held at San Gabriel Valley’s Santa Anita Park on March 21st. 

Very few foods had a moment like birria in 2019, as plates stacked with vibrant red, shredded meat-filled tacos lined Instagram explore pages and food websites alike– including ours

The new festival showcases many of the taco spots that became famous in the wake of birria’s explosion onto the scene, such as Teddy’s Red Tacos and Birria Gonzalez. 

There’s far more to birria than the oft-covered Tijuana-style birria de res, though. The line up reflects that, as it features the Zacatecan Birria Nochistlan and The Goat Mafia, a Compton-based joint that uses a more traditional recipe with goat meat. Other, more fusion-based choices, like L.A. Birria’s birria ramen, will be available as well.

In addition to a lot of tender meat and rich consomé, there’s also a prize at stake here: the fabled Birriamania Championship Belt. Each attendee will vote for their favorite birria, and a panel of judges with supreme birria knowledge will be in attendance.

Tickets can be purchased here for $19 until March 5th, when they become $30. Considering a ticket comes with four tacos and a beer, that’s not too bad at all. I’ve definitely spent $30 in much, much worse ways in LA. 

It might be time to skip the overpriced drinks and club cover charges, and spend a nice Saturday eating delicious birria and drinking cold beer. 

Categories
Brand Cravings Restaurants SPONSORED

Southern California ‘Falasophy’ Has A Secret Menu Of Lebanese Quesadillas

Created in partnership with Falasophy

The countries of Lebanon and Mexico are some 7,700 miles apart, yet their people have a rich, intertwined history, particularly when it comes to their food. Today is not a history lesson — it’s a field trip, an off-menu discovery at Irvine, CA-based Falasophy: Lebanese Quesadillas!

When we think quesadilla, our mind conjures up images of corn or flour tortillas, filled with cheese and griddled until crispy.

Today, I caught up with Lebanese-owned Falasophy as I had learned that they were serving off-menu items people were calling “Lebanese Quesadillas.” The gist? They were stuffing cheese into thin, oversized pita breads, filling them with Lebanese and greater Middle Eastern ingredients, and searing them off to delicious fold-over matrimony.

I’ve had Falasophy before, but hadn’t had any of these “Lebanese Quesadillas” before, so I dug into em:

Street Shawarma Quesadilla

Falasophy Quesadilla

The first one I saw owner Rashad Moumneh, aka the Chief Falasopher, fold over, was an homage to the ultimate Lebanese street comfort food, the chicken shawarma wrap. It starts on a pita slathered with their housemade toum (garlic sauce), freshly shaved shawarma chicken, avocado slices to remind ourselves we’re in Southern California, thin French fries (the ultimate pro move in shawarma or kebab wraps), grilled corn seasoned with za’atar, spicy sambal sauce, candied pickled jalapenos, and a generous amount of cheese to bind everything together. I’ve had these flavors separately, but when cheese and toum have melted together, you’re hard pressed to find a more punchy and memorable flavor experience.

Armenian Quesadilla

falasophy quesadilla

The second quesadilla I tried utilized Armenian flavors. In this pita, a walnut and red pepper paste called Muhammara lines the walls. Additionally, a seasoned kafta meat is spread across the surface area of the pita, topped with sumac and plenty of cheese to glue it all together.

Nutella & Cheese Quesadilla

falasophy quesadilla

This particular quesadilla is already a favorite on the Falasophy menu, but still seems to twist my friends’ necks when I tell them about the combination: Nutella + cheese + pita bread. The combo is decadent, the textures work, it’s crispy, and when you get the perfect bite — a mouthful of Nutella, stretchy mozzarella, powdered sugar, fresh mint leaf, and crispy pita bread — you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this before.

All three of these Quesa-pita creations are available at Falasophy’s Irvine, CA location, inside the Irvine Spectrum complex. They’re technically “off the menu,” so you’ll want to tell the person ringing you up that you want a Lebanese Quesadilla, and tell them what flavors you want.

Go indulge!

Falasophy
Irvine Spectrum Center, Irvine, CA 92618

 

Created in partnership with Falasophy
Categories
Culture Fast Food Features

12 Global Taco Bell Items That Will Give You Food Envy

From Asia to Europe, Taco Bell has found its way around the world, serving up their Mexican inspired fare. While a lot of its classic tacos and burritos are in tact, there are several menu items that we simply can’t get here in The States.

You’ve probably seen people make it a point to visit McDonald’s around the world, and chances are the same purpose can apply to Taco Bell, trying unique items such as Chocodillas in El Salvador or Tikka Masala Burritos in India.

This definitely creates food envy, and reminds us that we don’t have it all here in the U.S.

If you ever find yourself in one of these locations, be sure to check out what they have to offer, post a photo, and make everyone jealous.

__________

Kuwait- Tacones

A post shared by Live Más (@tacobellkuwait) on


Taco Bell Kuwait said hard shell tortillas were too basic, and decided to turn them into cones. They call them Tacones, which funny enough, means high heels in Spanish. Stuffed with crispy chicken and potatoes, these Tacones come in classic, fiery Volcano, or double cheese cone flavors.

__________

Guatemala – Dulce de Leche Flautas

A post shared by Pamela De Oleo (@pamela.foodie) on

Anything containing dulce de leche is an automatic upgrade. Guatemala has sweet dessert taquitos stuffed with the caramel confection.
__________

Costa Rica – Pinto Mechado


Costa Rica is known for its particular style of rice and beans called gallo pinto. Instead of the rice and beans that we typically see at Taco Bell, Costa Rica has opted to keep things aligned with their own culinary offerings. The main difference is the red bean, instead of black, plus the blackened rice.
__________

Colombia – Crepadilla


Columbia has a quesadilla using a crepe instead of flour tortilla. It’s definitely a change that while simple, changes the consistency of the entire quesadilla. We’re all for it.
__________

Spain – Ice Cream Sundaes, Sweet Nachos

__________

While Taco Bells in the U.S. have very limited dessert options, Taco Bell in Spain goes all out, with not only ice cream options, but sweet nachos as well. Their Crunchy Choco Bell sundaes consist of dulce de leche, topped with hard shell chocolate drizzles. Their sweet nachos consist of cinnamon dusted chips with a dulce de leche dipping sauce.
__________

Cyprus – Bannurito


Well this is a burrito you don’t see every day. Stufffed with bananas and praline, then drizzle with Nutella, the Banurrito is the dessert burrito we didn’t know we needed.

__________

U.K. – Chocomarshmelt, Doritos Crunch Burrito

A post shared by Taco Bell UK (@tacobelluk) on


The Chocomarshmelt is like a sweet Crunchwrap. Stuffed with chocolate and marshmallow, this must-have treat is wrapped just like a Crunchwrap, making it a creative twist on a Taco Bell favorite.

__________

A post shared by Taco Bell UK (@tacobelluk) on


Taco Bell is no stranger to stuffing its burritos with chips, but the U.K. is the only one that uses Doritos. The Doritos Crunch Burrito was introduced in 2018, and may be a limited time offering, but I’m sure locals are hoping it sticks around.
__________

Canada – Flamin’ Hot Crunchwrap

A post shared by Taco Bell (@tacobellcanada) on


A Crunchwrap stuffed with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos sounds like it should have happened years ago, but it barely made its debut in 2017, in Canada. The Cheetos are the only difference, though, all the other Crunchwrap flavor profiles are the same.
__________

India – Tikka Masala Burrito


A Chicken Tikka Masala burrito in India makes perfect sense. Any time a fast food chain can adopt an item that’s near and dear to a culture, it’s a good thing. The burrito consists of grilled chicken, tandoori mayo sauce, Mexican rice and cilantro, all wrapped in a flour tortilla.
___________

El Salvador – Chocodilla


You can atually find the Chocodilla in several countries, including Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain and the U.K., but El Salvador’s has a unique chocolate tortilla, while the others have a traditional flour tortilla. Stuffed with melted chocolate, it’s definitely a treat that complements your Crunchwrap.
__________

Korea – Kimchi Quesadilla


Here’s another instance where Taco Bell took note of its location and incorporated a local staple. Kimchi consists of fermented veggies that are seasoned with chili powder, garlic, ginger and jeotgal (salted seafood). Combine that with a spicy chicken quesadilla and you’ve got something special in Korea.
__________

Japan – California Burrito


You’d think if any Taco Bell was going to have a California Burrito, it’d be, well, one in California. This guacamole and French fry-filled burrito can be found in Japan though, for now. It was actually tested in West Virginia in 2017, so there’s a chance the U.S. can get it some day, but until then, Japan’s enjoying these little guys.

*Featured photo courtesy of Taco Bell.
**Disclaimer: While Taco Bell is a frequent branded/advertising campaign partner with Foodbeast, this piece is an independent editorial and was not written in partnership with them.**
Categories
Culture Features Restaurants

Here’s The History Behind The Iconic Sampler Platter

sampler-platter-stk-001

If you’ve ever mobbed out to dinner with your buds, not knowing what you’re in the mood for, grabbing a sampler platter is the best way to get your hands on a little bit of everything.

A typical sampler platter includes a medley of fried, or cheesy, menu items in limited amounts to titillate your tastebuds before enjoying your meal. The dish is designed to give patrons a taste of what each menu item (usually appetizers) has to offer, as well as a way for multiple diners to share a quick snack together before their meal.

The history of the sampler platter goes back to the concept of appetizers in general. Appetizers, also known as the French hors d’oeuvres, are a small dish that is served before a meal. Hors d’oeuvres translates directly as “outside the work” or “meal.”

According to chef Walter Potenza of Chef Walter’s Cooking School and The Culinary Council, cultures have indulged in pre-meal snacks for centuries. The practice dates back as far as the ancient Greeks and Romans who would serve small portions of fish, vegetables, cheese, and olives.

By the 1890s, the term appetizers had become a full-on English and American menu concept, known as the first course served before soup. These included raw oysters, clams, caviar on toast, and other decadent bites. The fare has since evolved as more and more affordable restaurants began offering the concept.

mozz-stick-stk-01

With the advent of appetizers, the pre-meal dishes were combined to even further create the sampler platter — a mega dish showcasing multiple sampler plates similar to a tasting menu.

Popular modern-day American sampler platter items include: onion rings, mozzarella sticks, egg rolls, chicken tenders or wings, quesadillas, and other hearty choices served with a cavalcade of dipping sauces.

Today, you can find a sampler platter at pretty much any sit-down restaurant that boasts an appetizer menu. We recommend sharing with friends, however, as you don’t want to be THAT guy hoarding all the delicious fried foods.

Categories
Brand

Glazed Bacon Rollups, Loaded Potato Pinwheels and 18 More Ingenious Recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest

You may know Pillsbury for their giggly mascot, fun-to-break crescent cans, or highly necessary DIY cronut recipe. But for the past 65 years, the Doughboy has kept busy with yet another passion project: the million dollar Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.

This year, entrants may submit original recipes that use seven ingredients or less online at www.bakeoff.com and the 100 finalists will move on to, well, the finals, this November in Nashville, Tenn. It’s all very big and impressive, but can we focus on the fact that the grand prize winning recipe is worth $1 million dollars? That’s right, $1 million. With six zeroes.

We decided to round up our favorite Bake-Off Contest recipes from over the years, including — brace yourselves — strawberry and chocolate sugar cookie crepes, glazed bacon rollups and bacon egg breakfast bites. Best part? Yes, you can totally D them Y.

———

Bacon-Egg Breakfast Bites

Bacon-Egg-Breakfast-Bites

It’s in the name: bacon and egg and breakfast. That alone should be enough to wake you up, but these darlings also feature whole crescent rounds nestled around slices of bacon and egg-washed tater tots.  Ahem.

———

Mini Italian Shepherd’s Pies

Mini Italian Shepherd's Pies

Warm dollops of a creamy cheese and spinach mixture top off these mini meat pies. Pro-tip: toss some spicy sausage or chorizo in there for a neat little kick.

———

Poppin’ Fresh Barbecups

Poppin' Fresh Barbecups

It was in 1968 that Pillsbury first introduced its refrigerated fresh dough. It was also the year this recipe, named after the Doughboy AKA “Poppin’ Fresh,” came out. This recipe is simple, but classic: ground beef, barbecue and flaky biscuits topped with cheese. Try using mac & cheese over shredded beef for an instant upgrade to 2014.

———

Chicken Satay Tacos

Chicken Satay Tacos

Dare to dream. This recipe from Illinois swaps out your regular flour tortilla with a flattened out Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle Biscuit for quite possibly the flakiest, butteriest soft taco you ever did see.

———

Loaded Potato Pinwheels

Loaded Potato Pinwheels

It’s almost summer, which means infinite barbecues, and endless opportunities to convince your guests to go back for seconds or thirds. And is there any better way than with potatoes and bacon? Didn’t think so… and neither did the Bake-Off Judges, who crowned this recipe the $1 million grand prize winner at last year’s contest.

———

Glazed Bacon Rollups

Glazed Bacon Rollups

The maple bacon combo is nothing new, but this recipe ups the ante as it’s practically a maple bacon sweet roll, so, yes please. Surprise ingredients like Dijon mustard and sliced green onions provide an extra textured tang that sounds just crazy enough to work.

———

 

Baked Chorizo Chili Quesadilla

Baked Chorizo Chili Quesadilla

Part quesadilla, part empanada, this almost mash-up uses a refrigerated pie crust to house spicy chorizo chili, corn, chopped onions and pepper jack cheese. Party hearty.

 ———

 

Spicy Asian Shrimp Stromboli

Spicy Asian Shrimp Stromboli

More fun with fusion! Refrigerated pizza crusts wrap around panko or breaded shrimp dressed in hot pepper jelly, Sriracha and orange marmalade. Just call it a bougie pizza pocket.

———

Mocha Latte Bacon Danish

Mocha Latte Bacon Danish

Coffee is crack. Bacon is crack. Chocolate hazelnut spread is crack. A semifinalist in last year’s 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, this mocha latte bacon Danish features all three. Strangely it didn’t advance to the final round. No, we don’t understand why either.

———

 

Spicy Mole Pork Burritos

Spicy Mole Pork Burritos

Mole? Ole! The homemade mole sauce adds a spicy punch to these burritos. Wrap it all in a flour tortilla for a Mexican inspired “concoction.”

———

Mole Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Mole Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Damn Pillsbury, is there any bread you don’t make? Featuring their refrigerated French crusty loaf, these mole pulled pork sandwiches use Jif Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut spread for the chocolate. Top the whole thing off with blue cheese cole slaw for a (nearly) instant bistro style lunch.

———

Feta and Kale Stuffed Breakfast Waffles

Feta Kale Stuffed Breakfast Waffles

Waffle tacos are great and all, but for the little more health-conscious, consider trading out your maple syrup and egg product for feta cheese and kale. And made with flattened Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls, this is a total rethinking of the waffle sandwich. We’d love ours topped with pesto.

———

Crispy Potato Barbecue Stacks

Crispy Potato Barbecue Stacks

Do you prefer your sandwiches with bread buns or hash brown buns? If you answered the former, allow this recipe to prove to you why you’re so, so wrong. The secret is in the bread crumb topping, which provides a crispy, dry surface to wrap your messy barbecue-y fingers around.

———

Greek Quesadillas

Greek Quesadillas

Take the makings of a Greek salad and transform them into a meal even meat-eaters can understand. These Greek quesadillas were finalists at the 41st Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 2004. Fun fact: Target-famous designer Isaac Mizrahi designed the finalists’ aprons that year.

———

 

Oriental Snack Mix

Oriental Snack Mix

This is a quick, zesty party mix using, among other things, Bugles original corn snacks, Chex cereal, soy sauce and wasabi peas. Just make sure to give your guests fair enough warning about the wasabi peas’ heat, and watch them refill their plates (and drinking glasses) again and again and again.

———

Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups

Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups

Winner of the $1 million dollar grand prize in 2010, this recipe is insanely simple, and just involves taking the Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake! sugar cookies and molding them in a muffin tin into the perfect pint sized ice cream cups.

———

Pineapple Galette with Caramel Rum Sauce

Pineapple Galette with Caramel Rum Sauce

Galettes are pretty much artisan-looking, free-form fruit tarts, which is nice when you think about all the extra imperfect crevices this caramel rum sauce gets to flow over.

———

Java-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Java Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Instant coffee-drowned cinnamon rolls make for the ultimate jittery indulgence. Pro-tip: don’t feed this to children.

———

Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Have you ever had a ravioli made out of crescent dough? Neither had we, but after seeing this picture, can you really afford not to? Subtle, sweet nuttiness comes from all sides in the form of salted caramel whipped cream and pumpkin and pecans. Is it possible you’re still not convinced? This recipe won the contest’s $1 million grand prize in 2012.

———

Strawberries and Chocolate Sugar Cookie Crepes

Strawberries and Chocolate Sugar Cookie Crepes

Sugar cookie dough is fine on its own, but transforming the dough into a crepe? GET IN MY BELLY. Bring your strawberry and chocolate hazelnut friends.

Categories
Cravings

Here’s What Protein-Style Quesadillas Look Like

bacon-ques

Okay, hold up.  I’ve had quesadillas before, but this recipe is blowing my mind!  The only thing better than the soft, carb-y goodness of a flour tortilla is BACON.  In this particular quesadilla recipe, the tortilla is completely made of bacon weaved together.

For you daredevils out there, here’s the basics on how to put the bacon twist on this dish.  Once you’ve got two squares of bacon weaved together, cut them into circles, fry them up and add whatever kinds of goodies you want.  Finish frying them after that, then voilà!  But for a more detailed explanation on how to cook this new Mexican novelty, visit DudeFoods.

I think it’s time they start serving this stuff at the Del Taco drive-thrus.  Greasy quesadillas are great as a late-night snack, but bacon ones would solve any and all middle-of-the-night cravings.  Plus, they’re high in protein right?

H/T + PicThx DudeFoods

Categories
Cravings Recipes

Peach Quesadillas

Another summer post for all you peach lovers out there. This Peach Quesadilla recipe takes 15 minutes to make and cost $0.55 per serving. Take that Rachel Ray, your 30 minute meals don’t have anything on this.

Categories
News

Microplane Herb Mill

I usually use a mill to shred my cheese. I know that’s kind of weird but it shreds the cheese in a clumpy form and is more fun to make quesadillas that way. But when it comes to herbs, this Microplane Herb Mill would do an amazing job that allows you to take a boring meal and spruce it up with some fresh oregano or basil. (Thx IncredibleThings)