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Restaurants

South Carolina Restaurant Allegedly Resold Costco Pizza At 700% Markup

Yes, having a Costco membership can be a godsend in some regards. You can stock up on frozen foods to last you until the end of time. But if you were a restaurant, would you go as far as to buy some Costco brand frozen pizza and pass it off as your own?

Apparently that’s what a restaurant in South Carolina did, reports The Post and Courier.

Coquin, a wine bar in Charleston, is selling “Roman-style” pizzas for $18 and $20 depending if they are plain or have toppings as a way for the restaurant to transition into delivery during this worldwide pandemic. However, the Post and Courier had been alerted by both patrons and employees of the restaurant that the pizza they were offering for delivery had in fact been pre-purchased from Costco’s frozen food section .

According to the Post and Courier, a reporter spotted the owner of Coquin receive a delivery order and walk up to his private residence leaving with “Fresh Pizza, Oven Baked” boxes. Afterwards the reporter discovered four-pack boxes of Kirkland’s Signature Cheese Pizzas with Breadcrumb Crusts (about $10 for four pizzas) in the restaurant’s dumpster.

When asked directly, however, the owner denied that the pizzas sold for delivery were from Costco.

Even with fresh toppings thrown onto Costco’s already existing $2.50 cheese base, this comes out to about a 700% markup. Which is arguably just as bad as hoarding toilet paper and disinfectant and selling it at a higher price during these times.

Coquin’s website for pizza delivery is currently down at the time of publication.

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Plant-Based Restaurants

TGI Fridays Is Unveiling A Vegan Steak

Photo courtesy of TGI Fridays UK

To ring in the new year, TGI Fridays in the United Kingdom is offering vegans a brand new menu item that’s sure to turn some meat eaters’ heads. For any non-meat eaters wishing they could enjoy the experience of steak, but without consuming actual meat, the restaurant chain is serving up grilled Watermelon Steaks.

The restaurant takes a fresh watermelon and cuts it into steak-sized slices. Marinated in garlic and seasoned with a spicy sriracha blend, the watermelon slices are then chargrilled to create a steak-like texture and aesthetic.

Available now at TGI Fridays locations throughout the UK, the dish is served with crispy seasoned fries and roasted vegetables as well as a creamy avocado sauce and Friday’s iconic glaze.

A few years back, a restaurant in New York City created a viral dish they also called “Watermelon Steak” that followed a pretty similar concept. Wonder if that popularity will translate to Fridays’ new item?

TGI Fridays also launched a Vegan Stack Burger to give patrons more vegan options going into the new ’20s.

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#foodbeast Cravings Food Trends FOODBEAST Products Restaurants SPONSORED What's New

There’s a Restaurant Serving KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN TACOS Now

Korean fried chicken is special for a number of reasons: its batter is lighter than your typical American buttermilk-based fried chicken, it’s generally not as greasy, and most importantly, it’s fried twice. This Korean fried chicken, from Michin Dak in Los Angeles, CA, is special for another reason: it’s in a taco and seasoned with ranch.

Based in Koreatown, Michin Dak will be turning out a spicy ranch Korean fried chicken taco in honor of the FOODBEAST Coast 2 Coast Ranch tour, presented by Hidden Valley ® Ranch

This cultural fusion starts with the star ingredient, with chicken strips dredged in flour and batter.

What’s unique about this chicken is that it is double fried, which is responsible for the unbeatable crunch that Korean fried chicken is cherished for. This technique works by using a lower temperature than one would normally fry chicken at, ensuring that it slow cooks and renders the fat out of the skin, turning it thin and crispy.

Once ready, the strips are slathered in a sweet honey orange sauce and generously dusted with Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning. Then they’re tossed and then placed in a tortilla, where some house-made yogurt slaw, dill pickles, and a drizzle of homemade habanero sauce joins the flavor combination.

The habanero sauce works hand in hand with the Hidden Valley ranch seasoning and coleslaw to give the chicken some heat, while not letting it get out of hand. But, in case it’s too much, the taco is served with a generous portion of Hidden Valley Restaurant Style Ranch, a cool and creamy dipping sauce to help beat the heat.

The Korean Fried Chicken Taco will be available for all ranch fanatics throughout September. And, because this is just one of the ways you can use ranch seasoning to make a delicious meal, head on over to foodbeast.com/ranch to learn where the other stops of the Coast 2 Coast Ranch Tour, presented by Hidden Valley Ranch are located.


Created in partnership with Hidden Valley Ranch. 

Categories
Cravings Culture Restaurants

The 15-Minute Paella That Cuts Time, But Not Flavor Or Authenticity

Tucked away in a block on North Figueroa Street in Los Angeles’ historic Highland Park neighborhood lies Otono, a charming Spanish restaurant that you may miss upon first look. While the kitchen space is smaller than most restaurants — six burners, a couple ovens, and a narrow prep station — head chef Theresa Montaño makes up for it by expanding the flavors of her cuisine on an immense scale.

Montaño grew up cooking with her mother and grandmother in New Mexico, instilling a love of the culinary arts in her at such an early age.

“I grew up in a big Hispanic family, so food was a part of that,” she laughed.

Otono’s arroz y fideua, also known as paella, are some of the most popular dishes on the restaurant’s menu. Montaño mentions on a busy night, Otono could sell as many as 50 orders of paella.

Traditionally, a properly made paella could take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to cook. With 50 orders a night, in such a small kitchen space, those numbers can seem daunting, but Chef Montaño doesn’t bat an eye.

That’s because she has perfected her paella dish to be done in a matter of 15 minutes, a feat that took her years to master, and is a necessary one to become successful in Otono’s kitchen setting.

The key to this, she shares, lies in the preparation.

Before Chef Montaño even opened the doors of Otono, she began the streamlining process.

Essentially, all the elements of a proper paella are there, but Montaño found a way to shift the flavors into different components to speed up the preparation and cooking process. First, the rice is half-cooked ahead of time and infused with a rich broth. Then Montano creates a flavorful Samora paste that’s made from tomatoes, saffron, and mild chiles that combines with the rice during the cooking process. Once they all come together, the dish tastes exactly as it would had it been cooked another 15 or 20 minutes longer.

With only six burners in her kitchen and two of said burners required for each paella pan, adapting was non-negotiable in such a bustling environment.

Her movement through the kitchen was seamless, slicing fresh vegetables, chorizo, scallops, and all the fresh ingredients required to craft her multiple paellas. Containers of partially-cooked rice and flavorful broths were all measured out and ready to go into the pans once the order comes in.

“It’s just being careful through those steps not to overcook our rice in the beginning and handling it properly. The right ratio of rice for the pan size, you can see just one layer of rice and getting the crispiness on the bottom, that’s called socarrat.”

Chef Montaño explains she made the process foolproof, labeling portions of each ingredient and at which times during the cooking process to utilize them. Paella can be tricky if not correctly approached: you can either overcook it, undercook it, or completely miss the mark on flavor if rushed.

Coming from a Spanish heritage, Montaño spent time in Spain where she traveled to Valencia, the birthplace of paella.

“I went to the old school institutions that were doing the woodfire, really authentic stuff and also went to the more modern paella restaurants to see what they were doing in contrast and then started to develop this concept.”

That time and dedication has paid off and is reflected in the satisfying crunch of her paella’s euphoric socarrat.

Chef Montaño is a shining example that while traditional flavors are crucial to a dish, you need to learn to evolve in order to adapt to a modernized setting. By drastically cutting the time it takes to cook an exquisite paella, Chef Montaño has shown that she’s capable of paying respect to the old ways, while also embracing new techniques to expedite her process.

Categories
Restaurants Sweets

BJ’s Just Revealed A Fruity PEBBLES Cereal PIZOOKIE

A few months ago, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse turned heads by creating a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Pizookie. The decadent cookie-based dessert featured vanilla bean ice cream, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, and cinnamon sugar. Heralded as the first in a line of breakfast-cereal themed Pizookies, the delicious reveal left us wondering what the next pizookie offering will be.

Now, the restaurant chain has dropped the newest iteration of the breakfast cereal Pizookie in the form of a new Fruity Pebbles Cereal Pizookie. BJ’s newest dessert item features a warm sugar cookie base cooked in a deep-dish pan that’s topped with vanilla bean ice cream, and colorful spoonfuls of Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Available at participating BJ’s locations nationwide, the new dessert will only be around for a limited time. Guests who arrive on July 17, BJ’s Free Pizookie Day, will recieve a free Pizookie of their choice with a purchase of $9.95 or more.

I wonder which iconic cereal they’ll tackle next?

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Culture Fast Food Film/Television Now Trending Pop-Ups Restaurants What's New

Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger

 In celebration of Nickelodeon’s return of “All That” — the iconic children’s comedy sketch show which garnered much attention in the 90s — a Good Burger pop-up restaurant, inspired by the sketches and full-length film featuring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, has opened in Hollywood, California. The pop-up opened up to the public on Wednesday, July 10th and will remain at the 7100 W Santa Monica Blvd location until the end of 2019.

The menu was created by Eggslut founder Chef Alvin Cailan and will include Good Burgers, Good Chunks, a Good Wich, as well as many Good assortment of sides. There will also be gluten-free options and a premium Beyond Meat burger.

Can’t make it to the eating experience? No problem. Good Burger will also deliver your orders through Postmates which will be available during the entirety of the pop-up’s opening. As a part of the celebration, all of your Good Burger orders through Postmates during the week of July 29th will also include free delivery.

Tickets for the event are currently on sale now at https://www.goodburgerpopup.com.

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Cravings Restaurants What's New

Tear Into These Gooey Chicken Parmesan Fries


Give me a plate of fries any day of the week and consider me a content fellow. Now that we live in a renaissance of food, fries have become a canvas for artists to paint their palates.

Big Pink in Miami, FL, is shaking up the French fry game by creating Chicken Parm Fries.

The restaurant starts with thick cut fries that are tossed into hot oil and seasoned. Chunks of chicken are then breaded and deep-fried before joining their potato brethren. Scoops of marinara sauce and a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheese are added on top of the fries before tossed into the oven. Finally, the dish is finished with a handful of shredded basil leaves.

For fans of the celebrated Italian dish, this iteration of chicken parm is definitely something worth checking out — especially since you can never go wrong with fries.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the world needs to be able to enjoy more foods in French Fry form.

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Cravings Restaurants Video What's New

This GIANT EVERYTHING BAGEL PIZZA Took Pro Eaters A Half Hour To Conquer

In my youth, I’ve demolished more Bagel Bites than I’ve cared to remember. The idea of combining pizza toppings with the chewy texture of a bagel surface was brilliant and dangerously easy to make.

Now imagine those mouthwatering Bagel Bites from your childhood was hit by Rick Moranis’ giant ray from Honey, I Blew Up The Kid. That’s exactly what the collaboration between two Orange County, CA, restaurants created in this Giant Everything Bagel Pizza.

The massive bagel starts off at Shirley’s Bagels where it is formed, boiled, and topped with ‘everything’ herbs and spices like garlic powder, poppy seeds, and sea salt. Once it’s double-baked in the oven, the giant wheel-sized bagels are delivered to Sgt. Pepperonis where they are sliced in half and loaded with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

What results is a masterpiece that equates to about 6 pounds of mouthwatering teamwork.

Competitive eaters Crazy Raina and Freakeating both attempted to eat this giant pizza bagel on Foodbeast’s live Twitch challenge. While both were able to demolish the pizza, Freakeating beat Raina’s time 28 minutes to  her 33 minutes.

Hats off to you, sir.

The pizza collaboration will be available through the month of March. If you want to check out more live streams, make sure to follow and subscribe to Foodbeast on Twitch.