This Cool Coastal Sandwich Is Topped With A Fried Soft Shell Crab

Fish, urchins, octopus, eel; with so many delectable protein options out there to offer, it is no wonder we so often look to the sea for new ideas and inspiration when it comes to food. If you disagree, ask yourself: are you feeling crabby?

Those lucky enough to live along the southern California coastline can embrace their crabby sides by enjoying a Fried Soft Shell Sandwich, the newest addition to the menu at West Coast Fish in Costa Mesa, CA.

Photos by Peter Pham

The concept was created by West Coast’s Roy Abi-Najm. Inside the sandwich, you will find a whole fried soft shell crab, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and ‘bootleg Mac sauce’ — all on one perfectly palm-sized bun.

The combination of crunchy crab and classic sandwich toppings make for a fresh, West Coast twist, and the taste of the sandwich overall is reminiscent of the salty sea itself. It also makes you want to dip your toes into the Pacific — and pronto!

The special promotion item can be yours for a mere $10 — for a limited time only at West Coast Fish. A portion of each purchase also benefits Project Hope Alliance.

This briny beauty is fit for just about anyone living above sea level.

Created in partnership with West Coast Fish


New Rule Forces Chain Restaurants To Start Labeling Highly Salty Foods

Today the New York City Board of Health will start implementing a new rule approved back in September of 2015 to start labeling any exceedingly salty foods being served at chain restaurants that go over the recommended 2,300 milligrams — or one teaspoon — of salt.

Strap yourselves in nice and tight fast food companies, because you’re about to get fuuuuuuucked.

This new rule will only affect chains of 15 restaurants or more across the United States and a variety of movie theaters and concession stands.

The whole point of the new rule is to help American citizens better combat the number one killer in America: cheeseburgers! Na, I’m just playing, it’s actually heart disease. Heart disease is out to get you. Cardiovascular disease accounts for roughly 17 million deaths worldwide a year. Death from heart complications makes up 30% of global deaths, making it the leading killer of all y’all.

The move will also force many restaurants to find new ways of making some of their food. Seeing the large salt shaker symbol (which will be used as the new label nationwide) is intended to draw the consumer’s eyes to the amount of salt it contains in the hopes of spurring them on to be more conscious of what they eat.

Many restaurant owners are having trouble getting on board with the new rule, claiming that following our nation’s federal guidelines for food would be much easier to deal with, rather than a wide variety of state rules that could make things even more difficult as a restaurateur, depending on where you live.

“I understand the [New York] City Board of Health is very pleased to lead the way on these nutritional initiatives,” says president of the New York State Restaurant Association Melissa Fleischut. “But what we see is that it ends up creating a patchwork of regulations across multiple states.”

It’s interesting to me that they decided to make the change from words to pictures in order to inform consumers what exactly they’re putting in their bellies. In comparison, people have been trying to change the labeling on cigarette packs for decades, yet the U.S. labeling laws are so lackadaisical that any warnings usually come on the side of the pack, in small letters, and in the same color as the pack, making them virtually indistinguishable.

Both salt and tobacco can have dire effects on the cardiovascular system, so perhaps this is the start to a new era where pictures replace text on warning labels. Who knows? Maybe next they’ll start putting pictures of car crashes on beer bottles.

Image Source: Crain’s, Food Navigator, American Heart Association


We Compare Lay’s Cappuccino Flavor & More to The Real Thing


Lay’s recently announced four new test flavors for their Do Us a Flavor campaign appearing on shelves at the end of the month. Some may remember that they launched a similar campaign last year, between Sriracha, Chicken and Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread. While it’s been heavily debated, Cheese Garlic Bread came across as the winner (I was rooting for Chicken and Waffles). Now it looks like Lay’s is at it again, this time with three four new flavors: Mango Salsa, Wasabi Ginger, Bacon Mac & Cheese and Cappuccino.

The flavors were chosen through a meticulous process of elimination and popularity before making it to the development phases. So definitely not out of a hat, people. The winner will receive either $1 million or one percent of their winning flavors sales, depending on whichever is higher. Solid, right?

We were sent a bag of each to the FOODBEAST office. The staff tried each flavor and rated each of them.


Mango Salsa


Created by Julia Stanley-Metz who recognizes her husband Rick for the inspiration — a man who loves to cook with exotic flavors and ingredients. Julia also makes fresh mango salsa for her family straight from the garden, which brought upon the Mango Salsa chip. Mango Salsa sounded awesome awesome in my head, but I was pretty not into it. Maybe because I associate Mango’s with sweet and juicy.


TOO WEIRD. It’s like mango juice in chip form, not about that life.


Not a fan of the taste, but I can respect them trying it.




It tastes like someone just squeezed mango juice over it. Doesn’t blend at all.

RATING: 4/10

NOTES: The chips tastes both like mangos and salsa. Just not as compatible as an actual salsa.




Suggested by Chad Scott, currently working on his Ph.D., the Cappuccino flavor was inspired by his local barista’s concoctions. The Cappuccino chip starts off pretty sweet with a clash of saltiness to it. Really liked this. Was prepared for an over seasoned chip with tons of coffee flavor that would make me choke. Instead, I was pretty surprised with how nicely the sweet and salt balance worked. Though a little too much on the sweet side.


More of a dessert chip, possible best with vanilla bean ice cream.


I’m kind of down. One of those chips that works in taste, but keeps getting cock-blocked by your mind trying to figure out what’s going on.


Tasted like a thin churro then when the aftertaste hits, it’s all south.


Okay as long as you remind yourself it’s a dessert chip.

RATING: 8/10

NOTES: Cappuccino tastes pretty close. Provided you enjoy your cappuccinos a little on the sweet side.


Bacon Mac & Cheese


Full-time Ohio firefighter matt Allen makes “family meals” at the firehouse whenever there’s training. His signature dish is bacon mac and cheese, which was a huge hit among his fellow fighters of fire. I delight in bacon as much as the next guy, maybe not Marc, but I just wasn’t into this. That being said, this will probably be America’s #1 choice. Just wait.


I could not care less about bacon anything anymore. Sorry.


This one was actually the most palatable of the bunch, but it’s such a drowned and uninspired flavor combo I had to put it at the bottom of the list.


So much potential but ended up with a lackluster flavor. I hate to say it but, “Needs more bacon.”


Just tastes like a cheese chip. Needs moar bacon.

RATING: 6/10

NOTES: Tastes more like cheese powder that has a bacon flavor. Not nearly as close to real bacon mac and cheese.


Wasabi Ginger


Created by Meneko Spigner McBeth, who loved sushi since she was a little girl learning how to make handmade rolls from her grandmother. Her taste for spicy foods like wasabi inspired the Wasabi Ginger flavor. I don’t throw the world “Love” around too much, but yeah. Tasted exactly how it sounded and maybe even a little better. Definitely ate a few more than I should have.


This makes the most sense to me.


Functionally the best chip of the four. I could eat an entire bag, surprised this hasn’t been created before.


Mouth Heaven.


If this doesn’t get chosen, I’m moving out of the US.

RATING: 10/10

NOTES: Tastes like the best parts of both wasabi and ginger. Though not too heavy on the wasabi side, but enough to give you a taste.


So there you have it. Wasabi Ginger is the FOODBEAST staff’s #1 pick. Keep an eye out for all four Lay’s Do Us a Flavor contenders when they hit shelves July 28.

Packaged Food

Sriracha Salt Exists, Spells Endgame for Other Seasonings


We won’t lie, we think Sriracha is perfect just the way it is (so perfect, in fact, that we shot a food porn video starring Sriracha in all its natural glory) but we still never pass up the opportunity to sear our tastebuds with Sriracha in new and exciting ways. That’s where Sriracha Salt comes in.

This brilliant marriage of salty and spicy comes straight from Randy Clemens, author of the Sriracha Cookbook. He throws Sriracha in a bowl with some kosher salt, organic garlic powder, and organic cayenne pepper, mixes it all together, and then runs the whole thing through a dehydrator. The end result is a slightly spicy seasoning that pairs well with steamed or roasted veggies, baked potatoes, eggs — basically anything plain-tasting that could use a little Sriracha-infused kick to make it memorable.

sriracha salt on eggs

We can’t really think of a food that wouldn’t be improved by adding Sriracha salt, so we’re looking forward to making this and putting it on . . . everything.

Sriracha Salt $5 @ Amazon

Images courtesy of Emma Christensen/The Kitchn

Celebrity Grub

New Katy Perry-Themed Popchips Are Surprisingly Not Candy Cane-Flavored


When we first heard that popstar Katy Perry was going to team up with snack company Popchips for a new flavor, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.

Candy cane-flavored chips? Marshmallow? Whipped cream?

Not so much. It seems that the Popchips won’t be another extension of the superstar’s Candyland persona. However, the Popchips investor/brand ambassador (didn’t you know?) will still have an influence on the flavor of the snack.

“Katy’s Kettle Corn” features — what else — the sweet and salty taste of kettle corn, and is described as, “sweet. salty. sinless.” The bag features the colors pink and purple (arguably Katy’s favorite colors) and a “stylized heart” to dot the “i” in the Popchips logo.

This will be one of the first sweet flavors for Popchips, whose usual flavors include sour cream, barbecue, and salt & vinegar. While the new sweet and salty item sounds delicious. . . pink and purple? Which one’s the “salty” color?

H/T Brand Eating


Salty Caramel Brownies

It always feels good to unwind after a stressful day/week/month with some good, old-fashioned kitchen therapy. Spending time in the kitchen has become such a zen experience for me. Something about baking in particular is very therapeutic. It even gives you extra time to wind down in the middle of the process. While things are baking you can clean the dishes you used, read a magazine, watch a show, dust the book shelves, have a cocktail… ya know, relax.

This recipe can be found in Baked Explorations (the second book released by Baked Bakery in NYC- still unclear how BFF and I missed it when we went… we really have to get back there). Since I have been too poor/cheap to purchase this particular book, I’ve been stuck just leafing through the recipes in stores and staring longingly at it through store windows. :-( That is, until I saw Brown Eyed Baker‘s post for “Sweet & Salty Brownies”. Finally, my first glimpse into the wonderful world of Baked Explorations.

The Baked Brownie alone is intense, rich, and decadent. This version basically takes the Baked Brownie – which is already a 10 on intensity, and turns it up to 11. I was expecting this to be: layer of brownie > layer of caramel > layer of brownie. Nope. Somehow this magical thing happens where the caramel becomes one with the batter, forming this crazy sweet-salty-caramel-brownie hybrid dessert that has just enough brownie “crust” to make it a solid piece. You can actually tell which brownies have more of the caramel in them, because they look “wetter” than the ones that have less. (So you know which ones to go for ;-))

My attempts at describing the brownie really do it no justice, you will just have to try one for yourself. Just trust me when I say that the salty caramel accents the chocolate brownie perfectly… and to make sure you have a tall glass of milk nearby when you eat one.

Sweet & Salty Brownies – Recipe from Baked Explorations

Caramel Filling:
1 C sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
½ C heavy cream
1 tsp fleur de sel
¼ C sour cream

Brownie Batter:
1¼ C AP flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valhrona)
11 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (my least favorite part of brownie-making)
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1½ C sugar
½ C brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsps vanilla extract

1½ tsps fleur de sel
1 tsp coarse sugar

For the Caramel:

1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with ¼ cup water, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat (I started on medium, then turned it up to medium-high when I was ready to give it my full attention) until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F, or until the mixture is dark amber in color, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat, and carefully add the cream (it will spit) and the fleur de sel. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside to cool.

Make the Brownie Batter:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9×13-inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.

3. Melt chocolate and butter together in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water. Once melted to a smooth consistency, turn off the heat, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan.

4. Add 3 of the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overmix!

5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate & gently fold into the wet ingredients.

Assembling the Brownies:

1. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about ¾ cup of the caramel sauce over the brownie layer in a zigzag pattern, making sure the caramel doesn’t come in contact with the edges of the pan. Use an offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly across the brownie layer, leaving about a ½-inch border around the edges. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the rest of the brownie batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently to cover the caramel layer.* (see tips)

2. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

3. Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with the fleur de sel and coarse sugar.

4. Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.


*Every time I make Baked brownies I’m afraid I under-baked them. Despite my toothpicks coming out clean, even over-baking a batch, they are always ooey-gooey inside to the point that I’m not convinced they’re fully cooked. Rest assured that they are. (or that I’m certifiably crazy)

*When you’re doing the top brownie layer, I suggest spooning the batter from the outside in. I am bad at following directions and just started dumping the batter in which caused the caramel to push through its “1/2-inch border”… oops!

*Again, be careful with the 2nd brownie layer, as the leaked caramel glued some of my brownies to the pan, and made a terrible, terrible mess…

*A lot of people are afraid of cleaning up after caramel, it’s really not that bad. Remember- caramel is made out of sugar, which dissolves in water. All you need is hot water, let it sit, and voila- you’re done!

*It was easier to cut the brownies after chilling them in the fridge for an hour

*The brownies can be stored, tight wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.

[original post here]

Cravings Sweets

Fritos and Reese’s Cup Pancake

It just got very interesting… Fritos, Reese’s Cups and pancakes just unofficially joined forces to make this Fritos and Reese’s Cup Pancake! The mix of salty and sweet is definitely going to make your taste buds stand up when you take a bite out of this pancake! Maybe you can add some syrup or jelly for an extra kick if you’re feeling short on sugar! (Thx TheCerealBaker)


Turn Up The Heat With Habanero Soy Sauce

A unique balance of heat, citrus, and salty flavors all come together in this Habanero Soy Sauce Recipe. This simple yet sophisticated recipe will turn your plain old average sushi into something memorable and different. Forget spicy tuna rolls, habanero soy sauce is where it’s at!