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Cravings Restaurants

We Discovered The Meaning Of Life In This Eggs Benedict Pizza

Our favorite two brunch items of all time are always a split between Eggs Benedict and Breakfast Pizza. Both extremely palatable, and both visually striking. Usually we alternate ordering the two, so as to not pick favorites, but it appears we won’t have to any longer.

Jinny’s Pizzeria in Santa Ana, CA has added a new limited-time pizza to their weekend menu combining the best elements of the two brunch items.

The Eggs Benedict Pizza is made with Jinny’s signature pizza crust topped with a blend of Fontina & Mozzarella Cheese, Prosciutto, Basil, sous vide poached eggs, and of course, a Hollandaise drizzle.

While the pizza is only available for a limited time through the month of August, it may stick around if it becomes popular enough. We actually got to try some recently and you can bet it’ll be popular. Couldn’t stop at merely a single slice.

A while back Jinny’s also created an immensely popular Spaghetti Pizza that left our hearts fluttering and our tummies roaring.

Categories
Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss

How Starbucks Baristas Really Feel About Your ‘Secret Menu’ Orders

secret-menu-drinks

If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ Pink Drink, Butterbeer Frappuccino, or the Thin Mint Frappuccino, you’re technically ordering things that don’t exist, but baristas are skilled enough to make them all happen.

I’m talking about items on the “Secret Menu” of course, and while your local store might be cool with making an espresso-filled blended drink called a “Chola,” try ordering that at another store, and they’ll look at you with an Aubrey Plaza-like face of befuddlement.

Baristas took to Reddit and expressed how they felt about customers barging into their stores and ordering these imaginary drinks.

Their reactions may, or may not surprise you, but at least they’re being honest about our crazy requests.


Know the Ingredients

It’s not necessarily irritating if you know what the ingredients are. It’s really only frustrating when people come in and say something like “Let me have a Twix Frap!” and they expect us to know how to do it and say it is on the “secret” menu. But as long as you know what goes in it we’ll be happy to make it for you! We just want you to be happy with your drink. 🙂


Don’t Get Mad If the Barista Doesn’t Know What You’re Talking About

Only frustrating when people get mad when we don’t know what’s in it. Nobody actually minds, as long as you have the recipe. My main policy is if we don’t have a button for it in the special section, and you don’t have a recipe, I’m not getting my phone out to google whatever $8 frap you want. You obviously don’t want it enough.


Some Baristas Get Really Freaked Out

girlscoutfraps

For fuck’s sake, some of us are hardly trained on the regular drinks. Seriously, beyond the latte(which I already knew how to make), nearly all of my barista skills have been developed on my own time.


Don’t Be A Dick When Ordering Something That’s Not On-Menu

The people that order them are what make the drinks themselves annoying. Recipe, fine. When people act like it’s a thing for us, fuck off.


Ah, The Infamous Pink Drink

Starbucks-Pink-Drink-02

Cust: “It’s on the secret menu, I know you guys have it”
Me: “Oh yeah, it’s a secret to us too”
Cust: …
Me: “but if you know the recipe I’d be happy to make it for you”
Cust: …
Me: ….
Cust: “Venti Caramel Frappuccino”
I don’t even mind the [Pink] drink so much, it’s just the principle of the matter


They Do Charge For All Those Extra Secret Ingredients

I will make anything you want, I don’t care, as long as you bring in the recipe and don’t get angry about any extra fees.


Have Some Mercy On Them During Rush Hours

I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t seem like secret menu stuff was only ordered during busy times.


If you see the Barista Holding Lighter Fluid… RUN!

Every time someone says they have a drink off of the secret menu, I cringe and imagine setting their hair on fire.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Restaurants

SECRET MENU ALERT: How To Order A Pumpkin Spice Nitro Latte at The Coffee Bean

pumpkin-spice-nitro
Photo by Peter Pham

Basic bitch season is finally upon us, and while you’ve probably already had your first, second, and third pumpkin spice latte, we’re willing to bet you’ve never tried it in Nitro Cold Brew form.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s secret menu game is coming strong this fall, as the seasonal addition of pumpkin spice sauce means we can start asking for it in Nitro Cold Brew form.

The workers are most likely aware of the Pumpkin Nitro Latte drink, but if they’re not, they certainly have the ingredients for it, so, worst case scenario, you just have to order it as a “Nitro latte with pumpkin sauce added.”

We went to go try the drink ourselves, and the youngster at the register looked at us like we were crazy, going as far as to say, “That’s never been a thing.” Luckily his coworker swooped in, told him that it’s a part of the secret menu, and showed him how to ring it up. They came out to exactly $5 each for a regular-sized drink, which is a weird total, but whatever.

nitro-brew-pumpkin-spice
Photo by Peter Pham

If you’re not familiar with Nitro, it’s nitrogen-infused cold coffee that comes straight from a tap and is ready to serve with no ice needed.

Pro tip: with Nitro as a base, you can actually add any of The Coffee Bean’s flavored sauces to it, whether it’s caramel, peppermint, or pumpkin spice.

We were hoping they’d be a little more orange in color, but if you think we’re pulling your leg, here’s a bright orange photo from their Facebook account:

pumpkin-spice-nitro-brew

If you’re one of those people that loves secret menus, this one’s loaded with pumpkin spice, and there’s a good chance you’ll be the first of your friends to try it.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

The Starbucks #OrangeDrink Was Just A Social Experiment

Within the last month, Starbucks’ “secret menu” has made headlines thanks in part to a line up of beautiful drinks found on the Rainbow Secret Menu. Now, the #OrangeDrink is blowing up — but that was all part of the plan.

The coffee chain’s rainbow beverage trend has become an Internet sensation without any official advertising from Starbucks. In fact, a closer look reveals that Starbucks’ secret menu could be a concept perpetuated by die-hard Starbucks fans and well-trained baristas.

That’s where the #OrangeDrink comes in. We wanted to prove social media was the primary force driving the secret drink phenomenon. In order to prove this theory, we tried an experiment, just to see how far social media could run with it. 

The #OrangeDrink, specifically, was a product of a Foodbeast experiment to prove that the color of the drink did not matter, but more so to show that social media was the only tool needed to create a new trend, instantly.

After Foodbeast broke news on the #PinkDrink craze June 1, it got more than 100,000 Instagram posts dedicated to it. Shortly after our Pink Drink coverage, the #RainbowDrink trend started gaining attention from notable publications like Time magazine, The Huffington Post and PopSugar.

Our friend and local Orange County food-influencer, Scott Nghiem (@ScottAfters), co-owner of Afters Ice Cream, posted the first images of Starbucks’ #PurpleDrink on his Instagram page last week, it generated 16.5K likes. Scott’s post of the #PinkDrink received 35K likes. Scott has 120K followers and on average he receives about 5K likes per post, Scott’s secret rainbow drink posts generated approximately 50K likes, respectively.

ScottAfters

Last Thursday, as the Foodbeast news team casually discussed the hype behind the pink and purple drinks and how we were not blown away by the taste of either color, Marc leaned over the mezzanine on the second floor and yelled down to our bullpen, “Let’s go to Starbucks and make an orange drink.”

We looked up the #OrangeDrink hashtag and luckily enough there was nothing Starbucks related. Marc, Izzy, Reach and I walked into our Downtown Santa Ana Starbucks, where we are on a first name basis with store manager Eric Olson. We told Eric what we were working on and what we had in mind.

OrangeDrinkCrop1

“We want an orange drink and we want it to taste delicious,” I said.

Being the gracious host that he is, Eric went above and beyond to deliver what we asked. He may have single-handedly created the best tasting secret drink yet. After Eric made a few variations, it seemed that mixology is really the secret behind the success of Starbuck’s so-called “secret menu.”

Eric explained that Starbucks doesn’t officially recognize a “secret menu” but credited the baristas for playing a pivotal role in responding to a customer’s palate when discovering new flavor concepts.

However, as baristas continue to create sensational flavor profiles — that are dominating social media with countless posts of approval — Starbucks is reaping all the benefits. Additionally, secret menu fanatics are busy tracking down the perfect opportunity to purchase “secret” drinks — in order to frantically post photos of these aesthetically pleasing beverages to social media — the coffee giant is cashing in.

With each Instagram, Facebook and Twitter post, the colorful drink trend grows. Further perpetuating the demand for off-menu items — all while generating an insane amount of free advertising for Starbucks. Not to mention the extra charges for ingredients like soy, or coconut milk.

So, could it be that timely coordination and Instagram traffic drove enough attention to create an instant trend without the help of the company behind the beverages?

The answer is yes.

We used the #OrangeDrink as a jumping off point to get another colorful Starbucks drink trending. As fate would have it, the #OrangeDrink instantly became known as the best tasting rainbow drink and social media quickly followed suit.

OD FINAL CROP

A few Foodbeast staffers and myself posted #OrangeDrink photos to our Instagram accounts and waited for social media to react. Over the weekend, Yahoo! News, Refinery 29, MashableThrillist, NBC Business and NBC New York all reported on the #OrangeDrink as the new summer drink to try.

OD Grid

Without diving into sales numbers and statistics, this trend is a reflection of something bigger. Baristas are trained to work with an open system, which allows them to create flavors that cater to any palate, simultaneously becoming artists in their own right. There’s no back of the house manual explaining how to create these new beverages.

It’s also important to note that these trends are happening so fast, baristas are having a hard time keeping up. Although, some may be a little annoyed with Starbucks fanatics constantly testing the waters of what can be created behind the counter. The possibilities are endless.

At the same time, baristas are being blindsided with strange drink orders, scrambling to figure out what’s supposed to be inside these “secret drinks” everyone is ordering — just because they saw it on social media.

After digging into the Reddit channel “r/Starbucks” and under a subreddit thread, “There’s an orange drink now???” we found Starbucks’ employees are sounding off on their disapproval of this exponentially growing trend.

User Breslayy obviously didn’t like the #PurpleDrink and said all the other drinks were “awful.”

redditorangedrink3

User Agaue said it felt like customers were purposely trolling baristas. Good eye, kid.

redditorangedrink2

As Starbucks’ reaps the rewards from social media exploiting their “secret menu” for free, the baristas are stuck with the grunt work, and receive little incentive for having to learn these “secret” drinks on the spot.

But, as Reddit user ToastyXD worded it — it’s become part of the job description for baristas to understand that Starbucks’ open mixology system makes all this possible.

redditorangedrink

However, some baristas just don’t care at all.

Where the #pinkdrink #orangedrink and #purpledrink belong. #starbucks #notsorry

A video posted by Danielle Vaughn (@heytheredanielle) on

We have to thank Starbucks’ open and expansive mixology system, without it, none of this would have been possible. The only problem is, we might have simultaneously created the best drink of the summer as a joke. However, it’s not something we are trying to keep a secret.

Thank you, Internet!

Featured image: @kuyameztizo

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

How To Make In-N-Out Burger’s ENTIRE Secret Menu At Home [WATCH]

The friends over at HellthyJunkFood have an amazing YouTube channel that teaches you how to make wholesome versions of our favorite fast food items. For this week’s episode, they’ve done us In-N-Out whores a SUPER solid and recreated their ENTIRE In-N-Out Burger Secret Menu.

Everything 3x3s to a Flying Dutchman, Animal Style, they have it covered. They even show us the mustard grilling techniques that make the Animal Style burger so damn delicious. The HellthyJunkFood crew spent roughly $70 and 10+ hours in the kitchen filming this masterpiece.

Gotta love that they included a recipe for Monkey Style…because they are smart AF:

monkey-style
4-2-cold

Categories
Features

These Major Restaurants Have Secret Menus For Dogs

secretdogmenu

The restaurant world is a lot more pet-friendly than you’d think. We’ve seen a dedicated dog cafe pop up recently, making it so that you can dine in with a plethora of puppies around you, but you can also dine with your four-legged best friend at standard restaurants.

While some services are at the discretion of the restaurant’s owner, plenty of well-known restaurants cater to your doggy with special menu items.

Of course, unless you have a service dog, you can’t really eat indoors without the health department throwing a fit, but outdoor patios are a dog-lover’s best friend.

Also, keep in mind that just as we hoomans can be allergic to certain things, your dog can be too. So check with a vet and always make sure you know that your dog can handle the food so you don’t get unexpected gifts on your car rug.

From Starbucks to Shake Shack, a lot of our favorite chain restaurants put in a little extra effort to make sure your companion can share a little something with you while dining.

Check out the dog-friendly secret menu items that they offer:
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Puppuccino from Starbucks

puppuccino picthx Reddit, HQueen22

The Puppuccino is a small cup filled with whipped cream for your canine companion. If you’re taking Scooby for a walk and want to pop in to Starbucks for a Caramel Frappuccino, you don’t have to painfully look into your dog’s sad little eyes as he watches you drink away. Take a seat outside and enjoy Starbucks with Fido.

However, it could be a bit sketchy to order it consistently for your dog, considering Starbucks’ whipped cream has so much sugar and fat, but it’s a nice treat for them once in a great while.
__________

 

Dairy Queen Pup Cup

pupcup
picthx sonyadawn, drkelbel

Everyone loves ice cream (except maybe our own Peter Pham). Chances are your dog will go nuts for this. With a little bit of vanilla soft serve, topped with a doggie treat, your dog will wag her tail nonstop.

*Note* We’ve heard milk could possibly be harmful for dogs, so definitely consult with your vet before trying this one.
__________

 

In-N-Out’s Pup Patty

puppyinnnout
picthx Squirkee, Chubs the Frenchie

In-N-Out is a must whenever in California, even for your four-legged friend. If you’re loving a Double Double in your car and your dog is giving you those sad puppy eyes, you can order him a Pup Patty. It’s just a plain, unseasoned burger patty with no salt, just like Uncle Jim used to grill for Memorial Day.

__________

 

Doggie Cupcakes from Sprinkles

doggiecupcake picthx baileyinthecity, Toyangxoxo

Sprinkles is another destination that must be visited when in California. Their famous cupcakes are also extended to doggies as one of their specialized cupcakes is made sugar-free and with yogurt frosting.
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Sonic Drive-In Doggie Treats

sonic
picthix Scottiemom

It makes sense that Sonic Drive-In would be pet-friendly since you never even step foot inside. They’re set up so that you order and eat in your car, or pop out and eat at their outside dining area. If you have your pet with you, they’ll often bring you a doggie treat so you won’t eat alone.

__________

 

The Pooch-ini from Shake Shack

poochini
picthx beanthere_donethat, reubendebrow

An East Coast favorite that’s filled with delicious burgers and milk shakes, of course, Shake Shack has the Pooch-ini for your doggie to enjoy. The Pooch-ini is a custom-made dessert consisting of dog biscuits, peanut butter sauce and vanilla custard. Your dog’s going to wag her tail for days after enjoying this one.

__________

 

Johnny Rockets Dog Burger

johnnyrockets
picthx Charlene C.

At Johnny Rockets, if you sit in the outdoor patio areas, you can ask for a cut-up burger patty and water. The Johnny Rockets in Southern California’s Victoria Gardens restaurant even teamed up with a local dog bakery to put together a 20-item menu for doggies that includes a Lickety Split Ice Cream and Pupcakes.

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Lazy Dog Rice Plate

10914495_1638997156324285_862939297_n
picthx arachellybelly

No surprise here. Lazy Dog Cafe is known for its dog-loving inspiration. Here, patrons are encouraged to sit in the outside patio and share meals with their doggies and mingle with other doggies. As you can see above, a cut up piece of beef and a generous serving of rice are provided for Lassie.

__________

Tim Hortons’ Sugar-Free Timbits

timbits
picthx Igor Pub Dog

If you’re a follower of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, you’d be under the impression that Canada sucks, but what you should know is they’re actually super friendly. Of course the Canadian superpower, Tim Hortons, offers its famous Timbits to doggies in a plain, dog-friendly form.

__________

Some Chick-Fil-As Give Dog Treats

cfadog

There are always restaurants that cater to their demographic. So if they know the area consists of lots of dog lovers they might keep dog treats in-store to hand out. For example, Several Chick-Fil-As, such as the one in Upland, CA, and Fountain Way, MN, are known for providing treats for your pup via the drive-thru.

__________

Of course, we don’t want to leave out the mom and pops who love dogs just as much as you do. So if you’re on the road with your dog and need to find a spot to plop down and have a meal, some sites pinpoint which restaurants, big or small, are pet-friendly.

It’s not exactly the mega stack of spaghetti they shared in Lady and the Tramp, but these places are pretty considerate to the pet community.

__________
So don’t let your pup miss out on a treat, and if it’s a hot day, make sure you couple these treats with some water.

Information from Barkpost and The I Love Dogs Site used in this post.
Categories
Features

10 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Chick-fil-A

chick-fil-a-cover

As chicken-lovers nationwide mourn the recent passing of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, the restaurant’s 68-year legacy of fast-food greatness is yet again thrust into the spotlight. Despite controversy and an unusual business philosophy, Chick-fil-A is voted one of the nation’s top fast-food joints time and again thanks to the unwavering quality of its menu. While there are many things about the chicken chain that you’re undoubtedly familiar with, such as its famous waffle-cut fries and crispy chicken sandwiches, here are 10 fun facts that you might not know.

 

1. The chicken biscuit was the first breakfast menu item

chicken-biscuit-first-breakfast-menu-item

Added to the menu in 1968, the chicken biscuit revolutionized breakfast forever. You can thank Truett Cathy for making fried chicken a socially acceptable morning food!

Source: Instagram user brandybt

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2. The gay marriage controversy actually boosted the company’s profits

gay-marriage-controversy-actually-boosted-company-profits

After openly condemning gay marriage in 2012, the company’s founder was met with loud opposition. However, many supporters of the Christian-founded company ate chicken in solidarity, boosting the company’s profits.

Source: Instagram user seththorpe

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3. The company has sold over 3 billion sandwiches since opening

company-has-sold-over-3-billion-sandwiches-since-opening

Since the restaurant chain was founded in 1946, it has sold upward of 3 billion chicken sandwiches.

Source: Instagram user hung1lam

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4. The chicken is fried in 100 percent peanut oil.

chicken-fried-100-percent-peanut-oil

Avid food fryers know how delicious peanut oil is, and since the signature chicken at Chick-fil-A is fried in refined peanut oil, that’s probably why we love it so much. While the Peanut Institute claims refined peanut oil shouldn’t be a problem for those with nut allergies, it is something to consider before taking a bite of the fried chicken sammie.

Source: Instagram user w2e4david

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5. The chain squeezes over 200 million lemons per year.

chain-squeezes-over-200-million-lemons-per-year

In 2013 alone, 200 million lemons were made into Chick-fil-A’s refreshing lemonade. In fact, the chain is the largest buyer of Sunkist lemons!

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6. Every restaurant is closed on Sundays for religious reasons

Every-restaurant-closed-Sundays-religious-reasons

Founder Truett Cathy was a devout Christian who advocated the observance of the Sabbath, so he required that every Chick-fil-A location close on Sundays.

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7. The restaurant’s signature sauce is actually three sauces combined.

restaurant-signature-sauce-actually-three-sauces-combined

Love Chick-fil-A sauce? You might be surprised that it’s actually a mix of three staple condiments from the restaurant! Barbecue sauce, ranch, and honey mustard combine to create the sweet and tangy sauce we all know and love.

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8. The chain made history with its fruit cups.

chain-made-history-its-fruit-cups

Chick-fil-A was the first fast-food chain to offer fresh fruit cups as a side option, which were added to the menu in 2004.

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9. The chicken recipe has stayed the same for over 50 years

chicken-recipe-has-stayed-same-over-50-years

In fact, Truett Cathy’s original recipe for the chain’s signature chicken has remained locked in a company safe for half a decade.

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10. There is a secret menu for the restaurant chain

secret-menu-restaurant-chain (1)

If you educate yourself about the Chick-fil-A secret menu, you can score goodies like blueberry cheesecake milkshakes, chicken quesadillas, and free ice cream cones.

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This story was originally written by Brinton Parker.
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Categories
Fast Food

12 Quick Secrets to Ordering Chipotle

chipotle-burrito

Story originally written by Anna Monette Roberts for PopSugar

Even if you frequent Chipotle Mexican Grill several times a week, chances are you don’t know the best deal on the menu, all the free stuff you can walk away with, and how to skip the line. Thanks to personal experience (we’ve eaten many a burrito/bowl/salad/taco) and consulting with several Chipotle managers, we now have all those answers.

___

What’s Free

©BenBlossom_Chipotle_HR-1311.jpg

Meat and guacamole will always cost you extra at Chipotle, but here’s what you might not know is free.

  • Honey chipotle vinaigrette
  • Lime wedges
  • Jalapeños
  • Extra beans and rice
  • Extra tortillas or taco shells
  • Extra salsas, cheese, sour cream . . . pretty much anything but meat and guac

___

How to Score a Deal

chipotle-burrito-bowl

Yes, even at Chipotle there are ways to work the system to get the most food for your buck.

  • Order a bowl, not a burrito, to get bigger portions. Since the burrito has to be rolled up, the portions are a bit smaller. Instead, opt for the bowl and ask for a tortilla or taco shells on the side for no charge.
  • You’re allowed to mix proteins. You don’t have to decide between chicken and carnitas. Order half and half, at the same time, in the same burrito.
  • Chipotle values ingredients with points. Order an item with three or less “points,” and you are charged less. Tortillas and taco shells are zero points. Guacamole and meat count as two points. And everything else (rice, cheese, etc.) is one point.

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“Secret Menu” Items to Order

chipotle-quesarito

  • Quesadilla/taco: Take a soft taco tortilla, cover it with cheese, fold it in half, melt it in the press, open it up, and make a taco.
  • Quesarito: Make a big, round quesadilla; fill it with meat and rice; and then roll it up like a burrito. Sure, Taco Bell’s famous for it, but Chipotle will make it for you too for the same cost as a standard burrito . . . Just hold the liquid-y ingredients like sour cream and hot sauce, which make it difficult to roll. Also, be patient, as it takes longer to assemble than a standard burrito.

Picthx Anna Monette Roberts

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How Stuff’s Made

©BenBlossom_Chipotle_HR-1224.jpg

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How to Order Smarter

chipotle-adds-tofu

We’ve heard it from a Chipotle worker herself! These things can immediately influence your service.

  • Phone in your order or order online. If you’ve ordered ahead, you can skip the line and go straight to the cashier.
  • It’s all about attitude! Be kind to your fellow burrito maker, and they will probably be more willing to go the extra mile to ensure you’re getting the burrito of your dreams.
  • Feeling skimped? It happens. One full scoop is a Chipotle portion. However, if you feel like the burrito maker is giving you too little, politely ask for more.

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