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Fast Food

Taco Bell Tests Deep-Fried Cheese Curds In Southern California

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

There’s something magical about deep-fried cheese curds that can’t be explained. Either it’s crisp exterior revealing a gooey molten cheese center, the richer flavor than that of mozzarella sticks, or that you don’t have to commit to the entirely of a mozzarella stick as you do with cheese curds.

If only we’d see it more as a fast food option.

It seems Taco Bell is already on it, testing what they call Cripsy Cheese Dippers at a select location in Southern California.

The new item features nine pieces of cheddar cheese curds that are served with a creamy chipotle sauce. Taco Bell has also added Crispy Cheese Nacho Fries, including the chain’s famous Nacho Fries topped with the fried cheese curd dippers, a nacho cheese sauce, creamy chipotle sauce, sour cream, and diced tomatoes.

While still in testing stages, Taco Bell enthusiasts can try them at the Taco Bell located at 131 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, CA.

Categories
Fast Food Food Trends Health Plant-Based Restaurants What's New

Fatburger Announces New Vegan Ice Cream Milkshakes

As the first fast food chain to offer the Impossible patty, Fatburger hopped on the plant-based bandwagon early. Today nearly every major fast food chain offers some vegan options, signaling that the trend may be here to stay. Continuing their foray into healthier alternatives, Fatburger teamed with Craig’s Vegan Ice Cream to offer dairy-free milkshakes at 12 of their Southern California locations. 

Started by Craig Susser in 2011, Los Angeles-based eatery Craig’s gained popularity through their dynamic menu which provided everything from steak to vegan specialties. It’s also known as a celebrity hot-spot. Noticing a growing desire for healthier alternatives, and after countless non-dairy dessert requests, Susser and head Chef Kursten Kizer created “Craig’s Vegan,” a cashew-based frozen dessert. 

Fatburger’s vegan milkshakes come in two flavors, vanilla and strawberry, and are available now at their Beverly Hills, North Hollywood, West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Venice, Van Nuys, Wilshire, Redondo Beach, Carson, Santa Monica/Sepulveda and Lincoln/Pico locations.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

This Specialty Coffee Shop Is Making Coffee Slushies Just In Time For Summer

As summer approaches, we’re all going to need something cool to sip on to beat the heat. But, for specialty coffee lovers, it seems cold brew and sugary blended drinks are the only applicable solutions. Yet, cold brew leaves you wired, and most blended coffee drinks quickly become an unnecessary sugar bomb.

Still, in the specialty coffee industry, there seems to be no room for sugary substitutes or frilly beverages, as super specialty coffee consumers prefer less sugary drinks that focus on the flavor of the coffee itself.

That’s why a Southern California coffee shop is working to redesign the Frappuccino — by creating a frozen coffee beverage in a slushy machine.

The result: the Frozen Sweet Latte, created by Hopper & Burr, a specialty coffee shop located in Downtown Santa Ana, Califorina. It’s a frozen coffee beverage that keeps an icy consistency and carries the robust flavor of quality coffee until the very last sip.

Truman Severson, coffee maker and owner of Hopper & Burr, who has worked in the specialty coffee industry for more than a decade, explained the inspiration for H&B’s new frozen beverage came from frozen alcoholic tiki drinks, which are traditionally served out of a slushy machine.

By adding the ingredients of Hopper & Burr’s Sweet Iced Latte (whole organic milk, raw sugar, and espresso) to a slushy machine, the drink’s primary characteristics — the sweetness of coffee and cream — remained intact, while adding a smooth, icy texture without diluting the drink.

“The slushy machine does a couple of things,” Severson explained. “It freezes the water in the milk which means the drink doesn’t get diluted at all. It also freezes it in constant motion, so the ice crystals that do form, are very very small which makes the texture really soft and not chunky.”

The idea, in Severson’s mind, was that the Frozen Sweet Latte might help shrink the divide between the lovers of blended coffee beverages and those who enjoy specialty coffee.

“The high majority of blended coffee drinks are Fraps and they are loaded with non-food ingredients and they’re sickly sweet and way too big,” Severson added. “There’s nothing wrong with this preparation method, it just had a bad period in time, and I feel like that’s exactly the same thing with blended coffee drinks.”

Look out Starbucks, there’s a new summer coffee drink in town.

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#foodbeast Cravings Culture Feel Good FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss News Sweets What's New

There’s A Dessert Fest In LA This Weekend And It’s A Sugar Filled Paradise

Got a sugar-thirsty sweet tooth? Don’t we all.

Time Out L.A. is taking advantage of those who are forever down for desserts with their Dessert Fest happening this Sunday, April 30. Attendees will have access to some of LA’s most tempting treats, all in one sitting.

The Time Out L.A. editors asked eight local restaurants and bakeries to serve up their most popular desserts for the event, and thus, Sunday they will be doing just that at Studio 11. The participating vendors include: Magnolia Bakery, Ococoa, Lady M Cake Boutique, Erin McKenna’s Bakery, SpireWorks, The Walrus and the Hedgehog, Wanderlust Creamery, and Pop Champagne Bar & Restaurant.

Magnolia Bakery

Kate Wertheimer, Editor at Time Out Los Angeles, says:

“At Time Out we’re dedicated to discovering the best of the city—whether that’s bars, theater, comedy, art or the very best dishes. L.A. has some great restaurants that are getting super creative with their desserts—whether baked, fried or frozen—so to celebrate our favorite sweet treats, we’re crowning L.A.’s very best. I promise that this will be every foodies’ perfect day filled with delicious, decadent goodness, and a few surprises, too.”

The Walrus and the Hedgehog

SpireWorks

Tickets are between $25-$35 and will get you tastings from each participating restaurant plus two complementary beers from Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

For more information and to book your ticket, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dessert-fest-presented-by-time-out-la-tickets-33349689820

Check out more of the goodies from the Fest below:

Magnolia Bakery

Ococoa

POP Champagne Bar

Categories
Features FOODBEAST Video

The Halal Guys Made A Giant Gyro Meat Platter, Here’s Where And Why

If you’ve ever eaten at The Halal Guys, you know why people wait in lines out the door for it.

The New York-based gyro restaurant is without a doubt addicting, so seeing its delicious meats, pita bread, and famous ‘White Sauce’ on a MASSIVE 52-inch platter will make you feel a bit tingly, to say the least.

The larger-than-life platter will be a part of FOODBEAST’s upcoming food festival, Meat Street Presented by the Makers of SPAM Brand at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, California.

The Halal Guys will be in the festival’s all-you-can-consume VIP section, as festival-goers will be served their epic chicken and beef kebabs, hummus, rice, lettuce, tomato, and pita bread.

A post shared by foodbeast (@foodbeast) on

The festival will be a meat lover’s dream, featuring not only this enormous halal platter, but several exclusive food items throughout the VIP and “Marketplace,” where one can pay as they go.

MEAT STREET is going down Saturday April 22, at the Santa Ana MainPlace Mall. For more event information or tickets please visit www.eatmeatstreet.com.

Categories
#foodbeast Brand Cravings Culture Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss News Now Trending Restaurants SPONSORED Video What's New

Watch This Restaurant Turn Fried Chicken & Waffles Into A Cubano Sandwich


It’s easy to see why the Cubano sandwich trend has began to proliferate, branching out from its roots on the East Coast. If you think about it, the Cubano is probably one of the simplest sandwiches ever made, yet its simplicity is sparking culinary intrigue across the country —  and everyone is beginning to notice something special about the Cubano.

Having originated in Florida, the Cubano is traditionally made with roasted pork, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and lightly toasted on a panini grill. Its adaptations can certainly vary when it comes to specific ingredients, but all share the same no-frills approach to making an unforgettable and deliciously savory, melt-in-your-mouth creation.

This April, Bruxie, the fried chicken and waffle sandwich chain, will also be sharing their own Cubano concept.

Photos by Pete Pham

Behold: the Bruxie Fried Chicken & Waffle Cubano Sandwich.

Made with shaved ham, Bruxie’s house-made honey-mustard, thinly sliced pickles, and of course their crispy, golden brown fried chicken, all served between two savory waffle buns, this is something that might actually be better than Spring Break.

If you’re looking to experience the traditional taste of the Cubano with a twist from Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches, you’d better hurry. Like Spring Break, Bruxie’s Cubano Sandwich won’t be here forever (even though we all wish it would).

The Bruxie Cubano sandwich will be available from April 5 – 25.

Created in partnership with Bruxie

Categories
Adventures Features

Shhh! DUI Fries Are California’s Best-Kept Secret

duifriesdinos
Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

DUI Fries sound like something your drunk buddy invented, or some kind of urban legend about fries that cure your hangover, and while those are questionable claims, both are probably the reason these fries exist.

If you search for #DUIFries on Instagram, only 674 photos come up. It’s insane that a dish as crazy as this one hasn’t even cracked 1,000 IG posts, as of this writing. But those in the know, know what’s up with these majestic, artery-clogging fries.

About five years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to DUI Fries. He told me that if I went to a restaurant called Jim’s Burgers in La Puente, California, I could find some chili cheese fries that were topped with not only pastrami, but carne asada, as well.

dui-fries
Photo by Peter Pham/Foodbeast

This no doubt intrigued me, and we set out on this mission to find the DUI Fries.

As with most “secret menu items,” I nervously asked the cashier for these “DUI Fries,” fully expecting to be given a, “What’s that?” But she put in the order, and I awaited the greasy goodness to fill my insides.

It was pretty much everything I hoped for, as I felt like death afterward, but came to terms with the over 1,500-calorie meal possibly being my last before my heart exploded.

A video posted by Isai Rocha (@izzy_serious) on

I recently went in search for the origin of the majestic DUI Fries, and was first led to Dino’s Chicken and Burgers. After speaking with Jim Pantazis, the small burger chain’s owner, he said the DUI Fries were born at Dino’s “about 10 years ago,” at their Pico Rivera location, and actually had nothing to do with alcohol, despite the obvious name.

We later found out those claims made by Dino’s owner to be furiously contested, as there were claims that the origin of the DUI Fries actually came in the 70s, and it came across the street from Dino’s, at a diner called Jim’s Super Burgers.

Owner Robert Stavrakis said, “The DUI was created by us and our customers over 20 years ago.”

Stavrakis said some of the regulars at Jim’s Super Burger wanted to name a menu item and put together the fry concoction, inspired by the pastrami fries that were already on the menu.  They added carne asada to the mix, and it became a hit. After noticing that nearby bar-goers would often come into the restaurant in the middle of the night, they decided to go with the name, “Dining Under the Influence Fries.”

They even came with receipts, showing us a registered trademark for the D.U.I. name.

Regardless of the origin, DUI Fries are now one of Southern California’s best kept food secrets, and the craziest thing about it, the ingredients are readily available at most mom & pop burger shacks around Cali. Because of this, the fries can be found at several different locations, some even giving them a different name, but same look.

Archibald’s Drive-Thru has their own version in their five So Cal locations:

Victory Diner in Orange County sells them now, too:

Bomb ass carne asada, pastrami, chili cheese fries. #DUIfries #omnomnom #ocfood #carneasadafries

A photo posted by Sway Imru (@hosway) on

Arry’s Super Burgers in Montebello will give you these heart-stopping fries:

The great Arry’s😨 #DUIFRIES

A photo posted by Tony Toni Tone (@poppaphats) on

Like I mentioned earlier, the place where I first experienced them, Jim’s Burgers serves up a mean plate of them:

Hell, there’s even places that call them “Loco Fries” like Rubi’s Grill and Frosty Freeze in Whittier:

Can you say heart attack?? 😳 #getinmybelly #yum #foodporn #chilicheese #pastrami #locofries #rubis

A photo posted by 💫Teresa ☀️ (@tesebaby) on

Whether you call them DUI Fries, Loco Fries, or simply ask for carne asada and pastrami chili cheese fries, these are a gem in Southern California. Those in the know, might covet them as much as In-N-Out’s glorious Animal Style Fries, maybe even more, since they’ve been on the low for so long.

Y’all need to experience these fries, and the chosen few who already enjoy them might hate me for this story, but I can’t be greedy.

Whether you go to Jim’s Super Burgers, Dino’s (Also, their chicken fries are fire, but that’s one secret to uncover another time), or any of the other restaurants mentioned, pop in and see if you can handle them.

Just make sure you go with a friend. Ya know, just in case you need someone to quickly perform CPR on you.

Categories
Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants Sweets

7 Of The Most Instagram Worthy Churros in SoCal

“Churro, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years that you’d like to be eaten.” – Adele (maybe).

 

From ice cream filled donuts to rainbow unicorn bagels to gelato rolled up right in front of you to make a beautiful floral and edible arrangement in a cup, our foods have become more colorful, more unique, and — most importantly — more delicious! We put new spins on old favorites all the time, so it is no surprise that the churro has been undergoing these Instagrammable makeovers today. Here are the top seven IG worthy churros you can find in SoCal that won’t break the bank or break your foodie IG aesthetic!

 

Churros Calientes

11521 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Image: INSTAGRAM – @churroscalientes

If Snoop Dogg had a favorite churro, it’d definitely be a churro with some… drizzle. Churros Calientes keeps it sweet with their warm and sugary churros decorated with gooey toppings such as dulce de leche, sweet condensed milk, and cream cheese-guava. The customizations don’t stop here though — you can choose your own filling as well in your churro, too! With a stack of churros on a plate topped with one of the rich homemade flavors, you’ll be able to taste the goodness in your mouth just by taking a pic.

 

Churro Borough

1726 N. Vermont Ave, Los Feliz, CA

Image: INSTAGRAM – @dinela

Known as the original churro ice cream sandwich connoisseur, Churro Borough is churro simplicity at its best. With both ice cream and churros made fresh daily, Churro Borough offers churro sticks, churro bits, and the beautifully crafted churro ice cream sandwich. Sure, you probably cannot stick the whole sandwich in your mouth in one bite, but you can definitely try, which is definitely worth it for the ‘gram.

 

Churros El Tigre

4211 Camino De La Plaza, San Diego, CA

Image: INSTAGRAM – @irisfigs

Cutting it close to Tijuana, Churros El Tigre serves quality desserts with an extra side of joy — and by joy, we mean sugar, of course. From churro fries to mini churros to the supreme churro sundae made of six churros, a banana, two scoops of ice cream, chocolate, caramel, lechera, crushed peanuts, and cherries, you’ll have your mouth (and tummy) saying churr-OH YASSS.

 

The Naughty Churro

LA/OC

Image: INSTAGRAM – @mocnificent

Who wants to be nice when you can be naughty? Known for churro creations like their beautiful rainbow unicorn-like cotton candy churro ice cream sandwiches, The Naughty Churro adds color, flavor, and flare to a churro sandwich. If you’re feening for something a bit more savory, The Naughty Churro has your back, offering sweet fried chicken in between two churro buns to satisfy your every need. They have recently come up with their sh*ttiest creation; we wouldn’t say that it comes in first place, but it is definitely number 2.

 

The Loop Churros

9729 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA

Image: INSTAGRAM – @shoes_foods_tattoos

Loop, there it is! The Loop Churros add a new twist — or rather, bend — to the churro. The Loop gives you options on how you want your churro, whether you want to dip it in sauces like nutella or tiramisu, glaze it with different flavors like Sprinkle Berry or Matcha Crunch, or chill it in an ice cream combination of goodness. You may not hear about the latest trends and foodie finds, but trust us; you’ll stay in The Loop with these churros.

 

Sweet Daily Cafe

3740 Iowa Ave. Ste 106, Riverside, CA 92507

Image: INSTAGRAM – @cashthetics

You’d think these churros were a Thanksgiving turkey due to the endless options of stuffing. Having only opened earlier in 2016, Sweet Daily Dessert Cafe in Riverside offers drinks, desserts, and of course, churros in all shapes and sizes (and flavors!). For those who wish to balance that sweet and savory taste, the cream cheese stuffed churro might be the safe option, but if you dare, try the churro dog with garlic aioli. Yes, you read this correctly: THE CHURRO DOG IS A THING. The variety of churro desserts and fillings makes us wish we were currently students at UCR – that’s short for University of ChurRos, obviously.

 

Ridges Churro Bar

LA/OC

Image: INSTAGRAM – @tracitrauma

Cereal? Ice cream? Churros? Why not all three! Sometimes, less is more, but in Ridges Churro Bar’s case, MORE IS MORE. Ridges is known for a few of their OG flavors, including Fruity Pebbles, Salted Caramel, Nutella Nut, and Strawberry Cheesecake. Topped with cereal, nuts, chocolate, and more, these churros are stuck into a cup of sweet ice cream for you to enjoy. A churro from Ridges is perfect for the ‘gram — hold the cup in one hand, extend your arm, and take a pic with the other! It’s like it was meant to be.

 

You may have thought that churros were a delicacy found at Costco or Disneyland, but this is a belief of the past. Take a trip to any and all of these churro spots and sink your teeth into something magical and Instagrammable!