You're Eating at a Buffet Wrong

How do you get your money's worth at a buffet? The Food Network is here to tell us how we've been doing it wrong. See, buffet eating is a zero-sum game, and you have to have a proper strategy to win.

(YouTube link)

On the other hand, you can decide that eating out is not a competition, but an experience that you pay to enjoy. If you enjoy the food and the experience, then you've won, no matter where you are. If your local buffet restaurant is full of diners trying to "beat the house," the experience will not be great and the food is probably sub-par. Maybe you should patronize a restaurant that gives you the good experience you are paying for.  -via Boing Boing


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These Restaurants Hook Customers With Their Hilarious Names

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Restaurateurs can get customers to eat at their restaurants by mailing out menus and coupons, making food so good that Yelp reviews and word of mouth bring in the eaters, or they can use a gimmick.

And the most popular gimmick is also the most effective- the funny name.

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Name your restaurant something forgettable like "burger barn" or "chicken shack" and you won't be remembered, but name your Thai restaurant "Thai Tanic" and people will line up to go on a culinary cruise!

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And when a funny name isn't enough capitalize on a pop culture trend, like Hammontree did with their Star Wars-themed grilled cheese sandwich food truck the Grillenium Falcon. If only they'd served up sandwiches shaped like the Millennium Falcon they might still be in business...

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See 17 Of The Most Hilarious Restaurant Names here


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This Pizza Dress is Anything But Cheesy

Believe it or not, costume designer Olivia Mears didn't make this incredible pizza dress as the most incredible prom dress in history. Instead, it was her incredibly impressive contribution to the Domino's Piece of the Pie contest. 

As you can see, she even went so far as to  create a special pizza box throne to rule over her minioins once she wins the contest -at least she's going to stay humble.

Via That's Nerdalicious


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Would You Like Some Black Ice Cream?

If a Unicorn Frappuccino doesn't turn you on, maybe you'd prefer some Goth ice cream from Little Damage Ice Cream Shop in Los Angeles. It's charcoal-almond flavored soft serve ice cream with the black provided by activated charcoal. The cone is black, too. People at Instagram seem to love it, but whether that's because of the flavor or the look isn't quite clear. Go to SomeEcards to see more pictures of the ice cream and what it does to your teeth. -via Boing Boing


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A Pizza Inside A Burger Inside A Pizza?

We've featured a lot of pizza/burger combinations in the past, including a burger made inside a pizza, but this pizza inside a burger inside a pizza might be the pizza/burger mashup to end all others. Like the burger inside the pizza, this outrageous creation is the creation of Hellthy Junk Food and just watching the video might just be enough to make you gain a few pounds.

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Via That's Nerdalicious


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37 Local Food Specialties That You Can Get Delivered Anywhere in the US

No matter where you live, chances are you have at least one favorite place that makes something you could never get anywhere else. Except nowadays, many of these local specialtlies can be shipped anywhere in the US.

Buzzfeed has even taken the time to track down 37 of the most delicious regional specialties from all over the country that you can get delivered to you no matter where you live -like these Duck Fat Caramels by Olive and Sinclair in Tennessee.

While it's not on the list, I might also add Cincinnati's Graeter's Ice Cream, which my wonderful step sister delivers to my dad once a year.

So check out the rest of the delicious local treats over on Buzzfeed


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Does Iceland Really Have the Best Hot Dog in the World?

You may think of hot dogs as a particularly American food (until you recall they were originally frankfurters), but Iceland is very proud of their hot dogs. Both locals and tourists say you must try the hot dogs in Iceland. So Fran Hoepfner and Cameron Scheetz had to go to Iceland to try them out. Well, to be honest, they also went for other reasons, but since airfares to Iceland are pretty cheap right now, why not? Fran says,

It felt weird to prioritize a hot dog, to our credit, a thing I maybe only otherwise prioritize if I’m at a baseball game, but yeah, our final morning of the trip we went to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur—Bæjarins Beztu for short, obviously—which translates to “the best hot dog in town.” It’s just a little stand right in the center of Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, that’s been open since 1937. It’s also not just a tourist trap: The day we went the line was full of a healthy mix of tourists and locals trying to get their dog on.

Read their impressions and review of the famous Icelandic hot dogs at the A.V. Club.

(Image credit: Cameron Scheetz)


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How To Prepare Jake's Perfect Sandwich From Adventure Time

Jake is half dog, half shapeshifter, and he has the magical ability to stretch his body into nearly any shape and size, which means he could devour a Dagwood sandwich better than Scooby Doo if he wanted to.

But Jake's also a dog with refined tastes, so when he crafts a sandwich you can be sure his creation will taste totally mathematical.

(YouTube Link)

So what do you need to make Jake's perfect sandwich? A whole loaf of bread, a sous vide steak, a deboned cornish game hen, bacon, cream cheese, a bunch of other stuff and, most importantly, a lobster's soul.

Andrew Rea isn't the only human who has ever attempted to recreate Jake's perfect sandwich, but the monstrosity he creates on this episode of Binging With Babish actually looks drool worthy!

-Via Laughing Squid


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The 25 Best Food-Related Seinfeld Moments

Seinfeld is famous for being a show about nothing, but ultimately, it's just the opposite -a show about everything. Every stupid thing that could happen in a person's everyday life could happen on screen and that's precisely what made it so magical. And just like in life, food played an important part in some of the show's most memorable moments. 

From Junoir Mints to Kenny Rogers Roasters, all you have to do is say the name of certain foods and the word "Seinfeld" and fans will immediately know what scene you're talking about. If you happen to be one of those fans, you won't want to miss this ranked list of the 25 best food-related moments on the show. Even if you disagree with the rankings (I do), it's still pretty hard not to love all the items on the list itself. 

So check out the whole list here.


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The McDonald's Sauce That Sold for $14,700

Who knew that holding on to your old unused McDonald's sauces was a worthwhile investment? One eBayer sure discovered the perfect time to sell his old Mulan Szechuan Teriyaki Dipping Sauce (available only back in 1998) and he ended up getting $14,700 as a result. Of course, this wasn't just luck -the sauce is more popular now than ever thanks to Rick and Morty's most recent episode that aired on April Fool's Day.

The team that makes the cartoon even made a petition on Change.org to bring back the sauce and it already has 20,000 signatures. It seems not everyone was willing to wait until McDonald's changed their mind and re-release the sauce though, which is why someone was willing to shell out some serious cash to get their hands on the lost sauce. Since that auction closed, another seller has put up a comparatively affordable listing for another package of the sauce that will only set you back $1,000.

Read more about the sale over at Eater or get your hands on one of the sauces at eBay.


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Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks has not formally announced the product, but there have been sightings in the wild of a pink-and-blue-swirled drink called the Unicorn Frappuccino. From the descriptions, this resembles coffee in no way, shape, or form. It's a sweet/sour drink that is supposed to change flavor as you drink it, and from reports, the taste wavers between mango and Skittles. According to Eater, it should be unveiled on Wednesday. Mike Fahey at Kotaku drank one on Sunday and gives us a report.

It’s a cup full of coloring, sour and evil intent. I missed the mango initially due to the color and the somewhat apple-y sour tricking my taste buds into thinking I was drinking something else. Once the sour (mostly) faded, the Unicorn Frappuccino mainly made me wish I’d gotten a straight up mango one instead.

Snopes has some photographs of the ingredients shared by Starbucks employees at reddit, who seem to be as confused about the drink as the rest of us are.


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The 30 Pound Pizza Covered in Tacos and Guacamole

Can't decide between tacos or pizza? Well, if you're in New Jersey, you might want to head to Tony Baloney's in Hoboken where you can get your hands on this amazing taco pizza that weighs 30 pounds and costs $65. 

Unsurprisingly, it was inspired by stoners. As owner Mike Hauke explains, "These kids came in high as hell… stoned out of their minds," Hauke recalls. "They were like, ‘Yo, let me get some tacos.’" Rather than just throw some taco toppings on the pizza, he decided to make a carne asada pizza with tons of tacos and a massive pile of guacamole and sour cream in the middle. The pizza is only available on Taco Tuesday and pre-order is requested.

Via That's Nerdalicious


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Jameson Distillery's Smooth April Fool's Day Prank

On April 1st, 2017 Jameson Irish Whiskey announced they'd discovered a 230-year-old barrel of whiskey during renovations that had been buried in the foundation of their Bow Street distillery.

The whiskey was thought to be pretty special, considering founder John Jameson himself made the barrel out of reclaimed wood from a ship and stashed it for safe keeping.

But alas the barrel contained but one glass of whiskey, since "the angels had taken more than their fair share" over the centuries, and they mistakenly entrusted it to a bumbling fool.

(YouTube Link)

Jameson did a great job of combining an April Fool's Day prank with viral marketing, it's classy and smooth just like Jameson whiskey. *hic*

-Via FIZX


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The Best Thing to Eat at Each MLB Stadium

There was a time where just about every baseball game offered the same food -popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, etc., but nowadays many stadiums offer quality dining options including locations representing some of the best restaurants in the city. In fact, many stadiums are worth visiting if only for the food options and lucky for you, Thrillist has taken the time to compile a list of the best food options at every stadium, like the pictured MVT at the Texas Rangers' Global Life Park which consists of a two-foot long hot dog cooked in a tamale and covered in chili and cheese -it doesn't get much more Texas than that. At my local stadium, Padre's Petco Park, Thrillist recommends the ahi poke tacos, which seem appropriately San Diego as well.

So check out the tasty treats at all the parks over at Thrillist


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Homemade Chocolate Zombunny

Tye Lombardi goes by the name Hellen Die at her cooking blog, the Necro-Nom-Nom-Nomicon. In keeping with the theme of her culinary arts, she has created a zombie Easter bunny! Yes this is really a candy rabbit, even though he's green, only has one eye, and his brain is showing through. Flanking him are cheerful, seasonal brain cupcakes. You can admire her bunny and cupcakes, or make your own, as the instructions are laid out for you at the Necro-Nom-Nom-Nomicon. -Thanks, Tye!


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Strange Food Combos That Are Supposedly Delicious

Food hacks usually sound like an odd yet delicious combination of flavors, and you can tell the combo works just by reading about it, but the strange food combos shared by Cracked readers via Photoplasty sound strange...and scary.

I've tried a few of the combos on their list, like adding banana slices to ham pizza or adding some cinnamon to spaghetti sauce, and these odd flavor mashups just weren't my jam.

But there are some tasty sounding combos on the list that I really want to try now, like sprinkling powdered soup mix on popcorn or adding ground walnuts to mashed potatoes, so it does have merit.

But I'll be honest- I have no intention of adding garlic or onion powder to my coffee, and I'm really scared of what will happen in my mouth if I eat chocolate and kimchi at the same time.

But no matter how horrifying the other combinations may be the MuffinCup will make it all better...

See 17 Hacks That Make Boring Foods Delicious here


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Lessons From Growing Up in the Spice Trade

Caitlin PenzeyMoog grew up in her grandparent's store, The Spice House. Her mother worked there, and so did she, eventually. Of course, this meant her childhood memories are particularly aromatic.   

This is where my grandparents would call my brother, sister, and me back when the rush of customers slowed, to read Gurdjieff out loud or mix cinnamon sugar while reciting the poem “Desiderata.” We’d do this while making a blend, which we’d stir in an enormous metal bowl exactly 111 times. My grandfather would make us pork chops on a George Foreman grill, seasoned with some unknowable pepper mix. The air was perpetually thick with the commingling of hundreds of spices, herbs, sugars, and salts, blending into a distinctive smell that lingered on your clothing and in your hair all day. It formed thick dust motes that floated in the sunlight coming through windows.

You’d think that spending a lot of time here would numb your olfactory senses, but the opposite was true. My nose learned to cut through the background smell to identify specific spices within the store—a good thing when replacing the apothecary jars with their correct lids, which is easily done when you can discern oregano from parsley and garlic from ginger.

From her lifetime of experience, PenzeyMoog offers us some simple advice about using spices, which is almost as interesting as her description of growing up in The Spice Shop.

(Image credit: Lenore Edman)


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Taco Bell Plans to Introduce a Fried Egg Taco Shell

Taco Bell already pulled its much talked about Naked Chicken Chalupa, but it's about to be replaced by a delicious breakfast version -the Naked Breakfast Taco. This outrageous creation features a fried egg taco shell wrapped around bacon or sausage, nacho cheese, a three cheese blend and potatoes. 

If you just can't handle the nakedness, you can at least add a gordita shell to ensure it's fully dressed.

Unfortunately, the Naked Breakfast Taco is still only being tested, so you'll have to head to Flint, Michigan to try it out. In the meanwhile, you can read more about it on Foodbeast.

Via Eater


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A Price Analysis of Restaurant Food

Americans are now spending more at restaurants than they spend at grocery stores. We know that's more expensive, but eating at a restaurant means you save time, don't have to shop, cook, or clean up, and you can eat things that are difficult to prepare at home. Meanwhile, restaurant operators must carefully calculate the price of their meals to cover costs while still attracting diners.

The restaurant business is notoriously tough, and owners have a myriad of costs ranging from health permits to commercial rent. On average, 30% of a restaurants revenues go to labor costs, 30% goes to general overhead, and 30–33% is spent on ingredients. Making a decent profit in the restaurant industry is a high hurdle. As a consumer, when eating out you’re paying for a lot more than just the food; it’s the excellent waitstaff, unique ambiance, convenient location, in addition to the delicious dish that makes for a memorable experience. In order to cover all of these costs and still make a slim profit (generally 3–5%), restaurants need to mark up ingredients on average 300%.

That does not mean that every ingredient has an equal markup. Matt Hawkins did the math to show us the different markups on ingredients that go into foods such as hamburgers, omelets, burritos, pizzas, and other meals we get from restaurants quite often. Note that he uses West Coast prices. See the various comparisons at Plate IQ. -via Metafilter


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Starbucks Japan's New Frappuccino is Basically a Drinkable Cherry Pie

Japan gets all the best fast food twists and now even their Starbucks has heaven in a cup. In this case, it's a pastry shell lid that has to be broken open with a straw, vanilla base (let's face it -that's pretty much ice cream), cherry compote and it's all topped with whipped cream. If you are even in Japan to try it, you have to act fast -it's only going to be around for a month until May 16.

Via That's Nerdalicious


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Succulent Cakes by Ivenoven

A baker in Jakarta, Indonesia, has carved out a distinct place in cake artistry. Ivenoven started baking for other people only three years ago, and now has a bakery business with 12 employees. Although she does make standard cakes with beautiful flowers and other designs, her cakes featuring succulent plants really stand out. They feature a garden of agave, cactus, aloe, hen-n-chicks, and more, all made of buttercream frosting!

 

See more pictures of Ivenonven's creations at Instagram. -via Metafilter


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The McPizza Exists!


Image: Brian Thompson

The Loch Ness monster, Big Foot, McPizza ...

Intrepid searchers have looked for a long time for these mythical things, and thanks to a podcaster named Brian Thompson, we now have proof of the existence of the elusive McDonald's Pizza:

Like many worthwhile quests, Thompson’s started as a late-night joke. “[The demise of McDonald’s pizza] is something I’ve always had in the back of my mind,” he says. “Every few years it would pop up and I would think about it.” One night, discussing the recent wave of true-crime podcasts, he decided it might make a good topic for a satirical investigation. So he opened his laptop, plugged in a microphone, and dialed up his local McDonald’s. The resulting, fruitless calls became Episode 1.

Thirty-four unlikely episodes later, Thompson has chased his titular question through complicated corporate dial-up menus, across gulfs of conflicting information, and finally all the way to Pomeroy, Ohio, one of only two locations in the United States that still has a pizza oven fired up. (The other is in West Virginia.)

Read the rest of the story over at Atlas Obscura.


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Foods You Have to Try When You Visit Disney World

We've already featured some of the best beverages at Disneyland, but you don't just want to drink while you're at the parks, you're also going to need to eat. Fortunately, Travel and Leisure collected 60 of the most incredible foods at Disney World.

Ok, so technically that leaves you with the best food at Disney World and the best drinks at Disneyland, but until we have a list for each of the parks, this at least keeps it fair for people on both coasts. And there is a little crossover, like the turkey legs, Dole Whips and Mickey Pops. 

Even if you can't make it to the park though, you still might want to check out the list just to check out some of the drool-worthy photos of incredible foods. Heck, I kind of want to go to Orlando now just to eat!

So don't miss the full list over on Travel and Leisure


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The Bittersweet Story of Vanilla

Vanilla beans are a lot harder to grow than you'd think. Did you know that the vanilla vine only blooms one day a year? If a vanilla farmer isn't there on the spot to pollinate them by hand (a tricky process), he won't see any vanilla beans. And even if he does, there's a lot of processing to go through before the flavoring is usable. But vanilla is one of the most popular spices in the world, found in at least 18,000 different products. You might be surprised to learn that the majority of the vanilla we consume today doesn't even come from vanilla beans.

In the late 19th century, scientists figured out how to derive vanillin—the dominant compound that gives vanilla its signature aroma—from less expensive sources. These included eugenol (a chemical compound found in clove oil) and lignin, which is found in plants, wood pulp and even cow feces. Today, about 85 percent of vanillin comes from guaiacol that’s synthesized from petrochemicals. This isn’t something many of us realize, because labeling can be confusing.

In short, vanilla is the plant. Vanillin is one of up to 250 chemical compounds that make up the flavor we know as vanilla. The Food and Drug Administration broadly defines “natural flavors” as those derived from “a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material … whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” Artificial flavoring, on the other hand, is defined as being derived from substances outside of those parameters—even if the chemical composition of the two products are similar.

So a product containing "natural" vanilla might come from something other than vanilla beans. However, producing vanilla beans is still a lucrative business. Read about the history and the process of producing vanilla at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: tirados joselito)


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A Guide To Los Angeles' Most Popular Hybrid Foods And Where To Find Them

Los Angeles is a lot like New York in that both cities represent the American melting pot, where people of all races, religions and nationalities coexist and share their culture's wares, fashion and delicious food creations.

This multicultural cohabitation often leads to a sharing of ideas as well, and in L.A. that sharing leads to the creation of amazing hybrid foods, like the Lobster Elote or Clam Chowder Fries.

But there's one big problem for foodies who want to try these fantastic hybrid foods- they're only served at one or two places in town.

The Lobster Elote is sold by the Latin-Asian fusion food truck Dos Chinos, who also have a stall at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana, while Chowder Fries are sold at Slapfish Restaurant locations throughout the city.

And if you're going to drive all over town to try the new hybrid food hotness you've gotta stop by Röckenwagner Bakery, where they're serving up the heavenly Crö-Dough-

Made with Rockenwagner’s croissant dough (the fat content was adjusted to make it crispier), the Crö-Dough is filled with pastry cream, the top is coated in a thick sugar glaze, and there’s even more sugar around the pastry, much like the Cronut. You can pull apart the layers, savoring each one individually, if you can stand it. Most people finish this thing in a couple of bites.

Read Where To Find Clam Chowder Fries, Pizza Dumplings and more Hybrid Foods here


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The Most Important Craft Beers in America

Beer has always played an important role in human history and over the last fifty years or so, the craft beer revolution has changed the face of brewing as we know it. Food and Wine recently compiled a list of the most important craft beers ever made and the list is fascinating because it's not based on taste or popularity, but only on the brew's role in the history of craft beer. Even if you don't actually drink, it's still an interesting look at how brewing has changed over the years.

So check out the full list at Food and Wine


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Fun With A Giant Marshmallow Gummy Bear In A Vacuum Chamber

Playing with your food is fun, but using a vacuum chamber to play with your food means you're using science to play with your food- making it fun for both your brain and your eyeballs!

We've seen how vacuum chambers affect popular marshmallow candies like Peeps, warping them in all kinds of funny ways, but nothing shows the pressures of that vac-cha life quite like a giant marshmallow gummy bear.

(YouTube Link)

The Vacuum Chamber channel created this sweet video so we can see what happens when a poor gummy bear finds itself trapped in a mad food scientist's laboratory.

-Via Laughing Squid


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This Burger Has Pizza for a Bun

We've seen burgers built inside of pizzas and burgers with pizza toppings, but at Los Angeles' new Meathead restaurant, you can instead get a burger with an actual pizza as the bun. While the burger in the picture has all kinds of fancy toppings on it like kimchi and bulgogi, you can get a pizza bun on just about any burger they serve, including more classic meat, cheese and pickle varieties or on monster ones topped with bacon and onion rings.

Via Food Beast


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Bacon Wrapped Fried Pop Tarts

Pop Tarts are a great snack, but there's no denying that they're just missing something to make them the perfect snack. Fortunately, Oh Bite It figured out exactly what they needed -bacon, deep frying and gooey, fresh frosting. 

The recipe is pretty simple -just wrap your Pop Tart in bacon, deep fry it and then add frosting and sprinkles. Check out the full details on their page.


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Chocolate Geode

You may have seen one of the trendy fancy wedding cakes that incorporated a sugar crystal geode, but this goes a step further. Alex Yeatts created what appear to be natural geodes, but they're entirely edible! Just watch him crack open this amethyst:



(Instagram link)

Yeatts worked for six months to perfect his chocolate and candy crystal geodes. See more images of Yeatts' edible geodes at Teen Vogue. -via Metafilter


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