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America’s top ‘Mexican restaurant’ is … a surprising choice

Taco Bell may have earned a reputation as a restaurant with inexpensive fare and a source of late-night munches, but it also pulled in a new honor: America’s favorite Mexican restaurant. According to the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, Taco Bell edged out Chipotle and Moe’s Southwest Grill for the first time. (The EquiTrend Study, for the record, examines three predictors of in-market performance: brand equity, consumer connection and brand momentum.) Moe’s had the top spot in 2016 and 2017, with Chipotle sitting on top before that. “Taco Bell’s marketing is ubiquitous so it wasn’t surprising to me that they came out on top this year,” Amir Kanpurwala, the director of the survey, told Yahoo Finance. “It’s not so much that Moe’s or Chipotle are falling off the map. Taco Bell has just been a stronger brand as of late, as demonstrated by the strong familiarity and consideration marks.” Some people…

Why you might need to find a new favorite ice cream flavor

Vanilla ice cream is the Old Faithful of the frozen treat world. Not only is it America’s favorite flavor, but it’s an essential part of floats, splits, Blizzards, and apple pie a la mode. So why then, is this beloved summer scoop starting to disappear from shop menus? Reuters reported, a March 2018 cyclone in Madagascar, the country that harvests 80 percent of the world’s vanilla, has damaged plantations. About 30 percent of the crop was estimated to be lost, but the true extent of the damage won’t be known until harvest time in July. A shortage of the popular spice led to a crippling prices last year, and with the new crop damage, those prices are estimated to continue this summer. Costs of vanilla pods have risen by up to 500 percent. The valuable commodity sold for around $20 a kg (about 2 pounds) in 2010, but now goes for around $500 a kg…

6 pickle-flavored foods you wouldn’t expect

You may have heard the old cliche about a pregnant woman craving pickles and ice cream. Well, if they want soft serve, it’s now a reality. The Lucky Pickle Dumpling restaurant in New York City is offering pickle soft serve. According to Time Out New York, the ice cream is infused with cucumber juice to get the sweet-and-salty tasty right. Pickle soft serve ice cream is kind of a big dill! 🤣🍦🥒 #abigdill #kindaofabigdill #sopunny #foodpuns #pickle #picklelover #picklesforthewin #pickleicecream #picklesoftserve #softserveicecream #trendingnow #nyceats #foodgram #foodnetworkfaves #eaaaaats #feedfeed #eatandtell #luckypickledumplingco #oneluckypickle #foodnetworkfaves #fridayvibes A post shared by Vivian Chan (@missvivianwc) on May 11, 2018 at 12:32pm PDT The pickle has seen a renaissance of late, with Sonic rolling out a pickle juice slushie this summer and festivals like the annual Picklesburgh in Pittsburgh. Here are five other interesting combinations with pickle: Pickle pops are taking over the country. Forbes was…

The Scary Truth Behind Processed Cheeses

You’ve probably heard that processed cheeses like Kraft Singles, Velveeta and Cheese Whiz are made of unappetizing things. But what exactly is this scary stuff that goes these molten, melty cheeses of the glowing orange variety? USDA research chemist Michael Tunick was tapped by Tech Insider to sit down and discuss exactly what’s inside those oh-so-unnatural cheeses. He explains, since before WWI, companies have been stretching their cheese supply by grinding up older cheeses and adding them to newer cheeses. The two mix together with an emulsifier to help hold it all together, while also helping it melt really well for the consumer. It’s perfectly legal, as long as their description bears the label  “pasteurized processed cheese spread” or “pasteurized processed cheese product.” So be wary of these terms because they are essentially code for “not actually real cheese.” For some fun history mixed with scary facts, be sure to watch. For healthy alternatives, visit everybodycravespantry.com. https://youtu.be/6d6eUT6YNBk…

Johnny Walker to release new Game of Thrones whiskey this year

Sadly, Game of Thrones isn’t coming back until 2019, but to help you ease your pain, Johnnie Walker is releasing an official Game of Thrones whiskey named, what else, White Walker. Johnnie Walker announced the new release this week with a 20-second video on social media, featuring the same dramatic music G0T fans have come to love along with the punchline, “Scotch is coming.” https://youtu.be/Y5iEYnAQAMM Little else is known about the new beverage. In response to fans requesting more information, the brand simple replied with: “We’re excited to be partnering with HBO on White Walker by Johnnie Walker, which will launch this fall. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months!” No word on what will make it different from regular Johnnie Walker, but according to Forbes, it will hit stores in fall, just in time to keep you warm. This isn’t the first collaboration Game of Thrones paired with a brand…

These are the 100 best brunch spots, according to OpenTable users

Nothing says “I love you Mom” more than a Bloody Mary and eggs benedict. Or maybe the new spring weather has just put some pep in your step and you’re feeling more energized to actually put on pants before noon. Either way, OpenTable is here to help. The restaurant reservation app has rounded up the top 100 brunch spots for 2018. Nearly 45,000 restaurants were considered based off of 12 million customer reviews. The top restaurants were then sorted into different categories like “great for brunch,” for example. From California cool brunch spots to which New York dining destinations, the list includes winners from 24 states plus Washington, D.C. California took the most top spots with 19 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 15, D.C. and Pennsylvania, each with nine a piece. Here are all of the 2018 Best Brunch winners listed by state. California Beachcomber Cafe – Crystal Cove – Newport…

Treat mom to these Mother’s Day restaurant deals and specials

Mother’s Day is the busiest day for dining out, according to the National Restaurant Association, and it makes sense. Mom shouldn’t have to spend her special day in the kitchen. At least one-quarter of the U.S. population, or about 92 million people, went out for a meal in celebration of the holiday last year, and figures are expected to be about the same for 2018. If you’re looking for a few deals — hey, Mom understands the value of money — here are some places offering discounts or Mother’s Day specials. Carraba’s Italian Grill Enjoy a special made-from-scratch Italian Mother’s Day menu beginning May 11 that includes family-style and single serving entree options, as well as dessert. Einstein Bros. The bagel chain is taking pre-orders for heart-shaped bagels in chocolate chip, cranberry or plain flavors. Bagels can be picked up on Mother’s Day. LaMar’s Donuts and Coffee Mother’s receive a free red velvet cake donut…

10 things you should never store in the refrigerator

The fridge is a great place for most fresh ingredients, but there are a few foods that will fare better if left at room temperature on your countertop or in a pantry. The average family of four in America throws out about $1,600 worth of food every year — often because the food wasn’t stored properly for maximum life span. Check out this list to learn how to make the most of some of the most common groceries. 1. Coffee beans If you’re shelling out serious cash on the best coffee beans, you better know how to store them. The National Coffee Association recommends storing beans in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature. Air, moisture, heat and light are all enemies to your beans, so store in a dark and cool location, but never the fridge. Coffee is soft and porous and likes to absorb other flavors around it — in the…

Calorie counts on most fast food menus are now required

You know that fast food is totally terrible for you, but if you had nutrition information in front of your face while you ordered, would you practice some restraint? The next time you head to a Taco Bell or even Coldstone Creamery you’ll be tested. Starting May 7, the Food and Drug Administration will require any food outlet with more than 20 locations to list the calorie counts for each menu item — every restaurant from Auntie Annes to Chick-fil-A, Orange Julius and Panera are affected. And the information won’t be posted exclusively online, or in some dark corner of the restaurant either. The calorie counts will be front and center on the menu, so you won’t be able to throw caution to the wind and order those Doritos Locos Tacos and hope for the best. You’ll know exactly the size of the caloric gut-bomb you’re eating. It’s an Obama-era policy that…

Wisconsin man chows down on his 30,000th McDonald’s Big Mac

A warning for all the fast food lovers out there: this diet is not recommended. A retired Wisconsin prison guard ate his 30,000th Big Mac last week — 46 years after eating his first. WBAY-TV reports that Fond du Lac resident Don Gorske holds the Guinness World Record for eating the most Big Macs. The 64-year-old has eaten at least one Big Mac every day since May 17, 1972. “If I go for 40,000, that’ll take me another 14 years or whatever like that. I don’t think people celebrate 35,000 at all, so we’re probably looking at 14 more years down the road, and I’ll be 78 years old then! So we’ll have to see how I’m doing then, you know?” Gorske told WBAY-TV. Michael “Jim” Delligatti, a Pennsylvania-based McDonald’s franchisee, invented the Big Mac in 1967. Delligatti died in November 2016 at the age of 98. While the Big…