All Posts By Guest Blogger

What’s the Most-Popular Fast-Food Spot in Your State?

by in News, November 16th, 2016

What’s the Most-Popular Fast-Food Spot in Your State? By Lauren Haslett

You know what kind of fast food you reach for after a late night. But are the rest of the folks in your state on the same page as you? Foursquare Swarm and City Guide apps recently compiled a whole lot of data for us on which fast-food restaurants people in each state of our great nation visit the most. And the results might surprise you.

Nearly 50 percent of states — a whopping 24 of them — prefer Chick-fil-A above all else. West Virginia is among that group, but it’s unique in that it has two top picks: Chick-fil-A and Sheetz. You may not be familiar with Hawaii’s favorite fast-food spot: Zippy’s Makiki, which is a chain based on the islands. Not surprisingly, McDonald’s is well represented, with 17 states liking that spot best. If you want to check out your home state’s favorite fast-food indulgence, just take a closer look at the map above.

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Chefs’ Picks: Favorite Burger Patties in Los Angeles

by in Restaurants, November 13th, 2016

Baadmaash Burger
By Brad Japhe

Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

In addition to movie stars, sunshine and traffic, Los Angeles also offers burgers aplenty. While they never claimed to have invented it, the residents of Southern California have been cultivating a cultish obsession with their burgers for the better part of a century now. As a result, many an Angeleno chef will go aglow when asked to name his or her personal favorite. In this city of millions, it’s fitting that there be nearly as many opinions on the subject as there are chefs. Read on to find out where the pros go to score their perfect patty.
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Which of Your Favorite Starbucks Holiday Beverages Are Back?

by in News, November 3rd, 2016

Which of Your Favorite Starbucks Holiday Beverages Are Back?Every year, Starbucks simultaneously rolls out its signature holiday beverages and introduces a brand-new seasonal cup that they are served in. And this year, for (maybe?) the first time ever, that festive cup is not red but green.

Green is, of course, Starbucks’ signature color, and based on that and the description of the new cup in the recent company press release, it’s evident this new design is pretty personal. The cup shows a single line connecting an array of different people — everyone from coffee farmers to baristas to families — and was designed by Seattle-based artist Shogo Ota. It is also, says Howard Schultz, the company’s chairman and CEO, a design that represents “the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”

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Ballot-Worthy Bites: 11 Election-Themed Dishes and Drinks

by in News, Restaurants, November 1st, 2016

By Patty Lee

It’s been a heated election season, with no shortage of debates, speeches and campaign revelations, and the race to the White House has had everyone talking — including the country’s chefs and bartenders, who are taking politics into the kitchen. From burgers to ice cream to cocktails, check out the creative election-themed specials that bars and restaurants across the country are whipping up. Read more

10 Things I Ate About You: Old Saybrook, Conn.

by in Restaurants, October 31st, 2016

Cioppino from Fresh Salt

By Jennifer Baggett Brennan

10 Things I Ate About You finds 10 enticing bites in smaller cities from coast to coast.

A tiny gem along the Connecticut coastline, Old Saybrook is perfect for travelers craving a weekend getaway without the pretension (or price tag) of other New England favorites. This idyllic spot (and hometown of screen icon Katherine Hepburn) offers sandy shores and sparkling marinas, and its Main Street channels classic Americana. Quaint storefronts stand alongside popular tourist attractions that include the historical James Pharmacy & Soda Fountain (more on that later). When it comes to restaurant options, Old Saybrook actually delivers far more sophisticated fare than its charming small-town appearance may suggest. Thanks to an influx of urbanites from New York City and Boston, the town’s food scene has undergone a renaissance in the past decade, with stepped-up menus featuring fresh seafood recipes, creative farm-to-table meals and more. Here are 10 top dishes to try. Read more

3 of a Kind: Ube Desserts

by in Restaurants, October 5th, 2016

Ube Ice Cream from 2nd City
By Patty Lee

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

With its striking color, a unique flavor and a texture that works in cookies, cakes and other confections, ube — a purple yam native to the Philippines — was destined to become the next dessert sensation. While lavender-hued sweets have recently caught the eye of Instagrammers, the ingredient is more than just a buzzy trend for Filipino chefs. “In any Filipino party, ube would be present at the dessert table alongside leche flan and fruit salad,” says Ginger Lim-Dimapasok, owner of Cafe 86 in Pasadena, Calif. “To those of us who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines, being able to eat ube and to have it be so easily accessible really brings us back to our roots.” As Filipino cuisine rises in popularity, more ube-centric eats are popping up on menus, sometimes in unexpected forms. “It’s inspirational to see how other chefs transform this ingredient very differently from how we’ve always known to eat it growing up,” says Nomad Donuts’ Kristianna Zabala. Here’s how three chefs are currently shining a spotlight on ube.

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3 of a Kind: Creative Croissants

by in Restaurants, September 28th, 2016

Birthday Croissant from Union Fare
By Patty Lee

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Croissant mash-ups soared into the spotlight in 2013, thanks in large part to Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel’s now-famous Cronut. This croissant-doughnut hybrid became such a dessert sensation that it stoked demand for similar creations across the country and beyond. Several years later, the croissant is back in the limelight, but this time chefs are having fun with the humble French pastry in its more classic form. Instead of marrying the buttery, flaky breakfast item to another pastry, the pros are tweaking croissants with cheese, sprinkles and other creative add-ins.

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3 of a Kind: Cooling Port Cocktails

by in Restaurants, July 20th, 2016

Fig and Walnut Julep

By Amanda Marsteller

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

When most people think of port, they picture a cold-weather drink consumed fireside. But Portugal’s sweet fortified wine doesn’t have to be relegated to winter; its complexity is equally enjoyable in summer months. Those signature dark-fruit flavors have been harnessed in classic all-weather cocktails since the 1800s, even making an appearance in Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks (widely regarded as the first American cocktail manual). Port has recently begun experiencing a resurgence in popularity with modern bartenders, who are rediscovering the powerful effects of this potent wine. Bearing hints of chocolate and cinnamon, port adds rich depth to any mixed drink. This season, innovative bartenders are incorporating it into summer sours, tiki drinks and other cooling cocktails.

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Scenes from the Summer Fancy Food Show: A First-Timer’s Take and Tastes

by in Events, June 30th, 2016

Summer Fancy Food ShowBy Karintha Grune

Picture an enormous room filled with a seemingly endless number of products to sample. To your left is a long row of booths with the alluring smell of baked goods. To your right, enthusiastic people are talking about “the next best thing in water consumption.” Straight ahead are smiling faces in green shirts handing out samples of freshly brewed matcha tea. Those were my initial impressions as I walked into my first Summer Fancy Food Show, America’s largest specialty food and beverage show, which was held in New York City this week. Of the 2,550 exhibitors representing the next big products, big companies and big trends, these were three of my favorite.

All About the Alternative Flours
I headed toward some booths offering new substitutions for wheat flour. Bright packages filled with coconut, farro and banana flour began the extended choices of gluten-free and ancient-grain flours. Having never seen banana flour in my local grocery store, I was quickly intrigued. The allure of no longer having to wait for those perfectly ripened bananas before I could bake a delicious bread was a welcomed joy.

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3 of a Kind: Creative Kimchi

by in Restaurants, May 11th, 2016

Blue Duck Tavern

By Amanda Marsteller

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious. 

Kimchi is having a moment: The traditional Korean dish is beloved for its fermented funkiness and the instant dose of umami it adds to any recipe. Though typically made with napa cabbage or daikon, kimchi is getting a creative overhaul in some restaurants. Lately, chefs have been experimenting with alternative kimchi bases — and finding undeniably pungent success.

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