In today's Media Mix, a Brooklyn-themed restaurant in Canada, plus Gordon Ramsay battles the Swedish Chef
A Wendy's employee tried to hide her half-smoked joint in a burger. It didn't work.
Check out these headlines you may have missed.
Beyoncé's Pizza Outfit: The diva/pop star/glamazon/most beautiful woman alive stepped out on the town in a pizza-bedecked ensemble: pizza-printed jacket, pepperoni pants, and nude Louboutins. [BuzzFeed]
Gordon Ramsay vs. Muppets: The British chef was featured on a "Muppisode," where he battles the Swedish Chef in a Food Truck Fight. [Eater]
Wendy's Joint-Topped Burger: A Wendy's employee supposedly smoking weed at work decided to hide her half-smoked joint in a burger meant for a customer. Said customer called the cops and demanded hospitalization, which Wendy's agreed to pay for. [Grub Street]
Canada's 'Brooklyn' Restaurant: Toronto's Brooklyn Tavern gets super hipster, with 20 embroidery hoops used as coat hooks, vintage sconces, an original Porhibition-era arrest warrant, and one friendly ghost. [Braiser]
Lagers Most Popular Beer: A survey found that lagers are the most popular beer in the America, with two-thirds of beer drinkers choosing lagers over pale ales, IPAs, and stouts. Commissioned by Anheuser-Busch, of course. [PR Newswire]
Wendy’s New Breakfast Menu Is Coming Soon — Here’s What You Need to Try
Stay calm, square-shaped burger fans — it’s finally happening.
In case you haven’t heard the good news, Wendy’s is rolling out a full breakfast menu this year. The fast food joint teased its breakfast lineup back in October 2019 and promised a number of mouth-watering new additions, including a Breakfast Baconator. The restaurant has since been hush-hush on when the breakfast menu will unveil nationwide, but at long last we officially have a launch date: March 2.
In true Wendy’s fashion, the fast food company announced its nationwide breakfast rollout on Twitter. “Hey @McDonalds, roast us,” the chain wrote. “Yeah, we wouldn't wake up for your breakfast either. Don’t worry, on 3/2 there will be something worth waking up for.”
Wendy’s also let it slip that in order to differentiate themselves from other fast food breakfast options, each signature breakfast sandwich will be prepared with a fresh, hand-cracked egg.
The full breakfast menu will feature nine sandwiches: three croissant sandwiches (Sausage Egg & Swiss Croissant, Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant, Bacon Egg & Swiss Croissant) three biscuit sandwiches (Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit, Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit) and three classic sandwiches (Breakfast Baconator, Sausage Egg & Cheese Sandwich, Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwich).
It’ll also offer a number of sides, including an Oatmeal Bar, a Honey Butter Biscuit and Seasoned Potatoes. And customers in the South can start their mornings with a Sausage Gravy & Biscuit, Wendy’s portable take on traditional biscuits and gravy. Those looking for a jolt of caffeine can grab a cup of coffee or try one of the chain’s highly anticipated Frosty-ccinos (cold brew mixed with smooth vanilla or chocolate Frosty cream).
So, what should you order when the big day arrives? We’ve got you covered. Wendy’s invited us to a special preview of its new breakfast selection, and although we didn’t have the opportunity to sample the entire menu, we were able to test out a few of its greatest hits.
We took a bite (okay, maybe more than one bite) out of three sandwiches — the Breakfast Baconator, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit and Bacon Egg & Swiss Croissant.
Overall, we were pretty impressed with Wendy’s new breakfast sandwiches. The Bacon Egg & Swiss Croissant and the Breakfast Baconator were topped with a creamy swiss cheese “hollandaise sauce” that was unlike anything we’ve tried for breakfast at a fast food restaurant before. Be warned: The Breakfast Baconator is huge. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of indulging in a hearty burger first thing in the morning, you now have the chance.
Our absolute favorite sandwich of the bunch was the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. It hit all the marks — a juicy white meat chicken breast sandwiched between a flaky buttermilk biscuit. But the real star of this sandwich was the maple-flavored whipped honey butter slathered on the chicken. It added a layer of sweetness on top of the salty chicken, and the honey butter oozed into the crevices of the biscuit, making it moist and soft.
We also added the Seasoned Potatoes to our meal, and, of course, washed it down with two Frosty-ccinos. Yes, two.
The Seasoned Potatoes (which are sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning, minus the sesame seeds and poppy seeds due to seed allergies) were a flavorful and crispy alternative to a hash brown, and the Frosty-ccinos are worth a stop in the morning. The vanilla version looks like any ol’ iced coffee but tasted like rich, coffee ice cream.
Check out the full menu for yourself when it launches nationwide on March 2. Now, if only Wendy’s can find a way for us to have spicy chicken nuggets for breakfast…
22. Sonic Drive-In
A trip to Sonic Drive-In is not a waste of time. They have many yummy items on their menu, from their iconic Cherry Limeade to their fantastic hot dogs. Other great choices include their onion rings and their spicy yet delectable Ched 'R' Peppers.
However, if you're headed to Sonic for a burger, you will have a bad time. A comment on Reddit likened their burgers to cafeteria food — and that's the perfect description. Sonic's burgers are so bland and so forgettable that you will be completely underwhelmed. By the final bite of your burger, you will be angry that you spent your hard-earned dough on something that wasn't any tastier than the mass-produced burger found at the closest elementary school.
If you're visiting Sonic, stick to their famous slushes, their scrumptious ice cream, or simple snack food like the aforementioned hot dogs and onion rings. If you're serious about acquiring a top-of-the-line burger, Sonic is clearly not the place to go.
Believe it or not, Wendy's had a salad bar, called the Superbar, back in the day. But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, all salad bars are gone, and buffets might be a thing of the past. (Still, the Wendy's salad bar was gone long before the pandemic hit, although there are still salads on the Wendy's menu.)
Despite its fun name, the Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty didn't make it in the end. You can still get a chocolate or vanilla frosty, but this flavor is just one of the 15 Discontinued Fast-Food Desserts We Miss.
Your cheeseburger checklist: Dallas and Fort Worth favorites
It was nearly impossibly to cull the list of essential burger joints into 5 or 10 spots, so 15 it is.
Bubba's 33: The sign might also tout pizza and beer, but burgers are one of the biggest stars. The national chain from Kent Taylor, who founded Texas Roadhouse, has a heavy Texas presence, so you're sure to pass by one as you travel the state. Make it a Monday so you can indulge in "Monday Madness" by ordering a so-good-that-condiments-are-an-afterthought single-patty burger with your choice of three toppings for the low price of $6.99. 19089 Interstate 635, Mesquite.
Burger House: This favorite has been serving the Park Cities for more than 65 years. Burger House is a family-friendly place known for thin burger patties and crispy seasoned fries. Get a double double: two patties, two slices of cheese. Original is at 6913 Hillcrest Ave., Dallas others are at 6248 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. (Building C at UT Southwestern Medical School), Dallas and 14248 Marsh Lane, Addison.
Fred’s Texas Cafe: It’s a Fort Worth institution. The FredBurgers and the fries are the things to get here. But we also have to love a restaurant that offers loaded queso and chips as an appetizer. If you’re dining with anyone who doesn’t want a burger, first, why?, and second, point them to Fred’s famous chicken-fried steaks. 915 Currie St., 2730 Western Center and 3509 Blue Bonnet Circle, all in Fort Worth. [COVID-19 update: The Western Center restaurant is the only one open as of May 27, 2020.]
Goff's Hamburgers: Another Park Cities hamburger institution, Goff's boasts nearly 70 years of Dallas history. Its new restaurant is near Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway. It reopened after a fire destroyed the burger joint on Hillcrest Avenue in 2016. 3032 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas.
Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House: This East Dallas restaurant is a hippie-cool spot to eat a great burger and drink local beer. Kids are welcome, too. Branch out from the typical meat-and-cheese burger and you'll be rewarded with a dressed-up version of a classic, like this one: smoked brie, egg and pepper bacon on the East Side burger. 1154 Peavy Road, Dallas.
Hat Creek Burger Company: It’s quickly making its way into Dallas-Fort Worth. North Texas’ first Hat Creek opened in McKinney in November 2017. Since then, restaurants have opened in Frisco, Rowlett, Richardson, Mansfield and more. Interestingly, and unlike most of the other burger joints in North Texas, this restaurant serves breakfast. Find a Hat Creek here.
As social distancing becomes the norm, drive-in businesses experience a boom
Keller's Drive-In: Go back in time at Keller's Drive-In, easily one of Dallas' best longtime restaurants. The late Jack Keller helmed it for years. Pull into the drive-in, hop in the bed of your pickup and order a cheeseburger and a beer, "dressed" (which means covered in salt, with a slice of lime). It's probably not possible to replicate these burgers at home, but here's the recipe if you want to try. 6537 E. Northwest Highway, Dallas.
Kincaid’s Hamburgers: This Fort Worth original started as a small grocery on Camp Bowie Boulevard. Kincaid’s three stores in Fort Worth, plus ones in Southlake and Arlington, all keep the small-town grocery theme, but it’s more for show. The loaded burgers are legendary, especially those loaded “the Cowtown way” with grilled onions and jalapeños. The shakes and fries are top notch, too. But it’s the atmosphere that always wins. Original is at 4901 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth.
Liberty Burger: Pick a city in D-FW and you might find a Liberty Burger there. This burger joint has popped up in Dallas, Addison, Allen and Richardson. Burgers range from The Napa — gorgonzola, arugula, tomatoes, red onions, green olives, basil-garlic aioli — to the South of the Burger — avocado, shredded lettuce, cheddar, tortilla strips, refried beans and pico de gallo. And seriously, you must order a milkshake. Several D-FW locations original is at 5211 Forest Lane, Dallas.
Maple and Motor: Maple and Motor’s website says it celebrates “low-class cool.” And really, this place doesn’t need a website its allure is that it serves a simple, small menu in a no-nonsense setting that most people probably heard about by word of mouth. Pretty much everything here is good. 4810 Maple Ave., Dallas.
Rodeo Goat: While it might be easy to pick a favorite burger at Rodeo Goat, the best idea here is to try one of the specials, which are off-the-menu options that sometimes make it onto the menu permanently when they get enough customer attention. Rodeo Goat is a Fort Worth original, and its Dallas offshoot offers a decidedly relaxed vibe. 2836 Bledsoe St., Fort Worth 1926 Market Center Blvd., Dallas 2095 Summer Lee Drive, Rockwall 641 Powell Lane, Plano and 9610 Wharf Road, Dallas.
Shake Shack: This New York City burger joint’s move into Dallas was one of the beefiest food stories in Dallas in 2016. This is the kind of place where people wait in long lines to order a burger and crinkle-cut fries. Some consider it overhyped, but if they’re bringing their A-game, Shake Shack serves up simple, delicious cheeseburgers. Instagram or it didn’t happen. 8 locations in Dallas, with the newest ones near Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue in Dallas and in Fort Worth’s Mule Alley.
Snuffer's Restaurant and Bar: Snuffer's is as famous for its cheddar fries as it is for its cheeseburgers. Both are great. Look out for deals, like $5 Classic Cheeseburger Tuesdays or $2 domestic draft beers and $3 margaritas during happy hour (weekdays from 3-7 p.m.). Lots of locations in North Texas original is at 3526 Greenville Ave., Dallas.
Twisted Root Burger Co.: Though Twisted Root has grown to nearly two-dozen restaurants in the South, each one feels a little bit different. In addition to serving varieties of beef burgers, Twisted Root also offers buffalo meat and at least one other exotic offering like ostrich. 9 restaurants in North Texas (not including D/FW Airport). [COVID-19 update: All D-FW Twisted Root restaurants appear to be closed right now.]
Wingfield’s Breakfast & Burger: South Oak Cliff restaurant Wingfield’s starts with pancakes in the mornings, then switches over to bacon cheeseburgers at lunchtime. Those with a serious appetite should go for Wingfield’s triple meat burgers. Triple meat! 2615 S. Beckley Ave., Dallas.
Applewood smoked bacon takes a leading role on top of these meaty options — just the name should tell you that — and each burger is paired with just cheese, ketchup, and mayo.
First Impression: Bun, patty, cheese, bacon, patty, cheese, and more bacon — the Baconator seemed like it was designed by a resentful, newly divorced man trying to curse his wife's memory with a poor diet.
I do like lettuce and tomato, so staring this order down was a little nerve-wracking.
Life lessons learned from my teenage tenure at Wendy's
It’s a trope as chewed up and spit out as stale fries: a teenager slingin’ burgers at a fast-food joint. For six memorable summers, I lived the cliché while I worked at a Wendy’s in a delightful haze of grease, Frosty mix and enough burgers to make Wimpy salivate.
My parents’ friends were friends with a married couple who owned a pair of Wendy’s in a seaside Massachusetts tourist town and for reasons that probably wouldn’t pass the mustard that goes on a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger today, they agreed to hire me in 1989, when I was all of 14 years old. I was ecstatic. A kid working in a fast-food restaurant? Pure caloric, acne-inducing bliss.
I rose from mousy youngster clearing trays and cleaning tables in the dining room to fry guy to cashier to crew trainer, becoming a two-time employee of the month along the way, accomplishments that remained on my resumé even after I graduated college.
I did it all: cooked hamburgers, manned the drive-thru, took out trash and even had one very traumatizing encounter with a clogged toilet. I learned about customer service, the importance of being responsible, how to work with others and just how much goes into running a restaurant. Wendy’s marked the first time I truly had to stand up for myself when I asked for a raise (which I got). My fascination with franchising, one that has twice taken me down exploratory trips to possibly open my own eatery, was borne out of my time there.
It’s easy to create the narrative that I was a teenager earning extra spending cash and socking money away for the future, but there is so much more to the experience that I still carry today. My father taught me there's no shame in making an honest living and I got to see that wisdom play out in real life before my very eyes. It’s a lesson I intend to pass on to my own kids.
I was working with a wide range of adults who really needed that money to make rent and take care of their children. Some had had run-ins with the law, some had struggled with addiction and some were uneducated. No matter — my respect and appreciation for hard work was forged in those days.
The owners impeccably ran this franchise with precision, but the turnover rate, like many fast-food restaurants, was high, and every summer new faces lined the roster of employees.
There was an older man with a developmental disability who cleaned the dining room. There was a lanky, salt-and-pepper-haired man with a ponytail who looked like he answered a casting call for “guy who never left Woodstock.” There were multiple Brazilian immigrants who came to America in search of a better life. There were scores of Irish exchange students, including one I had a massive crush on. There was Michael Arcebuche, a friendly teen a year older than me who now works as a pilot for a cargo company. He landed his job at Wendy’s a month after arriving in the United States from the Philippines. All opened up a world to me I had not known existed.
“What I really remember is a lot — including me, I would say — a lot of people that worked there from different countries, different cultures. I learned a lot from that,” Arcebuche told me during a call about our experiences.
Employees were issued two shirts, one pair of sandpaper-grade navy pants, an apron, a name tag, a visor and a pair of black sneakers that made orthopedic shoes look suave. Employees earned pins for good performance and achieving benchmarks they wore on their apron or hat, “flair” before it became an “Office Space” buzzword.
My cologne of choice those summers? Grease. I couldn’t get the stench of it off of me fast enough after coming home and jumping in the shower each day.
My memories of Wendy’s are piled higher than the fixings on the rarely ordered triple. The chain’s late founder, Dave Thomas, visited our store one summer and I got to meet him, which, to this day, serves as good conversation at cocktail parties. His book was distributed to employees and I enthusiastically read it, my interest in fast food growing.
The customers ran the gamut from the friendly to the weird. I created a backstory for the elderly woman who ordered the same thing every single day one summer. There was the man who slammed a Chicken Cordon Bleu on the counter and screamed about a refund. To this day, I laugh at the thought of the guy who pulled up to the drive-thru late one night and very matter-of-factly said, “Gimme a large f------ chili.”
Copycat Wendy’s Low Carb Recipes
Looking for dupes of your favorite high carb Wendy’s orders? I’ve got you! Here are some burger joint classics you can make from the comfort of your own home:
- Low Carb Milkshake. Think of this as a low carb version of the Frosty you’ve been missing.
- Low Carb Hamburger Buns. These buns look gooood on all burger recipes.
- Low Carb French Fries. Our 3 favorite fry variations.
- Low Carb Fried Chicken. Use this to make a fried chicken sandwich!
Gordon Ramsay's New London Restaurant Will Have A Burger That Costs $106
Get ready to empty out those pockets if you're planning to head to Gordon Ramsay's new London restaurant, y'all, because the celebrity chef is definitely planning to deliver the "wow factor" when it comes to his latest creation.
Revving up for his December opening of the London location of his Las Vegas-based restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Burger, the Michelin-starred chef is turning heads for its menu lineup but it's not because everything sounds so good. It's because there's one particular item that's priced oddly high: a $106 burger. Yikes.
Though a burger priced that high seems a bit absurd to most, Ramsay, however, believes that it will be well worth the price tag. Located inside Harrods department store, the burger joint's promises that these won't be "your average quarter-pounders," according to the website. So, what makes it so tantalizing, you ask? Apparently, the burger&mdashnamed the Wagyu burger&mdashwill reportedly feature an exquisite lineup of 100% UK heritage beef patty, seared Wagyu sirloin, fresh black truffles, and truffle Pecorino cheese. Just keep in mind though, fries are sold separately (sorry, friends).
While the reactions to the burgers have been very mixed, Ramsay stands on the creation being more than what you imagined.
"I promise you will never have tasted anything quite as delicious as the amazing burgers at Gordon Ramsay Burger," Ramsay told Hot Dinners. "I've been perfecting burgers for years in America and now, at Harrods, we are taking it to the next level."
Expensive burgers aren't the only thing on the Gordon Ramsay's Burger menu, however, If you want to save a little (and I do mean little) bit of money, you can opt for the cheaper options like the spicy Hell's Kitchen burger with jalapeno aioli and mozzarella cheese ($33) or the American burger made with classic fixings and American cheese ($28). There's also a $56 lobster-and-shrimp burger equipped with a pan-seared lobster and rock shrimp patty.
So if getting a combo meal instead of 2 for $4 option from Wendy's is as far as you'd like to go when it comes to "burger splurging," then you may just want to wait until there's a dupe that comes out on YouTube.