Posts for April 24, 2012

Moo: A Brief History of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S.

You won't like us when we're angry.Photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Today, USDA officials confirmed the country's latest instance of mad cow disease. The cow in question was discovered at a rendering facility in central California, and its meat didn't enter into the food chain, and the USDA says we're safe — which is good news for people who buy Steak-umms. So we're probably okay for the time being, since of course this isn't even the first time an infected cow's been found on U.S. soil. Let's take a look back ...

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New Lawsuit Reveals the World’s Grossest Meat Product Is Probably Steak-umms

Um...

And here we thought pink slime was bad. Turns out that stuff pales (heh) in comparison to Steak-umms, which the name alone should tell you is bad news. For the uninitiated, Steak-umms are not dog food, but are instead kind of like a frozen DIY Philly cheesesteak. But in a trademark-infringement suit this week that pitted Steak-umms owners against a South Philly cheesesteak and pizza shop named Steak 'Em Up, the ugly truth of the mass-produced sandwich steak was revealed. And the details are pretty bleak.

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Heart Attack Grill Owner Delighted That Diners Keep Heading to the Hospital

Doing America proud.

Up until now, it's been difficult to believe all that garbage from the self-helpy The Secret claiming that whatever you put out into the universe comes back to you. But strangely, it rings true in Las Vegas, of all places. The local Heart Attack Grill outpost watched another customer go down this weekend from health issues that hit in the middle of their meal, necessitating a trip to the hospital. The trauma follows fast on the thick calves of an incident here in February, where paramedics had to come between a customer and his "Triple Bypass Burger" after he had a heart attack at the restaurant, which promotes pure lard-cooked "flatliner fries" and "Quadruple Bypass Burgers" packing 10,000 calories. Today, the L.A. Times shares a few words from the owner, Joe Basso, who couldn't sound more thrilled about another customer falling unconscious while drinking a margarita and smoking this past Saturday.

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Meet the Multidimensional Drive-Thru of Tomorrow

Not actually the drive-thru of tomorrow.Photo: Christopher Tompkins/iStockphoto

What are the best minds in fast food thinking about? "The drive-thru as an incredible opportunity to innovate," that's what. That's according to a report from Big Red Rooster, which is not itself a fast-food chain, but is a "multidimensional brand experience firm" (rough translation: consultants) that helps fast-food chains, er, we mean "quick-service restaurants," get their act together better. In the scary/fascinating world they conjure up, what is now an "impersonal, drive-around-back experience" could become a multimedia phantasmagoria of sensation and delight guaranteed to increase your loyalty to Scream-a-Burger or Taco Wowzo. Here's how.

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Regal Beagle Rolls Out New, Mediterranean-ish Menus

We just got word that Brookline's Regal Beagle has switched up its springtime menus a bit, adding a Mediterranean twist to their comfy upscale fare. Think: lamb carpaccio with tabouleh, lentil falafel, roasted veggie cassoulet. Thankfully, their Ritz cracker mac-n-cheese remains on the menu, and so do their crab rangoon empanadas.

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Friendly's Won't Become Panera

John Maguire, the freshly minted Friendly's CEO who used to run Panera, won't transform the struggling family chain into beige Wi-Fi huts that sell pricy chicken salad sandwiches. Instead, Maguire wants to make Friendly's great again by playing up its nostalgic, ice-cream parlor roots. Maguire—who is, naturally, a longtime Friendly's patron—wants to focus on "breakfast, hamburgers, and ice cream." Clearly someone was reading Grub Street when we questioned their earlier ideas about iPad ordering, "trendy" decor, and healthy menu options! [Globe, Earlier]

T.W. Food's Tim Wiechmann Will Open Bronwyn in Union Square

Tim Wiechmann, flying devotedly under the radar at T.W. Food in Huron Village, will open a German-Austrian-Northern Italian-inspired restaurant in Union Square. (Is Union Square the new Kendall Square? Possibly.) Chowder has it that chef Wiechmann's new place will be called Bronwyn, after his wife, who graciously handles front-of-house duties at T.W.

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Central Bottle Hosts Bergamot Duo Tonight

Chef Keith Pooler

The lovely Central Bottle wine shop hosts Bergamot chef Keith Pooler and sommelier Kai Gagnon tonight for its 3 Bites / 3 Wines Guest Chef program, a laid-back affair at which neighborhood chefs whip up snacks paired with wine. It's a great way to sample Bergamot's food, and tasty sips, for the modest price of $25.


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Pinkberry Heads to India

Pinkberry, the frozen-yogurt chain that has proven surprisingly resilient, will soon be opening its first location in India, a country that many people say could soon become the world's largest growth market for restaurants. (That honor currently belongs to China.) Nation's Restaurant News says India is the eighteenth country that will house a Pinkberry, which currently has spots in far-flung places like Kuwait and Peru. And would it surprise you to learn that Starbucks is eying India, too? No, we bet it would not. [NRN]

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