Restaurants from NYC to small-town Texas are shifting to plant-based menus - and customers can't get enough
While some restaurants just tried to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, others used the time to trade meat and dairy for fully plant-based menus.Eleven Madison Park isn't the only restaurant to emerge post-pandemic as plant-based. In places you might least expect, chefs and restaurant owners have used pandemic closures as an opportunity to reinvent their businesses to reflect their own values - as well as not only meeting plant-focused customer demand, but driving it.
© Rachel Askinasi/Insider Bojangles is now serving a new fried-chicken sandwich. Rachel Askinasi/Insider
- Bojangles launched a new fried-chicken sandwich on Monday.
- The Southern chain brought a truck to New York City so non-Southerners could have a taste.
- I tried the sandwich and think it's one of the best I've ever had.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
The regional fast-food chain Bojangles has always been known for its chicken, but it's reinventing itself with a new fried-chicken sandwich.
I've heard of the Bojangles fast-food restaurant before, but never tried it out for myself. The chain is currently in 14 states plus Washington, DC, and none of those states are in the Northeast, where I live.
A taco a day? Taco Bell tests a budget-friendly subscription
How's a taco a day sound? Taco Bell is testing a Taco Lover's Pass in Arizona that will give devotees a taco a day for a low flat fee — no other purchase required.Related: Live Más: Spicy Secrets Behind Taco Bell's Success
I've embarked on a quest to try as many fast-food fried chicken sandwiches as possible, so when I heard that Bojangles was bringing its new $4 menu item to New York for two days, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
The truck, parked in Times Square for two days in July, offered free Bo's Chicken Sandwiches to anyone who walked by. (I got my sandwich delivered downtown as part of press outreach.) © Rachel Askinasi/Insider The pickles and sauce were exclusively on top of the fried fillet. Rachel Askinasi/Insider
When I first opened the box, I was impressed. The sandwich was reasonably large without being overwhelming and looked like I could comfortably bite into it.
Gallery: I tried Chicago's famous deep dish pizza for the first time and was not impressed (INSIDER)
Batch-cooking hacks to save you time
We all need a few batch-cook recipes to fall back on when life gets hectic. And with a little forward planning, it's easy to prepare food that stretches beyond just one meal. You'll save money, reduce waste and be ahead for busy days. Our top tips and ideas will make the process easier and more efficient, from how to make the most of your freezer space to base recipes for several different meals and what dishes won't keep well. Read on and be inspired!
I tried Chicago's famous deep dish pizza for the first time and was not impressed
- As born and bred New Yorker, I tried Chicago's deep dish pizza for the first time.
- I went to the famous Lou Malnati's in Chicago and was surprised to find it was a chain restaurant.
- The crust of the deep dish pizza was tasty, but the sauce and cheese left a lot to be desired.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Read the original article on Insider
When I traveled to Chicago for the first time a few weeks ago, I knew I had to try the city's famous deep dish pizza.
As a New Yorker, I grew up eating countless cheese slices, Sicilian slices, and margarita pies at pizzerias all over the city and Long Island.
However, nowhere in New York could I get a proper deep dish pizza, so on a recent trip to Chicago, I decided to get my hands on the famous Midwestern pizza.
We wish these fast food chains hadn't closed
It’s bittersweet to reminisce about the places we have fond memories of, the Howard Johnson’s from your annual summer vacation or the Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour where you always celebrated birthdays, that eventually had to close because they couldn’t keep up with competition and changing tastes. But here we are anyway, taking a nostalgic look at the places we once loved which are now lost.
While exploring Chicago, locals told me I had to visit several deep dish restaurants in the city.
Everyone I spoke to had a different opinion. Some said I had to try Lou Malnati's, while others said UNO had the best deep dish. The city also has Gino's East and Giordano's, which both are supposed to make great pizza as well.
After doing some research, I decided to try Lou Malnati's deep dish because it had several locations throughout the city.
I arrived at the Lou Malnati's near the Magnificent Mile and was surprised to find it located in an elaborate building.
Some of the best pizzas in New York are located in small, hole-in-the-wall shops, so I was surprised to see Lou Malnati's located in such a beautiful location.
Lou Malnati's even had a gift shop.
If so many locals didn't recommend Lou Malnati's to me, I would have thought I made a mistake and ended up in a tourist trap.
When I sat down at my table, I first ordered the garlic bread, which was delicious.
The garlic bread had the right amount of tangy flavor and moist goodness, while the sauce was perfectly seasoned and delicious.
This appetizer got me excited for the deep dish pizza.
I ordered the personal-size deep dish pizza and thought it was perfect for just one person.
The deep dish cheese pizza came in four sizes, but I chose the personal, which cost $10.
When I took my first bite of the pizza, I loved the crunchiness of the crust, but something was lacking.
The crust was buttery, crispy, and flavorful, but the tastiness of the pizza stopped there.
The crust certainly was deep but the sauce and cheese fell flat.
The sauce had large chunks of tomatoes, which I hate, and it wasn't as flavorful as the dipping sauce that was paired with the garlic bread. Natalie Levy, the pubic relations manager at Lou Malnati's, told me the restaurant's sauce is sweeter than most and that they do offer a chunk-less sauce option.
I tried Bojangles' new fried-chicken sandwich, and it's better than any other fast-food joint's attempt at the menu item
Delicata squash is an heirloom winter squash with skin that is tender enough to eat. Preparing a delicata squash recipe is easier than you may think. Get our favorite recipes and simplest preparation methods.
As for the cheese, it tasted like packaged string cheese to me and left a lot to be desired. But Levy said the cheese is a special blend of mozzarella and Wisconsin that "millions of people love it every year."
"We take a lot of pride in our ingredients, and the quality is important to us," Levy said. "That's one of our most important values."
I also noticed that the bun looked just like the one used by McDonald's. But thankfully, it tasted much fresher than the nationwide chain's. I got the same notes of sweetness without any of the soggy density I experienced with McDonald's bun. © Rachel Askinasi/Insider There's a visible thin layer of marinade between the chicken fillet and the fried coating. Rachel Askinasi/Insider
As soon as I took my first bite, I knew this was one of the better fried-chicken sandwiches I've eaten. The coating was crunchy and flavorful, the chicken was moist and juicy, and the pickles were perfectly sized and added just the right amount of briny acidity.
There was a spicy element to the sandwich, too, which came from within. Instead of a spicy sauce or glaze, the chicken was marinated in something that gave off a hot-pepper-sauce-esque heat. It was well-balanced and the best use of flavor I've seen in a fast-food fried-chicken sandwich.
The soft, sweet bun was a great vehicle for the spice, and both mayo and pickles complemented the flavors as well.
While the bun is lightly buttered, my hands weren't greasy at all after gripping it directly, which is a huge plus and something that stood out after having severely buttery hands while tasting the sandwiches from other chains. © Rachel Askinasi/Insider I couldn't believe I've been missing out on this chain. Rachel Askinasi/Insider
Overall, I was both impressed and saddened - impressed by how crunchy and flavorful this sandwich was, and saddened that I knew I wouldn't get to eat it again anytime soon.
But I know that the next time I'm within a few minutes of a Bojangles, I'm taking advantage and placing an order.
Read the original article on Insider
See tourists wade through Venice's flooded squares and cafes as 'acqua alta' tides hit again .
Each year, Venice transforms from "the floating city" to a sinking city as unusually high tides flood popular tourist destinations.