Archive for Food

Nanny State: Mexico bans soda ads – is the US next?


The Daily Beast reports on a BBC story:

After surpassing the U.S. as the most obese country in the world in 2013, Mexico is taking action against ads for high-calorie food and soft drinks. Ads featuring those items will be banned on TV between 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on weekends. The ads will also be restricted in movie theaters. Mexicans, who have the highest rate of diabetes in the world, are also the world’s largest consumers of sugary drinks, with an average of 43 gallons per person a year. The ban comes a year after the government added taxes to high-calorie foods and sugary drinks to combat obesity.

The U.S. has already messed around with print and television ads for different classes of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, so with the current emphasis by liberal nanny-staters, including First Lady Michelle Obama, on obesity I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in the U.S.

Howard County Executive (and candidate for Maryland Lt. Governor) Ken Ulman would probably be all for it after the county enacted a ban on sugary drinks that resulted in vendors not being allowed to sell anything but diet soda at a recent Fourth of July event. Luckily, sanity prevailed and Mike Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks in NYC was struck down in court. DC considered a similar ban.

Billboard calls for banning bacon at Allentown ballpark


The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are a minor league baseball team in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Recently, a billboard with this design appeared in the area:


WFMZ has more:

Bacon is up to bat; the pork product is the topic of a billboard campaign launched in Allentown.

A non-profit says bacon is a foul ball at Coca Cola Park, but IronPigs officials tell 69 News they’re not going down swinging.

The meat has a leading role at Coca-Cola Park with bacon hats, bacon plushies and pins, even bacon scented t-shirts available.

“I think we are glorifying bacon,” laughed IronPigs president and general manager Kurt Landes. “In a fun way, in a very unique goofy way.”

Fans enjoy coming to pig out, but a Washington D.C. based non-profit warns bacon may strike them out.

A billboard just went up along Tilghman Street in Allentown showing slices of bacon inside a pack of cigarettes. The large sign reads, “Keep kids safe, ban bacon from ballparks.”

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the baseball team’s promotion of bacon is excessive.

“This over the top messaging, positive messaging about a really unhealthy food is just not consistent with American values,” explained Dr. Anne Bunner, associate director of clinical research for the group.

Not consistent with American values? What cave has she been living in?

One PCRM doctor wrote a letter to the Mayor of Allentown that said, among other things:

 I’m hoping you will join me in asking the IronPigs to stop glorifying bacon before they strike out members of your community – for good.

A dietitian affiliated with the group sent a letter to the team owners:

As a dietitian who has seen the toll that cancer, heart disease, and diabetes have taken on our country, I’m asking you to stop glorifying bacon before you strike out your fans– for good. Ban the bacon and hit a home run for health.

I knew the IronPigs had been “glorifying bacon”  before with the uniforms and some other things but I had forgotten. I’ll have to go buy some of their items online that glorify bacon and I’ll be sure to get to Allentown for a game as soon as I can. I encourage anyone reading this to do the same. Thanks to PCRM for reminding me to eat more bacon.

Stone Brewing could build East Coast brewery in SC


The State reports that the project would be “massive”:

Stone Brewing Co., based in Escondido, Calif., is looking to locate an East Coast Brewery and beer garden for tourists somewhere east of the Mississippi River, a $31 million investment that calls for nearly 400 employees within five years, making between $12 and $48 an hour. Proposals from interested communities were due about a month ago, according to the company, the 10th largest craft brewer in the United States.

The brewery – which makes such colorful products as Arrogant Bastard Ale and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA – would produce 120,000 barrels of beer the first two years, according to the company’s request for proposals, which is a guideline for communities asking to be considered for the project.

The State‘s article focuses on the proposal for Lexington County near Columbia, South Carolina. Other cities who reportedly are in the running include Myrtle Beach and Charlotte. A company spokeswoman said construction would start in 2014. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens would be a tourist attraction similar to the company’s California locations.

Individual Chick-Fil-A locations have the option to sell fish sandwiches

photo 2

I previously wrote about Chick-Fil-A selling fish sandwiches in selected locations for Lent and I reviewed the sandwich itself. It appeared maybe it was some sort of test marketing scheme for now, but after talking to Chick-Fil-A corporate communications I have something authoritative on where you can get the fish sandwiches and why.

Here’s the explanation:

Your individual restaurants have the option of offering a fish sandwich through April 18.  Since this is an optional menu item, we encourage your [readers] to call their local Chick-fil-A restaurant to see if they are offering the fish sandwich before they visit the store.

My take: you should be sure to go into your local Chick-Fil-A and say you want them to sell fish sandwiches during Lent. You might have to take the extra step of a phone call or email to the local owners and it may be next year before it actually happens.

Review: Chick-Fil-A’s Fish Sandwich


As I wrote earlier this week, Chick-Fil-A now sells fish sandwiches during Lent, but unfortunately it hasn’t gone national yet. It is only available in a limited number of markets. Here in Baltimore this is the first year they’ve sold them.

The sandwich is about the same size as the classic chicken sandwich at CFA. The batter is about the same consistency as the chicken sandwich and it has a slightly spicy undertone to it (nothing that would keep anyone from eating it.) There is the pickle on the bottom bun just like on the chicken version.

It tastes very good. The one I had was very moist. You can get it as an entree or as part of a combo.

I would think maybe they might roll it out nationally by Lent in 2015 or 2016 depending on how this year goes.

Here’s a picture of the sandwich I ate:

photo 2

Chick-Fil-A selling fish sandwiches for Lent


My wife came home from work earlier to report that our local Chick-Fil-A had a sign up saying that for a limited time they would be selling fish sandwiches. Of course, the timing is perfect since Wednesday kicks off Lent with Ash Wednesday. Catholics , and some other Christians, don’t eat meat on Ash Wednesday or on Fridays during Lent (some Catholics still observe the old rules and don’t eat meat on any Friday, Lent or not.)

I couldn’t find much information online to see if this is a chain-wide thing for CFA. However, I’m thinking it might be national, or regionally in certain areas (we’re in Baltimore if you’re a new reader), because I did find this on the website of a Chick-Fil-A in Missouri:

Chick-fil-A Fish Sandwich returns EVERYDAY of Lent

This year not only will we have the Chick-fil-A Fish Sandwich available Fridays but because our guests requested we will have the Fish Sandwich EVERYDAY of the Lent season, March 5th-April 17th.

This isn’t without precedent. McDonald’s added the Filet-O-Fish to the menu after one franchise owner in Ohio experimented with it locally to save his struggling business in an area that was 87% Catholic.

Additionally, you will notice other fast food restaurants either adding or advertising their fish offerings during Lent. Long John Silver’s and other places advertise more and Golden Corral features seafood on their buffet.

This is just another example of a savvy business move by Chick-Fil-A.

Grotto Pizza expanding into Baltimore-Annapolis-Washington area



Grotto Pizza is opening a location in Gambrills, Maryland, in the spring. They already have a location in Ocean City. The Delaware-based chain also has locations in Pennsylvania.

The Baltimore Sun has more:

“We had a very successful opening of a location in Ocean City, Md., two years ago, and we felt that we were ready to expand regionally,” he said. “The logical choice for us in the regional expansion is to go where our summertime customers are, and the summertime customers are all in the Annapolis-Baltimore-D.C. triangle.”

Starbucks getting involved in government shutdown politics on Obama’s side

Sarah Rumpf blogs about an email she got from Starbucks this morning:

Starbucks is playing a risky game wading into such hotly debated political issues, and by parroting Obama’s talking point that the debt ceiling deadline poses an economic threat to America, they’ve failed in their attempt to be bipartisan.

Rumpf also included a screen capture of the email:


Considering Starbucks has already gotten into activism regarding gay marriage and guns, this shouldn’t be a surprise. I don’t generally go for boycotts over companies of politics, but I generally avoid Starbucks (except when I am there for the wifi) because their coffee is just too damn expensive for what it is.

Exclusive: Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, Bonefish Grill and Outback coming to Towson


I have learned the name of three of the four new tenants for Towson Square that will be announced this week. Well-placed sources tell me that Bobby’s Burger Palace (owned by Chef Bobby Flay), Bonefish Grill, and Outback Steakhouse will be coming to the development. There are Bobby’s Burger Palace locations in College Park, Hanover (at the casino), and in DC.

The Baltimore Sun reported on the pending announcements but didn’t have the names of any of the new tenants:

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will join the developers of Towson Square Thursday to announce a new set of four new tenants for the $85 million entertainment complex in downtown Towson.

The Cordish Co. and Heritage Properties development, located on a 4.2 acre parcel between East Joppa Road and Pennsylvania and Virginia avenues, will be anchored by a 15-screen Cinemark movie theater above an 850-space parking lot.

More on Obamacare and Dairy Queen Fry Sauce


After my post the other day (Dairy Queen stops making their own fry sauce and blames Obamacare), I had several people ask me what exactly fry sauce is.

From Wikipedia:

Fry sauce is a regional condiment served with French fries. It is usually a simple combination of one part ketchup and two parts mayonnaise. When spices and other flavorings are added, it is similar to—but thicker and smoother than—traditional Russian dressing and Thousand Island dressing. In the United States, fry sauce is commonly found in restaurants in Utah and Idaho, as well as available by mail-order. Occasionally other ingredients such as barbecue sauce are substituted for ketchup, and other variations (created independently of the Utah version) exist outside of the United States.


The Utah-based Arctic Circle restaurant chain claims to have invented fry sauce around 1948.[1] However, a recipe for Thousand Island dressing dating from 1900 has mayonnaise, ketchup, and pickles as the only ingredients, albeit in a 1:1 ratio.[2] Arctic Circle serves fry sauce in its restaurants in the western United States. Many other fast-food restaurants and family restaurants in the region, such as Carl’s Jr, Crown Burgers, Apollo Burger, Astro Burger and Hires Big H, also offer their own versions of the sauce. Some variations include chopped pickles, chopped onions, and shredded cabbage. Utah franchise locations of McDonald’s also carried fry sauce until 1997. Many other national fast food restaurants in Utah and nearby states serve fry sauce.[citation needed]
In Idaho and the Pacific Northwest, fry sauce is also popular and is found at many local restaurants[3] as well as chains such as Dairy Queen and Sonic.