Morality in Media Names Carl's Jr. As One of their "Dirty Dozen" Top Sexual Exploiters for 2015

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Food porn, yes--but porn porn?

That sound you hear is Carl's Jr. founder Carl Karcher rolling over in his grave, gritting his teeth, clenching his bowels and scratching at his coffin, trying to come back from the dead to take back his company.

The famously conservative Karcher spent the last years of his life ashamed of Carl's, which by then had turned over to the bro side with racy ads featuring Paris Hilton and other starlets. It's doubled down ever since, with ad campaigns featuring Kate Upton, that girlfriend of the Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback that Brent Musburger drooled over on national television, and even more starlets. It's reputation is such nowadays that it's the only food company named in Morality in Media's 2015 Dirty Dozen list of who they say are the top sexual exploiters in America.


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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on Why Mexicans Should Learn to Love Hipsters

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From the Lalo Alcaraz Tacos Series...
Lalo nails it as always...

Though the issue of gentrification rears its happy head in various manifestations, the most obvious front is food, battlefield for $17 burritos, "street" tacos and the ever-popular mezcal. I mention most of this in my latest ¡Ask a Mexican! video, which ridicules hipsters but nevertheless urges tolerance for their columbusing ways...HA!


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In Defense of Writing About Street Vendors--And Non-Mexicans Writing About Them

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From Sigmund Krausz's 1896 Street Types of Great American Cities
The OG tamalero, now and forever

SO...there was a bit of controversy in the food world last week after an Eater LA critic reviewed a elotero in Lincoln Heights. Instead of focusing on the actual execution of the article, though, nearly all the criticism focused on the very act of the article--that is, on Eater's reporter even doing the piece in the first place. Oh, how the accusations flew--that writer Lucas Peterson was columbusing, that he was exposing the poor elotero to retribution from the health department (or worse), that Peterson was a dumb hipster gabacho who was adding to the gentrification of LA's Eastside by doing his story.

Oh, it got nasty. And critics--some in the foodie world, others in Chicano yaktivist circles--got it all wrong.


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First-Ever Taco Bell Location May Be Demolished in Downey--DAMNIT!

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The oldie-but-goodie returns!

Preservationists across Southern California are upset over plans to demolish a building in Downey that was the site of the original Taco Bell. The tiny ol' Downey Patriot broke the news, adding that saving the building would be appropriate given the city also hosts the world's oldest continuously operating McDonald's.

I'm actually surprised the multi-billion dollar Bell hasn't bought up this building and turned it into a museum, ala the original Mickey D's in San Bernardino (although that spot is as sad a memorial as you'll ever find). But those preservationists should really be paying attention to San Bernardino and its many Taco Bell treasures.


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We Drink It So You Don't Have To: Absinthe-Flavored Coffee

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Photo by Courtney Hamilton
So friendly looking

On a recent trip to Santa Ana's Cost Plus World Market, I made my way to the back coffee wall, as coffee addicts tend to do. Peeking out at me, beneath the sea of French vanilla and butterscotch-flavored coffee grounds, was a curious dark green package with friendly, if not slightly psychedelic hand-drawn script. The bag read "absinthe flavored ground coffee".

Produced by San Francisco-based Mavericks Coffee, the grounds advertised a litany of botanicals that flavored the beverage -- fennel, wormwood, Angelica, Hyssop and other herbs worthy of a new age, healing crystal shop. Cartooned French gimmicks -- red windmills, the Eiffel Tower, a mustachioed man in a beret -- surrounded by a green haze, covered the packaging. Signs on the shelf read "75% off," making the coffee $2. Bizarre and cheap, how could I not buy the bag.


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This Is Reddit's 20 Most Overrated Foods

Categories: Really?!?!?

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Photo by Michelle Woo
Fun fact, I went to Dominique Ansel's bakery during my recent trip to New York. They were out of Cronuts

I've been known to be a little bit of a hater in my earlier life (Read: last year. For examples, see: From Pancakes to McRibs, the 5 Most Over-Rated Foods Ever, Pliny The Younger Is Overrated, Or: Why I Won't Be Lining Up Next Year, Vietnamese Food is Hip Now (And I Hate That), If You're Still Crazy About Bacon, You're an Embarrassment, and Seriously, Hipster Chefs Really Need to Stop Calling Their Non-Pho Dishes "Pho"). But my disdain isn't anything near random-people-on-the-Internet level. No, for that you have to go to Reddit, and man did they do it.

Here are the 20 foods they think are the most overrated. The average redditor isn't a foodie, so don't expect too much but, hey, it's a pretty good list.

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Crispy M&M's Are Starting to Show Back Up in Stores

Categories: Really?!?!?

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I don't know how I missed this news when it came out in October, but crispy M&M's, the most superior of the m&m flavors, is starting to show back up in stores enroute to a national roll out earlier next year.

I don't know if they're in any Orange County stores yet, but keep on the look out, because these were the candies that were so popular, they got taken off the American market because they cannibalized too much of the original's sales (They've been available in Europe, but reports were they just weren't the same).


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Taco Bell to Open Over 1,000 Restaurants Across the World (Except Mexico)

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Taco Bell is not only the world's largest Mexican-food chain, with nearly 6,000 restaurants in the United States (refry that for a second) and about 200 international outposts, it's about to go even bigger--like, conquer the rest of the world bigger.

Nation's Restaurant News is reporting that the Bell is following on the success of its wildly successful Doritos Loco and breakfast menu and investing in a push to conquer the rest of the world--except Mexico, that is.


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Foie Gras Dinner in LA this Week--With an OC Connection!

Categories: Really?!?!?

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Johannes Dewald
Brasserie Pascal's foie gras two years ago.
No matter where you stand on the issue of foie gras--whether you believe some chefs who think that government should not dictate what we can and cannot eat, or you're on the side of the activists who think gavage, the process of force-feeding birds to make foie gras, is the very definition of cruelty--you can't argue opinion wasn't a side dish to a plate of goose liver when it was banned in California two years ago.

Now we've gotten word that there will be an event in L.A. where foie will be served this Thursday.

We got this e-mail and was invited to share it with you folks:

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Future Restaurateurs: You Can Stop Naming Your Restaurants "Urban" Now

Categories: Really?!?!?

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One of the first Urbanses...
Listen up future restauranteurs and those who would name restaurants: Using the word "Urban" to name your eating establishment is now officially overdone. That is to say: If your first name ain't Keith and you're not a country music star looking to open a rib joint, you might as well as try to come up with something more original than "Urban BBQ".

Here's proof.


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