Elie Ayrouth Is Mr. Foodbeast, Head of the Craziest Food Website Around

Photo by John Gilhooley
Ask him about his boxers...

One day in 2010, Elie Ayrouth received a tweet with a location. A reader of his website had located the thing he'd been searching for: Carl's Jr.'s footlong cheeseburger. Rumors about the mystical monstrosity had existed on the Internet for years, and Ayrouth wanted to find out for his fans whether it was true. Armed with a camera and notepad, he rushed to the restaurant address in Santa Ana, ordered the item, and then marveled as it landed on his plastic tray. The burger wasn't very good, but the quest solidified what Ayrouth's humble site, Foodbeast, was becoming--a go-to source for all things new and share-worthy in the foodie universe.

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Couple Emerge from Joe's Crab Shack to Get Car from Valet and Find It was Given Away: VIDEO

Photo by flickr user Roel Wijnants
First the car, now the sign!
A couple and a parking service are apparently at odds over who is responsible for the company's valet giving the pair's 2014 Mazda CX-9 to a stranger with no ticket outside the Joe's Crab Shack entrance in Newport Beach.

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Natural Products Expo West 2015: What's In (Oil Pulling), What's Out (Paleo Everything)

Categories: Really?!?!?

Photo by the Glutster
The beginning of the madness...

Check out our photo slideshow of the Natural Producs Expo West 2015 here!

If traffic was a little crazier than usual in your commute through Anaheim over the weekend, it's because it was about that time of the year again when the city becomes the world's epicenter for health foods. The 34th annual Natural Products Expo West took place at the Anaheim Convention Center, and it was as crowded and congested as ever--Around 67,041 out-of-town registered attendees, to be exact. This year's event was bigger than last year, and at least twice the size of the year before that--and there's no sign of it slowing down.

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Ramen Eggs Benedict Debuts in Orange County!

Categories: Really?!?!?

Courtesy of Oudon
Ramen burgers? So 2013. This year is all about the ramen eggs benedict, the brainchild of Japanese noodle house Oudon in Fountain Valley. It sold out the first day--CRAZY!!!

You could probably envision it already: a bed of ramen buns (in place of English muffins) with traditional poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on top. But expect more Japanese elements: seaweed, lime, red ginger, and green onions are free topping options, and for additional charge, you can add chashu (pork), lamp fish caviar, fried garlic and onions, truffle salt, and a choice of spicy or teriyaki sauce. Interesting...

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There's a Restaurant in Kentucky that Sells a $38 Bowl of Pho

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Photo by Das Ubergeek
Not the $38 pho bowl in question, but rather a bowl from Pho 86

Last week, the chica and I were in Kentucky for...something. We spent most of our time in Louisville, a charming-as-hell city with a vibrant, rising dining scene. It's also the home to two iconic hotels, the Seelbach (where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a bunch of The Great Gatsby), and the Brown Hotel, home to that edible pillow known as the Hot Brown Sandwich.

Both hotels have fabulous, iconic bars (and the Seelbach is the birthplace of its namesake bourbon-and-champagne cocktail), although we found ourselves more at the Brown due to its superior bourbon selection. And in one of my drunken stupors, I made my way to its English Grill, its high-dining restaurant. I was expecting to find refined takes on Bluegrass State classic meals like burgoo or Benedictine; instead I found a bowl of pho. For $38.


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Chipotle Finally Gets Hispanic Authors for their Stories-on-a-Cup Series...and None are Mexican

No nopales yet

Okay, haters: go for it. Go on and rant that the anger that Chicano authors and I have for Chipotle after they announced the latest batch of authors for their "Cultivating Thought" series is laughable. That we should rejoice that the series included Hispanic authors this time, from Brazilian self-empowerment guru Paulo Coelho to Dominican writer Julia Alvarez to Spaniard Carlos Ruíz Zafón. That we should thank Chipotle for including diverse voices after the travesty of last time, shut up, and get on with our lives. Actually, that we should get lives, period, and go bend a taco or something.

But the fact remains: when curating author Jonathan Safran Foer had another chance to expose hipster America to Chicano or Mexican authors, he chose not to. And the question must be asked: why?

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UCI Scientists (And One Aussie), Discover a Way to Unboil Eggs

Photo by Edsel Little
Doesn't this look delicious?

Overcooked boiled eggs are horrible. The whites get rubbery, the yolk develops that little green sulfur ring, everything smells off, don't you wish you could just.. unboil them sometimes? No? Okay, good, because despite what the headline says, you still can't actually unboil eggs.

What's really cool though, is that a team of scientists at UC Irvine have now developed a way to re-nature (nature? un-de-nature?) proteins that have folded incorrectly so they can be reused. How'd they test their process out? By renaturing an egg protein that had been cooked for 20 minutes in near boiling water.

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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

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

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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