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White Castle Goers “Crave” Beer & Wine

22 Dec

"Would you like a six pack with that sack of 10?"

I have always thought of White Castle as the kind of place you go after the party. It’s open late so you can swing by on your way home from a night out and hopefully those greasy balls of goodness they call hamburgers will soak up the alcohol and make tomorrow more managable. White Castle sliders are the perfect late night snack: quick, cheap, and delicious . . . and you’re usually too tired to be bothered with things like nutritional value. In fact White Castle so excels in this nitche there’s even a movie about it.

But now a White Castle in Lafayette, IN has decided to serve beer, starting at $3 and wine, for $4.50. They are not the first fast food restaurant in America to offer alcoholic beverages. Earlier this year Burger King opened the Whopper Bar in Miami’s South Beach, offering beer and Starbucks has been testing beer and wine at a few locations on the west coast since 2010. 

Large fast food chains are always looking for opportunities for growth, especially in this more health conscious environment they need to retain and increase sales. So it’s no surprise that White Castle would consider selling alcoholic beverages. So far customers have had a positive reaction in Indiana, but White Castle, like many other fast food chains would probably face challenges trying to sell beer and wine on a wider scale.

Usually fast food places cater a lot to families and small children and a lot of the staff that works at these establishments is under the age of 21. So logistically, there would have to be some re-marketing strategies implemented to help with people’s expectations as well as training staff to serve alcohol. I don’t know how I feel about this new development, but I can see beer and wine being sold at Starbucks before I could see it on the menu next to a Whopper Jr. or a Crave Case.

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So Hungry We Could (Literally) Eat a Horse

8 Dec

Horse meat might become US next product export, Congress lifts ban on horse meat.

Congress recently lifted a ban on the inspection of horse meat for human consumption in the United States, essentially making horse meat eligible as food. The ban was lifted in part because of the recession and the effect it has had on the welfare of horses in this country. Last June there was a federal report stating that animal rights organizations were experiencing a spike in incidents of horse neglect and abandonment since 2007.

Basically as people began to struggle economically and since the maintenance of a horse is a large expense, corners were being cut in terms of horse care and in some cases animals were being inexpertly put down. In some states, data showed that investigations for horse abuse increased more than 60 percent.

Those that would advocate for the humane slaughter of horses for human consumption say that lifting of the ban argue that if slaughterhouses existed for horses, they would be a place where an unwanted animal could be disposed of in a humane way and they would not go to waste. Dave Duquette, president of the nonprofit, pro-slaughter group United Horsemen, said that while no site has been picked yet he’s got investors who have expressed interest in financing a horse meat processing plant. The horse meat industry is apparently big business in Mexico and in Canada and we could see some of that profit.

The last slaughterhouses in the U.S. were in Illinois, were owned by foreign companies and closed in 2007, but Duquette’s plant would be American-owned.  Since horse meat is not a common menu item here in the states, most of the meat would be shipped to countries in Europe and Asia. I know, it kind of makes you think twice about eating meat while travelling abroad.

 Animal rights activists are threatening a massive public outcry anywhere a slaughterhouse may open. Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States predicted, “Local opposition will emerge and you’ll have tremendous controversy over slaughtering Trigger and Mr. Ed.”

But who’s to say that a horse has any more rights than a cow, a chicken, or a pig when it comes to being food for ‘human consumption?’ Who knows, horse meat might be delicious and it’s got protein right? Well as someone who has been dabbling in vegetarianism as of late I’ll pass, but far be it from me to keep the people in France or Japan from satisfying their cravings for horse burgers!

For me it comes down to this: I don’t think that any one animal is “better” than another in terms of which ones are ok to call “food.” Of course I have preferences for which animals constitute food to me, but the world is a big place. There are many different cultures and different resources available to all of us. And telling people what they can and can not eat is in a way like telling them how they can and can not worship.  So since I’m not totally against the idea of eating meat, I guess if people want to eat horses or deer or even cat or dog, that’s their business. But I do believe that no animal (food or not) should be abused or killed in a matter that is inhumane or unprofessionally handled.

What do you guys think?

Food Truck Frenzy, Still Going Strong?

1 Dec
line at food truck

Restaurants are crying that they are losing business to their mobile counterparts, do you eat food from a truck?

Food trucks are such a popular trend that some say they are a real threat to brick-and-mortar restaurants. Here in New York City, I’ve definitely seen a rise in the amount of food trucks taking up space on sidewalks and a growth in the size of the lines waiting at them. But to me, there is something about the idea of eating food cooked outside from ingredients that have been sitting in truck all day that is off-putting. I know that there are no guarantees that a kitchen at a sit down restaurant is any cleaner, but I imagine that it is. And I know that food trucks are convenient, faster, and possibly cheaper than eating at restaurant, but I like sitting down at a table to eat.

However, it seems that there are a lot of people who don’t agree with me. Particularly when it comes to grabbing a quick lunch bite. In San Francisco, “Off The Grid” a convergence of food trucks of a variety of different cuisines, sets up shop in the busy downtown area and neighboring restaurant owners say they’re eating into their lunch business. 

The irony of this is that so many food truck vendors aspire to have more stable roots, as in the form of a brick-and-mortar restaurant but don’t yet have the capital to make the investment. Lots of mobile food vendors who have found success and attracted loyal customers with their trucks end up opening actual sit-down eateries. And for most of them having a permanent location has always been the goal. Food trucks limit chefs in the amount of customers they are able to serve and they don’t have the same ability to be creative that they would in a kitchen. Also a restaurant’s income is less threatened during inclement weather, while the revenue of food trucks can drop 15-20 percent if it rains. Winter is just around the corner too. It will be interesting to see if mobile food vendors and their customers can survive the cold!

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Will Tablets Revolutionize Your Dining Experience?

2 Sep
presto e la carte

Presto E La Carte the new tableside tablet streamlines the dining experience.

Ever since Apple launched the iPad, tablets have been embraced by people of all ages across the country. Even if you’re skeptical of tablets and their practicality, it has been predicted that within eighteen months a tablet could easily make its way into your hands. This prediction, even if you’re not a tablet owner, may be more likely to become true than ever because tablets are poised to become a regular fixture on the tables of your favorite restaurants.


The Presto by E La Carte, a company founded out of MIT, is a new tablet dedicated to the restaurant and hospitality related industries that will allow consumers to order, pay a bill, and even play games right from their table without having to wait for a server. Currently in beta testing in San Francisco and Boston, the Presto reported an increase in the average bill by 10-12% because consumers can easily act on their impulses and sudden cravings as well as a 7 minute decrease off the duration of the average meal, allowing restaurants to turn over tables faster. Other major benefits include an eighteen hour battery life. The cost for each tablet owned by an establishment is estimated at $100 per month.

So far, Presto E La Carte has signed 100 eateries with a waiting list of 150. Co-founder Rajat Suri states within three to five years, you will see this technology on eighty percent of restaurant tables. There are just too many advantages for restaurants not to do it. Suri claims that the tablet will not replace actual wait staff, it is only meant to support them but what effect will the tablets have on diner’s proclivity to tip?

Have you come across the Presto E La Carte during one of your dining experiences? We want to hear your feedback!


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