The Popeyes fried chicken sandwich that kicked off last summer’s Great Fried Chicken Sandwich Wars returned on Sunday. And judging by my experience in getting one, the buzz around the sandwich is back, too. Popeyes announced the sandwich’s return last week, in time for National Sandwich Day. The signs were up, but there was no sign of the sandwich.
“Sunday at 10 am sharp,” the counter clerk told me, via the drive-thru intercom. “You better get here early.”
I hadn’t been planning to be there at the opening bell, but I woke up in time, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time. So, I bundled my 91-year-old aunt, Maxine Clapper, into my Prius and set off.
The scene. We arrived at 9:50 am to find a knot of people waiting outside the door, and 14 cars in the drive-thru and the parking lot. We were car No. 11 in the drive-thru.
But at 10 am, we were told there was a delay. The restaurant would open at 11 am, despite the instructions we were given and the hours posted on the door .
The delay wasn’t explained, but the restaurant then posted “cash only” signs which made me think it might have been a credit card processing issue.
The wait. We contemplated leaving, but decided to stay. Around us, others stayed, too, including the group at the door. A manager eventually came out and gave those people numbers so they could go wait in their cars in the 37F cold.
As the 10 am hour ticked by, more people arrived. The drive-thru line re-formed, and eventually, it stretched down the side of the restaurant, through the parking lot, past the front of the restaurant and onto the road outside.
They were determined to get one this time. And after the restaurant doors finally opened at 11 am, the first customers emerged, holding their Popeyes bags high in victory.
It took us about 25 minutes to get up to the drive-thru window and collect our sandwiches. We pulled into a parking lot space, and opened the bag. On Friday, I stopped by my local Popeyes near Ann Arbor, Mich., just to see if it had arrived early.
The sandwich. This iteration of the Popeyes fried chicken sandwich seems identical to the previous version. For $3.99, you get a generous portion of fried chicken breast, a dollop of mayo, two pickles and a soft bun.
If anything, the chicken was even more moist than last time, perhaps because it was prepared in the morning rather than afternoon.
And the pickles seemed thicker, almost a little too thick for a sandwich. We both took them off the sandwich and ate them as a side dish.
Since I’d tried it before, I was curious what Maxine thought of it.
She pronounced it “good,” her all-purpose compliment for something she enjoys eating, and said she would have one again if I brought it home to her. (She’s not from the eat-in-your-car generation, which is understandable.)
She was unable to finish her sandwich, which seems a little large for elderly appetites. Popeyes would do just fine if it made a chicken sandwich slider.
The buzz. A huge advantage to this Popeyes launch, of course, is that it took place on Sunday, when its main rival, Chick-fil-A is closed, and something Popeyes touted in its run up to the chicken sandwich’s return.
That Sunday availability is likely to result in a big launch day.
As we drove off, I counted 25 cars waiting in the drive-thru line, and the parking lot was nearly full. I asked the counter clerk how many she thought they would serve, and she estimated it would be more than 100.
Based on the early demand, they most likely sold them all by the end of the lunch hour.
Business may not keep up at that rate, and Popeyes might not get the massive marketing boost that the chicken sandwich generated last time.
But at least for now, it has successfully fired its second shot.
I’m an alumni of the New York Times and NPR. I learned to cook from my mom, and studied with Patricia Wells and at Le Cordon Bleu. E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: @mickimaynard I: @michelinemaynard Sorry, I don’t honor embargoes.
Fall is peak foodie season—and packed with great culinary events, from coast to coast. If you’re hungry for a culinary adventure this autumn, try these standout food festivals. They’re as fun as they are delicious.
The South Beach Seafood Festival is much like the Miami neighborhood that gives it its name: chic, glossy and very VIP.
This weeklong event includes ticketed dinners where cutting-edge chefs do their stuff in exclusive locations.
Star chefs doing innovative things with expensive ingredients is a big part of the event. But there are still plenty of affordable, family-friendly activities to enjoy.
Pop-up cafes will serve great inexpensive food in the balmy air. DJs will spin music. And the Milam’s Markets Culinary Showcase Kitchen will feature live cooking demos, so attendees can sharpen their kitchen skills.
People in Arkansas take their cornbread seriously.
That’s all to the culinary benefit of visitors to this late-October event in Little Rock’s fashionable SoMa district.
But great cornbread isn’t all there is here. There’s also live music and artisan booths, heaps of Southern cooking besides cornpone and lots of debate about those eternal cornbread questions: White flower or yellow? Sugar or no sugar? Baking pan or cast-iron skillet?
The festival peaks with a cornbread baking competition that Southern foodies take very seriously. Festival attendees get to vote for the winner, so get ready to sample lots of the big-flavored golden stuff that gives this event its reason for being.
Just shy of Wisconsin’s northern border, the small town of Eagle River celebrates one of autumn’s quintessential foods. More than 40,000 visitors buy 10,000-plus pounds of fresh and dried cranberries there each October. Impressive for a town with a population of 1,500.
The event is both culinary and educational. Sure, visitors will get their fill of cranberry pancakes, cranberry sausages, hot cranapple cider and shredded cranberry pork sandwiches. But they can also tour the local cranberry marsh to learn about the role that this tiny red fruit has played in Eagle River’s economy and culture over the centuries.
And to round out a long weekend of fun, there’s an art show, an antiques market and live entertainment.
A big festival in a small town is great. But a small festival in a big city can be just as delicious.
Each October, New York City’s Lower East Side celebrates its immigrant history with Pickle Day. In a nod to the neighborhood’s long-ago pushcart market, vendors line three city blocks with pickled everything, courtesy of local restaurants and other picklers.
There’s also live music, face painting, carnival games and a giant talking pickle.
If you don’t actually make it to lower Manhattan to give pickled watermelon, kimchi or good ol’ pickle-on-a-stick a whirl, you can still get in on the fun. The festival sells whimsical Pickle Day merchandise online. It’s perfect for pickle enthusiasts everywhere.
Don’t worry. There’s no actual roadkill at this festival. But if it was called the “West Virginia Wild Game Cook-off,” it just wouldn’t be as fun.
And fun is at the heart of this quirky event in the tiny town of Marlinton, West Virginia. At the end of each September, inventive chefs assemble here from all over the country.
They join locals in taking a gourmet approach to ingredients ranging from the humble—like squirrel, deer and rabbit—to the exotic—think iguana, snapping turtle and wild boar.
In addition to the chance to try once-in-a-lifetime dishes like squirrel gravy over biscuits and teriyaki-marinated bear, visitors get to enjoy a bit of true Americana. Come for the rabbit Alfredo, stay for the square dancing and Miss Roadkill contest.
Ready to taste your way through fall? With these mouthwatering food festivals on your calendar, this could be your most appetizing autumn yet.
A former downtown development professional, Natalie Burg is a freelancer who writes about growth, entrepreneurialism and innovation.
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Every year a new batch of diets become trendy. In the past, the blood group, ketogenic, Pioppi and gluten-free diets were among the most popular. These have made way for the mono diet, charcoal detox, Noom, time-restricted feeding and Fast800.
So what are these new diets and is there any scientific evidence to support them?
The monotrophic or mono diet limits food intake to just one food group such as meat or fruit, or one individual food like potato or chicken, each day.
The mono diet has no scientific basis and no research has been done on it. It’s definitely a fad and should not be followed.
It leads to weight loss because your food intake is so limited (one food per day) that you get sick of that food very quickly and so automatically achieve a reduced kilojoule intake.
If you ate three apples at each main meal and had another three as between-meal snacks then your total kilojoule intake from the 12 apples would be about 4,000 kilojoules (950 calories).
The mono diet is nutritionally inadequate. The nutrients most deficient will depend on the individual foods consumed, but if you follow the mono diet long term, you would eventually develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
2. Charcoal detox
The charcoal detox diet claims to help people lose weight by “detoxing” them. It involves periods of fasting and consumption of tea or juice drinks that contain charcoal.
It is definitely not recommended.
Medical professionals use activated charcoal to treat patients who have been poisoned or have overdosed on specific medications. Charcoal can bind to some compounds and remove them from the body.
There is no scientific evidence to support the use of charcoal as a weight loss strategy.
Charcoal detox plans also include dietary restrictions or fasts, so people might lose weight because they’re consuming fewer kilojoules.
Charcoal is not selective. It can bind to some medications and nutrients, as well as toxic substances, so there is the potential for charcoal to trigger nutrient deficiencies and/or make some medications less effective.
The Noom diet isn’t actually a diet at all. It is a smartphone app called Noom Coach that focuses on behaviour change techniques to assist with weight loss. It allows users to monitor their eating and physical activity, and provides support and feedback.
The Noom diet does not provide a diet plan, but it gets users to record within the app, all foods and drinks consumed. It then uses a traffic light system (red, yellow, green) to indicate how healthy the foods are.
One advantage of Noom is that is doesn’t eliminate any foods or food groups, and it encourages healthy lifestyle behaviour change to assist with weight loss.
A disadvantage is that while you can download the app for a free short-term trial, membership is about A$50 per month for four months. And additional services cost extra. So consider whether this approach suits your budget.
Time-restricted feeding is a type of intermittent fast that involves restricting the time of day that you are “allowed” to eat. This typically means eating in a window lasting four to ten hours.
While energy-restriction during this period is not a specific recommendation, it happens as a consequence of eating only during a shorter period of time than usual.
The difference between time-restricted feeding compared to other intermittent fasting strategies is that recent research suggests some metabolic benefits are initiated following a fasting period that lasts for 16 hours, as opposed to a typical overnight fast of ten to 12 hours.
Further research is required to determine whether any health effects of time-restricted feeding are due to regular 16-hour fasting periods, or simply because eating over a small time window reduces energy intake.
If this approach helps you get started on a healthy lifestyle and your GP gives you the all clear, then try it. You will need to follow up with some permanent changes to your lifestyle so your food and physical activity patterns are improved in the long term.
The Fast800 diet by Dr Michael Mosley encourages a daily intake of just 800 calories (about 3,350 kilojoules) during the initial intensive phase of the Blood Sugar Diet.
This lasts for up to eight weeks and is supposed to help you rapidly lose weight and improve your blood sugar levels. You can buy the book for about A$20 or pay A$175 for a 12-week online program that says it includes a personal assessment, recipes, physical and mindfulness exercises, tools, access to experts, an online community, information for your doctor and advice for long-term healthy living.
Two recent studies provide some evidence that supports these claims: the DiRECT and DROPLET trials.
In these studies, GPs prescribed patients who were obese and/or had type 2 diabetes an initial diet of 800 calories, using formulated meal replacements. This initial phase was followed by a gradual reintroduction of food. Participants also received structured support to help them maintain the weight loss.
Both studies compared the intervention to a control group who received either usual care or treatment using best practice guidelines.
They found participants in the 800 calorie groups lost more weight and more of the adults with type 2 diabetes achieved remission than the control groups.
This is what you would expect, given the intervention was very intensive and included a very low total daily energy intake.
But the low energy intake can make the Fast800 difficult to stick to. It can also be challenging to get enough nutrients, so protocols need to be carefully followed and any recommended nutrient supplements taken.
Fast800 is not suitable for people with a history of eating disorders or health conditions such as liver disease. So if you’re considering it, talk to your GP.
When it comes to weight loss, there are no magic tricks that guarantee success. Have a health check up with your GP, focus on making healthy lifestyle changes and if you need more support, ask to be referred to an accredited practising dietitian.
Clare Collins is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, the University of Newcastle, NSW. She is an NHMRC Senior Research and Gladys M Brawn Research Fellow. She has received research grants from NHMRC, ARC, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Meat and Livestock Australia, Diabetes Australia, Heart Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, nib foundation, Rijk Zwaan Australia and Greater Charitable Foundation. She has consulted to SHINE Australia, Novo Nordisk, Quality Bakers, the Sax Institute and the ABC. She was a team member conducting systematic reviews to inform the Australian Dietary Guidelines update and the Heart Foundation evidence reviews on meat and dietary patterns.
Lee Ashton is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Rebecca Williams is affiliated with the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
The move gives the Redwood City, Calif., company access to OSI’s network of more than 65 facilities in 17 countries.
Impossible said it also has tripled its weekly production at its manufacturing plant in Oakland.
“We conducted an exhaustive due diligence process to determine how to scale our manufacturing, both in the short term and over the next several years, and we were thoroughly impressed with OSI’s commitment to quality and responsiveness,” Sheetal Shah, senior vice president of product and operations at Impossible Foods, said in a statement.
OSI, the Aurora, Ill., food-solutions provider, “has already installed equipment to make the Impossible Burger, and we’ll start seeing new capacity every week,” Shah said.
Separately, Impossible also received regulatory clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use soy leghemoglobin as a safe food-color additive in its imitation beef, which gives the alternative its signature bloody look.
Beyond Meat, El Segundo, Calif., at the beginning of May went public at $25 a share. Holders have had a bumpy ride up: The shares have traded as low as $45 and as high as nearly $240.
Amid the Impossible Foods reports, Beyond Meat shares are trading Wednesday up 3.2% to $200.98 on Wednesday.
Remember when McDonald’s launched the McLean Deluxe in the early ’90s to ride the wave of the low-fat diet era? The burger featured a 91% fat-free beef patty (the secret ingredient was a seaweed extract) and lasted a few years on the menu before it was yanked due to poor sales.
This example brings up an important question: What role, if any, should restaurants play in the latest fad diet or in the chase for the fickle health-conscious consumer in general? After all, restaurant visits have long been considered an indulgence and, from A (Atkins) to Z (Zone), diets come and go quicker than most operators can change a static menu board.
But that hasn’t stopped restaurant concepts from trying. And lately it seems as though there has been a higher degree of success in doing so—at least more so than the McLean Deluxe.
Noodles & Company, for example, just expanded its zucchini-noodle based offerings with two new menu items as part of a new category, “Zoodles and Other Noodles.” In a release, the company said the expansion is in response to overwhelmingly positive guest feedback to its initial Zoodles launch last year. During the company’s Q4 earnings call, executive chairman Paul Murphy said the zucchini noodle is an important step toward the brand’s objective of resonating from a health perspective.
“In fact, during the first few days, it generated over a billion earned media impressions,” he said.
The company is now testing several other menu items highlighting “the ideas of lifestyle goals,” Niccol said. This comes on the heels of the chain’s vegan and vegetarian bowls launch in 2018, which made up 12% of Chipotle’s total meals sold last year.
Even the most famous doughnut concept is getting involved. During Dunkin’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Dave Hoffman specifically called out the success of the brand’s Power Breakfast Sandwich.
“It’s a terrific first step for us into the better-for-you category and proves customers are open to more menu options at Dunkin’,” he said. The company is building off that success with a new egg white power bowl.
Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes just jumped into the specialty diet space with its new line of Lifestyle Burgers, including The Paleo, The Keto, The Low Cal, The Vegetarian and The Gluten-Free. For the former three burgers, the bun is replaced by iceberg lettuce.
Natalie Anderson Liu, Mooyah’s vice president of Brand, said restaurant chains should be quick to respond to consumer dietary preferences and lifestyle trends, no matter how quickly they come or go.
“This is simply a matter of being a good listener to guests. Beyond want, we have found that consumers expect us to have menu items that help them achieve their goals,” she said.
So far, the Lifestyle Burgers launch has been “huge.” Thirty-one percent of guests who ordered one of these options were first-time visitors, Liu said.
“This is incredibly exciting and confirms the relevance of featuring our menu this way,” she said.
Liu believes more chains will toe this line of healthier (“lifestyle”) menu offerings.
Two years ago, Scott Davis was named president of CoreLife Eatery after serving as an executive at Panera for nearly two decades. He has a deep perspective of the industry and confirms there is a growing connection between consumers’ dietary demands and restaurants’ responses.
“Over the last couple of decades, as healthy eating has become more popular, restaurants have mostly played role of a ‘marketplace’–essentially providing healthy options or special menus,” he said. “The key is not getting stuck on one style of eating or dieting. Promoting general wellness, clean sourcing and ‘what works for you’ can help. ‘Healthy’ is different for everyone.”
Davis concurs with Liu that we’re now in an era of “expectation” versus “want” when it comes to restaurants providing healthier options.
“On the flip side, consumers do not want to be told what they should or should not be eating. They do not want to feel judged about eating,” he said.
That being said, it’s important for restaurant brands to stick to their core competencies.
“Chasing trends and expanding menus beyond logical extensions of the concept almost always fails. You must be able to gain credibility with your customer,” Davis said.
Great Harvest Bread Co. CEO Mike Ferretti agrees, noting that restaurant companies should be conscious of consumer diet trends, but only adapt to the ones that make business sense for the brand.
“You can’t do them all, and they impact different parts of the country at different times,” he said. “It is easier to steer customers to the things we believe in that fit our brand.”
If a brand swings and misses on a specialty diet offering, Ferretti said it can have an “extreme” impact on the business. Conversely, if it’s a hit, it can have the same effect for the positive.
“Think of all the low-carb businesses that popped up and were gone in a year,” he said. “Alternatively, things like Atkins and Keto hurt us at first, but eventually people come back to whole grains, so it swings.”
Because of this unpredictability, expanding menus to appeal to a broader group of consumers who are chasing a broader variety of diets can be both risky and rewarding.
“Fads are fads. People and businesses will do what they do,” Ferretti said. “What has staying power—the broad ones really driving the industry—is healthy, simple, clean.”
Davis adds that vegan and vegetarian diets have had such staying power since the 1970s and will continue on that path while contributing to a growing cohort of consumers who identify as flexitarians. About one third of consumers now consider themselves to be flexitarians, meaning they simply want another choice than traditional protein every now and then even if they’re not technically vegan or vegetarian.
“Lifestyle demands are not going away and restaurants will endear themselves and earn loyalty by keeping their menus relevant,” Liu said. “This has resulted in a competitive advantage for us and, more importantly, an increase in sales.”
You’ll be able to see exactly how our professional chef does as he prepares a range of tasty dishes. So – even if you struggle to boil an egg, right now – you’ll soon be your very own master chef.. You can easily see how this program can provide the excitement of seeing you’ve lost ANOTHER few pounds nearly every time you step on the scales plus enjoy admiration of the opposite sex and the envy of your buddies. But you’re concerned that such an extensive program requires a large investment. So effective is my program just seven days should be enough time for you to start to notice the dramatic transformation in your body – because you could lose as much as TEN pounds in those seven days. So check out the program and try a few of the simple, mouthwatering recipes. Then be delighted as you discover just how easy – and tasty – it is to lose weight this revolutionary way eating just one scientifically designed meal a day…Read more…
From the 16th century to the 19th, scurvy killed around 2 million sailors, more than warfare, shipwrecks and syphilis combined. It was an ugly, smelly death, too, beginning with rattling teeth and ending with a body so rotted out from the inside that its victims could literally be startled to death by a loud noise. Just as horrifying as the disease itself, though, is that for most of those 300 years, medical experts knew how to prevent it and simply failed to. In the 1600s, some sea captains distributed lemons, limes and oranges to sailors, driven by the belief that a daily dose of citrus fruit ………
Stop counting calories. It’s the clock that counts.That’s the concept behind time-restricted feeding, or TRF, a strategy increasingly being studied by researchers as a tool for weight-loss, diabetes prevention and even longevity. In TRF, you can eat whatever you want and as much as you want—just not whenever you want. Daily food intake should be limited to a 12-hour window, and ideally cut down to eight to 10 hours. But you can pick the hours you want to eat. (Note: This doesn’t mean you should stuff your face with cupcakes. Experts say you should dine as you normally would. Only noncaloric drinks like water and black coffee are allowed during fasting hours……..
As if there isn’t enough whiplash-inducing nutrition advice out there, now skipping breakfast is being lauded by some as a good thing. The meal has become a casualty of a popular diet called intermittent fasting, which requires going extended periods of time without eating. The diet is such a big trend that, according to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, Google searches for “intermittent fasting” have increased tenfold over the past three years, to rival the number of searches for the words weight loss……..
There have been two main changes in dietary habits from the 1970s (before the obesity epidemic) until today. First, there was the change is what we were recommended to eat. Prior to 1970, there was no official government sanctioned dietary advice. You ate what your mother told you to eat. With the publication of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we were told to cut the fat in our diets way down and replace that with carbohydrates, which might have been OK if it was all broccoli and kale, but might not be OK if it was all white bread and sugar…….