Showing posts with label fast food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fast food. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

VERTS, a New Fast Casual Mediterranean Grill Opens in Downtown Boston

VERTS started in Austin, Texas about five years ago. In that short period of time, this chain of healthy, fast casual Mediterranean grill has grown to 35 locations around Texas and it has now made its way to Boston as its first non-Texas location.
VERTS
I recently attended the opening party of the Boston location, in the Financial District, to check out the food that makes this chain so fast-growing.
VERTS
VERTS is a build-your-own concept, and you can choose between rice bowl, quinoa bowl, pita wrap, or salad.
VERTS

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Beta Burger Brings Sous Vide Patties to Fast Food

Using the sous vide method to cook burgers has been done by some higher end restaurants, but at a fast food restaurant? Beta Burger, steps away from the Roxbury Crossing T station, may be the first. While I do think thick patties are the best for sous vide, using this method for the usually thinner fast food style burger still promises a healthier and juicier burger than its counterparts.

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The patties have been slow cooked all day, and when you place your order, they will grill it briefly. You can order one of their three burger options, or build your own with a choice of toppings. Their fries (dubbed "skinny fries") are thin fries that come with a packet of seasoning - pour the seasoning in the bag and shake. They had 4-5 seasoning options but everyone opted for the garlic parmesan.
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Topping options include the usual like onions (fresh or caramelized), tomato, along with mushroom, bacon, peppers, and perhaps some special ones for the month - we'll get to that later.
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Fast Casual Lebanese at Urban Garden (Los Angeles, CA)

George Abou-Daoud may be famous for his previous enterprises along the lines of gastropub The Bowery or Delancey, but he's started to bring his Middle Eastern heritage into the LA dining scene.

His latest venture is Urban Garden, a fast casual Lebanese spot in Mid-city that boasts free range chicken shawarma, organic chickpeas in the falafel, and more.

As you'd expect from a Lebanse spot, they have hummus, falafel, shawarma, etc.
They have three types of hummus: Traditional hummus, spicy hummus (with spicy pickled peppers), garlic hummus (with thyme roasted garlic). On top of that you can also get a lebneh made with Mediterranean yogurt, topped with French feta cheease and za'atar. There's also babaganoush with sumac.

Urban Garden
Pictured on the wall is Abou-Daoud's mother, who inspired most of the recipes (the baklava with rosewater syrup served here is his mother's recipe). These are the food that Abou-Daoud grew up with, but he's added his own touches.
Urban Garden

Friday, August 1, 2014

Asian Box: Farm to Table Fast Food. Non-GMO, Non-Boring.

by: guest blogger @iam_robot

Growing up in Southeast Asia, it’s been my longtime wish to see a finer fast food joint where I can get a bowl of rice with meats that are cooked to order and vegetables fresh out of the wok.  I mean this is my very definition of fast food growing up in Asia – street stalls flooded the entire nation while American fast food joints (Mcdonalds, KFC) were few and far between. More importantly, these street stalls’ cooks take their jobs very seriously – competition is stiff and there’s no shortcut – ingredients are always freshly prepared, meats are marinated and cooked thoroughly, and cooking techniques are borderline intricate/ old school.  Imagine how much carbon monoxide you’d be inhaling in your lifetime if your job were to grill chicken satay on a charcoal grill for over 30 – 40 years? Yes, those peppery smokes that permeates the streets of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, burning your eyes and nose, is the doing of a diligent cook fanning smokes off his precious charcoal grill. 

When I got the invite for Asian Box, a Palo Alto-based quick serve dining concept, I was very intrigued. Not only organic ingredients and naturally raised meats are featured, the ingredients, flavors, and cooking techniques are very much influenced by Southeast Asian cooking. Similar to Shophouse (the Chipotle owned Asian fast food joint), you can pick what goes into your bowl – starting with rice, noodles or salad, then add protein such as lemongrass pork, six spice chicken, garlic beef, and curried tofu, finally throw in some vegetables or caramel eggs along with their homemade sauces.  Their meal comes packaged in a box similar to what you’d get in the streets of Asia – fyi, Asian Box pride themselves in using eco-friendly, compostable boxes and utensils – Love it!

Today I opted for brown rice with soy-garlic beef along with a hodgepodge of veggies (pickled veggies, bean sprout, jalapeno, peanut, lime, shallot, scallion oil) and caramel egg topped with Miss Jones’ Sriracha plus their super secretive hot sauce called as “Hot Box It”.
Asian
Box

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