CityBeat Blogs - Fast Food <![CDATA[I Just Can't Get Enough]]>

The stoner gods have answered our prayers by way of Taco Bell’s “first meal.” Now folks across the country can start living mas as soon as they wake up, because everyone's favorite south-of-the-border fast food chain now serves breakfast. Taco Bell giant unveiled the new morning menu with a commercial that takes a dig at the golden arches:

Taco Bell breakfast is served 7-11 a.m. — 30 minutes later than McDonald’s, yet still too early for their target demographic. When will fast food restaurants learn that the people who really want to consume waffle tacos do not typically wake before noon?

Bill Murray can do whatever he wants. He can crash your party, drink fancy champagne on the rocks and, now, raid your dad's closet circa 1981.

Yeah, he wore PBR pants to a recent golf outing. NBD.

Murray’s Coffee and Cigarettes co-stars and South by Southwest buddies of the Wu-Tang Clan are causing a stir with the release of their new album…which apparently will consist of one single copy.

Of all the terrible reality shows I relish in, I have never been able to get into The Bachelor/ette. I’m not sure what separates this piece of trash from the heap of garbage I enjoy — it’s not like the materialistic, bratty children in Botoxed old lady bodies known as Real Housewives don’t perpetuate negative female stereotypes, but I enjoy shows that are somewhat self-aware and poke fun at themselves, and The Bach just doesn’t do that for me. So, any show in the vein of 2003’s Joe Millionaire that misleads women who signed up for a TV dating show is a winner in my book. In a new show coming to Fox, 12 women will compete for the affection of a man they claim to believe is Prince Harry, despite what the smallest amount of common sense and eyesight would prove — the dude’s just a redheaded imposter!

I Want to Marry “Harry” premieres this May. You know when the truth bomb is dropped on these hoes they’ll be all, “How dare this television show orchestrated to create ‘true love’ be fake?!” But in the meantime we can ponder which is worse: a woman trying to meet and marry a prince (of whom she’s obviously never even seen a photo) and believing British royalty would dare be seen on American reality TV or a woman knowing all this mess is some bullshit but riding that gravy train as long as possible?

In what must be the most fabulous robbery ever, three people were arrested for stealing a replica pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. The shoes were on display in a Hilton Garden Inn lobby (which is kind of rude). The trio has been released without bail and is due back in court next month. If only clicking your heels got you out of jail.

Lakewood, Calif., Vice Mayor and Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff Todd Rodgers is running for L.A. sheriff in an upcoming June election. Typically, county election campaign coverage wouldn’t have a place in a pop culture roundup, save for maybe making fun of an unintentionally funny low-budget ad. But those Hollywood types have connections on the West Coast. If I lived in L.A., it would be important for me to elect an official with not only celebrity endorsements, but a good sense of humor as well. Therefore I’d definitely vote for Todd Rodgers, who last week reunited (most of) the cast of Reno 911! for a series of TV spots.

Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui and Joe Lo Truglio all suited up in their khaki uniforms for the occasion. While the videos haven’t been released yet, you can see photos here.

You may be asking, “Why would a serious candidate for sheriff seek out the cast of a Comedy Central mockumentary?” or “Why wouldn’t he seek endorsements from actors on a show that is still actually on the air?” or “Isn’t Reno in Nevada? What does any of this have to do with a sheriff election?” The answers all lie in Lt. Dangle’s signature booty shorts. But seriously, Reno was filmed at Carson Station in L.A. from 2001-2006, where Rodgers was a captain at the time, so the cast was actually familiar with him and his work. We’ll take any excuse for a Reno reunion, though. Vote for Rodgers!

And here’s Samuel L. Jackson reciting some slam poetry about Boy Meets World.

<![CDATA[Put a Chicken Ring On It]]>

Treat your loved one like royalty this Valentine's Day by taking him or her to the castle — White Castle, that is. For about 20 years, the oldest fast food burger joint in America has pulled out all the stops on this special occasion. In a one-night-only celebration, White Castles get a makeover with pink and red decor, table cloths, candles, even table service and photographs. No, they don't make sliders of Kobe beef or serve your meal on silver platters, but for those who don't take this Hallmark holiday too seriously, it's the perfect way to pig out with your sweetie. You will need a reservation (seriously), so call 513-559-0575 ext. 14 to select a participating location and dinner time between 5-8 p.m.---

Having spent last V-Day in the Newport Whities, I can attest to the hilarity of this tradition. The WC staff seemed nervous to have to actually provide some type of customer service, but did an OK job. There was a handful of couples and small families that filled the dining room — and a sleeping homeless person (which really made it feel like home). I suggest rounding up a group of friends, perhaps indulging in a little herbal refreshment, packing up something to spike your Big Red, and you're ready for the classiest of all dining experiences.

If it's been a while since you've gotten your slider on (then either you're a vegetarian, you're lying or you've blacked out your last trip to the drive-thru), White Castle has much more to offer than just soggy cardboard burgers. Current offerings include chicken rings and sandwiches, fish sliders and "nibblers" (last year, I witnessed a guest ask for tartar sauce and lemon for her fish and nearly chocked laughing), mozzarella sticks and now chili! Mmm!

There's only a few hours to go, so make your reservations soon. Go here for details on this "Hot & Steamy" (their words) event and here to relive my romantic evening last year at White Castle.

<![CDATA[My Romantic Evening at White Castle]]>

White Castle is the oldest fast-food burger joint in the country, serving up savory, moist cardboard-like mini sandwiches for 90 years. That's right, back when people enjoyed a night of Prohibition-grade bathtub gin, they could wash it down with some sliders. ---


A sack of chicken rings would sooo hit the spot right now!

In line with tradition, Whitie's has celebrated Valentine's Day every year in a very special way for almost 20 years. Every Feb. 14, White Castles across the country class it up with reserved seating, special decor and even table service.

Most people can appreciate the humor behind taking someone you remotely like to a place where "sack" is a serving size, but who would actually eat inside a White Castle ever, let alone on Valentine's Day?

My boyfriend Jeff and I rolled up to the Newport Whitie's at 7 p.m. Monday, ready to get our crave case on. When he made the reservations, the woman assured him we were "in for a real treat," and that we could expect table cloths, candles, flowers in a take-home vase and even a special digital photo on to remember the night by! Boy, were we pumped.

When we arrived, half of the restaurant was decorated and designated with "Reserved" signs, while the other half remained open for non-festive diners (namely, a few harmless junkies and a vocal group of teens who entered with a polite, "We gotta RSVP for this shit?").

All of the Valentine's diners shared that same "We're totally in on it" smile with us as we sat down. There didn't seem to be any guests taking it seriously — a few couples and two families with little kids who were having a lot of fun. My favorite had to be a group of two older, sophisticated couples who talked about traveling, golf and charity work between bites of sliders. They requested hilarious items like lemon juice for their fish sandwiches.


"You just have to see this adorable photo of the Guatemalan village Tom and I adopted..."

The manager and two servers did a super job but were incredibly nervous the entire time. I thought this was odd since I've seen White Castle employees break up fights and run homeless people off their parking lots — how hard could it be to serve some friendly old people and a few stoned couples? Perhaps I set my expectations too high, but I felt our location was lacking in the atmosphere department. After carefully comparing my experience to a friend's photos from the Northside WC (yes, multiple people I know celebrated this special day at a fast-food restaurant, NBD), I confirmed that I was right. In lieu of table cloths, we had red paper place mats. Our table was the only one with a flower on it and since they ran out of "collapsable vases," each lady in the house was given a red carnation in holiday wrapping paper.

But before you start thinking I'm just a bougie bitch, I will say there were plenty of cute hanging decorations and romantic floating candles on every table. And, damn it, it was the best White Castle meal I have ever eaten. Everything was hot, tasted like something recognizable and came out quickly. The best part (or worst, depending on how you look at it) was that I wasn't in a typical WC haze of alcohol that would cause me wake up surrounded by several mysteriously empty boxes with no recollection of what was eaten. ...Hypothetically speaking, of course. After sampling nearly every WC varietal, we were treated with a complementary dessert. Ice cream sandwiches!

Sufficiently stuffed, we settled out with our waiter (why are tiny burgers more expensive that double stacks?) and headed out. All in all, it was a fun night. If you're already planning for next year, I suggest going in a small group (to share the fun), earlier in the night (before they run out of goodies. I want my Goddamn WC vase.) and ordering the ranch chicken rings. They were succulent. And for those wondering if the absence of alcohol at all changes a body's reaction to White Castle food, I will just say this: slider hangover is a real thing.


Nothing says love like his 'n' hers diarrhea!

<![CDATA[White Castle's Guide to the Supreme Court]]>

I’ve been working at Kroger for about six years now. The union, however, will tell you it’s about four because of the frequent absences I take in the name of higher education. (And believe me, this makes a drastic difference in my pay scale.)


In the six (four) years I’ve been at Kroger, I thought that the worst thing that could ever happen to me was having to clean shit off of the walls, floor and seats of the women’s bathroom. Imagine my surprise: Up until this point, I was convinced that girls didn’t poop. But, no, apparently it can get worse.---

Now what, you might ask, is worse that someone who manages to shit all over and around the pot, while miraculously avoiding spilling anything inside of it? Answer: Someone who manages to shit on the floor in front of the customer service desk.

Miraculously, nobody managed to catch the shitter in the act. If it weren’t for the smell, I wouldn’t even be upset. It takes mad skill to pinch one off in a crowded supermarket without anyone taking notice.

And this wasn’t your run-of-the-bowel, average, viscous, gelatinous shit; this was thin, watery, diarrhea-like excrement, and anyone unfortunate enough to have sampled White Castle™’s Crave Case knows how that smells coming out.

Now, I don’t want to turn this into a race thing, but it had to be a white guy. Because white people have a long history of shitting all over everything. Yeah, I read A People’s History of the United States — so what?

So imagine my surprise when that very same day the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in favor of some white firefighters who were complaining about racial discrimination. The irony was more delicious than a White Castle™ Slider This has to be symbolism at work.

But then, while sitting on the john, I got to thinking hard about it. Maybe these guys were discriminated against. In a majority white fire station, with a test undoubtedly written by a white guy, in a city whose population is mostly white and a government controlled by a majority of white people, not to mention a Supreme Court populated mostly by whiteys, maybe these 18 white guys were discriminated against.

Maybe, somehow, the test givers and the local government got together to conspire to keep whitey down.

And maybe White Castle™ makes a quality burger.