Culture

San Diego Claims To Be The Home Of Carne Asada Fries But Tacos Arrachera In Mexico Prove A Longer History South Of The Border

Ok, so let’s be real. Everybody loves fries. They’re literally the greatest way you can eat potatoes and they happen to come in an endless rainbow of options.

But we all know the clear winner of the perfect vessel for eating fries are carne asada fries. Obviously.

But there’s lot you might know about the bomb dish so we’re here to give you a little master class while sharing pictures of amazing carne asada fries that will have you out the door or on your Uber Eats app in no time.

First off, many people think carne asada fries are specifically from Southern California.

That’s not exactly true. Sure there are several restaurants in San Diego that claim to have invented the magical dish but Mexicans have been putting papas with grilled meats for a looooong time.

But that’s not exactly true. Case in point the taco arrachera:

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

You can find this classic taco combination all over Mexico, especially at farmer’s markets called tianguis.

These humble tacos are proof that meats and papas belong together and they’ve been together long before San Diego started claiming asada fries as their own.

Now that we’ve cleared that up let’s get to the actual asada fries.

Credit: plantbasedfatkid / Instagram

Carne asada fries are a local specialty found on the menus of restaurants all across Southern California and now even in Arizona and other states wth large Latino communities. As I mentoned above, restaurants in San Diego claim to have created the dish so it’s especially popular there.

And since we’re keeping things real, carne asada fries (at least not Cali-style ones) aren’t exactly authentic Mexican food – so you won’t typically find them on menus at traditional Mexican restaurants.

The Cali-style asada fries that everyone loves is said to have originated at Lolita’s Taco Shop in San Diego.

Credit: LolitasTacoShop / Instagram

Lolita’s Mexican Food in San Diego claims to have originated the dish in the late 1990s, inspired by a suggestion from their tortilla distributor.

And now you can find them all over Southern California.

Credit: eater / Instagram

The dish is also served at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium. By 2015, fast food chain Del Taco began to sell the item. It’s safe to say they’re pretty much every where and we couldn’t be more thankful.

But for those people who are totally clueless, what exactly are carne asada fries?

Credit: plantbasedfatkid / Instagram

They’re some of the most tasty fries you’ll ever eat. Plain and simple.

First, they start off with a generous portion of amazing potatoes topped with perfectly grilled meats.

Credit: guapomole / Instagram

Typically, the fries are of the shoestring variety, but other cuts may be used, as well. The carne asada is usually finely chopped to avoid the need for a knife so you eat them as they’re supposed to be enjoyed – with greasy, dirty fingers.

In many places, especially in San Diego and LA, they’ll then get topped with a giant portion of beans and cheese.

Credit: justin0202 / Instagram

The cheese is commonly cotija, although many placesuse a less-costly shredded cheese mix which melts with the other ingredients and keeps longer.

They’re then finished off with some sour cream and guac, thus creating an explosion of flavor.

Credit: theburerlab / Instagram

Carne asada fries have a devout following on Twitter. Like some people just can’t help themselves.

Credit: @purpsnat / Twitter

I mean lay it all out there girl. Now’s not the time for vergüenza.

And for some, they rather have carne asada fries in their belly than intimate human contact.

Credit: wcarrillo_13 / Twitter

I’m pretty sure we can all relate. Like I know I’ve been there.

Like you know a food is amazing when people take to Twitter to share their carne asada fries fan art.

Credit: @strayserval / Twitter

This. is. everything.

And although the original carne asada fries are literally life, there’s nothing wrong with experimentation.

We all know about carne asada fries. However, for all of you sweet vegetarians, use Hot Cheetos to change things up. Instead of using meat, this snack add another layer to the very popular french fries dish. You really can’t go wrong with fried potatoes, cheese, sour cream and Hot Cheetos.

READ: 15 Carne Asada Recipes That Will Have You Drooling Before The End Of This Post

23 Gifts For The Friend Who Always Has Hot Cheetos Fingers

Culture

23 Gifts For The Friend Who Always Has Hot Cheetos Fingers

CocoAndEmeCreations / Instagram


Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are life, need we say more?

They’re crunchy, they’re spicy, they make your mouth water just thinking about them. They’re the best thing that has ever existed in the history of the world. That might sound dramatic, but you know we’re not wrong.

This gift guide is for the friend in your life who’s always got Hot Cheetos stained fingers, but that could also be you. So you can either be selfish and get all the good stuff for yourself or be selfless and gift your BFF the best Hot Cheetos inspired holiday presents.

1. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos card

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/LauraKraayDesign

The perfect card to let your friend know what you think of them.

Buy here.

2. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos socks

CREDIT: Amazon.com

Keep them toes cozy with these flamin’ hot socks.

Buy here.

3. Baked Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

hot cheetos gift guide
CREDIT: Amazon.com

For that friend who’s trying to cut back on the Hot Cheetos, here’s a “healthy” alternative.

Buy here.

4. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos leggings

hot cheetos
CREDIT: REDBUBBLE.com

You’ll for sure make a strong statement wearing these.

Buy here.

5. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos keychain

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/CocoAndEmeCreations

Look at that liddo Hot Cheetos keychain, we love it so much we’re about to recommend 3-4 more different versions of it.

Buy here.

6. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos travel mug

hot cheetos gift guide
CREDIT: REBUBBLE.com

Pour it up, pour it up.

Buy here.

7. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chipotle Ranch

hot cheetos
CREDIT: Amazon.com

For the Hot Cheetos obsessed friend who NEEDS to try every single type of Hot Cheetos flavored out there.

Buy here.

8. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos hair bow

hot cheetos gift guide
CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/BOWcasions

Hair on fleek.

Buy here.

9. Takis keychain

hot cheetos
CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/CocoAndEmeCreations

Obviously, these aren’t Hot Cheetos. But if you’re a true Hot Cheetos fan, you know these are the second best chips to eat when you want to take a break from the usual.

Buy here.

10. Flamin’ Hot Ruffles

hot cheetos
CREDIT: Amazon.com

Again, for that friend who needs to eat anything that includes the words “Hot Cheetos.”

Buy here.

11. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos earrings

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/qminishop

Get that bling, honey.

Buy here.

12. Hot Cheetos phone case

hot cheetos gift guide
CREDIT: REDBUBBLE.com

Protect your phone with these flamin’ hot phone case.

Buy here.

13. Reusable chopsticks

hot cheetos gift guide
CREDIT: Amazon.com

We know there’s some of you out there who use chopsticks to eat Hot Cheetos to avoid the Hot Cheetos finger (they’re the best part though), so here you go, get you some chopsticks.

Buy here. 

14. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos sticker

hot cheetos gift guide
CREDIT: REDBUBBLE.com

Slap it on your laptop.

Buy here.

15. Flamin’ Xxtra Hot Cheetos keychain

hot cheetos gift guide
CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/CocoAndEmeCreations

Look! Another cute keychain.

Buy here.

16. Takis and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos travel mug

CREDIT: REBUBBLE.com

The best of both worlds, unite.

Buy here.

17. Flamin’ Hot Fries keychain

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/CocoAndEmeCreations

Look! Another cute keychain.

Buy here.

18. Another pair of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos leggings

CREDIT: REDBUBBLE.com

Oh, boy. These leggings will for sure get some heads turning. Werk it.

Buy here.

19. OG Flamin’ Hot Cheetos pin

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/MrPinss

Perfect to pin on your denim jacket.

Buy here.

20. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dress

CREDIT: REDBUBBLE.com

And we’re ready for the club in this Hot Cheetos inspired look.

Buy here.

21. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos joggers

CREDIT: www.belovedshirts.com

Get cozy in these Hot Cheetos joggers.

Buy here.

22. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dad hat

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/TipsyCo

Wear your love for Hot Cheetos loud and proud.

Buy here.

23. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos print

CREDIT: etsy.com/shop/Dylansdrawings

Check out this lovely piece of Hot Cheetos inspired art.

Buy here.

Popeyes Just Made A Pretty Big Announcement About Their Most Coveted Item On The Menu

Culture

Popeyes Just Made A Pretty Big Announcement About Their Most Coveted Item On The Menu

After debuting on August 12th of this year, the Popeyes Crispy Chicken Sandwich—now widely known as, simply, The Sandwich—sold out in just two weeks, creating a frenzy among fans and employees (both online and IRL). For weeks, the drama borne of the viral phenomenon sizzled on screens everywhere, and the initial buzz about The Sandwich has barely had time to die down. 

However, after a few months’ hiatus, we are overjoyed to announce that The Sandwich will return to 150 Popeyes menus next month.

Twitter

According to Guillermo Perales, the CEO of Sun Holdings, Inc. (a franchisee that operates hundreds of Popeyes, Golden Corrals, and several other well-known brands), Popeyes will likely add two new employees per store, just to keep up with the mania around the return of The Sandwich. Overall, this means that roughly 400 more staff members will be added to the Popeyes payroll, all in order to meet this very specific, very spicy demand.

Felipe Athayde, president of Popeyes for the US market, said, “We had very aggressively forecast the demand, and we thought we wouldn’t have any problems at all, at least until the end of September.” Much to his surprise, the chain had sold out of that original inventory in just two weeks.

“The first time, they weren’t ready,” said Perales. Well, Guillermo, the world wasn’t ready, either.

It’s not hyperbolic to say that Twitter exploded with the first wave of Crispy Chicken Sandwich hype. 

Twitter

Popeyes and Chik-fil-A tweeted back and forth at length, the latter throwing shade about the notion that their signature sandwich—strikingly similar to Popeye’s, sans mayo—was superior. (Chik-fil-A also claims to have literally created the chicken sandwich, which is utterly incorrect; more on that below.) To catch up on this “conversation,” you can peep (no pun intended) the following hashtags: #ChickenWars, #ChickenSandwichWars, and #ChickenSandwichTwitter.

Of course, this exchange led to ample discussion about which sandwich actually did have the superior flavor; but the discourse quickly evolved to cover topics such as Chik-fil-A’s controversial politics, factory farming, and inhumane labor practices (including the exploitation of Popeyes’ own employees, many of whom were working 60-hour weeks at the time). Meanwhile, the #ChickenWars garnered so much attention that Popeyes and Chik-fil-A sales continued to rise—as of right now, Chik-fil-A is the third-largest restaurant chain in the entire US.

According to Reuters, Apex Marketing Group—a Michigan-based advertising consultancy—reported that Popeyes received an estimated $23.25 million in free advertising as a result of this online mayhem.

Getty Images

In a sense, this craze seems almost inevitable, as the chicken sandwich plays an integral role in the culinary identity of the United States. It’s difficult to trace the true origin of this delicious and iconic treat, but the inception of fried chicken (in the context of our country, anyway) is linked to Scottish settlers and West African slaves—the customs of two very different traditions adapting their cuisine to life in the American South.

As for the chicken sandwich, specifically, Donna Battle Pierce, a food journalist at Ebony, found an ad in a 1936 newspaper featuring a chicken sandwich special at the Booker T Cafe in small-town Topeka, Kansas. Battle Pierce acknowledges the cultural implications of the rise in popularity of the chicken sandwich. She defines it as a soul food staple steeped in Black US history, asserting that it entered the mainstream in the mid-20th century via white-owned empires like Kentucky Fried Chicken (who, of course, never credited their successes to fried chicken’s complex historical roots). 

Whether you are a fan of Chik-fil-A’s recipe over Popeyes’ (or vice versa), there is no arguing the ubiquity of fried chicken in the modern landscape of US cuisine. It may be surprising to learn of the chicken sandwich’s complicated past, but that only proves its importance in the present.

So, what about now? After a brief reprieve from the August madness, and with plans for greater reinforcements in every Popeyes store, are we prepared for the wonders to come?

Cole Saladino / Thrillist

Although Popeyes has had to reevaluate their approach to The Sandwich (they’ve been working to recruit new chicken suppliers in order to ensure sufficient quantities of meat for the upcoming release), it’s clear that the next wave will bring much joy to the public. Everyone who gets their hands on one will be ecstatic. Of course, we hope they don’t run out of stock again, but if that happens, Twitter will certainly have a good time. Either way, we can’t wait.

After all: The chicken sandwich is more than just a chicken sandwich—it has emerged as a hot topic, a marketing campaign, a sacrament. If the first run of Popeye’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich is any indication, the answer is yes. We are so, so ready for all that juicy, pickly goodness.