Culture

Taco Bell Takes On Popeyes And Chick-fil-A With Their Own Take On The Fried Chicken Sandwich

It’s official, mi gente. The Fried Chickens Wars just got real. Last week, according to a Taco Bell press release, the beloved Mexican-Inspired fast-food restaurant threw down the gauntlet and joined in the battle for your wallets when they announced that  their test kitchen had concocted the perfect crispy chicken recipe. 

After months off watching Chik-fil-A and Popeyes battling it out over who has the best chicken sandwich, Taco Bell announced that themselves as contenders in the war.

This past August, Twitter exploded with the Chicken Sandwich Wars between Popeye’s newest menu addition and Chic-fil-A’s classic options. Black Twitter shared stories of long lines to get the sandwiches and flooded the social media site with news of sandwich shortages. The restaurants’ social media handles even joined in, throwing causal shade at each other. From there, it didn’t take long for the memes to start. Memes about the Chicken Sandwich Wars beef and the public’s reaction to sandwich shortages were quickly shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Now, Taco Bell has announced that it is joining in on the chaos, this time with their own Mexican-inspired take on chicken. In a press release the food chain revealed that they would debut a Crispy Tortilla Chicken. The new menu item will add its own twist to the classic Taco Bell Taco  with premium all-white meat that has been marinated in jalapeño buttermilk flavored marinade and then treated to a crunchy tortilla chip coating. According to Taco Bell, the chicken strips will be stuffed into a taco with filling and served with a new Taco Bell signature dipping sauce.

If you’re just here for the chicken, you can get the chicken à la carte, or without the shell.

According to the Taco Bell press release, the chain’s test chicken created 100 versions of the new menu item before selecting the current crispy chicken recipe. The brand is set to test out its performance amongst consumers in Houston, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. After the test, the sandwich is set to be introduced nationwide next year in 2020 and will be available at a price of $1.99 for a taco, $2.99 for a 2-piece, $3.99 for a 3-piece, and in $5 and $7 boxes.

Taco Bell’s decision to add its name to the ring of the Chicken Wars means things just got real.

While they might be a little bit late to the fried chicken battles that stormed across  social media feeds upon the debut of Popeye’s first fried chicken sandwich this past August, we think they’ve got a dog in the fight. After all, while rival fast-food brands  like Chick-fil-A and Wendy raged war on the Popeye’s sandwich in a series of #ChickenWars tweets, Taco Bell stayed pretty silent. Which means that they had to have been secretly plotting and had created a plan to strike with a method that would truly throw off their opponents.  Still, fans of Taco Bell might not be all to surprised.

Particularly after the company announced it would be upgrading the menu this past August. That’s right, when the Chicken Wars officially started.

https://twitter.com/tacobell/status/1166906055017807872?lang=en

First it was the believed Caramel Apple Empanada which was discontinued and it’s removal shocked many fans of the flakey dessert. But Taco Bell wasn’t doesn’t surprising diners. Over the course of the next few months, the chain introduced spicy nacho fries and hash-brown stuffed burritos. Now, it’s back at it again… with a total revamp.

Beginning September 12, Taco Bell is drastically changing its menu. The company explained its decision in a press release on Wednesday, by first asking customers if they’d ever “had that moment… where you just want to chop all your hair off, buy new clothes and get a fresh, new start?” A million readers nodding hesitantly, clutching their Double-Decker Taco as they continued reading. “Well, we kind of did a thing…” 

And the thing they did was remove the double-decker taco, along with eight other menu items. The company also gave the menu a new look and updated combo orders.

The company will now also offer entirely new combos.

CREDIT: TACO BELL

These combos could do some serious damage to the stomach…two chicken chalupas supreme?! That’s a whole lot of food their Taco Bell. 

And the menu itself will have an entirely new look and feel.

CREDIT: @TACOBELL / TWITTER

Not too shabby. I’m feeling the cleaner design and simple images. 

The big menu revamp isn’t just shocking and tragic (RIP Cool Ranch Doritos Locos), but also kind of unusual. Typically, T-Bell doesn’t want to draw attention to foods it deems unworthy of keeping around anymore, like the aforementioned Caramel Apple Empanada and everyone’s childhood favorite order, the Meximelt, which the company quietly discontinued earlier this year. 

However, Taco Bell does like to routinely make a big deal out of taking away your favorite orders — like the ever-popular Nacho Fries — just so that you miss them and buy them like crazy when upon their eventual return (sound familiar?!). Maybe one or more of the newly axed offerings will rise from the dead some day. 

Tamales Elena Is About To Become LA’s First Afro-Mexican Restaurant

Culture

Tamales Elena Is About To Become LA’s First Afro-Mexican Restaurant

tamaleselenayantojitos / Instagram

The Los Angeles food truck Tamales Elena y Antojitos has been serving up authentic Guerrero food for 20 years. Tamales Elena y Antojitos is a staple at E 110th St. & Wilmington Ave. in LA’s Watts neighborhood offering up banana leaf-wrapped tamales. Now, Tamales Elena y Antojitos will become a restaurant.

Tamales Elena y Antojitos is opening up LA’s first Afro-Mexican restaurant.

Not even a pandemic will slow them down. The family behind the famous food truck in Watts will soon be welcoming guests (following COVID-19 guidelines) in Bell Gardens, California. The tamales, pozoles, and array of Afro-Mexican dishes will be served to everyone who has come to adore the Mexican establishment.

The restaurant will add another cuisine to the vast palate that is LA’s food scene.

Los Angeles is home to a diverse and inviting list of restaurants representing cultures from around the world. Some of the best Mexican food in the country can be found in Los Angeles and Tamales Elena y Antojitos is adding another level to that representation. Angelenos are celebrating the Afro-Mexican restaurant staffed and owned by Afro-Mexicans.

The restaurant has a special place in people’s lives.

The family has been offering up their unique food to residents of Watts for 20 years. In two weeks, Maria Elena Lorenzo will be offering up her family recipes in-store to more people as of July 15. The family has spent years in the food industry and have worked hard to make their mark on LA’s food scene.

Lorenzo’s daughters have been played a big role in getting the restaurant going.

According to LA Eater, Lorenzo’s daughters have spent years working in various restaurants around Los Angeles. Her daughters, Maria, Heidi, Judepth, Teresa, and Nayeli spent time working front-of-house and back-of-house at restaurants including Rivera, Petty Cash Taqueria, and Guerrilla Tacos. Heidi Irra worked at Mezcalero in downtown Los Angeles. Now, the daughters are bringing their experience to the family business and helping their mother start her restaurant.

Lorenzo, lovingly known as Mama, is clearly going to have a lot of guests are her restaurant.

Congratulations, Mama! This is one of those stories we love to see. Nothing makes you prouder than watching Latino families come together to chase the American Dream and succeed.

READ: Guelaguetza, One Of LA’s Most Iconic Mexican Restaurants, Is Sharing Some Of Their Recipes On Instagram

Little Caesars Hands Customer Pizza With Pepperoni Swastika Made As ‘Insensitive Joke’

Things That Matter

Little Caesars Hands Customer Pizza With Pepperoni Swastika Made As ‘Insensitive Joke’

@LaskaMisty / Twitter

One Ohio couple recently received an order for a pizza that’ll leave a pretty rancid taste in your mouth.

After running errands with his wife Misty Laska this past Saturday night, Jason Laska said they picked up a pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars. Eager to eat they cracked open the pizza once they got home, receiving a shocking surprise that likely ruined their appetite.

Misty noticed a backward laid swastika made out of pepperoni slices on the pie.

After getting in touch with Little Caesars, the couple was told it was meant to be a funny and private joke.

According to The New York Times, when Misty Laska first opened the takeaway pizza she noticed that it was not sliced. Then, she and her husband realized that the pepperoni pieces had been prepared in the shape of a swastika.

Misty told Reuters that when they first realized what they saw they were “just silent.” Furious, they returned to the store to return the pizza, the shop was closed. The next day, the pizza chain, which is the third-largest in the country called, to apologize.

“We have zero tolerance for racism and discrimination in any form, and these franchise store employees were immediately terminated,” Little Caesars told The New York Times. “This conduct is completely against our values.”

“That’s why it was not cut or anything like that,” Jason Laska said. “They made it as a joke and it was never intended to go out to a customer.”

However, even if the joke was meant to be a private one it is gross and unacceptable.

“Even in a joking manner, it’s absolutely unacceptable,” Jason Laska added.

Jill Proctor, a spokesperson for Little Caesars confirmed the incident and said that the employees involved were fired in a statement to CNN. “We have zero tolerance for racism and discrimination in any form, and these franchise store employees were immediately terminated. We’re deeply disappointed that this happened, as this conduct is completely against our values,” Proctor continued. “We have also reached out to the customer to discuss this personally with him.”

In response to the firing of the employees, Misty has said she hopes they are learning an important lesson.”These are the kinds of things that are continuing to fuel the hate and the confusion that exists in the country and in the world,” her husband said after sharing that they both hope

The Laskas hoped that by sharing their experience others will educate themselves about Nazism and the symbols used to perpetuate it.