Diners, Drive-Ins And… Disney World? Guy Fieri To Design Menu For Planet Hollywood


By Cooking Panda

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri (known for his bold flavors and highlighted hair) is teaming up with Planet Hollywood to bring some of his personal flair to the revamped restaurant in Disney Springs.

According to a press release, Fieri is introducing a “flavor-packed burger and sandwich menu” as part of the restaurant’s larger menu offerings. The Orlando flagship location is set to reopen this autumn as the Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs.

“Guy Fieri has created an impressive culinary empire and has built an incredible TV following with several food-themed shows, so it was a no-brainer to invite him to create a special menu for Planet Hollywood Observatory,” said Planet Hollywood International Founder and Chairman Robert Earl in the press release. “This partnership only furthers our commitment to refresh our guest experience while continuing to offer freshly-prepared, pleasing dishes.”

Don’t expect Fieri to hold back: among the new dishes detailed in the August 18 press release are a “Prime Time American Kobe-Inspired Burger” and a “Turkey Pic-a-nic Sandwich” — but that’s only the beginning. Customers can expect over-the-top, innovative creations.

“It’s awesome to be working with Robert Earl and the Planet Hollywood Team,” Fieri said in the press release. “For the Planet Hollywood Observatory, I’m bringing a big time burger and sandwich menu with real deal flavors for everyone.”

The revamped Planet Hollywood Observatory aims to highlight Planet Hollywood’s timeless classics, while also inviting patrons of all ages to relax and indulge in all the food, views, and comfort it has to offer.

Source: PR Newswire / Photo credit: Food Network via Daily Meal

Tags: burgers, disney springs, guy fieri, menu, planet hollywood
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Snooty Restaurant Survival Guide: How To Decipher Pretentious Menus


By Cooking Panda

At nicer restaurants, I often feel like a barking idiot, spending the first part of dinner not briefly surveying the ridiculous menu descriptions and feeling satisfied with my choices, but asking the waiter, “What’s that?” about every other word on the menu. And once I finally make my decision, I’m not totally sure what I’m getting myself into; half of the descriptions are in French, and helpful adjectives are nowhere to be found.

Nonetheless, I consider myself fairly adept at navigating the culinary landscape of today — I write for a food site, after all — but I’ve been stumped by pretentious menus too many times not to compile a snooty food dictionary for the wellbeing of the dining community.

Study up and storm into your next highfalutin restaurant with the power of knowledge. Here is a list of some pretentious food names and pretentious food descriptions.

Category One: Simple Foods And Drinks, Usually Listed In French To Sound Better

Aperitif: A light alcoholic beverage to stimulate the appetite before a meal. It’s usually champagne or sherry, but does alcohol really have to be light to make you want food?

Bouillon: Broth

Burrata: A fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It is the cheese of your dreams. If you see it, order it.

Digestif: An alcoholic beverage served after a meal to “aid digestion.” They’re usually listed on the dessert menu and are highly potent. Think Grand Marnier or Cognac.

Framboise: Raspberry

Fruits de mer: Seafood

Gateau: Cake. If you say the word “cake,” you’ve got my attention. Gateau? Eh.

Haricot Vert: Green bean

Huile: Oil

Jamon/Jambon: Ham. Yeah, the word “ham” has no allure, so I cast no judgment for snobbiness there.

Lardon: Delicious bacon chunk. Lardons are both thicker and better than dry ol’ bacon bits, so restaurants also have license to throw around a French word on this one.

Poivre: Pepper. You’re probably getting yourself into a yummy situation where your meat was rubbed with coarse ground peppercorns or comes with a peppercorn sauce. Both good things.

Pomme: Apple

Pomme de terre: Potato (“apple from the earth,” according to the French)

Rocket/roquette/rucola/rugola: Arugula, that bitter green used in salads and thrown on pizzas

Roe: Eggs or reproductive glands of fish and shellfish. HA. Roe is usually used as a topping on sushi rolls. It’s the orange, but sometimes red or black, stuff that tastes like salty, briny bubbles. It makes your meal more expensive but also more photogenic.

Sorrel: A bitter spring green. I don’t know what I used to think this was, but every time I see the word, I picture a woodland animal.

Truffle: Not the wonderful chocolates, in most cases. Truffles are super expensive fungi with an earthy, funky taste. They’re commonly used to flavor fries and pastas. You should definitely order truffled things.

Category Two: Common Menu Items, The Names Of Which Confuse People

Canape: Small pieces of bread, sometimes toasted, topped with meats, cheeses and spreads and often served with cocktails. It’s the French word for “couch” and sounds like something you’d wear, but it’s simple, good food.

Carpaccio: Raw meat or fish sliced or pounded very thin. It’s usually served as an appetizer with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Charcuterie: Like a cheese board, but with meats. Think sausage and salami and prosciutto. The world’s confusion with this term can best be summarized by Modern Family’s Jay Pritchett: “That’s charcuterie? I’ve been avoiding that on menus for years. They’re killing themselves with that name.”

Hash: Chopped up meat and veggies with seasoning, sautéed until golden brown. You usually can’t go wrong with a hash, especially if you #putaneggonit.

Smorgasbord: A lot of stuff on a plate. It can be served as an appetizer or main meal and usually includes pickled fish, marinated veggies, smoked salmon and other things. It’s a Swedish thing.

Tapas: A wonderful Spanish way of evening dining that involves small shared plates and local wines and aperitifs. It’s gotten pretty hip in the U.S. and is a great way to eat out as a group.

Category Three: Technical Terms

Al forno: Baked or roasted

Au gratin: Means your dish has been topped with cheese or bread crumbs mixed with butter and baked. Means your dish, probably potatoes, is gooey and bubbly and topped with a desirable buttery crust. Means you could make just about anything au gratin, and it’ll be a winner.

Bechamel sauce: Also a terrific gooey element. It’s a thick cream sauce used as the base for many carb-heavy, and therefore excellent, foods, like lasagna and macaroni and cheese that is not from a box.

Compote: Basically jam

Confit​: Meat cooked in its own fat, usually the fate of ducks and geese

Coulis: A thick puree, sauce or soup of absolutely anything. You could serve fries with Heinz ketchup and call it, “potato strings with tomato coulis.”​

Crudo: Raw fish. Different from sashimi in that it isn’t just about the fish; it’s about the ingredients added to flavor the fish. It makes for a light, refreshing appetizer.

Fricassee: Stewed or fried pieces of meat served in a white sauce. Next time you make a creamy chicken bake or something, definitely call it a fricassee. Absolutely.

Noisette: French word for “hazelnut” but is actually a small round steak. (???) How many noisettes have I let pass me by because I thought they were nuts?

Reduction: An extra-thick or concentrated liquid that got that way because it was boiled and/or simmered


Category Four: Straight Up Foolery

Amuse-bouche: “Amuse the mouth,” which sounds gross. Atomic Gourmet says these small samples of food are served before a meal to “whet the appetite” and “stimulate the palate,” which are two more gross sounding clusters of words.

As consolation, if you get an amuse-bouche, it’s usually “compliments of the chef,” so it’s a free bite of classy food you got for eating somewhere bourgeois. Amuse that mouth.

Artisanal: Meant to conjure an air of handcrafted-ness but has come to mean absolutely nothing at all. Dunkin’ Donuts rolled out Artisan Bagels, which really says it all. The word “artisan” on a menu description is like a mint leaf on top of a cake — it does nothing but makes it look better.

Foraged: Carefully found food from nature. If you’re eating at Noma, OK, your food was legitimately foraged from a Copenhagen forest near your table. If you’re eating at Applebee’s, the “foraged mushrooms” on your pizza were “hand-selected” from a truck.

Hand-cut/hand-peeled/hand-selected: Your food was touched by people’s hands, which is what would have had to have happened in order for it to be made.

Featured Photo Credit: Barf BlogTags: fancy, food, menu, pretentious, pretentious food, restaurants, ridiculous menu, snooty
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This Restaurant In London Just Launched A Menu Written Only In Emojis


By Cooking Panda

Welcome to the future of dining.

Gone are the days when you could sit down at a restaurant, read a menu from left to right (assuming you’re at an establishment catering to English-speaking customers) and then order your meal.

Welcome to 2016, also known as the year the London restaurant called The Little Yellow Door decided to cleanse its menus of the restrictive written word, and employ a more universal language — one made out of pictorial abstractions.

That’s right: their specials menu is written entirely in emojis, and if you want to eat at the Notting Hill pop-up, you’re going to have have to decipher what their emoji sequences mean.

Basically, for the duration of summer, guests will place their orders for the emoji-specials menu via WhatsApp. Says owner Kamran Dehdashti, 34, to the Evening Standard: “We like to embrace technology and we thought this could be a cool way to engage with our audience, get them to WhatsApp what they want to eat, and we bring it to them. Emojis are now really part of everyday conversation. 

“When we first opened we pioneered doing all our bookings by WhatsApp. The reason being that if you were going over to someone’s house, you’d probably text or WhatsApp them.”

The dishes, which come with rankings ranging from “easy” to “not-so-easy” to decipher, are meant to be a fun innovation for guests; however, Dehdashti reassures guests that the waitstaff will inform unamused customers of their options — they need only ask.

“The Yellow Door house punch has a yellow heart, a door, a house emoji then the punch. You’d figure that out. 

“Buffalo chicken wings with crudites and blue cheese sauce, that takes a little bit of working out. But that’s the whole point — it’s fun. Worst-case scenario, you can always ask the waiter.” 

Sources: Evening Standard / Photo credits: Pinterest, The Little Yellow Door/Instagram

Tags: emoji, menu, the little yellow door
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You Can Now Order At Pizza Hut Using Only Emojis


By Cooking Panda

July 17 is World Emoji Day, and Pizza Hut is pulling out all of the stops to ensure that its customers can celebrate the holiday in style.

According to The Sun, six Pizza Hut restaurants across the United Kingdom will be offering patrons the chance to order from an entirely emoji-based menu from now until July 17. The limited-edition offering was designed as a celebration of both World Emoji day and Unicode’s recent release of 72 new emojis.

In the words of Kath Austin, Pizza Hut’s director of HR and marketing, “Emojis have been named the world’s fastest growing language, so what better way to honor World Emoji Day and the recent release of 72 new emojis than by creating our very own emoji-themed menu for customers to decipher and have some fun with. We have a huge focus on menu innovation and having already launched a brand new menu recently, we hope customers enjoy decrypting the emoji version as much as we did creating it!”

While emojis have become an important part of our texting and social media language, we think that pizza-ordering might be their true calling. After all, the only thing more fun than eating pizza might be using emojis to order that pizza!

Currently, the emoji menu is available at Pizza Hut restaurants located in The Strand in London, Birmingham’s Bullring, Edinburgh’s Hanover Street, Manchester’s Fountain Street, Liverpool’s Paradise Street, and Cardiff’s Queens Street. However, if the menu catches on, there’s no telling where it might appear next.

Check out the full menu below to see if you have the emoji-knowledge to decipher it, and then start planning your own personal celebration for World Emoji Day!

Source: The Sun / Photo credits: Pizza Hut, Liverpool ECHO

Tags: emoji, menu, Pizza, pizza hut, World Emoji Day
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This Obnoxious Menu Forces Diners To Do Trigonometry For The Price Of Their Meal


By Cooking Panda

Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by this menu:

For many people, dining out is meant to be a stress-free experience — a hardworking waitstaff is there to serve you, a chef is waiting to prepare your meal. All you have to do is show up hungry, eat your food, and cover the bill when you’re done.

A restaurant in Beijing, however, has done everything in its power to take a streamlined experience and make it stressful. Rather than listing their menu items in yuan (the currency in Beijing), the restaurant decided to present diners with complex math equations, thus forcing them to calculate the cost of their meal.

And if you thought it was just a little joke with simple-to-solve equations, think again: this restaurant went all out, and is foisting trigonometry on its hangry patrons. 

According to the Daily Mail, the restaurant owners have demonstrated sympathy for those who do not wish to, or are incapable of, solving the math problems, and have included a disclaimer at the bottom of the menu inviting customers to ask management if they need help working out the bill.

Source: Daily Mail / Photo credits: CEN via Daily Mail, Thinkstock via Syracuse.com

Tags: beijing, math, menu
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