The Entirety Of Philadelphia Might Get Free Beer


By Cooking Panda

2018’s Super Bowl LII finds the Philadelphia Eagles against the New England Patriots, who’ve won the last four world championships and most clearly dominate this year’s game.

In the spirit of the Super Bowl, football fans and the like become steadily enraptured in the weeks leading up to game day. People start throwing out outrageous and regrettable promises as some sort of superstitious precaution perhaps to “speak” to the Football Gods that be (or maybe the football players themselves) using the power of self-imposed subjugation.

“I’ll chug jar of pickle juice if Nick Foles outperforms Tom Brady,” and “I’ll do the laundry, wash the dishes, and clean the toilet for a whole month if the first offensive play of the game is a pass made by Dion Lewis,” and “If the Eagles win, I’ll give each of my three kids a new iPhone.” Well, some bets are better left hedged.

For example, Bud Light’s latest dopamine tease: If the Philadelphia Eagles managed to beat Tom Brady’s team, the Anheuser-Busch brand will give free beer to all of Philadelphia. The risk-to-reward ratio is far more difficult to stomach than, as Grub Street put it, “beer-flavored water.” But Philadelphians, who have nothing to lose from Bud Light’s marketing opportunity, are psyched at the idea of a paid bar tab on one of the biggest drinking days of the year.

Lane Johnson, Eagles right tackle, first suggested a free beer offer in 2017 at the beginning of the season when he told an ESPN reporter that he had a lot to prove to Philadelphia citizens. “If we win a Super Bowl, I’m giving out beer to everybody,” Johnson said.

Bud Light quickly scooped up the suggestion, tweeting the next day, “Let’s make a bet. Win it all and the party is on us. Deal?”

To spare the team from an unintentional jinx, the company has not yet said explicitly what a well-deserved victory by the Eagles would mean for thirsty Philadelphia fans. The company announced on Twitter on Jan. 22 that they intend to “keep things under wraps until the winner of the Super Bowl is determined.” You know, no pressure, Eagles. 

Sources: Grub Street, ESPN / Featured Image: Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos/Flickr

Tags: Free Bud Light, Philadelphia, Super Bowl
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Woman Finds Rodent In Chick-fil-A Sandwich, Files Lawsuit (Photo)


By Cooking Panda

In November of 2016, a woman claimed she nearly bit into a dead rodent baked into her Chick-fil-A sandwich. Today, her lawyer is seeking $50,000 for the “physical and psychological injuries” she’s endured since the incident, according to Philly.

Philadelphia woman Ellen Manfalouti said she was ready to dig into her chicken sandwich on a lunch break when she “felt something funny on the bottom of the bun.”

“I turned it over,” she told Philly. “I said to [my coworker], ‘They burned my roll really bad,'” throwing it onto the table.

That’s when her coworker, Cara Phelan, realized the mysterious object in Manfalouti’s bun was not a burnt spot, but a rodent.

“I could see the whiskers and the tail,” she said.

Manfalouti’s lawyer, Bill Davis, recently filed a lawsuit against the owner of the franchise (and the store itself) that sold the sandwich, as both parties had for months “stonewalled” his attempts to resolve the issue. The restaurant chain pushed the blame onto the franchise, which blamed the bun-supplying bakery, which denied responsibility.

Both the owner and Chick-fil-A declined Philly’s requests for information during the ongoing investigation.

Davis conducted a lab report to confirm that Manfalouti’s sandwich indeed contained a rodent that had likely been baked into the bun. The team’s lawsuit says the defendants were negligent and “failed to have proper procedures in place to inspect their own food products before selling them to customers.”

The bulk of their defense, though, stems from the “nausea,” trouble eating and “anxiety” Manfalouti claims to have sustained over the last nine months. She went to a medical center the day she nearly ate the rodent-rich sandwich. She later was given a prescription for her nausea and saw a psychologist for her anxiety.

“I had anxiety and nightmares, which I still do,” she said. “The first month was really rough.”

While many people do indeed have legitimate and debilitating fears of rodents, it’s possible that Manfalouti may have exaggerated her rat-related trauma to win the case. Some readers humorously pointed out the irony of her complaints.

“Eating a dead animal, yet complaining about eating a dead animal,” one reader commented on Philly’s article. Others gave this observation the thumbs up, noting that in many cultures, cooked rodents are a fine delicacy.

“And it was still better than the McRib,” another commenter said of the rat sandwich.

“Eat More Rodent,” a business-savvy user offered as the chain’s new slogan. 

Someone had Manfalouti’s back, though.

“Hey. I am scared to death of rodents. I go full panic attack when one is around, let alone if one was in my sandwich. This is very traumatic for some of us LOL,” they wrote.

Source: Philly / Featured Image: Jay Reed/Flickr / Embedded Image: Philly

Tags: Chick-fil-A, Chicken Sandwich, Lawsuit, Philadelphia, rat
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Would You Like To Try Pizza-Flavored Ice Cream? (Photo)


By Cooking Panda

Pizza cake? More like pizza ice cream. 

You’ve probably seen some pretty crazy ice cream flavors out there. 

There’s no lack of bizarre ice cream flavors out in the world. Just check out those gourmet, trendy ice cream shops that pride themselves on their originality. I’ve seen olive oil-flavored ice cream, avocado-flavored ice cream and even whiskey-flavored ice cream. Some of these strange flavors are surprisingly, counterintuitively delicious.

But I never saw this one coming. Pizza-flavored ice cream. 

I guess when you can’t make up your mind between dessert and your favorite late-night meal, this is the go-to item. But who would have ever thought that the cheesy, tomato-saucy favorite could be recreated in the form of ice cream?

Apparently, the folks over at Philadelphia’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream. 

They’ve gone all-in with their pizza ice cream vision, and created a frozen flavor that features tomato, oregano, basil, salt and even garlic, according to Metro. 

Pizza: A Total Suitable Dinner Pizza Ice Cream: ________

A post shared by Little Baby's Ice Cream (@littlebabysic) on

And it gets even worse (or better, depending on your tastes) … Not only is this pizza-flavored scoop served on a cone, but also it’s served on a pizza slice. 

So yeah, cake and pie are apparently not the only things you can get served a la mode. This is actually the way the shop recommends you eat it, according to Metro. On an actual pizza slice. 

If you don’t believe me, check out the photo below:

Pizza-flavored ice cream on a pizza-flavored pizza slice? It’s worse than a cheeseburger with cheeseburger-flavored fries.

And believe it or not, the pizza ice cream is not actually the weirdest flavor that the Philadelphia-based ice cream shop offers. They also sell a cricket-cake ice cream, which has little pieces of actual crickets inside. Crunchy, I guess? 

But back to the pizza ice cream. Is this a miracle of gastronomy or a monstrosity? 

Circa reports that the pizza-flavored ice cream contains “a surprising balance of flavors that tastes better than it sounds.” 

Well, I’ll believe when I taste it.

Would you try this?

Sources: Metro, Circa / Photo credit: ElfQrin (Valerio Capello)/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: ice cream, little baby's, Philadelphia, Pizza
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Philadelphia’s Soda Tax Has Slashed Sales In Half


By Cooking Panda

Some cities are proposing heavy sales taxes on sugary soda beverages, and Philadelphia’s soda sales are seeing a huge cut in profits after implementation.

The tax was implemented in Philadelphia and in other select cities January of 2017, despite outrage from an already declining soda industry. Some said that the tax went against the constitution in that it “violates the Pennsylvania constitutional requirement of uniformity of taxation and because local government doesn’t have the power to impose a sales tax when the Pennsylvania legislature has already imposed a sales tax.”

In addition, 58 percent of Philadelphia voters were reportedly against implementation of the tax in the first place. However, Philadelphia moved forward with it, and the results for the soda company have probably been just as devastating as they had initially imagined.

Bloomberg Markets reports that although the tax is only 6 weeks old, the sales of soda beverages have dropped as much as 50 percent. One of Philadelphia’s local distributors of Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Sunkist, A&W Root Beer, Arizona Iced Tea and Vita Coco reported a drop of 45 percent when compared to sales from the first five weeks of 2016.

Jeff Brown, CEO of Philadelphia-based Brown’s Super Stores, expressed that “In 30 years of business, there’s never been a circumstance in which we’ve ever had a sales decline of any significant amount. I would describe the impact as nothing less than devastating.”

The tax amounts to 1.5 cents per ounce on sweetened beverages, which almost doubles the cost of 12 packs of soda and two-liter bottles. While the soda industry continues to take these kinds of hits, other cities are following suit on the tax, which is said to be going toward public schools. Some of those cities include: San Francisco and Oakland, California, Boulder, Colorado, and Cook County, Illinois (where Chicago is located).

If soda sales tanked that much in only six weeks in Philadelphia, there’s no telling the damage these companies could take if more and more cities continue to impose this tax. What will it mean for the future of soda? Perhaps the industry will have to come up with something healthy and new.

Source: Bloomberg Markets / Photo Credit: Italian Sandwich Deli/Instagram

Tags: Philadelphia, soda, Soda tax, Sugary Beverages
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The Soda Industry Is Fighting Back On Philadelphia’s Soda Tax


By Cooking Panda

In the midst of an America where politics is increasingly ruled by lobbyists and big corporate interests, few people will be shocked to learn that the soda industry has vowed to fight Philadelphia’s new soda tax.

The tax, which was passed last Thursday by a vote of 13-4, will add 1.5 cents per ounce to the cost of most sugared and diet beverages sold in Philadelphia. Reports from Mayor Jim Kenney’s office suggest that revenue from the new measure will go towards funding Philadelphia’s public schools, and is expected to amount to $91 million each year.

According to FoodNavigator-USA, however, the American Beverage Association retained the services of Kline & Specter law firm to fight the soda tax shortly after it was passed. Shanin Specter, a founding partner at the firm, says, “This tax is illegal because it violates the Pennsylvania constitutional requirement of uniformity of taxation and because a local government doesn’t have the power to impose a sales tax when the Pennsylvania legislature already has imposed a sales tax.”

In addition to citing legal reasons to repeal the law, the soda industry association also highlighted the tax’s waning popular support among Philadelphia residents. While only 44 percent of voters opposed the measure three months ago, a recent poll suggests that 58 percent of voters are now in opposition to the soda tax. It should be noted, however, that the American Beverage Association was responsible for commissioning the more recent poll.

Despite the opposition, many individuals and organizations are still hailing the new soda tax as landmark legislation, and expect the measure to influence policy nationwide. According to Quartz, Philadelphia’s soda tax “is proof that taxes on sugary drinks can win substantial support outside super-liberal enclaves.”

Keep your eyes and ears open in the coming days to see whether or not the soda industry will be able to challenge the law, and what the outcome could potentially mean for the rest of the country.

Sources: FoodNavigator-USA, Quartz / Photo credit: Alamy via The Telegraph

Tags: American Beverage Association, Philadelphia, Soda Industry, Soda tax
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Uniformed Officer Asks If He Can Use Starbucks Restroom, Gets Unexpected Response From Employee


By Cooking Panda

A Facebook post alleging that a Philadelphia Starbucks employee refused to let a uniformed police officer use a restaurant restroom has gone viral. 

The post, made on Sept. 11, came in the form of an image posted to the Starbucks Facebook page. It is a typed message, purportedly from a sergeant with the Philadelphia Police Department, about an alleged incident that is said to have occurred on either Thursday or Friday, according to WCAU News. 

“So I walk into the Starbucks at 13th & Chestnut in full uniform and ask the young blonde liberal behind the counter if I could use their public bathroom for which you need a key code and she states in a loud voice, so all the other customers can hear that the bathroom is for paying customers only,” the post reads in part. 

“I then ask in a very polite manner if I could please use it,” the post continues. “She then states in the same loud manner and a smirk ‘Are you a paying customer?’”

The post goes on to say that the sergeant soon “realized what she was doing” and walked out of the store “astonished” that the customers and other employees “said nothing and seemed indifferent.”

Police Officer Joe Leighthardt, who says he knows the sergeant involved in the alleged incident, posted the message to Facebook. 

“Thought you world like to know this happened at your 1301 Chestnut St in Philadelphia,” he wrote in a message accompanying the post.  “In a time when police are being made the enemy, Your clerk pulls this nonsense. And might I point out, this store is a frequent caller to police for some sort of service.”

“I didn’t intend for it to go viral,” Leighthardt told WCAU. 

But it has. 

Since being posted, it has been shared over 14,000 times and “liked” by over 4,000 users. It has also drawn over 1,200 comments, many of which, Leighthardt pointed out, are supportive of the sergeant.

Starbucks also responded in a comment. 

“Hi Joe, thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns,” the company’s message reads. “We are aware of this situation, and it is certainly not in line with the experience we want any of our customers to have in our stores. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. Thanks!”

The company also reportedly responded in another comment later, saying it would like contact information for the sergeant involved so it could reach out directly. 

“We would like to discuss the situation with the police officer and hear from them directly about this experience,” Starbucks said, according to WCAU. “If you happen to know who this was — please have him/her send us a private message through our page with their contact info.”

Leighthardt said he believed the sergeant has contacted the company.

The sergeant reportedly declined to comment when contacted by WCAU. Starbucks did not immediately respond to WCAU’s requests for comment.

Sources: WCAU NewsFacebook: Starbucks

Photo credit: Marco Pakoeningrat/FlickrRudolf Schuba/Flickr

Tags: Facebook, Philadelphia, Starbucks
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