Take A Road Trip To This Pecan Pie Vending Machine (Video)


By Cooking Panda

Everything’s sweeter in the south. The tea, the cocktails … and, of course, the pies. Pecan pie is a southern staple, and if you haven’t had it, you’re missing out! Don’t worry, though, there’s a 24-hour pecan pie vending machine in Texas. That means you can try a taste of that sweet, sticky pie anytime your heart desires!

Southern Living reports that the vending machine is run by the family-owned and operated Berdoll Pecan Farm in Cedar Creek, Texas. If you’re thinking that a vending machine selling pies 24/7 would have to hold some pretty stale pies, you’d be way wrong! The pies are baked daily and restocked frequently, which must mean that demand is high.

The Berdoll Pecan Farm is located off of Highway 71, where it has a shop set up for passersby to stop in and buy pecan treats. The vending machine itself not only features these pies, but also different pecan treats like candy-coated pecans.

Everything available in the machine is sold in the store as well, but as is pointed out in the video below, the family would be ready to close up for the evening, only to find that customers were still pulling in looking for those pies. What a great solution this vending machine is!

The pies are available for $19.50 from the machine, and you can purchase them so that they drop right down as anything would in a vending machine. They’re even chilled and ready to go. I think we’d be remiss not to mention that if you visit this machine you’d better try some of those pecan candies as well. I’m sure they’re delicious.

If you don’t live close by, this vending machine gives you a perfect excuse to take a road trip to Texas. Just head down Highway 71, and you’ll see that it is hard to miss, since there’s a 14-foot-tall squirrel statue also standing on the farm, holding a pecan. This squirrel is called Ms. Pearl, and she’s the largest squirrel statue in the world, so don’t miss her, either!

Sources: Southern Living, Team Hall & Nass/YouTube / Photo Credit: Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Company

Tags: Berdoll Pecan Farm, pecan pie, Pecans, pie, Southern Food, Texas
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Guy Creates Petition To Make Tacos Texas’ State Food


By Cooking Panda

With all of the petitions circulating lately, there’s bound to be one or two mixed in there about food, right? The latest is specifically about tacos.

Munchies reports that Mando Rayo of Texas has launched a petition to make tacos the state food of Texas. In explaining the significance behind the need for the petition, Rayo said, “whether you grew up here in Texas or you got here as soon as you could, you’re eating tacos.  In Texas, people eat tacos on a weekly basis. Hell, tacos were here before Texas was Texas!”

Well, there you have it. This seems like a pretty legitimate reason to me … but I may be biased based on my own love for tacos. The problem is that the official state dish is currently chili, which was mandated in 1977, stating that “one cannot be a true son or daughter of this state without having his taste buds tingle at the thought of the treat that is real, honest-to-goodness, unadulterated Texas chili.”

Rayo seems to think it’s time for an upgrade to that particular piece of legislature. Taste buds do change, after all. We can’t all be eating Texas chili forever. He also happens to be a taco expert, who writes for tacojournalism.com (check it out if you want to sign). The taco blog obviously covers all things taco, and it really does show a love for the food item in the state of Texas. It’s part of the culture, really.

Then there’s also the fact that the Texas state snack is chips and salsa. Are you really going to eat chips and salsa with chili? I don’t think so. At least, it wouldn’t be better than chips and salsa and tacos. It just seems right!

Naysayers feel that tacos aren’t as American of a food as chili is, and that a food that isn’t “American” shouldn’t be the state food for Texas. However, Rayo has an answer for that too. He actually believes that flour tortillas were invented in San Antonio, and if tacos came around before Texas was part of the U.S., that doesn’t make the food any less Texan, right?

Sources: Munchies, Taco Journalism / Photo Credit: Otto's Tacos/Instagram

Tags: State Food, tacos, Texas, Texas Chili
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Chick-Fil-A Is Honoring Houston With A Food Truck!


By Cooking Panda

The Chick-fil-A food truck project in Washington, D.C., launched in 2012, must have been a success, since the chicken sandwich experts are now rolling out a new food truck in Houston.

The Houston Chronicle reports that on Dec. 15, the brand new food truck will hit the streets. It won’t have the iconic cows on it, like the old D.C. truck does, but it will have the name of the brand of which we are so familiar. If you’re located in the Houston area, don’t worry about not being able to identify it. You’ll easily recognize that bright red cursive logo.

So, why Houston? The city actually has 74 Chick-fil-A locations, and two of which are the busiest locations in the entire country. The fact that Houston is obviously full of fried chicken and waffle fry fanatics probably has everything to do with this location choice. Chick-fil-A is still looking at specific options around the city for the food truck location, so keep your eyes peeled if Houston’s your city.

The truck itself will have a limited menu, consisting only of the absolute essentials. That is, the original chicken sandwich, the spicy chicken sandwich, waffle fries, a couple of cold menu items and sweet and unsweetened iced teas and lemonade to drink. What more do you really need?

Chick-fil-A’s food truck experiment hit the streets on a practice run in July of 2012 in Washington, D.C., according to Eater DC. That truck is called the Chick-fil-A mobile and it was first posted at a stop in Farragut North in the District. The limited menu introduced at this truck stop was a bit more expanded than the Houston truck is offering, but, to be fair, Washington doesn’t have as many Chick-fil-A brick-and-mortar restaurants as Houston does, so these customers would undoubtedly have to go farther out of their way if they were craving nuggets instead of the sandwiches.

Anyway, it’s important to note that this proves that the truck can offer more … when it’s good and ready. Here’s hoping Houston residents can get nuggets and soda soon, too!

Sources: Houston Chronicle, Eater DC / Photo Credit: Chick-fil-A, Inc./Instagram

Tags: Chick-fil-A, Chicken Sandwich, food truck, Houston, Texas, Waffle Fries
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Deep-Fried State Fair Food Is Coming To Walmart 365 Days A Year


By Cooking Panda

These days, state fair food is famous for a) just how terrible nutritionally it is for us and b) how darn good people seem to think it tastes.

Luckily (or horrendously, depending on how you look at it) for the innocent folks over in Plano, Texas, a man named Isaac Rousso is making his deep-fried culinary “delights” readily available in his newest venture: year-round restaurants inside a Plano Walmart.

Rousso, who has been recognized for his contributions to the State Fair of Texas, plans to open the Plano location on Sept. 20, as the first in a region-wide, and then potentially nationwide expansion, reports The Dallas Morning News.

Obviously, Walmart would be behind this kind of thing, considering its willingness to showcase food beyond McDonald’s and Subway. Additionally, it gives Rousso the chance to see his star rise beyond the reach of little ol’ Texas.

“At the end of the day it’s incredible that you have someone like Walmart believing in a small entrepreneurial guy and seeing the potential of what we can bring to the table,” he told The Dallas Morning News, while intrigued shoppers circle the the not-yet-open restaurant in Plano, which takes the place of a McDonald’s. “The State Fair of Texas for me has been the greatest blessing that’s ever come to my family. And the opportunities that were coming to us because of the State Fair, words can’t describe it.”

According to The Dallas Morning News, the retro-themed diner will feature a 45-item menu “celebrating the treats families enjoy every year when they make an annual pilgrimage to the fair.”

“Walmart was looking for a creative new food concept to energize high-profile locations,” Rousso said. “They loved the idea of finding someone who was able to take an idea and constantly create something fresh and innovative.”

“They know that every fall, there’s going to be something new on that menu,” he added. “We’re able to change and reinvent ourselves.”

“Isaac and his family embody what the State Fair is all about,” added Carey Risinger, Senior Vice President of Food, Beverage and Retail for the State Fair, in a statement. “Families working hard to help other families have a good time during their visit.”

Source: The Dallas Morning News / Photo credit: Fairplex

Tags: Fried Food, state fair, Texas, wal-mart
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McDonald’s Has A New Burger On Its Menu And It Looks Crazy


By Cooking Panda

Your favorite fast food chain just introduced a new burger, and this one might be its biggest, baddest, and meatiest creation yet.

McDonald’s recently held a “McBurger Showdown Challenge” in the Lone Star state, and the results prove that everything really is bigger in Texas.

According to HelloGiggles, over 25,000 contestants entered the contest, which challenged customers to design a burger that truly represents America’s second biggest state. The winning creation, submitted by Joseph Pena of Houston, is not only decidedly Texan, but also unquestionably delicious.

Called the “Lone Star Stack,” the limited edition burger consists of two patties, caramelized onions, Applewood smoked bacon, American and white cheddar cheese, sweet onion barbeque sauce, and crinkle-cut pickles. If that’s not already Texan enough, however, never fear—all of this comes sandwiched between two thick, browned slices of Texas toast.

David Glaser, a Texas McDonald’s owner, commented on the contest, saying, “We wanted to give Texans a burger that truly captures the flavor of our great state. It was also important for us to reach out to our guests and lean on their Texan pride. As you can imagine, most of the creations were spicy, large and, of course, loaded with bacon. The McDonald’s Burger Showdown Challenge allowed us to bond with our customers and showcase our high-quality ingredients.”

We don’t know about you, but our mouths are already watering from the description alone! If you want to check out the Lone Star Stack for yourself, however, act fast—it will be available at Texas McDonald’s only until August 28!

Source: HelloGiggles / Photo credit: McDonald's via HelloGiggles

Tags: burger, Lone Star Stack, McDontald's, Texas
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Paramedic’s Facebook Post About ‘Burger Flippers’ Making $15 An Hour Has People Talking (Photo)


By Cooking Panda

A Facebook post from a Texas paramedic about New York City fast food workers making $15 an hour has people talking and is gaining widespread attention. 

Jen Rushing also makes $15 an hour as a paramedic, KFOR News reports. But he didn’t take to Facebook to denounce other workers for fighting for the right to make the same amount. Instead, in his post, he pointed out that others should also be fighting for a living wage rather than fighting amongst themselves about who deserves more. 

“Look, if any job is going to take up someone’s life, it deserves a living wage,” Rushing wrote. “If a job exists and you have to hire someone to do it, they deserve a living wage. End of story.”

But, he said, he heard a lot of others complaining; arguing that “burger flippers” don’t deserve to make as much money as a paramedic or someone in another skilled field. 

“These guys with no education and no skills think they deserve as much as us? F— those guys,” was the argument Rushing said he heard from some of his colleagues. 

“I’m a licensed electrician, I make $13/hr, f— these burger flippers,” was another he said he read on Facebook. 

That’s wasted energy, Rushing said.

“And that’s exactly what the bosses want!” he wrote. “They want us fighting over who has the bigger pile of crumbs so we don’t realize they made off with almost the whole damn cake.”

He went on in his post to point out that his company “cleared” $1.3 billion last year, yet many in the company are still trying to support families making $27,000 or less per year. 

“Can they pay us more?” he wrote. “Absolutely. But why would they? No one’s making them.”

But something can be learned form the experience of the fast food workers in New York, he said. 

“The workers in NY *made* them,” Rushing pointed out. “They fought for and won a living wage. So how incredibly petty and counterproductive is it to fuss that their pile of crumbs is bigger than ours? Put that energy elsewhere. Organize. Fight. Win.”

His post has now been shared on Facebook more than 41,000 times, received numerous comments, and been reported by various news outlets. 

The minimum wage hike in New York City will apply to those workers working in fast food restaurant chains that have 30 or more locations nationally, according to NPR. It will raise the minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $15. The wage hike will take effect incrementally over the next three years.

Sources: KFOR News, Facebook: Jens Rushing, NPR

Photo Credit: Facebook: Jens Rushing

Tags: Texas
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