Categoria: restaurants

Where To Get A Free Oreo Bundlet This Monday, March 6

To celebrate Oreo’s 111th birthday, bakery chain Nothing Bundt Cakes will be giving away a free Oreo Cookies and Cream Bundlets to the first 111 customers in line on Monday, March 6 at 1:11 p.m.

The chain unveiled the limited-time Oreo Cookies and Cream Bundlet on Feb. 6. It will continue to be available through March 26, but Monday is an opportunity to try it for free. All Nothing Bundt Cakes locations are participating.

The cake has a Nothing Bundt Cakes classic white cake baked with Oreo cookie pieces and the chain’s signature cream cheese frosting on top.

Customers can purchase the cake in all sizes, but Monday’s giveaway will be individually packaged miniature cakes.

Caitlin Antonios | Reporter Caitlin Antonios is a California native and has spent most of her life living in Orange County. After graduating from the University of California, Irvine with a literary journalism and English degree, she attended Columbia University for the Toni Stabile Investigative Journalism program. She spent a year freelancing investigative stories covering education, health and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earl Of Sandwich Opens Full-Service Restaurant In Downtown Disney Next To Pop-Up Shop

The popular Earl of Sandwich that has come and gone several times at Downtown Disney is testing out a new full-service, sit-down restaurant concept next door to a temporary pop-up sandwich shop at the outdoor shopping mall.

The Earl of Sandwich Tavern fast-casual, table-service restaurant officially opened on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in Downtown Disney next to the temporary Earl of Sandwich grab-and-go shop.

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SEE ALSO: Everything you can eat and drink at Disney’s Food & Wine Festival – See the list

The Earl of Sandwich Tavern offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with al fresco seating on the patio and a full indoor cocktail bar.

Breakfast dishes include omelets, burritos, eggs Benedict, avocado toast and French toast. Lunch and dinner entrees include burgers, fish tacos, fish and chips, prime rib, roasted chicken, fettuccine alfredo, soups and salads along with the restaurant’s sandwich lineup.

The fan-favorite Earl of Sandwich grab-and-go location returned to Downtown Disney in early February in the former La Brea Bakery location that abruptly closed in early January after more than two decades of operation as one of the original businesses in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland worked with the Orlando, Florida-based sandwich franchise on the pop-up location as a short-term solution to temporarily satisfy fans of the beloved sandwich shop.

SEE ALSO: What to expect when Disneyland’s sassy and edgy Magic Happens parade returns

The original Earl of Sandwich restaurant was torn down in February 2022 along with AMC Theatre, Starbucks West and Sugarboo and Co. as part of the renovation of the west end of Downtown Disney.

A new Porto’s Bakery & Eatery will eventually be built on the footprint of the La Brea Bakery location near the esplanade between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Disney officials announced in September during the D23 Expo that the Cuban sweets and treats foodie-phenom was headed to Downtown Disney as part of the outdoor shopping center’s latest renovation.

The Southern California institution — which already has a Buena Park location near Knott’s Berry Farm —rocketed to foodie phenom status in 2016 when it nabbed the top spot on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S.

Brady MacDonald | Reporter Brady MacDonald is a theme park reporter for the Orange County Register and the Southern California News Group. He’s covered the theme park industry for more than 25 years. He writes about Disney, Universal, Six Flags, SeaWorld, Cedar Fair and Legoland parks in Southern California, across the United States and around the world. As a member of the SCNG Features team, he also writes about entertainment, travel, pop culture, music, restaurants and craft beer.

Tiyya Foundation Expands Culinary Program To Help Young Immigrant Mothers Begin Careers

Born in an Ethiopian refugee camp in Somalia, Meymuna Hussein-Cattan and her mother, Owliya Dima, had to acclimate to a new life in Southern California all on their own.

As their own family resettled in the early 1980s, Dima volunteered tirelessly to help others navigate the process as well, inspiring Cattan’s decision to start the nonprofit Tiyya Foundation to continue her mother’s mission to help immigrants and refugees. The word “tiyya” is an Oromo term of endearment, meaning “my dear” or “my love.”

Since 2010, more than 1,000 families have been helped by the foundation with basic needs, education and career placement resources and more as they resettle in the Orange County and the general Southern California region.

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Part of that is through the foundation’s culinary program which includes two branches — Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant Flavors from Afar nestled in L.A.’s Little Ethiopia community and the foundation’s new education workshops and consultations.

The foundation, based in Santa Ana, opened the restaurant, which it describes as a “social enterprise,” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The concept began in 2018 after Cattan started a small catering company to financially support the foundation’s mission, but the opportunity to become brick-and-mortar came after a partnership with Christian Davis in 2020.

The restaurant rotates its menu monthly to highlight a different international cuisine, using the recipes and experience of the refugees and immigrants the foundation has partnered with.

Kenna Copes is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and program instructor and head chef of the restaurant. She works with every refugee to make their dishes ready for service and also helps prepare Flavors’ staff for careers in the culinary industry.

“A refugee chef will come in for a day and curate the menu for the next month with Kenna [Copes],” Tiyya’s Career Placement Specialist Mira Tarabeine said.

Forty percent of the restaurant’s proceeds go directly to supporting the foundation’s programming and the month’s resident chef receives 5 percent of gross sales.

Chef Fary Niang at Flavors from Afar in Los Angeles (Courtesy of Jesse Hsu/Tiyya Foundation) The restaurant’s food caught the eye of the Michelin Guide after being in business for only two years for its affordability and culinary reach. An anonymous Michelin inspector wrote “this is authentic homestyle cooking in the best of ways” when the awards were previewed last November.

“The recipes are inspired by these different experiences,” Tarabeine said. “But you’re not just giving your money away as a donation when you eat there, you’re investing in Michelin food.”

For those not in L.A., the restaurant offers corporate catering and is willing to send staff to cook onsite if a customer is looking for a specific cuisine that isn’t currently on the restaurant’s menu for that month.

Tarabeine, an immigrant herself from Syria, oversees the other branch of the foundation’s culinary program, which seeks to expand culinary industry training beyond just the ability to work at the restaurant.

“We wanted to build out the program,” Tarabeine said. “One chef per month at the restaurant means only 12 chefs a year and our program touches so many more families.”

The workshops offered to Tiyya’s network will go over how to set up an at-home catering business, help immigrants receive food-handling certifications, and go through a step-by-step guidance on how to attain proper licenses for those who want to start their own restaurants.

For those who don’t want to set up their own business, the foundation partners with Shef, an online platform that allows a chef (with the proper certifications) to cook meals at home, deliver them to Shef headquarters, which then distributes the food to customers.

Meena Chand and Subhadra Devi Sami at Flavors from Afar in Los Angeles (Courtesy of Jesse Hsu/Tiyya Foundation) “We’re mainly focusing on women with young children,” Tarabeine said. “This gives them the opportunity to work, be flexible to where they’re at and be accessible.”

Many of the women in the Tiyya community don’t necessarily trust certified child care workers when first arriving in a new area, instead choosing to keep their children home and connect them with their culture as much as possible during the resettlement process.

“We understand the frustration of people coming to this country having managed hundreds of employees back home or have experience in the kitchen and want to open a restaurant here,” Tarabein said. “It’s great, but we have to go step by step.”

In addition to the workshops planned every one to two months, the foundation will offer one-on-one business consultations as well. Ideally, the foundation will be able to connect their community members with culinary professionals around the area and begin a more personal mentorship program as well.

“We’re currently looking for kitchen space to host these workshops in Orange County,” Tarabeine said.

The workshops, which start next month, will be open to the Tiyya Foundation community. To become a member, information can be found on the foundation’s website. For those who want to support the foundation’s efforts or attend their public gatherings and fundraisers, information can also be found on the website.

Why Pizza Hut’s Red Roofs And McDonald’s Play Places Have Disappeared

By Nathaniel Meyersohn

For decades, bright, playful and oddly-shaped fast-food restaurants dotted the roadside along America’s highways.

You’d drive by Howard Johnson’s with its orange roofs and then pass Pizza Hut’s red-topped huts. A few more miles and there was the roadside White Castle with its turrets. Arby’s roof was shaped like a wagon and Denny’s resembled a boomerang. And then McDonald’s, with its neon golden arches towering above its restaurants.

These quirky designs were an early form of brand advertising, gimmicks meant to grab drivers’ attention and get them to stop in.

As fast-food chains spread across the US after World War II, new roadside restaurant brands needed to stand out. Television was new media not yet beamed into every single home, newspapers were still ascendant and social media unimaginable.

So restaurant chains turned to architecture as a key tool to promote their brand and help create their corporate identity.

But the fast-food architecture of today has lost its quirky charm and distinctive features. Shifts in the restaurant industry, advertising and technology have made fast-food exteriors bland and spiritless, critics say.

Goodbye bright colors and unusual shapes. Today, the design is minimal and sleek. Most fast-food restaurants are built to maximize efficiency, not catch motorists’ attention. Many are shaped like boxes, decorated with fake wooden paneling, imitation stone or brick exteriors, and flat roofs. One critic has called this trend “faux five-star restaurants” intended to make customers forget they are eating greasy fries and burgers.

The chains now sport nearly identical looks. Call it the gentrification of fast-food design.

“They’re soulless little boxes,” said Glen Coben, an architect who has designed boutique hotels, restaurants and stores. “They’re like Monopoly homes.”

The signage outside a historic McDonald’s restaurant is seen in Downey, California, in February 2015.(Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) Googie architecture Fast-food restaurants developed and expanded in the mid-twentieth century with the explosion of car culture and the development of interstate highways.

Large companies came to dominate highway restaurants through a strategy known as “place-product-packaging” — the coordination of building design, decor, menu, service and pricing, according to John Jakle, the author of “Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age.”

Fast-food chains’ buildings were designed to catch the eye of potential customers driving by at high speeds and get them to slow down.

“The buildings had to be visually strong and bold,” said Alan Hess, an architecture critic and historian. “That included neon signs and the shape of the building.”

A leading example: McDonald’s design, with its two golden arches sloping over the roof of its restaurant, a style known as Googie.

Introduced in California in 1953, McDonald’s design was influenced by ultra-modern coffee shops and roadside stands of Southern California, then the heart of budding fast-food chains.

The two 25-foot bright yellow sheet-metal arches that rose through the McDonald’s buildings were tall enough to attract drivers amid the clutter of other roadside buildings, their neon trim gleaming day and night. McDonald’s design set off a wave of similar Googie-style architecture at fast-food chains nationwide.

Well into the 1970s, the designs were a prominent fixture of the American roadside, “imprinting the image of fast-food drive-in architecture in the popular consciousness,” Hess wrote in a journal article.

Opposition grew to garish structures like this Jack in the Box in 1970.(David F. Smith/AP) ‘Visual pollution’ But there was a backlash to this aesthetic. As the environmental movement developed in the 1960s, opposition to the conspicuous Googie style grew. Critics called it “visual pollution.”

“Critics hated this populist, roadside commercial California architecture,” Hess said. Googie style fell out of fashion in the 1970s as fast-food style favored dark colors, brick and mansard roofs.

McDonald’s new prototype became a low-profile mansard roof and brick design with shingle texture. Its arches moved from atop the building to signposts and became McDonald’s corporate logo.

“McDonald’s and Jack in the Box unfurled their neon and Day Glo banners and architectural containers against the endless sky,” the New York Times said in 1978. They have been “toned down with the changing taste of the 60’s and 70’s.” And with the growth of mass communications advertising campaigns, brands no longer relied on architectural features to stand out –they could simply flood the television airwaves.

Fast-food goes upscale In the 1980s and 1990s, companies began introducing children’s play areas and party rooms to draw families — additions to existing “brown” structures, Hess said.

The rise of mobile ordering and cost concerns since then altered modern fast-food design.

With fewer people sitting down for full meals at fast-food restaurants, companies didn’t need elaborate dining areas. So today they’re expanding drive-thru lanes, increasing the number of pickup windows and adding digital kiosks in stores.

“We have a lot of red-roof restaurants” that “clearly need to go away,” a Pizza Hut executive said in 2018 of its classic design. The company’s new prototype, “Hut Lanes,” helps to speed up wait times at drive-thru locations.

The new fast-food box designs with their flat roofs are more efficient to heat and cool than older structures, said John Gordon, a restaurant consultant. Kitchens have been reconfigured to speed up food preparation. They’re also cheaper to build, maintain and staff a smaller store.

But in the effort to modernize, some say fast-food design has became homogenized and lost its creative purpose.

“I don’t know if you’d be able to identify what they were if they had a different name on the front,” said Addison Del Mastro, an urbanist writer who documents the history of commercial landscapes. “There’s nothing to engage the wandering imagination.”

Farmer John’s Laid-Off Workers Offered Free Training, New Prospects

An estimated 2,000 workers who are being displaced by the closure of a Farmer John meatpacking plant in Vernon are receiving help, thanks to a Los Angeles County-led partnership aimed at training them for new jobs.

Parent company Smithfield Foods, which acquired Farmer John in 2017, announced it will be closing the facility this month, citing “the escalating cost of doing business in California.” The plant has been in operation for more than 90 years.

Smithfield, which first announced the closure in June 2022, said the products will now be packaged and trucked in from its facilities in the Midwest. Many employees have already been laid off.

Displaced employees from the Farmer John meatpacking plant in Vernon attended a job fair Wednesday, Feb. 15 aimed at helping them the assistance and training they need to transition to good paying union jobs. (Photo by Diandra Jay) Funded largely by a $6.1 million grant from the state Employment Development Department, L.A. County representatives — along with UFCW Local 770, the Hospitality Training Academy and others — have hosted a series of job fairs aimed at helping Farmer John workers get the assistance and training they need to transition to good paying union jobs. 

Many of the jobs are in hospitality, while others are in the construction industry.

More than finding work County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who spearheaded the effort, said the partnership involves more than helping Farmer John’s employees find work.

“Before workers even begin to talk to employers or get information about job training, we make sure they have everything they need to support their families right now,” she said.

That includes connecting them with CalFresh benefits and healthcare coverage through Covered California, as well as helping them file for unemployment and connecting them with housing assistance if needed.

“Many of these workers have spent years, if not decades, working at this meatpacking plant doing grueling work,” Hahn said. “And it is our hope that out of this bad situation, we can open doors for people to start new careers and improve their quality of life.”

Liz Odendahl, Hahn’s communications director, said some of the employees have received free training through the Hospitality Training Academy and are already working as cooks at USC. The academy operates training kitchens in L.A. and Santa Monica.

“They will be making more money than they did before,” she said. “At Farmer John’s, they were making $17.25 an hour, but the new job will pay $19.25 an hour. And the hospitality industry always needs employees at hotels, restaurants and airports. “

100% placement Adine Forman, the Hospitality Training Academy’s executive director, said the academy offers everything from one-day training to receiving a food-handling certificate, to an eight-week culinary apprentice program. The programs are aimed primarily at low-income residents in L.A.

Some displaced Farm John workers are already enrolled in the program, she said, while others are interviewing to enroll.

“We have some 100% placement out of our programs,” Forman said. “USC has already hired eight people.”

The academy also places job seekers in some of the region’s upscale hotels, including the Beverly Wilshire, Millennium Biltmore and Conrad Los Angeles, as well as in airport concession jobs.

“Many of these Farmer John workers were doing incredibly hard jobs working on the killing floor,” Forman said. “We offer jobs where they won’t be working in 20 degrees in a freezer. They’re good union jobs with good benefits and outstanding employers.”