A judge recently ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich, according to an Associated Press report. It seems there was some question on the matter, especially from the Panera Bread Co. chain, which should know better, as it is clearly in the sandwich business.
But Panera's interest in the matter was far from academic. The dispute the judge had to resolve centered around a clause in a contract Panera had with a shopping mall. The contract stipulated that Panera would be the exclusive " sandwich shop" in the place.
When a rival chain, Qdoba Mexican Grill, sought to move in, Panera cried "foul," even though Qdoba's menu consists of burritos, tacos, quesadillas and similar South of the Border favorites. By Panera's lights, any place that sold proteins inside of breadstuffs was a sandwich shop.
The trial must have been a hoot, with affadavits from various industry "experts," wrangling over what the meaning of " sandwich" is.
We thought the good old Earl of Sandwich—and certainly Dagwood Bumstead—had already settled all that...
McDonald's has been sued for contributing to obesity and heart disease, and the chain has just as aggressively fought any such association.
However, not all burger places are so demure. A restaurant in Tempe, AZ, is actually advertising its complicity in coronary complications by calling itself the Heart Attack Grill. Furthermore, it has named its burgers the Double-, Triple-and even Quadruple-Bypass, depending on the number of half-pound beef patties each contains (there's also a one-patty Single-Bypass, probably for the children's menu). Good customers get a wheelchair ride to their cars—a macabre foreshadowing of trips along the coronary ward corridors of the future, perhaps?
The wheelchairs are pushed by nubile waitresses in softporn nurse uniforms that look like something Madonna might wear if she were a healthcare professional. It begs the question of whether the menu or the staff causes more seizures, at least among male patrons.
Indeed, Heart Attack Grill seems to delight in poking sharp sticks into the eyes of puritans and clean living nags. It claims its french fries are fried in "pure lard," and—in perhaps the ultimate "dis"—it includes cigarettes on its menu.
The restaurant's signature Quadruple Bypass Burger is an impressive bit of artery-clogging culinary artillery, with four beef patties, cheese, onions, tomatoes.
Owner John Basso told the Agence France Presse news service that he's itching to open a branch location in Paris. If he does, it will be the ultimate test for the French Paradox.
British scientists have built the world's first robo-gut, an artificial stomach that can replicate what happens in a real stomach. Why is this important? Well, it can help researchers come up with foods that are better for real tummies, especially how to keep them at a reasonable size.
The artificial stomach is designed to "digest" foods in the same way real ones do, allowing scientists to study things like whether different foods promote the release of certain nutrients, whether potential contaminants get absorbed or are ejected and how different food structures impact digestion and satiety. The conclusions can help in the development of foods that could make people feel "full" on fewer calories, thus reducing obesity.
The device is actually only about half the size of an average real stomach and can ingest about a pound and a half of food at a "sitting." However, its processes are as close to the real thing as possible, including the release of enzymes and the physical contractions that help break food down.
"It's so realistic that it can even vomit," chief designer Dr. Martin Wickham told the Associated Press.
More than we needed to know, doc...
"We have the market share leader in turkey-flavored beverages."
Jones Soda Co. CEO Peter van Stolk, commenting on the success of the company's annual novelty holiday pack selections, which include turkey and gravy, sweet potato and green pea flavored sodas. Showing that the company does have some scruples, van Stolk added that it drew the line at fish taco and curried chicken flavors (from Reuters, November 20, 2006).