Welcome to Off-Menu , where we'll be rounding up all the food news and food-adjacent internet ephemera that delighted, fascinated, or infuriated us today.
- Yes, everyone at Chick-fil-A says “My pleasure” when you ask for a refill on your lemonade, and yes, their chicken sandwiches and waffle fries are top-shelf. And yes, they’re still making donations to organizations that continue to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. According to ThinkProgress, in 2017 the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave more than $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and $150,000 to the Salvation Army—and all three of those groups have problematic policies. The FCA describes itself as “an interdenominational Christian sports ministry,” but part of that ministry requires its employees to agree to a “sexual purity” policy that forbids “homosexual acts.” The Paul Anderson Youth Home says that it provides “a Christ-centered, holistic, and therapeutic approach towards transforming the lives of young men,” but that approach also involves teaching young men that being gay is wrong. And the Salvation Army doesn’t have a great record when it comes to advocating for—or even agreeing with—legal protection for LGBTQ Americans, either.
According to Chick-fil-A, 2017 was the last year that it would be donating to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, but it will continue to support the other two. “[S]ince the Chick-fil-A Foundation was created in 2012, our giving has always focused on youth and education,” the company said in a statement. “We have never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda. There are 140,000 people—black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian—who represent Chick-fil-A. We are the sum of many experiences, but what we all have in common is a commitment to providing great food, genuine hospitality, and a welcoming environment to all of our guests.” Right.
- Red Bull might give you wings, but the Power Natural High Energy Drink SX is gonna give you a raging boner. The popular energy drink has been banned in Malawi and Zambia, and has been investigated in two other African countries after lab tests showed that it contains sildenafil citrate, an ingredient that most of us know as Viagra. Uganda’s National Drug Authority was prompted to examine the drink in December, after “a customer complained of constant sweating and a nearly six-hour erection.” Despite (or because of???) those unadvertised side effects, The Guardian reports that the drink is “very popular” among Zambian men.
- The Wall Street Journal recently suggested that Norway’s new underwater restaurant hoped to become a “subaquatic Noma.” We’ll have to wait to see whether Under collects the same number of accolades and Michelin stars, and whether it will ultimately become as influential, but it can already match René Redzepi when it comes to one thing: its waiting list. Under doesn’t officially open until the beginning of April, but there are no reservations available until at least October. (You can put yourself on the waiting list for several days each month, but I wouldn’t start planning a trip to Lindesnes just yet.) Noma, though, currently has one table available on August 14, for one party of six. Please let me know if you and your friends need a sixth.
- The third season of Queer Eye just hit Netflix last week, and a lot of binge-watchers have already shown their love for a Kansas City, Missouri BBQ joint. In the third episode, Bobby Berk redesigned Jones Bar-B-Q, which is co-owned by sisters Mary “Shorty” Jones Mosley and and Deborah “Little” Jones. The two pitmasters got a kitchen overhaul, a spacious outdoor patio, and an inviting new storefront. In addition, the Fab Five connected the women with a manufacturer who could help them produce and bottle their special barbecue sauce—and it has been a massive, massive hit.
According to the restaurant’s Instagram, they have since sold 11,000 bottles, and they were selling almost 2 bottles per minute (!!!) over the weekend. “It’s been overwhelming, I’ll put it that way,” Deborah Jones told the Kansas City Star, about their Queer Eye experience. “But it’s been nice. I’m not complaining because it’s really done well for the business.”
MEANWHILE, ON TWITTER
- The latest Twitter challenge-slash-procrastination tool suggests Googling “Florida man” plus whatever your birthday is, then posting the results. (Mine? “Missing zoo animals found in Florida man's apartment.”)
If your b-day is March 20, then your Florida horoscope says “Florida man arrested, accused of shoving woman to get to egg rolls,” because earlier this week, an intoxicated Keith Johnson allegedly went to an unidentified woman’s home, and demanded that she let him inside so he could eat some egg rolls. She told him nah, but added that she’d leave the egg rolls outside by his car. That wasn’t enough for Johnson, who allegedly pushed the woman. Instead of egg rolls, he got a complimentary ride to the Santa Rosa County Jail, is facing a charge of battery, and is yet another entry on what will inevitably become the Florida Man desk calendar.
- For most of us, Uber Eats is a way to avoid getting off the couch to do anything other than open the door for a delivery driver, but for an enterprising New Jersey dude named AJ, it’s apparently a way to sell $3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and deliver them to strangers. AJ’s PB&J is an option on Uber Eats, and yeah, it seems to be a guy who is making PB&Js and Waffle PB&Js in his own kitchen.
That probably violates a dozen different regulations when it comes to food prep and, like, zoning laws and who knows what else, but I’m 100-percent the kind of person who would order one of these sandwiches. Fried, please. (Sad note: We cannot find AJ's PB & J on the North Brunswick Township, New Jersey Uber Eats portal. If anyone can, please help us. We're hungry.)