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.
- My dad used to tell me “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself,” which is good advice when it comes to yard work, less so when it involves dental procedures. It’s also apparently the wrong attitude when it comes to Taco Bell’s menu items. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department is currently looking for a man who ordered a Mexican pizza from a Spartanburg, South Carolina Taco Bell, then walked into the restaurant to complain that there wasn’t enough meat on it. When he was given a second Mexican pizza that didn’t meet (or meat) his standards, he said that he “would show the employees how to make his food the appropriate way,” then walked into the kitchen and started preparing his own meal. In addition to “using foul language” while constructing his meal, he allegedly failed to follow proper health and safety guidelines and did not wear “protective gloves.” If he is apprehended (Taco Bell’s security cameras weren’t working) he is facing charges of larceny and trespass. SEE DAD! SOMETIMES YOU *ARE* WRONG.
- In other unauthorized tortilla news, two Arizona women came home from doing laundry and found a strange man in their apartment, eating from a can of soup, and trying to cook a tortilla on their stove—without using a pan. “He tried to cook like three of them, because the first two burned,” Alex Herron told AZ Family. “I smelled the burning too. So we both went out and I was oh like, 'Hey, what's going on?' Trying to have a friendly confrontation and trying to be calm and everything." When she asked the man, identified as 31-year-old Jerry Christopher Drane, to skedaddle, he allegedly just took the can of soup out onto the balcony and finished eating it there. The police arrived and arrested Drane. He is facing charges of criminal trespass, and will hopefully be sentenced to some kind of cooking class.
- During a Season 6 episode of The Simpsons called “The PTA Disbands,” Principal Skinner is called out for all of the budget-slashing he’s done at Springfield Elementary, including cutting teacher salaries, preventing the faculty from purchasing supplies, and serving school lunches made from old gym mats. Even Bart is shocked when he realizes that he’s been drinking Malk with his meals every day, but not as shocked as we are to learn that Malk is apparently a real thing now.
According to Slate, Malk is a nut malk—er, milk, made from organic nuts, Himalayan salt, and a touch of sweetness from organic maple syrup or vanilla beans. Great. I give it another six months before Squeaky Farms Brand Genuine Animal Milk is on the shelves at Whole Foods too.
- While your most devout friends are powering through six weeks of Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and have voluntarily surrendered Instagram (or chocolate or swearing at the President on Twitter), an Ohio brewery worker has turned the Lenten season into an excuse to drink nothing but beer every day until Easter Sunday. Del Hall is using Catholic history to justify his decision to live solely on beer (and water), and says he’s just doing what 17th-century monks used to do. “Being master brewers, they decided they would take a popular style of beer in Germany, bock beer, make it extra hearty and that would be their liquid bread and that’s what they call it,” Hall told WKRC. “So the monks in Bavaria, they would call doppelbock liquid bread and basically it would sustain them through the 46 days of Lent.” Is there a religious order that ate edibles and watched reruns of The Golden Girls during Lent? I’m asking for a friend, a friend who would very much like to get high as shit during her—I MEAN HIS OR HER—work hours. She (OR HE) also likes Sophia Petrillo a lot.
- Hi, have we mentioned that you probably shouldn’t believe the internet when it comes to matters of your personal health? Because you probably shouldn’t listen to the internet, and we don’t mean when a website named WeLoveAmerica dot com suggests that vaccinations are less effective than just covering your children with wood varnish. According to Philly Voice, a number of “fitness influencers and experts” are trying to convince everyone that Cheez Whiz is a health food, because it contains comparatively high levels of a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Although Cheez Whiz DOES contain CLA, it also contains a lot of salt, a number of preservatives, and an unappealing combination of artificial colors. So maybe talk to a medical professional about the potential benefits of CLA. And if your doctor tells you to start eating buckets of Cheez Whiz, it’s not because it’s healthy, it’s because your doctor hates you.
IT'S CALLED FASHION, SWEATY
- According to The Guardian, director Harmony Korine gave Matthew McConaughey “the role of a lifetime” by casting him in Beach Bum (a VICE Studios film). And according to New Yorker copy editor Lauren Leibowitz, director Harmony Korine gave McConaughey’s co-star Zac Efron a hairstyle that was inspired by a panini.
I always have complicated feelings about Korine’s flicks, but I could really go for Panera right now.