Searching for Italy in Santa Fe
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All photos by Juliet White

Pasta at Andiamo. All photos by Juliet White

Italian is hardly the first cuisine to come to mind in a discussion of Santa Fe dining. Instead “New Mexican,” “Southwestern,” and “Mexican” are the city’s culinary buzzwords. Still, Santa Fe harbors several Italian gems all of which earned Wine Spectator’s Awards of Excellence. Read the rest of this entry »

Egg McMuffins for Dinner Are a Fast Food Game-Changer
Photo by Albert Lynn

Photo by Albert Lynn

Until recently, the fast-food industry didn’t seem to realize that Americans love eating breakfast for dinner. According to a recent consumer survey, 90% of Americans say they have breakfast for dinner, with 53% doing so at least once a month. With only a few exceptions, most major quick-service restaurants cut off their breakfast menus at 10:30 or 11 a.m.

McDonald’s recent move to offer some of its most popular breakfast items all day long could very well change the landscape, and quickly. The Golden Arches will offer Egg McMuffins, hotcakes, sausage burritos, and hash browns for lunch and dinner nationwide beginning October 6 following a test run in some markets. Previously, McDonald’s famously only offered breakfast until 10:30 a.m., which inspired a memorable scene in the 1999 Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy (NSFW), and prompted fans to create the “Mc10:35,” a secret menu item combining breakfast and lunch items. Read the rest of this entry »

Fast Food’s Condiment Code Words
Photo by Gregg Koenig / Flickr

Photo by Gregg Koenig / Flickr

It’s not exactly news that fast food contains fillers, additives, and lessons in chemistry that would make your high school teacher proud. Despite a recent push toward fewer artificial ingredients, fast food restaurants still serve chemical concoctions by the millions. In particular, sauce packets and condiments tell the tale of food that’s not quite the food it’s supposed to be. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Oddly Named Chinese Restaurants


One of the most common questions I receive from people who hear about my dining experiences at nearly 7,000 Chinese restaurants is the most unusual restaurant names I’ve encountered. It was even one of the topics that film director Ian Cheney asked me about in The Search For General Tso. In the documentary, I mention the oddly named Strange Taste Restaurant which operated for a number of years in New York Chinatown. (Like many of the restaurants in this article, it’s no longer around.) I presume the owners meant “strange taste” to distinguish themselves from run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurants, not knowing that strange-tasting food is normally not thought of as good. Read the rest of this entry »

Home-Delivered Happy Meals Are Now a Thing
Photo by Mike Mozart / Flickr

Photo by Mike Mozart / Flickr

When I was seven years old, I overheard my parents talking about ordering takeout for dinner. They were discussing whether to call the Panda House for Chinese food or Luigi’s for pizza when I chimed in: “Can we call McDonald’s and get some Happy Meals?”

No, my mother told me. She explained that places like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell didn’t deliver. I began to cry. At that young age, I didn’t understand I was asking for the impossible.

Fast forward 29 years. Although pizza and Chinese food remain the dominant foods in meal delivery, major fast-food and fast-casual chains are slowly implementing such services, as mobile ordering companies and delivery apps make delivery a viable option. Read the rest of this entry »