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Wendy's Inadvertent Hidden Message and More News

Wendy's Inadvertent Hidden Message and More News


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In today's Media Mix, Hot Pockets get revamped, plus McDonald's expands to Vietnam

The Daily Meal brings you the biggest news from the food world.

Beer Cocktails on the Rise: Evolving from a shot and a beer, cocktails with brews as their base are slowly gaining a following. [My Desert]

Hot Pockets Revamp: The stoner food of this generation is getting a makeover with meats like slow-cooked beef and a new "butter garlic crust." We wonder what Snoop Lion thinks. [LA Times]

McDonald's Heading to Vietnam:The burger giant is opening their first outpost in Vietnam. [WSJ]

Wendy's New Logo: Look closely at the redesign and you might just be viewing Wendy's as "mom" from now on. [HuffPo]


Breakfast Baconators And Frosty-ccinos Are Coming to Wendy's

After months of anticipation, speculation, and rumors that swirled like a Frosty, we finally have some concrete details about the what and when of Wendy’s impending breakfast launch.

In an announcement befitting their weird, trollish social media brand, Wendy’s announced that you can wake up and get breakfast at any of its locations nationwide starting on Monday, March 2.

The menu will be a mix of breakfast-oriented revamps of Wendy’s classics, alongside a sandwich that takes aim at some popular fast food competitors. First, there’s the Breakfast Baconator, which swaps out the beef from the Wendy’s behemoth in favor of a sausage patty and a hand-cracked egg, plus cheese and six(!) strips of bacon, perfect for falling back asleep right after you wake up. Then, there’s the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, which Wendy’s surely hopes will capture some of the morning market share that currently belongs to Chick-fil-A.

And lest you think Wendy’s will just pair those foods with boring, basic coffee, fear not. The drink menu includes something called a 𠇏rosty-ccino,” which combines cold brew and a chocolate frosty into something akin to an iced mocha beverage.

Though it might not seem like a huge deal for those of us who aren’t concerned with the financials of fast food restaurants, Wendy’s is clearly betting big that breakfast will boost their bottom line. They’re hiring 20,000 new employees to staff those breakfast shifts, and the company announced it𠆝 spent about $20 million to take breakfast nationwide last fall.

The only thing that matters now is whether or not the world is ready for a Breakfast Baconator, or if the whole effort crashes and burns. Either way, we should know what’s what by the time spring weather sets in.


New York woman discovers secret apartment behind bathroom mirror

After Samantha Hartsoe stumbled upon an entire three-bedroom apartment hidden behind the bathroom mirror in her own New York home, she chose to ignore the lessons of any good horror film – and explore further.

“Curiosity killed the cat, curiosity is going to kill me,” the Roosevelt Island resident told NBC New York. “I can’t not know what’s on the other side of my bathroom.”

Hartsoe’s adventure, which took place earlier this month, was outlandish even in New York’s notorious housing market, where real-estate horror stories are almost a badge of honor. The 26-year-old documented the ordeal online and millions tuned in, offering comparisons to films such as Parasite and Candyman.

In a series of now viral TikTok videos, Hartsoe first notices a cold draft in her bathroom, strong enough to blow wisps of her hair. Then she looks behind her mirror, revealing the concealed apartment.

Shocked, she nonetheless straps on a makeshift headlamp and mask, arms herself with a hammer – “Mean it when you swing it,” her roommate says – and climbs through the hole in her bathroom wall.

A disclaimer on the video warns that such actions “could result in serious injury” – but Hartsoe reaches the ground unscathed.

“You’re in the other side of the dimension!” her roommate tells her. “Go onward.”

Samantha Hartsoe posts series of TikTok videos.

Inside the hair-raising secret space, Hartsoe finds open windows and a heap of trash bags. She also discovers an empty water bottle, which she calls a “sign of life”.

Prowling the dark rooms, she whispers: “What’s wrong with me?”

“I was kind of expecting there to be somebody, especially with the water bottle being there,” she told New York magazine. “And that definitely put me on edge.”

But after a thorough investigation she decided that ripped-up floors, exposed piping and the lack of a toilet or bathtub made the space uninhabitable.

The presence of the apartment remains shrouded in mystery. Hartsoe says even her building managers do not fully understand.

For now, she is steering clear of her bathroom as much as possible, while attributing at least part of the mass appeal of her video to the attentions of New Yorkers who can only dream of finding more square footage behind their bathroom walls.

“I think everybody in New York has such small apartments, you don’t know what you’re going to find,” she said. “And everyone’s hoping for more space.”


Severed Heads – Heart of the Party: unapologetically weird cautionary tale

There’s nothing quintessentially Australian about Severed Heads, which is one of the group’s strengths. Predominantly a vehicle for Sydneysider Tom Ellard, the best Severed Heads tracks are strange, subliminally malignant fever dreams you can dance to.

Aided by a roster of frequently changing collaborators, Ellard’s sharp pop sensibility worked best when it clashed with the group’s eerie synth arrangements. It sounded of another world, or at least it did if you happened to grow up hearing it on Triple J in the '90s.

The best known Severed Heads track is probably a reworking of their own 1983 single Dead Eyes Opened, re-released 11 years later. It’s an anomaly in the group’s catalogue (few Severed Heads songs feature creepy spoken word monologues), but it exemplifies the outfit’s ineffable quality.

You see, Severed Heads is many things: a dance group, pop group, experimental group, but above all else Severed Heads is weird. Unforgivingly synthetic and often garishly detailed, Ellard’s productions never strive for commonly prized characteristics such as warmth or humanity. Severed Heads is icy and unsentimental, but it’s also very funny. It’s inhuman, but it’s not dead. It’s the polar opposite of most canonical Australian pop music.

The group’s 1994 LP Gigapus is not considered among its best, but boy is Heart of the Party a track. The song’s sad hook is constantly at war with its joyous backbeat and tempo, while the matter is confused further when Ellard begins to sing, “Who will tell my drunken friend that she will die and go to hell?”

Heart of the Party is probably a song about the extremes of rave culture in the '90s about how it had degenerated into a scene for dispassionate booze hounds (“Hear my call from the floor / at the heart of the party”).

Whatever Ellard’s true intention, Heart of the Party works best as a kind of corrupted public service announcement. It sounds like a well-meaning cautionary tale delivered with a dreadful and inadvertent hidden message, while its allegiance with Sydney's then booming dance scene is fraught with ambivalence. Ellard has never had the most emotive voice and that works perfectly in this context, as he sounds like an automaton delivering platitudes which the music itself seems to contradict.

Severed Heads is a gateway to some of Sydney’s most mysterious and weird experimental pop scenes. Before Ellard worked with prominent '90s dance labels Nettwerk and Volition, he operated his own cassette label called Terse Tapes. Severed Heads was also associated with Sydney’s M Squared label, which operated out of a Surry Hills terrace in the late '70s and released recordings by notorious industrial group SPK (then known as SoliPsiK), Scattered Order and Makers of the Dead Travel Fast. It’s a forgotten alternative to Sydney’s better known pub rock heritage.

In the end, there’s a severity and strangeness about the music of Severed Heads which doesn’t gel with Australia’s self-image, but for the country’s more marginalised music subcultures (and even for the likes of The Presets) Ellard and company continue to be influential. In a country where handwringing over the nature of its identity sits uncomfortably alongside American cultural imperialism, Severed Heads still sounds new because it seems oblivious to both impulses a band that exists in its own territory.


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Wendy&rsquos Brought Back Its $5 Biggie Bag That Comes With A Bacon Double Stack, Fries, And More

One of the reasons we love fast food so much is because you can truly get a ton of food for a pretty low price. And while that's always true of Wendy's, the chain just stepped it WAY up with the return of a $5 meal offer that offers you so much food, you might just have leftovers.

The chain has brought back its $5 Bacon Double Stack Biggie Bag, as previously reported on by Chewboom. If you've never had the pleasure of ordering one for yourself, well, brace yourself. It's a LOT of food for $5. It comes complete with the Bacon Double Stack (obviously!), along with a four-piece chicken nugget, small fries, and a small drink. From the looks of the photo, it seems like you can also swap in spicy nuggs too, which we will obviously be doing! A $5 bill at a lot of other chains is not getting you this much, that I can tell you!

If you're looking for something a little different, or if you're just trying to save a dollar, you can also get the four for $4 deal! As a refresher, that means you can get a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, Jr. Cheeseburger, or a Crispy Chicken Sandwich, complete with junior fries, a four-piece nugget, and a small drink for just $4! No matter what, you're getting a lot of food for cheap from Wendy's, so that's a reason to smile, kids! Of course, price and participation may vary on these deals, but roll up to your local Wendy's to see if they offer them and prepare to FEAST.


Right Now You Can Buy One Wendy&rsquos Breakfast Item and Get a Second for $1

Back when the world was a much simpler place, it felt like the debut of a breakfast menu at Wendy’s was a much bigger deal. That was, of course, before restaurants across the country had to change how they operate and everything that wasn’t a major chain had to fight tooth and nail to survive.

If you still haven’t gotten around to tasting what Wendys is serving up for the first meal of the day, now might just be the perfect time to get out of bed and down to the drive-thru and check it out. Why? Because for a limited time, they’re hooking you up with a buy one get one for a buck deal on select breakfast items that’ll make it easier to sample the breadth of their AM menu.

So what exactly can you get, you ask? Well, there’s obviously the Breakfast Baconator, which swaps the burger of its lunchtime relative for a sausage patty and eggs, joining six(!) bacon strips, american cheese, and a hollandaise sauce. It’s perfect for starting your day on an incredibly indulgent note and then taking a nap before noon.

If that somehow doesn’t fill you up, add in a honey butter chicken biscuit, the classic sausage, egg, and Swiss croissant, or round it out with a Frosty-ccino. When your second item is just a buck, you really have almost nothing to lose (besides $1) by trying each of these out.

The deal runs through September 27, which means you’ve got enough time to try pretty much every possible permutation of this buy one get one for cheap offer. If the best version of that deal means ordering two breakfast baconators for yourself, well, godspeed.


How to Get Free Bacon Cheeseburgers at Wendy's for the Next 3 Weeks

If we distinguish 2019 for anything, it may as well be remembered as the year Wendy’s went ham on giving out free burgers. Sure, they’ve done it in the past, but fast food stunts in 2019 have upped the ante𠅊t the end of January, it was a week of Baconators in March, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers (and Frosties) and just earlier this month, they celebrated Baconfest with—you guessed it—more Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers.

It looks like the whole free food strategy is really working for Wendy’s, because they’re giving out free Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers with any purchase through August 19. There’s a catch, of course, but it’s really not bad. You just have to make sure you’re using the Wendy’s app. Once you’ve downloaded it, click on the 𠇎xplore” tab, and then select “Offers.” And that, dear reader, is where the deals begin.

Say you’re not in the mood for a cheeseburger. Okay, well you could get free fries, or a $1 large soft drink, free Baconator fries (for this, you’ve gotta do a mobile order), and more. According to the terms and conditions, you can take advantage of this deal every single day. So hey, maybe stop by Wendy’s and get a complimentary cheeseburger for a friend. Nobody else has to know it was free.


Wendy's is returning to stronger ground

Interestingly, Wendy's has gone out of its way to frame its new burger as a response to the now-quietened chicken sandwich wars. It opened its press release with a salvo against the chicken attention: "If you've been asking yourself 'Where's the Beef?' amid the chicken wars, Wendy's is here to answer."

It is worth noting that as Loredo mentioned, Wendy's did release its own chicken sandwich in February, as CNN reported at the time. This in turn occurred a few months after it released its classic chicken sandwich, as Brand Eating covered in October 2020. However, QSR found that the winners of the chicken sandwich boom were the winners all along: Chick-fil-A and Popeye's.

So while it is in Wendy's right to continue launching beef burgers, the explicit contrast to the various chicken sandwiches tacitly admits that Wendy's new tactic is to bring its main strength — never frozen beef — to the fore.



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