Spring Menus Have Sprung

Spring Menus Have Sprung

It is officially Spring! And while many parts of the country are still working on warming up (Apologies to everyone in the Northeast right now) chefs are ramping up their menus with fresh and bright menu items sure to draw in a wave of hungry foodies.

Spring makes us feel renewed. The sun begins its return, flowers are blooming, and treasured ingredients like white asparagus, morel mushrooms and snow peas are coming back in season. And customers are finally coming out of their winter hibernation looking for something fresh to clear up the heavy bread bowls and hearty meals that had sustained them during the winter.  

We decided to reach out to chefs around the country and put together a short list of some of the best spring menu items across the nation to jump-start your creativity. Thank you, everyone, for your awesome submissions! 

Our criteria for selecting the best dishes are as follows:

  1. Ingredients - Are they fresh and seasonal?
  2. Visual appeal - Does the picture make me travel the distance to get this dish?
  3. Creativity - Is it unique or made to be new?

Ok, Here we go!

#3 Holla Duck 

Chef Oscar Cabezas - Telefèric Barcelona - Walnut Creek, California 

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Foodable Labs Ranks Top Vodka Brands

Foodable Labs Ranks Top Vodka Brands

Did you know the name "vodka" derives from the Slavic word "voda"— meaning water?

The best selling vodka brand in the U.S. is Tito's Handmade Vodka, which is valued at $2.5 billion based on 2016 sales.

In October, self-made entrepreneur and founder of the brand, Bert "Tito" Beveridge, broke into Forbes’ 400 list of billionaires for the very first time at No. 324.

This inspired our sister data company, Foodable Labs, to further look into the vodka spirit segment to determine the best rated companies overall.

We looked at scores in the following categories: brand, flavor profile, and value. Let’s take a look at some of the top vodka spirits on our list.

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Sage Advice and Pumpkin Spice

Sage Advice and Pumpkin Spice

Sorry, there is no advice in this article— or pumpkin. The title was just too good to pass up. 

Anyway, seasonal is always a buzzword when it comes to menu planning. Ingredients like spring peas and asparagus are typical and expected for spring. Fruits like strawberries and watermelon in the summer keep your menu refreshing and bright.  Each season has its unique ingredients that are only available during those certain times of year and it’s always exciting to feature them. Fall menus, though, seem to have their own genre.

There is just something about autumn. 

Maybe it’s the nostalgia of remembering family, holidays, and the changing leaves.  Whatever it is, no seasonal offerings compare to the warm and comforting flavors of fall menus.  

We decided to reach out to chefs around the country and put together a short list of some of the best fall menu items across the nation. Thank you, everyone, for your submissions.  We got a lot!

Our criteria for selecting the best dishes is, as follows:

  1. Ingredients - Are they actually seasonal?
  2. Visual appeal - Will the picture make me travel the distance to get this dish?
  3. Creativity - Is it unique?
  4. Nostalgia - Does it make me excited for the holiday season or bring back memories of quality time with family?

Ok, Here we go!

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Foodable Labs Ranks Top Bourbon Brands #NationalBourbonHeritageMonth

Are you a Bourbon fan? If so, you’re in for a treat!

September is officially National Bourbon Heritage Month, as declared by Congress in 1964. With that in mind, we decided to take a closer look at America’s native spirit with the help of our sister data company, Foodable Labs, to determine the best overall rated bourbon brands.

We looked at scores in the following categories: flavor profile, value, brand. Let’s take a look at some of the top bourbon spirits on our list.

Wishing you a spirited celebration as we kick off #BourbonHeritageMonth

A post shared by Four Roses Bourbon (@fourrosesbourbon) on

Four Roses

Four Roses’ overall score ranked at No. 1 with “Taste Profile” being that it’s the highest ranking category.

According to the company’s website, Four Roses has been around for over a century and after the Prohibition Era was over, it was the top selling Bourbon in the U.S. in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

After the brand was acquired by different owners, the sale of Kentucky Straight Bourbon was discontinued in North America and directed to the European and Asian markets, where it grew to be the top-selling bourbon. By 2004, Four Roses was once again sold in the States where it quickly “earned a reputation as one of the finest names in the bourbon world” thanks to Master Distillers Jim Rutledge and Brent Elliott.

The Four Roses Bourbon taste is described as smooth and mellow.

Barrels on barrels on barrels of #bourbon. #buffalotrace

A post shared by Buffalo Trace Bourbon (@buffalotrace) on

Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace’s overall score ranked at No. 2 with “Taste Profile,” again with it being the highest ranking category.

This bourbon is named after the pathway carved by the animal, the buffalo that helped America’s early pioneers migrate west. It’s distillery, located by the Kentucky River, is the oldest continuously operating distillery in America with over 200 years of history. According to the company’s website, the distillery was allowed to stay operational to supply whiskey for medicinal purposes.

The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon taste is described as rich and complex with hints of vanilla, toffee, and candied fruit.

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark’s overall score ranked the spirits brand at No. 3 with “Brand” being its highest ranking category.

Maker’s Mark is a family owned business that can be traced back to the 19th century. The company prides itself in using an old antique roller mill because it is less likely to scorch the grain and create a bitter taste.

The Samuels family’s Scotch/Irish heritage shaped their decision to produce bourbon in small batches, not exceeding 19 barrels.

According to Maker’s Mark’s website, President Bill Samuels, Jr. is credited with morphing the little-known regional bourbon company into one of the world’s most well-known and popular bourbon brands through the creation of its brand Ambassador program.

Celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month by learning how to make some delicious Bourbon drinks from some of our favorite Across The Bar episodes!




 

The Votes Are In, America’s Favorite Donut Shop is…

They’re hot, doughy, glazed and sprinkled. Whether you like a brioche or yummy yeast, no one can deny the appeal of a quality donut. But are some donuts better than others? According to Foodable Labs data, there are some clear leaders of the pack; some of which you may have heard of before.

Winner! District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew

According to data from January through July of this year, District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew has a 95.6 consumer sentiment rating out of 100! Previously featured on Foodable’s Fast Casual Nation, this spot is a must-stop.

So what makes this fast casual number one with consumers? Well, first of all, District hand makes their donuts all day in small batches, so they’re always fresh. Donuts from District are categorized as either regular, fancy, or EXTRA fancy. With incredibly imaginative donut flavors like Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Kolache, and Ginger Mint Julep, customers never get bored. And with more than a hundred varieties, District’s donut menu changes daily!

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While the name may lead you to believe you can grab a brewski at the shop, the “brew” in District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew actually refers to coffee. It makes sense considering their claim to fame is coffee’s best friend. But donut fret, District is BYOB.

Stop in for some donuts, but be sure to grab a taste of the incredible sliders and coffee they've got available too.

Voodoo Doughnut

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Coming in at number two is a veteran of the most loved donut ranking. Voodoo Doughnut has long been known for their crazy creations and lengthy lines. It’s important that you notice the spelling here. Voodoo has made it part of their mission to return the lexicon to the spelling of DOUGHNUT.

Started in Portland by Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon, Voodoo combines art, science and a little bit of know-how to serve up their crave-able doughnuts. The Portland-based shop offers fun flavors like Grape Ape, Tangfastic and the legendary (and copyrighted) Maple Bacon Bar as well as an array of tasty vegan doughnuts.

Voodoo was last year’s winner; it will be interesting to see how these top brands duke it out.

Donut Byte Labs

Some appeal of the donut craze has been the massive size of the treats, some can be as big as your head! But at Donut Byte Labs, they’re trying something a little different.

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Ranked at n. 3, Donut Byte Labs has only been open since 2015, but have since grown an impressive following. Customers across America sing its praises on review sites which reflect, clearly, in our sentiment data.

Donut Byte Labs serves only mini-donuts, all fried up by their donut robot, which is housed in their permanently established food truck. Once the donuts come off the line, they are cooled and hand decorated before being gobbled up by eager customers.

From their truck, they churn out mini cake donuts in classic flavors as well as in “advanced” flavors like Burnside Cream, Milk and Honey, and Lemon Drop.

And what were the favorite donuts from all shops across the country?

Who will wear next year’s donut crown? Stay tuned to Foodable for that and more eye-opening (and mouthwatering) data.

 
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