Archive for the ‘Dining Out’ Category

Combat the Cold with Johnny Rockets’ New Portobello Chicken Sandwich

This time of year, the weather outside is frightful – but inside a Johnny Rockets? Delightful! (Thanks to the latest addition to its menu, the Portobello Chicken Sandwich.)


Johnny Rockets is beating winter blues by offering the ultimate comfort—and quality—sandwich: all-natural, farm-raised, grilled chicken breast topped with juicy Portobello mushrooms, smoked Gouda cheese, fresh spring mix, Applewood smoked bacon and mayonnaise served on a brioche bun. A sizzling combination to warm you to the core!

Known for creating high quality, delicious and innovative foods, Johnny Rockets has us craving this new mouth-watering mushroom masterpiece. The sandwich is available for a limited time this winter, so fight the flurries and make your way to Johnny Rockets today!

Carl’s Jr. Introduces Its Latest Star… And You’ll Never Guess Who It Is!

What is hot enough, trendy enough, and tasty enough to compete with Carl’s Jr.’s former group of sultry spokespeople?

Mushrooms of course!

Mushrooms are making their debut on top of Carl’s Jr.’s newest burger, The Mushroom and Swiss All-Natural Burger. Naturally mushrooms are the perfect partner for this burger which features grass-fed, free-range beef, umami rich mushrooms, and melty Swiss cheese.

Mushrooms truly are ‘natural beauties,’ providing important nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin and more. No burger is complete without them!

Why not celebrate Mushroom Month by giving this delicious burger a try? But hurry, it will only be around for a limited time!

#BetterBurgerProject: Quaff ON! Better Burger

Quaff ON! Bloomington Tap House, a Better Burger Project winner,  is part of the Big Woods and Quaff ON! family, established to showcase the beers brewed by Quaff ON! Brewing Company.

QuaffON Bloomington's Better Burgers

Why  did Quaff ON! join the Better Burger Project? Chef Dan Nichols says, “After reading about the Better Burger Project, the idea of creating a blended burger intrigued me, so I started testing various recipes. Being in the top five throughout the project came as a surprise to me. Having the opportunity to go to the James Beard House and prepare food will have a profound impact on me as a chef.”

QuaffON! Bloomington's Better Burger Winning Recipe

Quaff ON! Better Burger:

For The Blend
50% sirloin; 25% chuck; 25% short rib
Crimini mushroom duxelle
Porcini mushroom powder
Roasted green chiles

Triple cream brie
Caramelized Spanish onion
Beer mustard
Demi glace
Baby arugula
Vine ripened tomato
Brioche bun

#BetterBurgerProject: Belly Acres Better Burger

Belly Acres’ Chef Rob Ray says “I wanted to participate because it has ties with the way I cook and view food. The Better Burger Project was different, it was healthy, and like other practices, it is a step in the right direction to make a difference in the way people view their food.

At Belly Acres we are proud of what we do and always try to offer a better option for families: healthy, sustainable, fresh! From our free range chicken to our 100% grass fed, grass finished beef, to our local produce ~ we are proud of our products, proud of our farmers for all they do, and we are proud to be apart of the Better Burger Project!

To me, this win is an honor like no other! For years I have been keeping up with the James Beard Foundation and the chefs that have been apart of it. Always being amazed with the impact the foundation has on the culinary world, I have merely imagined how great it would be to cook at THE James Beard House, now it’s really happening! Honestly, I would have never guessed I would be going due to a Burger! DOUBLE WIN!”

Belly Acres Better Burger

Belly Acres Better Burger

Mushroom+Beef Patty
4lbs.  Chopped Button Mushrooms
10lbs.  Beef

1. Cook mushrooms with a 1 tablespoon of Olive oil till tender.
2. Strain mushrooms and cool
3. Mix well with beef and form into patties
4. Season with salt and pepper before cooking

Ginger Lime Mayo
3c.   Dukes Mayo
3T.   Soy Sauce
4T    Ginger (minced)
3T.    Honey
1/2c. Lime Juice
1/2t.  Red Pepper Flakes

1. Mix all ingredients, Refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.

Pickled Summer Squash
2qt.   Sliced Summer Squash
4c.    Water
2c.    White Vinegar
6t.     Sea Salt
1t.     Celery Seed
1t.     Mustard Seed
1/2t.   Red Pepper Flakes
1/2t.   Whole Black Pepper

1. Pack quart jars with sliced squash.
2. Mix water, vinegar and salt together
3. Distribute spices into the jars
4. Fill with the mixed brine.
5. Refrigerate for 1-2 days before serving.

While Chef Rob always uses farm fresh ingredients, sustainable ingredients are just as important to him. Before opening Belly Acres as a managing partner and executive chef, his culinary background consisted only of fine dining. Chef Rob considers his first venture out of the elite food scene a piece of cake. The way he describes his approach when creating Belly Acres’ menu: “Make it different, keep it simple, always know where ingredients are coming from, and don’t sacrifice quality, ever.”

Opened late last year in the Overton Square Entertainment District in Historic Midtown Memphis, Belly Acres was created for the customer, always looking out for their health, happiness, and to offer the best family friendly environment possible. Chef Rob went local with as much as possible. He says “I did that with the mind state of if we go to New York to cook this burger we will take a piece of Tennessee and Mississippi with us! I did a lot of pondering and testing with this burger- and with starting multiple weeks after the start of the competition…it was a quick creation!

I wanted to keep the calorie count down a lot with total fat and keep the health benefits high. Notice there is no cheese on our burger, and as we all know you have to make it just right if you aren’t adding cheese! Some “out there” flavors went into this burger: southern pickling, fire roasted peppers, then mix an Asian Mother Sauce (soy lime) with ginger and turning it all into an aioli? With a mushroom blended beef patty?…what?? I wasn’t sure if they would even work together at first but with trial and error came our Better Mushroom State of Mind Burger!”

#BetterBurgerProject: 20 Highland Tavern Better Burger

20 Highland Tavern, a Whole Foods Market restaurant, shares their Spinach Mushroom Better Burger with us all the way from Phoenix, AZ. 20 Highland prides themselves on being perfect spot to stop in for a drink after work or meet a group of friends on the weekend!

20 Highland Tavern Better Burger Recipe

20 Highland Tavern Spinach Mushroom Burger

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. chopped button mushroom
1 ¼ c panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 TBSP herb and garlic seasoning
1 TBSP kosher salt
Shape into 4 ½ lb. patties, place burgers on flat top and cook to desired temperature

While burgers are cooking heat 2 TBSP EVOO in a pan
Sauté 1 small yellow onion (julienned) and 1 TBSP chopped garlic until soft
Add ½ lb. spinach and sautée until wilted

Place burger on bun and top with 2 slices of provolone and ¼ of the sautéed spinach and onions.