Taco Bell Is Testing Another Nachos Box, And This One’s Loaded With Jalapeños

Taco Bell is leaning into nachos hard right now. The fast food chain announced a full Cantina Nachos menu at its new Manhattan Cantina restaurant, with items like the Chicken Enchilada Nachos Box and the Steak and Cheddar Nachos Box available. Taco Bell is also testing a Buffalo Chicken Nachos Box in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Rather than stop there, T. Bell decided to add another iteration to the mix in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, per Brand Eating. The $5 Cheesy Jalapeño Nachos Box sounds like a must-try for anyone who loves spicy food.

Here’s how the cheesy, spicy snack is served: Crispy tortilla chips are covered in creamy jalapeño sauce, pickled jalapeño slices, and refried beans (to balance out the spice). Then comes a three-cheese blend, sour cream, and pico de gallo, for good measure. Since it’s part of a box deal, you get a medium fountain drink with your nachos, too.

Like the buffalo chicken nachos, this menu item will be available through mid-January only in its test city. If it does well, you may see it in more stores nationwide in the coming months.

All The Best Black Friday Restaurant Deals You Need To Know About

Black Friday steals aren’t just limited to kitchen appliances, clothes, gadgets, and all the other things one could possibly buy—restaurants are lining up to give you great deals on food, too. Here are just a few of the actually insane freebies, the basically crazy freebies, and the ridiculous discounts your favs are doing this upcoming Friday.

7-Eleven

These guys are celebrating the holiday with a good old BYO Cup extravaganza. Yup, on Friday, 7-Eleven says “customers are invited to bring their thermoses, cookie jars, buckets, punchbowls, and other crazy-fun containers to fill up with their favorite Slurpee drink” for just $1.49, which is the price of a regular medium Slurpee. Did you hear that? You can have buckets of Slurpee on Friday. Buckets!

They’re also doing $0.50 slices of pizza through Cyber Monday for 7Rewards members, if you’re feeling that too.

Potbelly

The good people over at Potbelly Sandwich shop are giving you “100 percent off a cookie with any purchase,” they explained in a recent press release. I…I think that means you get a free cookie with purchase, no?

Dunkin’

OK, technically, Dunkin’ isn’t giving out anything for free on Friday, but they are partnering with Lyft that day, as it happens to also be National Espresso Day (the more you know!). If you use the code “SIPDUNKIN” whilst in the Lyft app, you can get an up-to-$10 ride to Dunkin’ free.

DoorDash—Wendy’s, Applebee’s, Burger King, and more

This one’s a doozy. You ready? DoorDash says “the first 15,000 customers to place a DoorDash order of $5 or more from [Wendy’s, Wingstop, Jack in the Box, Applebee’s, Burger King, and Chick-Fil-A] using the code ‘BLACKFRYDAY’ will receive free fries,” presumably from the restaurant they ordered from (we’ve reached out to DoorDash to confirm). That’s 15,000 batches of free fries! You can be the proud owner of one of them!

MCDonald’s Celebrates Halloween with Haunted Restaurant & Giveaways

When you’re in the mood for a good scare, generally you don’t head for the comforting predictability of your local fast food joint.

But this year, McDonald’s is putting on quite the spooky spectacle by turning its Chicago headquarters into a haunted restaurant, complete with an LED lightshow and freebies.

The burger chain’s Halloween celebration began this weekend, when it unveiled its outdoor installation. According to a release, it includes a 1,630-square-foot LED screen with 10,000 individual lights, as well as hundreds of jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and skeletons. Spooky music complements a menu item cemetery, where the McPizza, the McD.L.T. and Onion Nuggets have been laid to rest.

For those who choose to dine at Mickey D’s across the country, a brand-new instant-win game (called “Trick. Treat. Win!”) is featured on food packaging. Customers can win food, vacations and even a new car.

If you want to catch the lightshow, it will be run two times every hour from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. local time until October 31st.

Americans Are Cooking More Meals at Home, Eating Out Less

Are you cooking at home more than you used to and eating out at fast-food restaurants less? If so, you are right on trend.

Today, 82 percent of the meals Americans eat are prepared at home, a much higher percentage than a decade ago, according to research from NPD Group Inc. cited by Bloomberg.

At the same time, restaurant dining has declined. The average American ate out about 185 times last year, whereas in 2000 they ate out about 216 times a year, NPD reported. In fact, in 2018, the total number of restaurant visits per person hit its lowest point in 28 years, according to Bloomberg.

So what’s driving the eat-at-home trend? A bunch of things, probably. But a lot of it may be that the money-versus-convenience ratio is changing.

Cooking meals at home is getting more convenient. We stay in and watch Netflix and so eat at home, rather than, say, going out to the movies and grabbing dinner out. Pre-made meals and online grocery delivery are on the rise, Bloomberg notes, making eating at home a cinch.

Meanwhile, eating out has gotten more expensive, as restaurants have boosted prices to keep up with rising labor and rent costs. Add to that the increasing pressure of student debt, the high cost of childcare and a growing interest in eating healthy meals, and home cooking — often cheaper and healthier — starts to look a lot more appealing than forking over for a high-cal fast-food meal.

To mitigate the effects of the changing consumer habits on their bottom lines, some fast-food chains — like Chick-fil-A — are testing meal kits you can buy in the drive-thru lane and cook at home, Bloomberg reports.

Maine Restaurant Gets Lobsters Stoned Before Dinner

It is a question that has plagued conscientious humans since they discovered the lobster’s supreme edibility: how do you cook them so they don’t feel pain?

Maine lobster pound owner Charlotte Gill is grappling with the ethical implications of killing delicious, buttery-sweet crustaceans by offering them a hearty dose of cannabis smoke before turning them into lobster rolls, according to the Mount Desert Islander.

To reduce the suffering of her signature sea creatures, Gill undertook a series of experiments on a specimen named Roscoe at her restaurant, Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound. Over the course of a few minutes, Roscoe sat in a box as Gill pumped cannabis smoke into the water. She then removed the lobster’s claw bands. For the next three weeks, he was reportedly never aggressive again with the other lobsters in his tank, implying that he was seriously chilled out by the drug.

Roscoe was eventually released back to the ocean, where he is now undoubtedly telling his shelled friends about one heck of a trippy alien abduction experience.

Marijuana use and possession of up to 2.5 grams in Maine was legalized in 2017, though it is not yet legal to sell the drug in stores.

Gill is currently offering a choice between traditionally boiled or steamed lobsters and ones that have first been subjected to marijuana smoke, though she intends to get all of her lobsters high for the next lobster season.

But fear not, ye old cannabis abstainers; psychoactive THC breaks down at a temperature of 392 degrees, so between the steaming and “a heat process that will expose the meat to a 420 degree extended temperature,” there’s no chance you’ll be getting stoned yourself after a meal from Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound.