Best fast food, revolutionizing restaurant reservations, the true origins of haggis

Best fast food, revolutionizing restaurant reservations, the true origins of haggis

Chain Reaction: top American chefs have voted In-N-Out Burger as the best fast food joint

• America’s star chefs have chosen In-N-Out Burger as their favourite fast food joint. Nine members of the 27-judge panel praised In-N-Out for its “greasy but oddly clean-tasting” burgers, including Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. The other chains—from Chipotle Mexican Grill to Kentucky Fried Chicken—received just one nod each. [Esquire]

• Urbanspoon is challenging Open Table with its plan to offer reservations through a smart phone app. Their popular restaurant finder is “shaken” by hungry iPhone owners over a million times a day. The reservations system will be test-marketed with four restaurants in Seattle, but eventually expanded to all 90 of their target markets—including Toronto. [NBC]

• High-quality casual restaurants are popping up all across San Francisco. Food writer Michael Bauer reports that more and more top chefs are opening pizza and pasta joints to subsidize their fancier rooms. These successful spots combine uncomplicated menus with low prices. Toronto chefs are clearly early adopters of the trend. Just look to Negroni, Petite Thuet or Nota Bene. [San Francisco Chronicle]

• Historian Catherine Brown has found references to haggis in a British cookbook from 1615. That’s 171 years before Robbie Burns’s poem linked the offal dish to Scottish pride. Not to worry, Scotland: the English may have eaten haggis first, then abandoned it, but they’ve never been known for the culinary tastes. [Vancouver Sun]

• A former restaurant critic says she was rarely recognized during her 10-year stint at the Seattle Times. Restaurant owners claimed to have noticed her, but they were proven wrong repeatedly. Once she heard an owner bragging to the table next to her that “Nancy Leson wrote about us on Wednesday.” It was Leson’s first visit to the restaurant. [Seattle Times]