Thursday, December 8, 2011

Taco Bell moves even further from Mexican food

If you like Nacho Cheese Doritos, you're going to love what Taco Bell has in store for 2012: A taco called Doritos Locos Taco with a shell made by Frito-Lay with its Nacho Cheese flavoring.

According to Nation's Restaurant News, Taco Bell chief executive Greg Creed told investors and analysts Wednesday that 2011 had been a terrible year for the brand, thanks to a lawsuit attacking the chain’s seasoned beef and a shortage of new products to help drive traffic.

“We didn’t change our beef recipe or pay the plaintiff one penny, but [the suit] had an impact,” Creed said. “It was very clear that we didn’t have enough innovation to overcome what we didn’t anticipate happening.”

Also look for a Chef’s Signature lineup of "upgraded" tacos and the reformulation of marinades and seasonings.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Goodbye to Staunton Grocery

One of the gems we found on our first trip to Staunton after we got to Virginia in the fall of 2008 was the Staunton Grocery. (To read my review of the place, click HERE.)

 It had lofty goals of being a white-tablecloth place with gourmet food, all locally sourced, but with a casual atmosphere. I think it succeeded well at that. But alas, this email came today:

To our Loyal Guests, Farmers, Supporters & Friends,

Six years ago I moved from New York City to the town of Staunton, Virginia, with a goal. I wanted to create the first farm to fork restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley that was chef driven, locally sourced and with none of the trappings of a traditional fine dining restaurant. I wanted to bring something new to the area and help bill this great town as a destination for dining and agriculture.

In a lot of ways my goal was simple. Cook great food, sourced from the best farmers for appreciative guests and they'll come back. And you all did! In fact at The Staunton Grocery I've had more loyal guests come, more consistently, than any other restaurant I've ever been a part of.

I wanted to make people feel that they were coming home to eat, just with some new ingredients that they may not use regularly at home. Over our five year run there has been a lot of changes, new faces and lots of political and economic change, but we have always managed to keep executing that original goal.

With great sadness in my heart we will be shutting the doors of The Staunton Grocery. Our last service will be Dec. 23, 2011, which is just about five years to the day of our opening. If you are interested in keeping in touch and finding out about the development of new projects please follow me on my new twitter account @chefiab. I am also in the process of developing a blog which will be announced on my twitter page.

For our last two weeks of service we will be offering a 50% discount on our wine list for wine with dinner or "to go." Stop by and fill your cellar with some unique wines from the only award winning wine list in the Valley, most of which is unavailable in wine shops or restaurants in the area. Or stock up on some house made pasta or charcuterie. All pasta's are $10 per pound and pates and terrines are $15 per pound.

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all of your kind words, loyalty and continued support of me and my dream. I wish you all of the best in your endeavors and hope to see you again soon where ever I may end up.

Ian Boden
The Staunton Grocery