All posts in “food and drink”

Download this: Off the Menu Club is the answer to all your foodie prayers

Off the Menu is a foodie's dream
Off the Menu is a foodie’s dream

Image: Off the menu/mashable

Most people know about In-N-Out Burger’s animal style fries, Jamba Juice’s gummy bear smoothies, and Starbucks’ infamous pink drinks.

But what about the secret menu items of other restaurants—high-end places? Enter Off the Menu Club, a foodie’s dream app

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The app is a members-only club for discovering secret-menu items from new and trending restaurants in Los Angeles, according to its website. Lawrence Longo, the app’s CEO and co-founder, is a self-described foodie who spent years compiling a list of secret menu items from restaurants all across the United States.

The app has a subscription fee of $20 per month, which lets you access new dishes every Sunday. A portion of your subscription also goes to feeding hungry children, so you get to feel good while you’re chowing down, too. 

The best part, though, is that once you’re a member of the Off the Menu Club, you get redeem one complimentary secret menu item daily. 

That’s right—your subscription entitles you to a free dish per day from “curated establishments” across the city. (It’s dine-in only, so no taking your grub to-go.)

The app is only available to LA foodies for now, but the company plans to expand to more cities in the future, beginning with New York, though they haven’t said when yet. 

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See you tomorrow in Prague


Just a reminder that PragueCrunch V is tomorrow and it will be a blast.

We’re holding PragueCrunch V tomorrow, July 13, 2017, at Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden. We start at 6pm. You can RSVP here. We’ll have free Kozel and Gambrinus beer all night and traditional Czech pub food for purchase at the venue.

Startups will have 90 seconds to pitch with about 90 seconds of questions from judges. The startups we’ll be meeting are Besify, Adelphoi, Virtub, Cryptelo, HTMLWasher, Jollylook, HikeBud and Etho. Uvidíme se brzy!

You can buy Tovala’s $399 smart oven starting today


Tovala, a $399 smart oven out of Y Combinator promising to perfectly cook ready-made meals in under 30 minutes is finally available for purchase.

It can bake, boil and steam meals at up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in 10 to 30 minutes and works with either prepackaged Tovala meals or your own food. However, the real money maker for the startup will be in the meal delivery service.

It’s a crowded space with Postmates and other restaurant delivery as well as meal kits more similar to Sun Basket and Blue Apron. However, Tovala offers what it believes is a quicker way to make meals and with less clean-up.

“This is one of the biggest complaints with the meal kit companies – after all the cooking, you’re left with a ton of pots, pans and plates to clean. There’s literally no clean up required with our meals.” co-founder David Rabie said.

Right now, Tovala has two subscription plans: 3 single-serving meals for $36 or 3 double-serving meals for $72. Compare that to Blue Apron’s offering at 3 double-serving meals for $60 a week or the family plan serving two recipes per week at four servings each for $72.

Tovala tells TechCrunch it will eventually add a family plan as well as breakfast and dessert meals. For now you can choose from entrees like miso-glazed salmon or Moroccan chicken with chickpeas, goat cheese & corn pasta, for example.

Each Tovala packaged meal can feed up to four people, are made from scratch in the Tovala kitchen, and consist of 400 to 800 calories per serving. The startup also has a recipe library for creating meals with special diet restrictions such as paleo, vegan and gluten-free, if those are your preferred options.

We interviewed Tovala’s co-founders Rabie and Bryan Wilcox back in March when the company first launched. Check out the video below to see our original review a few months ago and get an idea of how this smart oven works.

Those interested in purchasing one for themselves or finding out more can go to Tovala.com.

Restaurant brings in Instagram kits so you can nail your #foodporn shots

Image: Shutterstock / Joshua Resnick

Making your avocado toast pop on Instagram requires a unique formula that isn’t always possible to achieve. But, one London restaurant is offering “foodie Instagram packs” so diners can up their #foodporn game. 

The free kits contain a portable LED camera light, a multi-device charger, a clip-on wide angle camera lens and a tripod selfie stick for overhead table shots. The kits have been designed to provide Instagrammers with everything they need to capture the perfect Instagram shot. 

Dirty Bones has launched the kits at its newly opened location in Soho, London, which has been designed with the “Instagram universe” in mind. 

“People love to share what they’re eating on social media, so we wanted to put together something that made it easier to get that perfect shot regardless of the lighting or time of day,” a spokesperson for Dirty Bones explained. 

A look at the kits in action.

A look at the kits in action.

Image: dirty bones

“More and more people are also using Instagram to help them decide where to eat, so as a restaurant group it’s key for us to make sure that people are getting the best possible shots of all our dishes and drinks,” the spokesperson continued. 

According to a Dirty Bones statement, the conceptualisation of the pack stems from “a recognition of the movement and importance of Instagram in present-day foodie culture” and a desire to “enable guests to share Dirty Bones Soho’s best qualities without compromising the cost atmosphere and design”. 

If Instagram could be a source of new business for restaurants, providing kits to make the food look more appealing on Instagram is a shrewd business move. If restaurants can’t prevent people from tagging them in Instagram posts, then attempting to improve the quality of those shots might be their only option.

“Dirty Bones’ menu has also been curated to provide picture-perfect shareable content”

But, the restaurant isn’t just providing kits. The restaurant’s menu, as well as its interior, has been designed with the social network in mind. 

“Dirty Bones’ menu has also been curated to provide picture-perfect shareable content, with new trending dishes such as Fish Tacos standing alongside the iconic Mac Daddy Burger and Cheeseburger Dumplings,” reads a statement from Dirty Bones.

Bon appétit!

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