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The dream is so real and so are the calories — Denny’s newest sandwich, the Mac ‘n Cheese Big Daddy Melt comes with a whopping 1,690 calories! Imagine if you will, two pieces of grilled potato bread stuffed with a hand-pressed beef patty topped with creamy Mac ‘n Cheese, melted cheddar and zesty Frisco sauce, of course with french fries. Should we order a “diet” soda with that?

Dear Texas State Fairs, please stop deep frying… just stuff in general. Thanks.
-Restauranteers (in response to the new fried bubblegum offering).

In an effort to address the rising obesity crisis, Hungary has implemented a “fat tax.” A 10 forint or US $.05 tax on “foods with high fat, sugar and salt content,” there will also be increased tariffs on liquor and sodas. Anyone else thinking what we are — we just found a solution to the national debt crisis?

French Laundry mastermind Thomas Keller is launching a gluten-free flour in select William-Sonoma retailers. The fanfare of the new gluten-free staple even brought a woman to tears after tasting bread for the first time in 10 years. Gluten-free bread is the best thing next to, well, sliced bread!

The Hipster Barista is the newest meme circulating around food circles. It’s the “so bad but true” humor with little gems like: “You only have two tattoos? The Position has been filled.” and “$120,000 art degree – Draws faces in latte foam.”

From your team at Restauranteers Seattle — Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend everyone!

News From Around the Restauranteers Way

Food Network’s newest show “Crave” debuted this week showcasing the bizarre origins of popular foods. San Diego-based food writer Troy Johnson hosts the show and reveals his experience gave him more of an appreciation for bacon and coincidentally, we have more of an appreciation for Troy Johnson. [San Diego]

Word in the blogosphere reveals Washington has opened its first “premier” liquor store in West Seattle. The new store is about 45 percent larger and “fancier” than the average state-run shop, and will stock 2,000 spirit products (both premium and “super premium” liquors), with a grand opening tasting of select vodkas and whiskeys on September 2nd. You stay classy Seattle. [Seattle]

Pho soup is so good Seattle has a new fan club dedicated to it dubbed “the pho-natics.” Described as an underground “fight club” for Pho, members go around to different local restaurants and discuss the wonderful flavors of their dishes. The first rule about Pho Club is that you don’t talk about Pho Club (oops!). [Seattle]

The 21st Annual Chalk It Up! Festival is this holiday weekend. The festival raises money to benefit children’s art programs. Of course, there will be tasty eats there with appearances from Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, Blackbird Kitchen and Bar and Tuli Bistro. Chalk one up for good food and charity!  [Sacramento]

New Restaurant Openings

Flying Squirrel Pizza Co. (Maple Leaf)
Potbelly Sandwich Co. (Bellevue)
Belle Epicurean (Madison Park)
A La Bonne Franquette (Mt. Baker)
Zaw Artisan Pizza (Wallingford)
Orcas Landing (Beacon Hill)

Restaurant Closings

Bad Albert’s (Ballard – temporarily)
Nettletown (Eastlake)

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