Food News & Notes

A whole lot of Four Loko. We don't remember much else.

The big story on Voracious ( last week was Four Loko—the alcoholic, chemical-jacked, and caffeinated disaster-in-a-can which recently sent nine Central Washington University students to the hospital after a party in Roslyn where it had been served. This stuff is currently on the shit list of lawmakers and college administrators all across the country (our own Attorney General, Rob McKenna, is currently calling for a ban on the beverage sometimes called "blackout in a can"), but that didn't stop us from milking it for all it was worth. We had taste tests; explored why the stuff is so popular (hint: It costs $3 and packs the kick of five beers, two cups of coffee, and a Red Bull all at once); examined other drinks that have been banned throughout history; got into a slap fight with the giant New York PR firm hired by Four Loko to lift their image out of the gutter; debated which additional drinks ought to be banned (Jägermeister and anything served in a martini glass that isn't a martini, just for starters); and dove headfirst into the peculiar chemistry of the stuff. After all that, you know what we decided? No one who isn't really angry at their own liver should drink it. Ever. But Four Loko wasn't the week's only news. We also talked about the opening of the new Patty Pan Cafe at 2310 E. Madison St.; the closure of Casuelita's Caribbean Restaurant at 81 Vine St.; overpriced burgers at Sea-Tac; and the restaurant Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, which went all Big Brother to Twitter-stalk its customers and give them free lamb burgers. Grillaxin' jammed it up with Rebecca Staffel, the jelly goddess of Deluxe Foods. Our new Eatside (sic) correspondent told you where to score addictive, messy gyros on the other side of Lake Washington. And the Seattle Food Geek failed (again) to make clear ice. We gave you all the details on how to swing a wedding and a reception for 100 people on just $400 (provided you're willing to go to Hong Kong and be married at a McDonald's). The Surly Gourmand explained why it's more than OK to eat animals. Meanwhile, I told all the pirates out there how to score free lattes by hijacking the brand-new Allure of the Seas cruise ship, the first to host a floating Starbucks, and detailed the trials and tribulations of Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, who has locked himself into a stunt diet—eating nothing but potatoes for 60 straight days—and is slowly going mad. For vegans who like the sweet stuff, Julien Perry rated the top five vegan ice creams in town (Thrive, at 1026 N.E. 65th St., took the prize). If you're not vegan, here's something that might turn you to the dark side: Perry's countdown of the seven grossest things ever found in food. The deep-fried chicken head? That's the most appetizing thing on the list.

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