• Dog Treats

    Petco’s dog treats are edible to humans. They’re combinations of food-safe ingredients! You’ll be fine.

    Some of them even taste pretty good. Their off-brand Oreos Duplex Sandwich Creme Cookies are indistinguishable from human snacks. I put a tray out at a party1 this weekend and no one questioned whether they were human food: in fact, they were nearly finished by the end of the night, while boxes of Chicken McNuggets went uneaten.2 I wouldn’t say the off-brand Oreos Duplex Sandwich Creme Cookies are strictly better than Oreos—the wafers were softer than I wanted—but the cookies were less cloyingly sweet than a Double Stuf.3

    1. I’m worried that no one will come to my parties anymore for fear of secretly being fed dog treats. Sorry, everyone! I probably won’t do it again. 

    2. To be clear, they are completely safe for human consumption. I had eaten several of them before the party. All the ingredients show up in human prepackaged baked goods; they are bad for you to about the same extent that regular Oreos are bad for you. There is, as far as I can tell, no difference between them and an off-brand Oreo variant except for the name of the store; I would be unsurprised if the exact same cookies were actually also sold as human snacks under a different brand name. Petco is riddled with reviews like “i know these mfs are for dogs but they taste so good.” 

    3. Thanks to Mel for introducing me to the DSCCs. 

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  • Dispatch from Chicago: thank u, Next

    Next, a Chicago restaurant founded by star chef Grant Achatz, has some red flags.

    I don’t mean that only figuratively. It is literally decorated with red flags. Next has a rotating conceit, changing every few months, and during my visit last week it was “World’s Fair.” (Past themes include “Ancient Rome,” “Alinea: 2005–2010,” and “Childhood.”) Dozens of world flags were hanging from the ceiling—South Korea, Hungary, the UAE, and so on—but midway through the meal, I noticed that several among them were just red. Not Vietnam’s red with a yellow star: plain red.

    I was baffled. What were they thinking?, I wondered, for neither the first nor last time that night.

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  • Dispatch from Seattle: Amazon Banana Stand

    Outside The Spheres, an rainforest in downtown Seattle, sits one of Amazon’s Community Banana Stands.1 An Airstream trailer decorated with yellow stripes, banana-print curtains, and an Atomic-Age-style sign overhead, the Amazon Banana Stand has free bananas for anyone who wants one. When I visited, a bearded Amazon bananista2 was perched on a stool behind the counter, idle and on his phone. The bananas were laid out for the taking, so I didn’t need to talk to him to get one—it appears he was just there to make sure things didn’t get too bananas, uh, out of hand.

    Free as in beer, not free as in speech.
    Free as in beer, not free as in speech.
    1. Alright, Arrested Development fans, let’s get this out of the way. 

    2. A “bananista” is a barista, but for bananas. 

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  • Dispatch from Long Beach: The Bored Ape Yacht Club Restaurant

    content warning: crypto and NFTs.

    If you didn’t know that a burger shack themed after the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection opened in Long Beach one month ago, then consider yourself lucky: you have a healthier distance from Crypto Twitter than I do. But I do not have a healthy distance. While on a road trip that passed through LA, I felt obligated to stop by Bored and Hungry to check it out.

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  • QR Code Menus / April 2022, Part 2

    Dining out together is for connecting over food, not staring at screens. That’s why I find QR code menus toxic: they start the meal off on the wrong foot by forcing diners to pull out their phones.

    But for all the widespread adoption that QR code menus have had in the past two years, very few of them take advantage of being in a web browser.1 Many are simply PDFs of the old menu, designed to be printed on 8.5” by 11” paper but hard to read on a 5.75” by 3.75” screen. A proper HTML page is a step up. Better yet are menus with links to each subsection (“appetizers,” “burgers,” etc.) for easier navigation. And until my meal at Ivan Ramen, I thought that was as far as it got.

    tired: a PDF of the old paper menu. wired: links, images.
    tired: a PDF of the old paper menu. wired: links, images.
    1. JH pointed this out to me a few months ago, and now I notice it everywhere. 

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