— Want a free Chipotle burrito? All you have to do is play the chain's new propaganda-like online game called "Friend or Faux." Game participants are asked to pick one Chipotle item and one fast food dish from a "number of common fast food brands." The player is then given a list of 20 ingredients and they must identify which one of the dishes contains each one of the items. Presumably this is all just the newest part of Chipotle's campaign to show that is serves wholesome, simple, GMO-free food. Then again, playing a computer game is probably a better way to get a free burrito than dressing up as one.
— The ongoing egg shortage has even managed to shake the sturdy pillar of mall food court mainstay Panda Express. The chain has now replaced the eggs in its fried rice recipe with corn due to the increase in egg prices. A spokesperson for the chain says the menu change "could last up to two years."
— Minion mania has officially hit Maryland. Met Bethesda, a restaurant located near a movie theater in Bethesda, is offering a Minion-themed menu, inspired by the characters that first appeared in Despicable Me. Dishes include items like a "mini Minion cheese bough" and "SPaaghetti-n-meatballs." Plus, there is frozen chocolate-covered banana for dessert. Lets just hope the menu doesn't feature cursing minion toys.
— There's a new device that aims to solve the First World problem of showing up to your favorite third wave coffee shop and it being really, really full. Called Destiny, the device uses infrared technology and voltage spikes to "track how crowded a place is." Subscribers will be able to see in real time just how crowded a place is, "before they even leave their house." The team behind Destiny plans to test the device in New York City, Portland, and Austin this summer.
— Bloomberg restaurant critic Richard Vines files a review on chef Jason Atherton's newest restaurant, Social Wine & Tapas in London. The chef recently opened the Clocktower in New York City and is about to open spots in Sydney and Dubai as well. Vines is quite impressed that even with the number of projects Atherton is working on, Social Wine & Tapas is stellar overall: "Everything is spot on."
— Starbucks is opening its first store in sub-Saharan Africa. The chain currently only has 34 locations on the continent: 27 in Egypt and seven in Morocco. The newest outlet will open next year Johannesburg, South Africa. The chain adds that they plan to open more in region.
— New York City's latest wine-focused hot spot Rebelle gets a visit from New York Times critic Pete Wells. He is impressed with chef Daniel Eddy's (formerly of Paris' Spring) cooking, especially the monkfish and roast chicken. However, he feels at times the restaurant can feel less like a brasserie and more like a "strip club." Two stars.