'Tis the season for city restaurant weeks, in which restaurants agree to offer a prix fixe meal deal in exchange for city-sponsored promotion and, they hope, butts in seats during sluggish months (January and August, usually). But these weeks have become better known for sad, haphazardly-assembled menus than actual deals. At their worst, they're poor examples of what some of each city's best restaurants are capable of offering. Generally, high- to mid-priced restaurants don't benefit financially, in the long term, from restaurant weeks because they're catering to an audience that a) is just looking for a deal; and b) probably will never return to the restaurant during a normal week. More than this, in many cities, restaurants have to pay in order to participate. This week Eater Chicago crunched the numbers to see if the nearly $1,000 fee restaurants have to pay annually just to get listed in the city's Restaurant Week guide is worth it. TL;DR: Depending upon the weather and the deal, it might be.
Five other things to consider today: Just in time for the Super Bowl, Oscar Mayer unleashes the Wienie-Bago; El Chapo cupcakes are... a sweet way to remember a notorious drug lord? This Japanese cafe sells single origin coffee candies; why Bernie Sanders sort of gets his own Ben & Jerry's flavor; and just try to guess what America's favorite comfort food is...
— Oscar Mayer has really out done itself this time. Apparently in an effort to offer football fans a place to stay during the Super Bowl this year, it has unveiled a new hot dog-shaped camper called the Wienie-Bago. The company is calling it "the best motor home you've ever seen," and get this, it's "inspired by the tiny-home craze." So who gets to stay in it? Interested parties have to enter for a chance to win, of course. The contest closes on January 31. Look at this thing:
— The world cannot get enough coffee. In addition to coffee juice, coffee wine, weed coffee, and caffeinated jelly beans, there's now straight up coffee candy. According to Sprudge it can be found at a shop called Tik Tok in Tokyo. This single origin coffee candy looks like small pieces of marbled glass. How long until it hits American shores?
— El Chapo, the Mexican drug lord who was recently recaptured after (lol) a bizarre interview with actor Sean Penn, is now selling cupcakes. Or, rather, a shop in Mexico is now selling cupcakes with his sad, captured face on them. Hermosillo-based pastry chef Alfredo Soria created the cakes which apparently have gone viral in Mexico since their release. Meanwhile, El Chapo is still behind bars. The likeness is uncanny:
— Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders sort of got his own Ben & Jerry's ice flavor this week. According to the WSJ, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's, created the flavor — "Bernie's Yearning" — to help out Sanders' campaign. It's a mint ice cream base, topped with a "thick disc of solid chocolate," meant to represent the "huge majority of economic gains that have gone to the top 1% since the end of the recession," according to Cohen's website. The ice cream beneath represents "the rest of us." It's not a true Ben & Jerry's flavor, however, and only 40 pints were made so it won't be sold in stores. 25 pints have been donated to the Sanders' campaign to be auctioned off to supporters.
— Yes, America's favorite comfort food is pizza.