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Coffee in a Cone Takes Instagram by Storm; Inside Alinea 2.0

Five things to know today

The Grind Coffee Company/Facebook

A small cafe in Johannesburg, South Africa is attracting thousands of coffee fans who want to sip their coffee from an ice cream cone. According to CNN, the shop's signature drink — a small latte inside of a chocolate-coated ice cream cone — draws fans from all over the world who not only want to taste it, but want to snap a photo of it. Dayne Levinrad, the barista behind the unusual concept, says it's become the most popular drink on Instagram. Since January, over 1 million images have been tagged #coffeeinacone on the photo-based social media site. For more on what it takes for a food to go viral, see our report by Andrea Marks, here.

Of course, this edible coffee cup concept isn't entirely new. Two years ago a small coffee shop in Los Angeles introduced edible espresso cups, and consumers were similarly smitten back then. And more recently, an Australian coffee shop whipped up a version using chocolate eggs.

In other news: go behind Taco Bell's newest menu item; an update on Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson's fast food chain; inside Alinea 2.0; and more.

— Buzzfeed went behind the scenes at Taco Bell to find out how the chain developed its new fried chicken taco shell. Takeaway: In testing other fried taco shells, Taco Bell found that "vegetables somehow manage to give the meaty, deep-fried chalupa a 'health halo' in the eyes of consumers," writes reporter Vanessa Wong. "We were getting feedback like, ‘It's so healthy. It's so fresh,'" said Kat Garcia, Taco Bell's senior manager of marketing. "That really surprised us because it's fried chicken." No kidding.

— Hot take:

— Chefs Roy Choi (Kogi, LA) and Daniel Patterson (Coi, San Francisco) are about to open the second location of their healthy fast food concept known as Locol. It is set to open next week in Oakland. The first location of the fledgling chain opened in January in Los Angeles.

— Speaking of openings: Have you seen the new Alinea? Chicago's most lauded restaurant has been reimagined for a new era of fine dining.

— Starbucks just unveiled a meal deal and it doesn't include coffee. It looks like a Happy Meal for health-conscious adults. So the coffee giant is going after fast food's value meal concept — but will consumers bite?

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