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Restaurant owner criticized for offering stereotypical special on MLK Jr. Day

A Texas restaurant owner said she didn't think she did anything wrong when she promoted a holiday special on Facebook.

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Sabrina Pyle, owner of Azle Café in Azle, Texas, was hoping to draw in more customers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day when she offered a unique meal.

"I came up with this incredible, ingenious idea for what I thought would bring people in for lunch," Pyle told WFAA.

The special consisted of chicken and waffles with a side of watermelon. 

Social media users quickly pointed out that the offering was problematic. The stereotype that black people have an affinity for fried chicken and watermelon emerged during times of slavery in America and after the Civil War to portray people who belong to the racial group as lazy and dirty.

"It's a way to express racial (contempt) without getting into serious trouble," a University of Missouri professor said in a 2013 NPR interview. "How it's possible to be both a taboo and a corporate mainstream thing just shows how complicated race in America is."

"To use something like chicken and waffles and a side of watermelon as a Martin Luther King special is disgusting," Brad Pelt told WFAA. "It's not okay."

Pyle said the action was "distasteful" on her part. 

"I just didn't think it through," she said. "I wasn't thinking about the historical (context). I was thinking, 'We have margaritas and tacos on Cinco de Mayo, so, let's have some fun with Martin Luther King Day.'"

Pyle, who was called a racist by social media users, deleted the post on Monday. 

"I am, by far, not racist," she told WFAA.

Woman modifies fridge to dispense chilled wine

A woman in England has made a household appliance that many people might wish exists.

She said she was able to figure out a way to make the water dispenser in her refrigerator pour chilled wine instead of H2o, "The Today Show" reported.

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Clare Potts didn't need any fancy tools or other gadgets to make the plan a reality.

She told "Today" that all she had to do was pour the wine directly into the water dispenser.

Potts said the wine tastes fine and comes out at just the right temperature. However, she's not sure how long it will stay fresh before the wine starts oxidizing.

Some responses on Twitter wondered if the wine would pick up tastes from food stored in the refrigerator.

She told Buzzfeed that after the testing bottle was finished, she washed out the dispenser and changed it back to dispensing water. 

Not surprisingly, she has been cheered and saluted on Twitter for her discovery.

Krispy Kreme, UberEats bring doughnuts to your door

You can now get Krispy Kreme doughnuts without leaving your home.

Krispy Kreme is delivering through UberEats, according to UberEats' Nov. 21 twitter post.

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The doughnut chain announced the news Friday on Facebook.

 Posted by Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on Friday, December 2, 2016

The offer isn't available for all UberEats users, but if you live in  Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; the District of Columbia; Los Angeles; Nashville; Orlando; Phoenix; San Antonio; or the San Francisco Bay area, you can order the sweet treats through the app.

Those  in other cities may not need to fret. According to the meal-delivery app, it may expand the option to other locations.

Snag free Frosty desserts from Wendy's for a year

Fast-food chain Wendy's is offering its customers the chance to receive free Frosty desserts for a year.

Customers need only purchase a $2 key tag.

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The company says 85 percent of the funds from key tag purchases will go toward the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to support foster children waiting for their forever homes. 

Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, became an important voice in adoption awareness in 1990. That year, he led a national public service campaign and encouraged business leaders to offer adoption benefits as part of their employee benefit plans. He later testified before Congress in support of adoption tax credits and adoption legislation, and he continued to be an advocate for foster children seeking permanent homes until his death in 2002.

The key tags can be purchased until Jan. 31. Customers who present the tag between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 will receive a free Jr. Frosty with any purchase.

Key tags can be purchased at most Wendy's locations and online.

November is National Adoption Month.

Toblerone candy lovers are unhappy with new shape

Candy lovers are having trouble with the new look of their Toblerone chocolates.

The New York Times reported that the signature triangular peaks of the chocolate, honey and almond nougat treat are much narrower and a lot less dense.

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Mondelez International, which makes the candy, said that the 400g bar is now 360g and the 170g bar is now 150g. The latter is only sold in the United Kingdom The company's other bars have not changed.

"We chose to change the shape to keep the product affordable for our customers," the company told the Times.

Fans were critical in spite of the company's reasoning.

"The logical choice would have been, then, to remove a triangle or two from the bar," Leah Potter wrote on Facebook. "Surely you must be aware that a huge part of the excellent Toblerone experience is breaking off and sharing triangles of chocolate.

BBC News reported that similar sentiments were echoed by other customers, and that a spokeswoman refuted claims that the change was because of Brexit.

Toblerone and Mondelez maintain that despite impassioned fans disappointment in the new shape, there has been no change in taste.

"We appreciate the passion of the Toblerone fans around the world," Toblerone said in a statement on its Facebook page. "We will never compromise on taste nor our famous Swiss quality and can assure you that the Toblerone recipe hasn’t changed."

 We appreciate the passion of the Toblerone fans around the world. Due to rising costs in making our chocolate, we...Posted by Toblerone on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Presidential election heartburn: What do the candidates eat?

What fuels the presidential candidates, other than mutual hostilities? If you're the Republican presidential nominee, it's drive-thru cuisine. If you're his opponent, it's hot chiles.

But we already know that. We already know that Donald Trump loves Big Macs and fries and Hillary Clinton keeps the hot sauce close. And like too many of this year's election-related topics, this one is likely to give us heartburn.

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But isn't it better to focus on someone else's food choices as you fizz up those Alka-Seltzer tablets? With Election Day just a few days away, this may be your final chance to deflect from the junk food guilt you've been lugging.

Here's a glimpse of what might be on the candidates' plates:

Donald Trump:

From Trump's scandalous former Mar-A-Lago butler, Tony Senecal, we know that the boss preferred his burgers and steaks severely overcooked, with ketchup. From his former Mar-A-Lago chef, Aaron Fuller, we can surmise that the kitchen staff catered to the rock-hard-steak requests. (Bound by a confidentiality agreement, Fuller would not discuss the food choices.)

"The best time I've had in my career is when I've made the client happy. It really comes down to what the client wants," Fuller said when asked for his culinary opinion on overcooked meat. "We all have different opinions about how we like our meat. That doesn't mean mine is one that is better than the other."

Trump's fast-food habits have been well documented, as he's been caught on camera ready to devour some KFC aboard his plane, snapped with a questionably timed taco bowl at the office and immortalized with heaping amounts of fries.

Those hard-cooked steaks that he so loves? They once had culinary promise. We learned during one of the candidate's local appearances that Trump steaks were steaks purveyed by Bush Brothers, the 91-year-old West Palm Beach provision company known for supplying some of the best beef in the country.

In an interview last year with Bloomberg's "With All Due Respect," Trump made a confession: "I love steak and hamburger and pasta and French fries, all of the things that we shouldn't be eating."

He also admitted that he can't resist bacon and eggs. "I eat what I like," he said.

Hillary Clinton:

As for Clinton, while she was spied holding a pork chop on a stick at last year's Iowa State Fair – and yes, that was Clinton seated before two tempting cheesecakes at Junior's restaurant in Brooklyn in April – the former secretary of state is more disciplined in her food choices.

She eats like a world traveler, one who has learned to eat well and selectively, rather than to simply eat and be done with it. Then again, as the Huffington Post notes, she was the most-traveled secretary of state in history, visiting 112 nations and clocking more than 950,000 miles.

Earlier this year, she played food critic for, penning a review of "not-to-be-missed dining experiences" across New York state. Her picks included a few references that reveal some foodie tendencies: Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster in Harlem, Fox Run Vineyards boutique winery on Seneca Lake (for riesling and a light lunch), the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse.

Closer to her Chappaqua home, Clinton is loyal to Crabtree's Kittle House Restaurant & Inn, where she gathered with locals on the night her nomination was announced in Philadelphia. It's also where she celebrated Chelsea Clinton's baby shower.

The place serves farmhouse-fancy food and tempting, Hudson Valley-inspired dishes, including grass-fed Angus beef cheeseburgers and New York strip steak with buttermilk Vidalia onion rings. Of course, Clinton might order them many shades rarer than overdone.

McDonald's to debut bigger Big Mac, Mac Jr

Big Mac lovers be advised: There are two new variations of the iconic McDonald's burger slated to hit menus early next year.

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The fast food chain announced Thursday that the burgers, dubbed the Grand Mac and Mac Jr., will be available nationwide for a limited time. The Grand Mac is a larger version of the Big Mac, with a larger bun and a pair of patties weighing in at one-third of a pound. The Mac Jr. is a smaller version of the classic, minus the middle bun and one patty.

The burgers were tested in restaurants in central Ohio and the Dallas/Fort Worth area ahead of their national release. The burgers will also show up early in McDonald's restaurants in Florida and the Pittsburgh area starting in mid-November.

"We listened to our customers who told us they wanted different ways to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Big Mac taste," McDonald's chef Mike Haracz said in a statement.

The classic Big Mac was first introduced in 1967 by a franchisee in Pennsylvania. It includes a pair of beef patties, special sauce, lettuce cheese, onions and pickles on a sesame seed bun, with an extra bun sandwiched between the two patties.

The menu expansion, unusual for the chain, may be in response to recent reports that found only one in five millennials has tried the iconic burger. There is some worry that the chain "has gotten less relevant," a franchisee wrote in a memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal last month.

McDonald's has recently seen a rise in U.S. sales after years of stumbling profits, Fortune reported, bolstered by the chain's switch to serving breakfast menu items all day and promotions like it's McPick 2 offer.

"Still, that growth was below McDonald's pace in preceding quarters," according to Fortune. "McDonald's shares closed at $111.72 on Thursday, down from a recent all-time high of $131.96."

Taco Bell offering free tacos Wednesday

Taco Bell is offering all customers free food during its "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion. 

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On Oct. 24, the company announced that it would give away free tacos if any player in the World Series stole a base. Taco Bell said it would name the player this year's "Taco Hero."

The next day, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor stole second in the first game of the series. 

The stolen base awarded customers the opportunity to receive a complimentary Doritos Locos Taco on Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. local time.

No purchase is necessary, but according to the promotion rules, a "participating Taco Bell restaurant manager reserves the right to deny Free Doritos Locos Taco to any person he/she reasonably believes has already received a Free Doritos Locos Taco."

Doritos Locos Tacos are a hard-shelled tacos whose shell is made out of Doritos product.

The "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion is a one time deal, which means that regardless of any other steals players make during the remainder of the series, Nov. 2 is the only day to redeem free tacos. The promotion is the sixth World Series-inspired promotion Taco Bell has offered over the years. 

Neiman Marcus selling collard greens for $81.50

Having guests over for dinner? 

Neiman Marcus has got you covered. At least for a portion of your meal.

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The luxury retailer is advertising an order of collard greens for $66 plus $15.50 for the delivery on its web site.

According the the company, the greens are "seasoned with just the right amount of spices and bacon" and shipped cooked and frozen. You just heat them up and serve.

The order includes four 12-oz. trays and serves eight to 10 people.

Social media users promptly lampooned the notion:

But just in case you considered ordering the greens for Thanksgiving, note that they can't be shipped Saturday, Sunday, Monday or holidays -- so plan ahead.

Shaquille O'Neal buys Krispy Kreme store

WSB-TV contributed to this report.

Shaquille O'Neal just took ownership of an Atlanta-area Krispy Kreme store.

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The basketball Hall-of-Famer and sports and entertainment superstar announced Monday that he has become the owner of the Ponce de Leon location, which has been there for more than 60 years.

O'Neal, who has previously admitted to loving Krispy Kreme doughnuts, has compared his visits to the restaurants to a kid's experience in a candy store.

"In addition to Shaquille's status as a sports and entertainment icon and businessman, he is known for spreading joy, which aligns with our positioning and mission," said Tony Thompson, president and CEO of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. "We are confident this partnership will have a big impact for us in Atlanta and around the world."

O'Neal will also assume the role of a global spokesman for the doughnut company.

"Krispy Kreme prides itself on spreading joy and supporting local communities, and that's a cause that I am thrilled to be a part of," O'Neal said. "Our goal is to help people find their happy place, and what better way than with a box of delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts."

For a limited time, Krispy Kreme is offering the "Shaq-or-Treat" promotion in which anyone who tags a social media post with #ShaqOrTreat will be eligible to win Krispy Kreme prizes or paraphernalia autographed by O'Neal. The promotion takes place Oct. 28-31.

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