McDonald's got its start as a barbecue restaurant
August 2nd, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: All summer long, the Southern Foodways Alliance will be delving deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of barbecue across the United States. Dig in.

One of the great ironies of American barbecue history is that the world's leading hamburger chain, McDonald's, got its start as a barbecue restaurant.

Long before the golden arches, barbecue restaurants dotted street corners in cities and towns throughout the South and West. From California to Florida, impromptu barbecue stands had "grown as thick as filling stations" along the sides of highways, reported Collier's Magazine in 1937. America's first drive-in chain - the Dallas-based Pig Stand - featured barbecue, and by World War II, pit-cooked meat was a staple of fancy steak and chop houses, too.

So, when brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened their drive-in in San Bernadino, California, they naturally built a hickory-chip pit out back. The original menu featured sandwiches with "our famous barbecued beef, ham, or pork" for 35 cents and a barbecue plate for 60 cents. Hamburgers shared second billing, followed by chili, tamales and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

August 2nd, 2012
11:30 AM ET
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Chick-fil-A says it set a sales record on Wednesday, the day that supporters rallied around the fast-food chain amid a debate over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage.

The chain said it won't release sales numbers, but "we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had called on people to buy food at the chain on Wednesday, which he dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," after a backlash against the company and their president.

Read the full story - 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day' sets record, restaurant chain says

National ice cream sandwich day
August 2nd, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Here's a sweet start to National Sandwich Month - August 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

With its different textures and temperatures, the ice cream sandwich is a treat that satisfies more than one of the senses.

It’s unclear who we have to thank for this portable dessert, but we’re grateful nonetheless. Depending on where you are in the world, your ice cream sandwich can look very different from what Americans are used to. Some other countries use wafers, cake or even profiteroles instead of cookies for the top and bottom layers.

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News

Coffee klatsch
August 2nd, 2012
05:00 AM ET
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We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch

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