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Taco Bell Plans to Test Tasty New Store Layouts

With only so many ways to pack cheese and ground beef into a shell, Taco Bell is looking to change up something beyond their menu: The Irvine, California-based franchise will test four distinct restaurant designs in Orange County locations beginning this summer, Ad Age reports.

The templates—which feature pendant lightning, wood furniture, and color accents, not normally seen in most of their 7000 U.S. locations—are called “Urban Edge,” “Modern Explorer," "California Sol," and "Heritage."

The "Modern Explorer" Design. Image Credit: Business Wire

So far, Taco Bell’s previous attempt to change its look has been well-received. The new “Cantina” remodel in Chicago and San Francisco locations debuted to positive reviews last fall.

If these new test stores are successful, Taco Bell is likely to expand the concept to more markets. According to Ad Age, Atlanta is the next urban area up for consideration. 

Still, you shouldn’t expect them to get too ambitious in trying to compete with seasoned-beef rival Chipotle. The company recently attempted to open a non-branded concept store, called the U.S. Taco Company, in Huntington Beach, California, and the experiment ended with the restaurant closing its doors.

[h/t Ad Age]

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Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door
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Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit primenow.com to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]

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