Home World Cuisine Pitbull’s New Restaurant Will Be in a Vegas Walmart

Pitbull’s New Restaurant Will Be in a Vegas Walmart

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Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other entertainment news. Last week we discussed Ben Affleck’s new Dunkin’ drink.

King of Miami, Mr. 305, Mr. Worldwide—that’s Pitbull, if you haven’t gathered—is touching down in Las Vegas, culinarily speaking. Miami Grill (of which he’s an equity partner) is opening a first location in the state; notably, this Miami Grill outpost will live inside of a Walmart in Henderson, a Nevada city adjacent to Vegas.

Also this week, a duo we never expected is joining forces: Major Food Group (parent of Carbone) and Hard Rock, to consult on food at all the latter’s hotels. Even after Panera’s energy drink drew a heap of controversy recently, Dunkin’ is putting its own on the menu. Lastly, KFC is releasing “Chizza”—yes, pizza with fried chicken as the crust—in the States.

Read more below on this week’s food news around the internet.

Well, we never could have guessed this: Major Food Group, the New York restaurant group responsible for hits like Carbone, is teaming up with Hard Rock—an empire of hotels and casinos that also includes the famed Hard Rock Cafe franchise. According to Keith Sheldon, president of entertainment and brand management for Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International, MFG will be working on anything food-related at hotels, casinos, resorts, and cafes. Creating restaurant concepts at new locations of Hard Rock hotels, such as forthcoming ones in Athens and Barcelona, is “a major immediate focal point,” Sheldon tells Bon Appétit. The news comes after Carbone did a three-day pop-up at a Hard Rock hotel and casino location in Hollywood, Florida, which featured many of the same menu items as other Carbone locations. Otherwise, details are slim; Sheldon says that they will “explore opportunities.”

Though Hard Rock is known for its music memorabilia and ubiquity in major tourist destinations around the world, it’s not so much known for innovative food. (Truffle mac and cheese, a favorite of restaurants more than a decade ago, still makes an appearance on menus.) Major Food Group, on the other hand, is a behemoth that’s recognized for setting an over-the-top, theatrical vibe and for its critically acclaimed fare. Its most famous restaurant, Carbone, is beloved by celebrities like Rihanna and Hailey Bieber, while the group’s latest restaurant in New York, Torrisi, received the rare three-star review from the New York Times.

But though the pairing sounds unusual, the ambition is not. Major Food Group has become one of the fastest-growing American restaurant groups. Last month, the company announced that it was partnering with high-end Italian restaurant Marea to open new outposts around the world. And in 2022, owners Jeff Zalaznick, Rich Torrisi, and Mario Carbone expressed plans for more Carbone locations globally. It makes sense that they’d latch onto a company that already has a huge footprint around the world. Five years from now, will Major Food Group be as ubiquitous as the Cheesecake Factory? I have a feeling I won’t need a crystal ball to answer that question. —Serena Dai, editorial director

Is it possible that Pitbull is actually the world’s most impressive multi-hyphenate? He’s a rapper, obviously, but he also owns a NASCAR team and was on Empire nine years ago, which technically makes him an actor. Plus, he is part-owner of a Miami restaurant chain, Miami Grill. The chain serves burgers, gyros, and wings, among other hand-held things, and has made news this week after announcing a new location in Las Vegas. Where will the restaurant debut? No, not on the strip. No, not near the strip. It’s inside a Walmart. Personally, I love nothing more than shopping for bits and bobs and then sitting down to eat a gyro with my nearest and dearest, so I’m thrilled to learn that (after a breezy flight to Vegas) I can do both at one location. But this news does beg the question: Where else will house a Miami Grill in the near future? An Apple store? A library? (Wait, was I accidentally a genius just then?) Hold on, I’m contacting my representatives. —Sam Stone, staff writer

My teeth are chattering just reading this week’s news. Dunkin’ has entered the energy drink chat with its new SPARKD’ lineup, initially available in Peach Sunshine and Berry Burst flavors. The 30-ounce size is packed with 192 milligrams of caffeine (equivalent to nearly four espresso shots) and 37 grams of sugar (two grams less than a can of Coke). It has some nerve launching a super-caffeinated beverage right now, considering competitor Panera hopes to deflect multiple lawsuits over its Charged Lemonade. (Customers have claimed permanent cardiac injuries and two deaths associated with the drink have been reported.) So, how much caffeine is too much? The limit actually does exist: Most adults should have no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, according to the FDA. I don’t know. Maybe try going to bed a bit earlier? —Ali Francis, staff writer

Everyone’s favorite chizzeria, KFC, is now offering chizza, or two fried chicken filets topped with marinara sauce, mozzerella, and pepperoni. (As you may have guessed, “chizza” is a portmanteau of “chicken” and “pizza.”) It’s apparently been unleashed outside of the US for years, where it’s run rampant in the Philippines, Mexico, Germany, and more. Now, the “global phenomenon” is finally available here on American soil.

Americans have a fraught relationship with fried chicken filets topped with things that God didn’t intend—like KFC’s Double Down, which sandwiched bacon, cheese, and mayo between two filets, and became so viral and wreaked plenty of havoc in the early 2010s. I can only assume KFC pulled it off menus because the company was afraid of its power. The chizza sounds similarly delicious and disgusting, like a slightly more cursed chicken Parmesan. Am I worried what future it could bring to our lands? Yes. Do I want to try it? Absolutely. —Karen Yuan, culture editor

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