Election Day is a week away and restaurants are doing their part to make this contentious race a little easier to swallow. There are pizza promotions for voters, a cake to track the results, a Latin-inspired meal to go for a small group watch party and more.
No matter what the outcome of the election, people still have to eat in the days and weeks following Nov. 3. Several chains are revisiting the success of family meals and meal kits, debuting a new batch for fall and winter. And restaurant kitchens continue to help consumers explore other parts of the world without leaving home.
The great American pizza party
It’s predicted that polling places will have long lines on Election Day, so Samuel Adams is teaming up with The Great American Takeout to keep voters well fed while they wait. For every pizza ordered today and posted on social media with the hashtag #DemocracyIsDelicious, Sam Adams will donate one pizza to the polls next Tuesday.
Voters reap rewards
Pizza chain Pielogy is offering a special deal for voters from Nov. 1-3. The “You Vote, You Pie” bundle promotion includes two 11-inch personalized pizzas and a shareable dessert for $20.20. To put consumers in the voting mindset, Pieology is kicking off the promotion on social media by asking guests to vote in the comments section for their favorite premium crust: Original Thin, PieRise Thick, Cauliflower or Gluten-Free. Followers will get a special offer via direct message. Pieology will also randomly select five winners to receive a free 2020 bundle.
Walk-in customers who show up at with an “I Voted” sticker at Chronic Tacos next Tuesday can take advantage of a free combo meal upgrade. With the purchase of a two-taco plate, burrito or bowl-rito, voters can get free chips, salsa and a fountain drink.
Election night feasting
On Nov. 3, a one-night-only Election Eats package is available for curbside pickup at Carnivale in Chicago. The $250 meal feeds 12 and includes guacamole and chips, elote empanadas, two types of tacos, Mexican-style charred corn and fried sweet plantains, with enough corn and flour tortillas, pico de gallo, queso fresco, crema and housemade hot sauce to go around. To make the evening more festive, the restaurant’s cocktail kits for its signature cotton candy martini, mojito and margarita are available at an extra charge.
Win or lose, drink up
Whether Chicagoans want to clink glasses in victory or drown their sorrows in defeat, The Dawson has plenty of cocktails to go. Choose from the G.T.O, a cocktail made with gin, vermouth, grapefruit, lime thyme and hopped bitters, the Kokomo Spritz, a takeoff on an aperol spritz, or Some Like It Hot, a spicy margarita. Each bottled cocktail package serves two.
Count the votes with cake
Freed Bakery in Las Vegas is selling interactive electoral college map cakes, now through Nov. 3. Election watchers can follow along on Tuesday as states turn red and blue and decorate their cake with icing-filled bags in the appropriate color. Individuals can also create a personalized election forecast on the cake. Prices start at $85.95 and for those outside the Las Vegas area, nationwide shipping is available.
Family meals 2.0
Southern-style chain Cotton Patch Café has upgraded its family meal packages. Starting Nov. 4 customers can try two new entree additions—Chicken Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Chicken. Each comes with three family-size fixings plus six rolls and a gallon of iced tea for $54. A more economical family dinner ($36) is available with entree choices of chicken fingers, meatloaf or chicken spaghetti. For another $6, guests can add a shareable Caesar salad. Fall also brings Pumpkin Crunch ($5) to the menu, a new dessert featuring pumpkin pie filling layered with crunchy, candied pecans and drizzled with caramel sauce. It runs through Nov. 29.
Kits for Taco Tuesday
Earlier in the year, taco kits soared to popularity for Cinco de Mayo and kept gaining fans through the summer. Tijuana Flats is now updating the idea with its Taco Tuesdaze Taco Meal Kit Bundle. The $40 take-home kit feeds four to six and is available on Tuesdays only. Included is a choice of classic or blackened chicken, beef, black beans or refried beans with add-ons such as cheese, jalapenos, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. Each kit also comes with a family-size Tijuana Trio—a large salsa, guacamole and queso—accompanied with chips.
Cowboy Chicken surveyed its guests and validated that its family meals were a hit with busy households. The most recent addition is the Drumsticks for Four Family Meal containing 16 chicken drumsticks in two flavors, three sides and celery sticks. Back on the menu is the popular Enchiladas for Four Family Meal, which includes nine enchiladas, three sides and a choice of chips and salsa or rolls. Each sells for $35. The survey also revealed that broccoli is the most-requested vegetable, so roasted broccoli with lemon pepper seasoning and Parmesan cheese is making its debut.
LTOs geared to winter
Comfort foods with a Mexican twist are launching at Abuelo’s. Winter LTOs include the return of Capirotada, a warm Mexican bread pudding. The casual-dining chain calls the dessert, which is topped with caramel sauce and whipped topping, “a family tradition.” Also new on Abuelo’s menu is Shrimp & Steak Mojo de Ajo, a surf and turf combo flavored with a Mexican-style garlic butter sauce and cilantro. It’s served with Papas con Chile, a potato side, and espinaca—a new prep of spinach sautéed with mushrooms, onions, garlic and peppers and blended with melted cheese.
Asian flavors come to seafood
Red Lobster introduced Kung Pao Noodle dishes to the menu. Three variations were added: Fried Lobster, Crispy Shrimp and Chicken, each served with noodles tossed in a sweet and spicy soy-ginger sauce, edamame, cabbage, crispy onions, cashews and green onions. Two other Asian-inspired items are also available for a limited time. The Sesame-Soy Salmon Bowl is composed of grilled salmon over a bed of quinoa rice with crispy Brussels sprouts, edamame, mixed greens and crispy onions drizzle with soy-ginger sauce. Returning to the menu is Crab-Stuffed Shrimp Rangoon.