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Benny’s Cafe opens in South Whitehall’s Tilghman Square

Dishes made with fresh and local ingredients are standard fare at the new Benny’s Café in South Whitehall Township.

The restaurant, which held a soft opening Sept. 6 in the Tilghman Square shopping center at 4686 Broadway, offers tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes, including breakfast pizza (made with scrambled eggs, avocado, queso fresco and more), lemon ricotta pancakes, buttermilk fried chicken, crab mac and cheese and gourmet grilled cheese (loaded with caramelized onions, gooey gruyere and white cheddar).

Owner Benjamin Colunga, who previously operated the now-closed Cilantro Mexican Cuisine and Tortilla Flat restaurants in downtown Bethlehem, traces his love for cooking back to his childhood when he watched his mother prepare authentic Spanish dishes.

Menu highlights include appetizers (most under $10) such as Spanish chorizo dip, fried calamari and pierogies; sandwiches (most under $10) such as a Philly cheesteak, Reuben and crab cake sandwich; and entrées (most under $15) such as beef pot roast, charcoal-grilled boneless pork chop and fish and chips.

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MMQB: Kenny Hill looks great as TCU defeats SMU 56-36 – Frogs O …

Well alright, alright, alright, the Frogs are 3-0 and while we stumbled out of the gate, TCU was able to really dominate through the final 45 minutes of game time.

Now I know what you’re thinking,

Mason, you dunce, TCU was up by 6 going into the 4th quarter…that’s not domination.”

To which I would respond by showing you the box score from the end of the first quarter on, where TCU went on a 49 to 13 run until SMU scored a garbage time TD. Pretty much from the point after (pun intended) SMU kicked a field goal at the start of the second quarter the Frogs controlled the pace of the game. It took a bit for the offense to find a good rhythm, but the Frogs were still able to move the ball with ease on the Mustangs. As is becoming tradition, before I dive into the TCU game…..

GUYS BAYLOR IS 0-3 AND LOST TO DUKE IN A SPORT THAT ISN’T BASKETBALL.


Alright, let’s dive in

The Good:

It’s been the first thing I’ve mentioned every week so why break the streak? This run game looks really good. I think Kyle Hicks heard me say last week that Darius may be the starting back from here on out, and took his first carry 41 yards. So ya there’s that. Hicks had to leave the game early, but he did record 84 yards on 11 carries. Not bad for a half days work. Anderson led the team in yards and carries with 14 touches for 89 yards and 2 tuddies…that’s 6.4 yards per carry guys, seriously if we don’t hand the ball to him on a majority of first downs next game I will be personally offended. Sewo notched 63 yards on 7 carries and Snell scored the Frogs’ first TD of the game while finishing his day with 34 rushing yards. If the Frogs are really going to go toe to toe with the top teams in this conference then a lot of the work is going to fall on the shoulders of our run game. Also shout out to the big boys upfront for paving the way for our running backs.

You guys know who else was really good in this game? KENNY. FREAKIN. HILL. We got a great game from Kenny. He completed 24 of his 30 attempts for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns. Hill didn’t throw any picks, which was a great and very welcome sign, considering that we have to go and play in Stillwater next week. Now Kenny didn’t drop dimes for every single one of his throws, but once he got into a groove…he looked pretty good.

Also, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a fan at the game that insisted on providing his commentary after every single play. So naturally, the struggles of the first quarter had him overreacting quite hilariously. When we fumbled the ball the first time, the CFB expert next to me was screaming for Kenny to be benched because Turpin fumbled an easy catch. So if Kenny can keep this up, I don’t want to hear another word about a QB competition. Trust me guys, I am excited for Shawn Robinson too, but let’s take the time to enjoy the last season of Kenny Hill.

Lastly, the defense was really good too, specifically after the first quarter. The defense is going to need to play 4 quarters for us to have a chance next week, but they did a great job for the final 45 minutes. Travin Howard had a pick 6 in the 4th quarter to really blow the doors off of this one and Texada had a nice interception shortly thereafter. Like I said earlier, the defense only gave up 13 points after the first quarter while the game was still competitive, and held SMU to field goals on a couple of critical drives. Hopeully the offense won’t trip over itself early on in the weeks to come as to make the defense’s job a bit easier.

The Bad:

Okay, let’s rip this one off real quick like a band-aid. Kenny missed a WIIIIIIDE open Shaun Nixon down the field for a potential large gain and most likely a touchdown. He ended up throwing it for an incompletion, but not before he got an earful from the crowd that seemed ready to start a riot in front of a Barnes and Noble. I’ll admit, it was a really bad miss. It was one of the few times where even I was like, “Bad Kenny” BUT Hill did get some redemption by hitting Nixon with a gorgeous pass for a TD later that drive.

Another thing that wasn’t great was the defense in the first quarter. Yes I know we fell suspect to some trickery, but that cannot happen against Oklahoma State, Kansas State, or pretty much anyone in conference play.

Also Kyle Hicks getting hurt and potentially ruled out next week really sucks. Hicks, Anderson, and Sewo would’ve been a great one, two, three combo to wear down the OSU front 7, but it appears we may be without one of our most versatile weapons next week. I feel bad for Hicks because he started off so strong, but I know he’ll bounce back strong.

Something that I have been concerned with in regards to our offense is the lack of a deep ball threat (the Hail Mary doesn’t count). I know we don’t have Olympic qualifying speed on the outside anymore, but still I haven’t seen us really try to push the ball down the field much this year. The only time I can really think of was when Reagor barely missed the one handed catch against the Hogs in week 2. Maybe we just don’t call for those routes, maybe Kenny doesn’t like what he sees, or maybe Kenny’s hesitant to throw it down field and risk a turnover. I’m not really sure what the answer is, but we need to be able to have some form of home run threat if we want to keep up with the Pokes next week. Speaking of….

Conference play opens up in Stillwater next week:

Remember last week when I said I’d let future Mason worry about the SMU game and how it was a potential trap for TCU? Well, future Mason really hated past Mason for the first quarter of this game. Future Mason is going to really hate me a week from now, because I know that stressing out about a trip to Stillwater isn’t going to do me any good so it’s all going to hit me Saturday morning. While I said the Arkansas game was the most important game of the season, the game that more or less could decide our Big 12 title hopes (however premature they may be) is next week. It would be awesome to get some revenge for the 2015 game where the Pokes kicked the Frogs in the mouth and hurt our beloved Josh Doctson (not bitter). I wouldn’t be shocked if this one was tight going into the fourth quarter, but I also know that nobody really knows anything about college football and trying to predict it is impossible…so there’s also that.

Play(s) of the Game:

Well I’m going to cheat a little bit this week and choose two plays as the “play of the game”. Coincidentally they both are by the same person. Jalen Reagor had himself a memorable day. Of course, I had to include the Hail Mary. It wasn’t my personal favorite play, but man was it big time. Especially when you consider how much of an effort the 4 SMU defenders around him ma—

Congrats to Mr. Reagor on his first Tuddy as a Frog! Now on to play No. 2, my personal favorite play of the game. It was a gain of 15 but it was Reagor’s first touch of the game I believe, and it was awesome because he trucked the absolute life out of one of the refs that happened to be in his way.

I love this play, because of how little regard for human life Reagor has here. “Oh there’s a body in the way? I’m just going to run right through them.”

Well…on to the next one, and it’s a big one.

Go Frogs everyone.

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Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs Arrives in Henderson

Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs

Address: 9905 S. Eastern Ave., Ste 100

Phone: 725-550-4993

Status: Open daily from 6.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A Northern Nevada success story has made its long planned expansion to Las Vegas, debuting in Henderson with what is expected to be the first in a series of local breakfast and lunch restaurants.

Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs launched in Reno in 1999 from husband-and-wife team Fred and Joanna, better known to the public as “Pops and Peg” and the family-run business has expanded to eight sites including Carson City, Sparks and Roseville, California.

The new corner plot with a few outdoor seats, is near the intersection of Eastern and Lone Road, close to the Chick-fil-A. On the menu, Peg’s hearty portions and a long menu of comfort food specialties.

Choices include “Peg’s Eggs” options such as the $11.88 chicken fried steak and eggs, “Glorified Skillets” including an $11.99 Sierra omelet, a $13.99 blackened or grilled fresh salmon choice on the “Benedicts” menu, pancakes, “scrambles” and “Aloha Favorites,” featuring the $9.99 fried spam and eggs.

At lunch, customers can opt for sandwiches and salads, soft tacos, or make the best of both worlds, with the $10.99 “Peg’s Breakfast Burger,” created with sliced ham, egg, hash browns and cheddar.

The restaurant also writes up daily specials on a dry erase board. Recent dishes included a $12.50 “country burrito,” chicken apple sausage links and eggs, and chorizo breakfast tacos.

Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs Cracks into Las Vegas [ELV]

All Opening Alerts [ELV]

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MMQB: Skillets and Scores

Well alright, alright, alright, the Frogs are 3-0 and while we stumbled out of the gate, TCU was able to really dominate through the final 45 minutes of game time.

Now I know what you’re thinking,

Mason, you dunce, TCU was up by 6 going into the 4th quarter…that’s not domination.”

To which I would respond by showing you the box score from the end of the first quarter on, where TCU went on a 49 to 13 run until SMU scored a garbage time TD. Pretty much from the point after (pun intended) SMU kicked a field goal at the start of the second quarter the Frogs controlled the pace of the game. It took a bit for the offense to find a good rhythm, but the Frogs were still able to move the ball with ease on the Mustangs. As is becoming tradition, before I dive into the TCU game…..

GUYS BAYLOR IS 0-3 AND LOST TO DUKE IN A SPORT THAT ISN’T BASKETBALL.


Alright, let’s dive in

The Good:

It’s been the first thing I’ve mentioned every week so why break the streak? This run game looks really good. I think Kyle Hicks heard me say last week that Darius may be the starting back from here on out, and took his first carry 41 yards. So ya there’s that. Hicks had to leave the game early, but he did record 84 yards on 11 carries. Not bad for a half days work. Anderson led the team in yards and carries with 14 touches for 89 yards and 2 tuddies…that’s 6.4 yards per carry guys, seriously if we don’t hand the ball to him on a majority of first downs next game I will be personally offended. Sewo notched 63 yards on 7 carries and Snell scored the Frogs’ first TD of the game while finishing his day with 34 rushing yards. If the Frogs are really going to go toe to toe with the top teams in this conference then a lot of the work is going to fall on the shoulders of our run game. Also shout out to the big boys upfront for paving the way for our running backs.

You guys know who else was really good in this game? KENNY. FREAKIN. HILL. We got a great game from Kenny. He completed 24 of his 30 attempts for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns. Hill didn’t throw any picks, which was a great and very welcome sign, considering that we have to go and play in Stillwater next week. Now Kenny didn’t drop dimes for every single one of his throws, but once he got into a groove…he looked pretty good.

Also, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a fan at the game that insisted on providing his commentary after every single play. So naturally, the struggles of the first quarter had him overreacting quite hilariously. When we fumbled the ball the first time, the CFB expert next to me was screaming for Kenny to be benched because Turpin fumbled an easy catch. So if Kenny can keep this up, I don’t want to hear another word about a QB competition. Trust me guys, I am excited for Shawn Robinson too, but let’s take the time to enjoy the last season of Kenny Hill.

Lastly, the defense was really good too, specifically after the first quarter. The defense is going to need to play 4 quarters for us to have a chance next week, but they did a great job for the final 45 minutes. Travin Howard had a pick 6 in the 4th quarter to really blow the doors off of this one and Texada had a nice interception shortly thereafter. Like I said earlier, the defense only gave up 13 points after the first quarter while the game was still competitive, and held SMU to field goals on a couple of critical drives. Hopeully the offense won’t trip over itself early on in the weeks to come as to make the defense’s job a bit easier.

The Bad:

Okay, let’s rip this one off real quick like a band-aid. Kenny missed a WIIIIIIDE open Shaun Nixon down the field for a potential large gain and most likely a touchdown. He ended up throwing it for an incompletion, but not before he got an earful from the crowd that seemed ready to start a riot in front of a Barnes and Noble. I’ll admit, it was a really bad miss. It was one of the few times where even I was like, “Bad Kenny” BUT Hill did get some redemption by hitting Nixon with a gorgeous pass for a TD later that drive.

Another thing that wasn’t great was the defense in the first quarter. Yes I know we fell suspect to some trickery, but that cannot happen against Oklahoma State, Kansas State, or pretty much anyone in conference play.

Also Kyle Hicks getting hurt and potentially ruled out next week really sucks. Hicks, Anderson, and Sewo would’ve been a great one, two, three combo to wear down the OSU front 7, but it appears we may be without one of our most versatile weapons next week. I feel bad for Hicks because he started off so strong, but I know he’ll bounce back strong.

Something that I have been concerned with in regards to our offense is the lack of a deep ball threat (the Hail Mary doesn’t count). I know we don’t have Olympic qualifying speed on the outside anymore, but still I haven’t seen us really try to push the ball down the field much this year. The only time I can really think of was when Reagor barely missed the one handed catch against the Hogs in week 2. Maybe we just don’t call for those routes, maybe Kenny doesn’t like what he sees, or maybe Kenny’s hesitant to throw it down field and risk a turnover. I’m not really sure what the answer is, but we need to be able to have some form of home run threat if we want to keep up with the Pokes next week. Speaking of….

Conference play opens up in Stillwater next week:

Remember last week when I said I’d let future Mason worry about the SMU game and how it was a potential trap for TCU? Well, future Mason really hated past Mason for the first quarter of this game. Future Mason is going to really hate me a week from now, because I know that stressing out about a trip to Stillwater isn’t going to do me any good so it’s all going to hit me Saturday morning. While I said the Arkansas game was the most important game of the season, the game that more or less could decide our Big 12 title hopes (however premature they may be) is next week. It would be awesome to get some revenge for the 2015 game where the Pokes kicked the Frogs in the mouth and hurt our beloved Josh Doctson (not bitter). I wouldn’t be shocked if this one was tight going into the fourth quarter, but I also know that nobody really knows anything about college football and trying to predict it is impossible…so there’s also that.

Play(s) of the Game:

Well I’m going to cheat a little bit this week and choose two plays as the “play of the game”. Coincidentally they both are by the same person. Jalen Reagor had himself a memorable day. Of course, I had to include the Hail Mary. It wasn’t my personal favorite play, but man was it big time. Especially when you consider how much of an effort the 4 SMU defenders around him ma—

Congrats to Mr. Reagor on his first Tuddy as a Frog! Now on to play No. 2, my personal favorite play of the game. It was a gain of 15 but it was Reagor’s first touch of the game I believe, and it was awesome because he trucked the absolute life out of one of the refs that happened to be in his way.

I love this play, because of how little regard for human life Reagor has here. “Oh there’s a body in the way? I’m just going to run right through them.”

Well…on to the next one, and it’s a big one.

Go Frogs everyone.

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Fiesta Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:FRGI) vs. Its Competitors Head to Head Contrast

Fiesta Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: FRGI) is one of 44 public companies in the “Restaurants Bars” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare Fiesta Restaurant Group to similar companies based on the strength of its institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, profitability, risk and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

Fiesta Restaurant Group has a beta of 0.81, meaning that its stock price is 19% less volatile than the SP 500. Comparatively, Fiesta Restaurant Group’s peers have a beta of 0.66, meaning that their average stock price is 34% less volatile than the SP 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Fiesta Restaurant Group and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Fiesta Restaurant Group presently has a consensus target price of $23.40, suggesting a potential upside of 28.93%. As a group, “Restaurants Bars” companies have a potential upside of 13.64%. Given Fiesta Restaurant Group’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Fiesta Restaurant Group is more favorable than its peers.

Profitability

This table compares Fiesta Restaurant Group and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Fiesta Restaurant Group and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Fiesta Restaurant Group’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than Fiesta Restaurant Group. Fiesta Restaurant Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Institutional Insider Ownership

94.0% of Fiesta Restaurant Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.8% of shares of all “Restaurants Bars” companies are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of Fiesta Restaurant Group shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 20.3% of shares of all “Restaurants Bars” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Fiesta Restaurant Group peers beat Fiesta Restaurant Group on 8 of the 13 factors compared.

Fiesta Restaurant Group Company Profile

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. owns, operates and franchises two fast-casual restaurant brands, Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana through its subsidiaries Pollo Operations, Inc., and its subsidiaries, and Pollo Franchise, Inc., (collectively Pollo Tropical) and Taco Cabana, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively Taco Cabana). The Company operates through the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana segments. The Company’s Pollo Tropical restaurants offer Caribbean menu items, featuring its bone-in chicken marinated in blend of tropical fruit juices and grilled over an open flame. The Company also offers catering for parties and corporate events. The Company’s Taco Cabana restaurants serves Mexican food, including flame-grilled steak and chicken fajitas served on sizzling iron skillets, quesadillas, hand-rolled flautas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, fresh-made flour tortillas, customizable salads served in its Cabana Bowl, and its breakfast tacos.

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Cooking with cast iron

Known for its versatility and durability, cast iron skillets are the kitchen’s most universal tool. You can use your cast iron like any other pan you might have but with certain restrictions.

Cast iron is multipurpose in that you can use it on the stove top, as well as the oven. It can be used for frying, stews and soup, stir fry, baking, and some great blackened steaks.

The trouble with cast iron is it takes a little effort to maintain. But the effort is well worth it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Seasoning: This term simply means there is a layer of lubricated residue on the surface of the skillet that flavors food while resisting adhesion, thus creating a non-stick, but flavorful, surface. It sounds gross, but it’s actually awesome.

• Do you have to season? Some pans come pre-seasoned, and it should say this on the label if purchasing new. If purchasing a pan at a garage sale or thrift store, it’s best to assume you’ll need to season it yourself especially if the surface is rusty and bumpy.

• How to season: There are many ways to season. Here is one way. First, give it a good scouring by scrubbing it with kosher salt and a damp sponge then thoroughly rinse the pan. Next, completely dry the pan in a hot oven. After its dried and cooled, poor a tablespoon of unsaturated oil (I use canola) in the skillet and rub it all over with paper towels. With fresh paper towels, remove any excess. Then, place the oiled pan upside down in a 450 degree oven and bake for an hour. Remove from the oven — making sure to use potholders — and allow to cool. Repeat the process up to five times until you achieve that shiny, classic, cast iron finish. Repeat this lengthy process whenever your skillet need to be re-seasoned, which isn’t that often if you clean it properly.

• How to clean: If seasoned well, all you’ll need to do is give your skillet a good rinse then completely dry the skillet in the oven. Do not let your skillet soak. And, please, do not put it in the dishwasher. If there are stubborn bits stuck to the skillet, heat it with kosher salt and oil, and scrub at the bits with paper towels clutched inside tongs.

While cast iron is multipurpose, it cannot be used efficiently on glass top stoves due to the inability to transfer heat. It should never be used in a microwave oven.

Cast iron can add up to 20 times the amount of iron into your food — great for people with iron deficiencies. You can cook with less oil in cast iron. The non-stick surface of a well-seasoned piece is almost as effective as the non-stick pan for use without the concerns of introducing chemicals from the coating into your food. Cooking acidic dishes such as tomatoes might cause a weird taste due to a reaction with the iron.

Why cook with cast iron? The benefit of using a cast iron pan is that it gets very hot and stays hot. Unlike thinner pans, the heat level doesn’t fluctuate in a cast iron. This makes it an ideal choice for foods that need high heat. Meats that need a sear but should be scorched, like steak, or roasts that should be browned before braising, perform beautifully in a cast iron.

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National Cheeseburger Day: The great home cooking debate

Americans on average eat three cheeseburgers a week, according to the Beef Checkoff Program. On National Cheeseburger Day, recognized annually on Sept. 18, there is no doubt many will celebrate by chowing down.

Burgers make up 20 percent of American’s in-home beef meals and about 70 percent of those burgers include cheese, according to the Beef Checkoff Program. How those burgers are made is a contentious subject in West Texas.

First, you could cook burger meat on the stove. Cast iron skillets seem to be the favored tool for indoor cooking. Matthew Merriott, a lawyer in Amarillo, said cast-iron cooking is his preferred way to prepare a burger.

“You retain more moisture and have much greater control while cooking,” Merriott wrote on Facebook.

Kendra Fletcher, a working mother of two, said a cast iron skillet is an easy way to cook burgers during the busy work week, but prefers to grill when she has the time.

For Texas Tech student Marcos Rubio, grilling gives more space to tend to other burger essentials. He said he also toasts buns on the grill, which he described as a necessary process.

Grilling heat methods is a whole other debate. Samantha Steelman said gas is easier, but it is hard to beat the flavor charcoal or wood chips can add to the meat.

Lubbockite Morgan Hyman said he uses a gas grill because it is quicker and easier than charcoal. He said there is one key to grilling a burger, no matter what method you are using.

“When grilling burgers on a grill of any type, only flip the burgers once,” Hyman advised. “Constant flipping will drain all the juices and dry the burgers out.”

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