Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
LBI AFTERNOON MOTORIST ALERT: The Boulevard is absolutely flooded – BUT NOT WITH WATER!!!!!!!!!!! There is a veritable traffic tsunami out there, north to south. If you have to be somewhere at a special time, you might want to leave yourself, like, an extra day or so. OK, it might not be that bad but it’s bad enough. And kindness and gentleness is not on the minds of many motorists. So, take the high road and be the one driver who lets side road traffic in. It feels good to get a kindly wave or two on a traffic day from holiday hell.
Congrats to Island businesses that are absolutely killing it thanks to Arthur’s half-day showing. Just try getting into a restaurant. Crammed.
As for the storm, just remember it’s not a serious coastal storm until everybody and their brothers are tracking the next high tide. We ain’t.
Arthur further proves how much we love our hurricane watching, heavily egged on by The Weather Channel. For most of us, Arthur was more entertaining than impactful. However, my sympathies go out to the Outer Banks, where they now have to go through not only an irksome cleanup – a holiday weekend ruiner -- but might need to contend with bridge repairs. That later thing can be a lifestyle ballbuster to be sure. Let’s hope the Outer Banks spans – and I’m pretty familiar with them – have weathered Arthur.
LOW SALT DIET: Locally, I always like to note the salinity of the standing water in roadways. This go’round there is virtually no salt in the puddle mix. I registered near zero salinity – short of everyday residual salt content – in standing water areas. However, there could be some brackishness arising through the sewers and onto the roadways -- at the famed and perpetual low spots -- as high tides spit into puddles a wee bit.
As expected, things are going from bland to grand by tomorrow. Wait until you see the gorgeousity, brightened even further by the rain- and wind-cleaning from today’s blow.
Above: Surfer (left) with man he just saved.
Now to the serious s***! I’ve oft been quoted as saying more people die from tropical systems that don’t make landfall than from those that slam ashore. I’m of course referencing rip current drownings from the powerful waves mailed out by hurricanes and tropical storms. It’s churned up out there and even though I’m downgrading how large the surf might be for the weekend, it’ll still be seriously dangerous. Now, add to that critical waveage the warmer water that got blown in from the north winds and as large a July Fourth people presence as I've ever seen and you have a deadly-ass combo.
I’d even like to make a shout-out to my surfing buddies, who’ll be out there later today and early tomorrow morning in epic numbers. Please keep an eye out and an ear open for any non-lifeguarded bathers who might get in over their heads. You know how often it’s waveriders who first come to the rescue. Karma gets no better than saving a soul or two.
In the news:::::::::::::::
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Washington Post] By Jiaxi Lu - July 3, 2014 -
Some major fast-food chains — McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell — may find the latest Consumer Reports fast-food survey hard to swallow.
According to the survey, released on Wednesday, more than 30,000 Consumer Reports subscribers say these restaurants' signature items are the worst in their categories: McDonald's has the worst burger; KFC has the worst chicken; and Taco Bell has the worst burrito.
Consumer Reports surveyed 32,405 subscribers about their experiences at 65 fast-food and fast-casual chains. This is what they were asked: "On a scale of 1 to 10, from least delicious to most delicious you've ever eaten, how would you rate the taste" of their signature dishes?
Habit Burger Grill, In-n-Out and Five Guys Burgers received the highest rating for their burgers, 8.1, 8.0 and 7.9 respectively. Meanwhile, McDonald's scored a paltry 5.8 rating.
McDonald's: Changing menu adds pressure to prep kitchen
McDonald's has been busy changing its menu in an effort to attract more customers. But despite the novelty items the company promoted in 2013 — Fish McBites in February, McWraps in March, Mighty Wings in September, etc. — the company's U.S. sales dropped 0.2 percent last year.
During a conference call with investors, McDonald's chief financial officer Peter Bensen said the company "probably did things a little bit too quickly" in terms of introducing those new menu items. The constant changes and bold experiments with the menu put pressure to the restaurants' kitchens, which sometimes took too long to fill orders. But new items introduced this year will be welcomed by the chain's new kitchen equipment. Prep tables will be replaced with larger surfaces that are able to hold more sauces and ingredients.
In 2014, Bensen said, the company will "refocus the core," including tried-and-true favorites such as the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets and the Quarter Pounder, as well as breakfast.
Consumer searches for healthier choices
Research shows Americans are spending $683.4 billion a year dining out, and they are also demanding better food quality and greater variety from restaurants to make sure their money is well spent.
When deciding where to dine, consumers are giving more consideration to food quality, according to the Consumer Reports survey. The restaurant's location is less important than it was in 2011, when the group last conducted the survey. Diners today are more willing to go out of their way to find tasty meals that can be customized.
"Fast-casual dining in places like Chipotle and Panda Express lets the consumer guide the staff to prepare their meal just the way they like it," Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food-service consulting firm, said in the report.
While many of the traditional chains have lagged in offering higher-quality ingredients, he said, some food chains — including Chipotle, Noodles & Company and Panera — have been offering meat raised without using antibiotics in animal feed, a feature that attracts consumers searching for healthier options.
Fast-food alternatives: fast-casual restaurants
Chipotle was rated by readers as their top fast-casual restaurant. (Fast-casual restaurants usually serve higher-quality, higher-priced fast food.) According to the survey, McAlister's Deli gets the award for most improved as the chain's score increased significantly since the 2011 report.
Top fast-casual restaurants:
Chipotle Mexican Grill Firehouse Subs Five Guys Burgers and Fries Jason's Deli Jersey Mike's Subs Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches McAlister's Deli Panera Bread Schlotzsky's
Photo Credit: Washington Post
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Associated Press] By Mary Clare Jalonick and Lauran Neergaard - June 2, 2014 -