SkinnyFATS splits its menu into healthy and happy options, but all four locations will be extra happy on 420. The Las Vegas-based restaurants will give away a free cookie—lemon blueberry, chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, salted caramel, peanut butter or snickerdoodle—to each person who comes in on April 20. Likewise, SkinnyFATS previewed the stoner holiday by gradually introducing new $4.20 menu items, including Shroom Raiders (garlic crostini, mushroom antipasto and microgreens) and Blazed & Confused (fried pickles, honey hollandaise, poached eggs, mac 'n' cheese and blazed chicken on toast), among others. PRØHBTD spoke with SkinnyFATS owner Reed Allen Slobusky to learn more.
SkinnyFATS is giving away free cookies on 4/20, and you're introducing new items priced at $4.20. Was there a particular catalyst or conversation that sparked the decision to do a 420 promotion?
Our 420 menu has been around for several years, and it has been a secret menu that only SkinnyFATS’ biggest fans have known about, with all items priced at just $4.20. These items tend to be the most popular items on our secret menu, so we frequently adopt versions of them for the regular menu.With our most recent menu update, our 420 menu needed to be refreshed. Our new 420 menu items rolled out this month in celebration of the holiday, but we will continue to roll out 420 items year round.
What are some of the $4.20 dishes that will be available on April 20 for those who want more than a free cookie?
CHILLote is our rendition of elote, which is corn on the cob rolled in habanero lime, crema, tajin, parmesan and cilantro. We are also rolling up our famous buffalo chicken tenders and truffle fries in a wrap and serving it with a side of ranch. The most exciting of the 420 menu rollouts will be our housemade chicken prerolls, or taquitos, served with a guacamole tip.
In what ways is hosting a 420 promotion compatible with SkinnyFATS' goal of serving healthy food?
With our split-menu concept, SkinnyFATS is able to dabble on both healthy and indulgent recipes that meet our guests' cravings. While we would love to offer more healthy 420 options, the 420 menu typically tends to lean to the happy side. Even on our $4.20 menu, we are still committed to serving quality ingredients.
These types of promotions are fun, but they also have a real social impact in helping destigmatize cannabis. Is that one of the underlying goals you'd like to accomplish with the promotion?
The truth is, we introduced our 420 menu prior to legalization of cannabis—simply because we understand our customers. We cater to anyone who likes to eat food! This does not exclude those that use marijuana medicinally or recreationally. We wanted to reach out to a community that naturally loved our brand from the beginning.
In the future, do you see SkinnyFATS experimenting with dishes that feature hemp oil, hemp seeds, cannabis terpenes or CBD infusions as allowed by law?
We already use hemp seeds in our chia puddings as well as in our smoothies and other beverages inside our sister store, ColdPress Express. We are big proponents of the benefits of CBD, and as time allows, we will start to incorporate this into a variety of our healthy menu items.
What are three great-tasting ingredients you like to use in crafting healthier dishes that don't necessarily taste healthy?
Ledidi berries—nature’s miracle berry— stimulates the sweet-taste receptors in your mouth so everything tastes delicious. Lemons taste like oranges; apple cider vinegar tastes like apple juice.
AquaFaba—this enzyme is given off by chickpeas after they have been soaked in water. It is a phenomenal substitute for eggs or heavy cream in almost any part of baking as the liquid forms into a stiff peak when whipped. We have been using this to make vegan mayo for the past few months but would like to expand on this much more.
Nutritional yeast, a.k.a. "Nooch" or "Hippie Dust," is a fabulous cheese substitute in vegan dishes. Besides tasting great, it is super healthy for you. This deactivated yeast has copious amounts of vitamin B12 and is also a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all the essential amino acid groups. It is also free of all sugar and gluten. Nooch is used in many applications throughout our restaurant, from being a simple cheese substitute to baking, and even marinating proteins.
David Jenison (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Editor-in-Chief at PRØHBTD.