People can't get enough of this new organic, vegetarian fast food.

Amy's Drive Thru is changing the fast food game, one vegan mac 'n' cheese at a time.

When you think about fast food, what comes to mind?

If you're like me, you probably start salivating as you imagine greasy burgers, gloriously deep-fried onion rings, and calorie-laden milkshakes. Yum.


Basically, this. Image via Thinkstock.

A new fast food restaurant in California is aiming to broaden that image by introducing a vegetarian option.

Andy and Rachel Berliner, the founders of Amy's Kitchen, originally launched their line of vegetarian frozen, canned, and prepackaged foods in grocery stores (you've probably seen Amy's organic, vegetarian, and vegan food in your local grocery store) after they found themselves frustrated with the vegetarian options available at the time.

Then the Berliners decided they wanted to take their mission one step further, envisioning a fast food restaurant where employees (who were paid a living wage plus health benefits) served vegetarian meals full of fresh local veggies.

That idea became Amy's Drive Thru, one of the first organic, vegetarian drive-thru restaurants in the country.

As of their opening in July, Amy's Drive Thru has proven to be a ridiculous success.

On opening day, Amy's served over 500 people — most of whom waited for more than an hour in line just to order. And although they expected business to slow a bit in the following weeks, the demand has just continued to grow.

There it is — the restaurant that vegetarian fast food dreams are made of. All photos below via Amy's Kitchen.

Why the crazy business? An Amy's spokesperson told Upworthy that it's likely all about pent up demand. People love fast food, but they want variety. And Amy's is delivering.

Not to mention, the food at Amy's Drive Thru is getting rave reviews.

Amy's serves organic veggie burgers, burritos, mac 'n' cheese, pizza, salads, chili fries, and even milkshakes (and, yes, you can choose from dairy or non-dairy options). Every menu item at Amy's can be made either gluten-free or vegan as well.

The coffee, vegetables, and even the milk come from local farms, too. "Our relationships with farmers and our knowledge of how to make delicious food on a large scale has really made this project possible. We've been able to keep the quality high and the prices reasonable," Andy Berliner said in a press release.

Yep — that's fast food.

I know, I know — but this broccoli cheddar mac 'n' cheese is fast food, too. It's also vegetarian and chock full of local ingredients. Drool.


Allergic to gluten? No worries. You can order gluten free everything (including pizza) at Amy's.

So here's to reimagining fast food in a new way, and keeping low price points at the same time.

A single burger at Amy's will only set you back $2.99. And a bowl of mac 'n' cheese? $4.69.

I don't know about you, but this double veggie burger might convert me to vegetarianism...

Fast food has become popular largely because it's convenient, easily available, and affordable, but we're all ears for ideas about how to add variety to that description.

Amy's Drive Thru seems to have it in the bag: fair wages for employees, local farm support, low prices, and a sustainable business model. Their tables, chairs, and building materials are even upcycled and sustainable.

So ... who wants to take a trip to California with me?

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Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

"Can I buy you a drink?" is a loaded question.

It could be an innocent request from someone who's interested in having a cordial conversation. Other time, saying "yes" means you may have to fend off someone who feels entitled to spend the rest of the night with you.

In the worst-case scenario, someone is trying to take advantage of you or has a roofie in their pocket.

Feminist blogger Jennifer Dziura found a fool-proof way to stay safe while understanding someone's intentions: ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or food. If they're sincerely interested in spending some time getting to know you, they won't mind buying something booze-free.

RELATED: States are starting to require mental health classes for all students. It's about dang time.

But if it's their intention to lower your defenses, they'll throw a mild tantrum after you refuse the booze. Her thoughts on the "Can I buy you a drink?" conundrum made their way to Tumblr.

via AshleysCo / Tumblr


via AshleysCo / Tumblr

The posts caught the attention of a bartender who knows there are lot of men out there whose sole intention is to get somone drunk to take advantage.

"Most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality," the bartender wrote. "They're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down."

So they shared a few tips on how to be safe and social when someone asks to buy you a drink.

From the other side of the bar, I see this crap all the time. Seriously. I work at a high-density bar, and let me tell you, I have anywhere from 10-20 guys every night come up and tell me to, "serve her a stronger drink, I'm trying to get lucky tonight, know what I mean?" usually accompanied with a wink and a gesture at a girl who, in my experience, is going to go from mildly buzzed to definitively hammered if I keep serving her. Now, I like to think I'm a responsible bartender, so I usually tell guys like that to piss off, and, if I can, try to tell the girl's more sober friends that they need to keep an eye on her.
But everyone- just so you know, most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality, they're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down.

Tips for getting drinks-

1. ALWAYS GO TO THE BAR TO GET YOUR OWN DRINK, DO NOT LET STRANGERS CARRY YOUR DRINKS. This is an opportune time for dropping something into your cocktail, and you're none the wiser.

2.IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING NON-ALCOHOLIC, I promise you, the bartender doesn't give two shits that you're not drinking cocktails with your friends, and often, totally understands that you don't want to let your guard down around strangers. Usually, you can just tell the bartender that you'd like something light, and that's a big clue to us that you're uncomfortable with whomever you're standing next to. Again, we see this all the time.

3. If you're in a position to where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol:
Here's a list of light liquors, and mixers that won't get you drunk, and will still look like an actual cocktail:

X-rated + sprite = easy to drink, sweet, and 12% alcoholic content. Not strong at all, usually runs $6-$8, depending on your state.
Amaretto + sour= sweet, not strong, 26%.
Peach Schnapps+ ginger ale= tastes like mellow butterscotch, 24%.
Melon liquor (Midori, in most bars) + soda water = not overly sweet, 21%
Coffee liquor (Kahlua) +soda = not super sweet, 20%.
Hope this helps someone out!

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If you do accept a drink from someone at a bar and you want to talk, there's no need to feel obligated to spend the rest of the night with them.

Jaqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says to be polite you only have to "Engage in some friendly chit-chat, but you are not obligated to do more than that."

If someone asks to buy you a drink and you don't want it, Whitmore has a great tip. "Say thank you, but you are trying to cut back, have to drive or you don't accept drinks from strangers," Whitmore says.

What if they've already sent the drink over? "Give the drink to the bartender and tell him or her to enjoy it," Whitmore says.

Have fun. Stay safe, and make sure to bring a great wing-man or wing-woman with you.

Well Being
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is a name you should remember. If you don't follow politics closely, remember his name because he's the first Republican in Congress to openly join the call for a renewed federal ban on assault weapons.

If you're a Democrat or a diehard progressive partisan, remember his name because it's proof that as a nation we can put principles before party and walk across the political aisle to get things done.

If you're a Republican, remember his name as evidence that real leadership in politics sometimes means risking your reputation to do what is right even when most of your colleagues disagree or lack the political courage to go first.

But let's allow Rep. King to explain himself in his own words:

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Democracy