KANSAS CITY — Regional flavors are the focus of several new menu items, with some new dishes drawing inspiration from global fare and others evoking the cuisine of different areas around the United States.
Borrowing flavors from Belgium, Mexico and England, IHOP’s new International Pancakes menu flagship dishes include Belgian Dark Chocolate Mousse Pancakes, Mexican Tres Leches Pancakes and English Sticky Toffee Pancakes. The restaurant chain plans to add new varieties to the lineup throughout 2018.
"For IHOP's milestone 60th year, we wanted to celebrate the diversity of flavors and culinary traditions from around the world and put our own signature twist on them, doing what we do best — pancakes," said Nevielle Panthaky, vice-president of culinary at IHOP. "Our new International Pancake lineup champions regionally-driven tastes and iconic ingredients, like the luscious Mexican Tres Leches Pancakes with notes of sweet vanilla and caramel; the rich Belgian Dark Chocolate Pancakes with layers of dark chocolate mousse and rich chocolate pieces; and the sweet, salty and crunchy English Sticky Toffee Pancakes."
Southern comfort food serves as the inspiration for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s new Southern Bowls. The bowls feature a modern twist on traditional homestyle food, Cracker Barrel said. Varieties include the Ham n’ Maple Bacon Bowl; Sausage, Grits Cakes n’ Green Tomato Gravy Bowl; and Fried Chicken Benedict Bowl.
"At Cracker Barrel, we remain committed to our traditional roots in homestyle cooking while also appreciating the evolving tastes, preferences and dining habits of our guests," said Cammie Spillyards-Schaefer, vice-president of culinary for Cracker Barrel. "Our new Southern Bowls pair classic Southern staples with bolder flavors and seasonings to create new offerings of craveable comfort food with a Southern twist."
Channeling the cuisine of the Big Apple, Cicis is serving New York-inspired offerings. The New York-Style Pizza, featuring a 16-inch crust, is made with a thin, crispy crust, slightly sweet sauce and cheese. The pizzas are available in meatball pepperoni and classic cheese varieties. The new Cheesecake Brownie Swirl New York-Style Dessert features thick swirls of cheesecake baked into fudgy brownies.
"We want to offer our guests a flavor journey with no limits, and our next destination is New York — the mecca of pizza," said Billie Jo Waara, chief marketing officer for Cicis. "Our guests desire exciting experiences of foods they may not get the chance to enjoy. But with our New York-style pizzas and dessert, our guests can enjoy the food and flavors of a New York getaway."