KANSAS CITY – Frosty beverages, fruity flavors and bright hues drench the season’s limited-time selections at quick-service and casual dining restaurants. Strawberries and shrimp plump up summer menus in both ethnic dishes and American classics.
Citrus infuses globally inspired entrees, including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar’s margarita queso chicken and shrimp dish, Panera Bread’s Asian-influenced chilled shrimp and soba noodle salad and a Mexican seafood cocktail at Joe’s Crab Shack.
Other restaurants offer twists on traditional summertime fare with barbecue, lemonade and salads.
Burger King’s summer barbecue-themed menu features a rib sandwich, barbecue chicken salad, Memphis-style pulled pork sandwich, sweet potato fries and buffalo chicken strips. Additionally, the chain’s Whopper and crispy chicken sandwiches receive a Carolina barbecue-style treatment with the addition of pepper jack cheese and a tangy sauce.
Applebee’s summer menu draws inspiration from farmers markets, family gardens and fresh-off-the-vine fruit. Options include blackened sirloin and garlicky green beans with crispy red potatoes tossed in a pesto sauce and Roma pepper relish; margarita queso chicken and shrimp with a cilantro-lime glaze served over Mexican rice, white queso, corn and black beans and avocado; and a turkey bacon avocado sandwich on ciabatta bread.
New items on Panera Bread’s summer menu include a shrimp salad roll, with shrimp tossed in lemon tarragon mayonnaise with lettuce and avocado in a New England roll; chilled shrimp and soba noodle salad, featuring soba noodles and a cabbage blend tossed in peanut sauce with baby spinach, shrimp and orange miso dressing; and a peach pecan crunch muffin.
Returning items at Panera Bread include summer corn chowder, with roasted corn and red potatoes, sweet cream, Poblano peppers and cilantro; a fresh fruit pastry; steel-cut oatmeal with blueberries and granola; and a strawberry poppyseed and chicken salad with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, pecans and a fat-free poppyseed dressing.
Joe’s Crab Shack’s summer menu has Southern seaside cues with Corona beer and chile-lime infusions.
Bruegger’s Bagels is launching a seasonal menu with a Sriracha hot sauce-flavored egg sandwich; a blue apple salad with chicken, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, diced apples, blue cheese crumbles and a champagne vinaigrette; and a chicken almond salad with cucumber, red bell pepper, Asiago cheese, and a tangy olive oil dressing.
Frozen lemonades, milkshakes and sparkling teas are hot summertime beverages.
Sonic’s summer shakes promotion features 25 flavors, including peanut butter and bacon, cherry cheesecake and coconut cream pie.
Dunkin' Donuts is expanding its Coolatta beverage line with berry, raspberry lime and orange varieties for the season, in addition to offering limited-time flavors of frozen lemonade, blue raspberry and strawberry lemonade.
Krispy Kreme’s summer offerings include frozen pink lemonade and frozen hot chocolate, in addition to key lime donuts in two varieties.
Caribou Coffee is launching sparkling tea drinks in green tea lemonade, peach black tea, lemon ginger pomegranate and apple raspberry varieties.
McDonald’s seasonal drink menu includes a new blueberry-pomegranate smoothie and dulce de leche shake, as well as such returning seasonal items as its cherry berry chilled beverage and frozen strawberry lemonade.Panera Bread’s limited-time lineup also includes a frozen cherry limeade and tropical hibiscus tea with pineapple and lychee flavors, and Burger King is offering frozen lemonade and frozen strawberry lemonade during the summer months.