KANSAS CITY — Restaurants are innovating with cheese, from queso-topped burgers to three-cheese crab dips to bacon beer cheese steak toppings.

Wendy’s is kicking its menu up a notch with the addition of queso, the star of three new offerings: The Bacon Queso Burger, The Bacon Queso Chicken Sandwich and Bacon Queso Fries, which are all topped with the chain’s new poblano queso cheese sauce.

Red Lobster is blending a trio of cheeses with crab in its new Three-Cheese Crab Dip appetizer. The dip features a creamy blend of Blue crab crabmeat and cream cheese, mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses served with warm artisan bread.

Applebee’s is unveiling a Bacon Beer Cheese Topper for chicken breast, pork chops or steak. The topper consists of Blue Moon white cheddar beer cheese, bacon, crispy onions and green onions.

Click to view a slideshow of new menu items.