Restaurants get creative with their beverage offerings.
Applebee’s, based in Kansas City, is offering customers nine new ways to start their meals with their new appetizers, including Bar Snacks, Shareables and Pub Plates.
New Bar Snacks include Double Crunch Bone-in Wings, Pot Stickers, and Churro S’mores. New Shareables include a larger portion of Pot Stickers, Sriracha shrimp, and sweet potato fries. New Pub Plates include sweet chile brisket Sliders, Kobe-style meatballs, salsa verde shredded brisket nachos, a larger portion of Double Crunch Bone-in Wings, and a chicken quesadilla.
“We’ve taken classic bar-and-grill favorites and elevated them with premium ingredients and on-trend flavors guests love,” said Darin Dugan, senior vice-president of culinary and marketing. “And we offer them in a variety of portion sizes and combinations that provide guests with an unprecedented ability to customize and personalize their experience.”
Customers avoiding gluten may now enjoy sandwiches at Culver’s due to the addition of the gluten-free bun to their menu.
“Our mission is that each guest who chooses Culver’s leaves happy,” said Craig Culver, c.e.o. and co-founder of Culver’s, headquartered in Prairie Du Sac, Wis. “When some of our guests shared that they were unable to enjoy our signature ButterBurger because of gluten allergies, we had a responsibility to respond. This option makes it possible for all guests to savor a delicious burger.”
When customers order a burger or sandwich with the gluten-free bun, the sandwich will come unassembled with a warmed, wrapped Udi’s gluten-free bun to ensure it has not been in contact with any gluten. Adding the bun will cost $1 extra.
Dunkin’ Donuts, Canton, Mass., has eliminated the need to decide between croissants and donuts for breakfast by combining the two in its new Croissant Donut.
“The Croissant Donut has 24 layers of buttery dough and is covered with the same sweet distinctive glaze used on our glazed donuts, creating the ultimate pastry that is crisp on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside,” said Jeff Miller, executive chef and vice-president of culinary innovation at Dunkin’.
After selling 8.5 million of the pastries since its limited-time introduction in November, the company decided to make the menu addition permanent. The Croissant Donut is now available nationwide for a suggested price of $2.49.
McAlister’s Deli, based in Alpharetta, Ga., announced its new line of pasta entrees in four varieties: chicken bacon jalapeño, four cheese chili, chicken Cavatappi and Cavatappi.
“Our new pasta entrees are a significant menu expansion for us,” said Donna Josephson, vice-president of global marketing at McAlister’s. “Our goal is to offer our guests new, unique flavors beyond the deli that expand our lunch, dinner and catering options. Pasta is a differentiator for us as we continue to evolve the brand and establish McAlister’s Deli as a dinner destination.”
The pastas are offered in a full entree portion size and a choose-two portion. As a catering option, the entrees are served with a garden salad and Parmesan crostini.
Panera Bread, headquartered in St. Louis, is unveiling a new addition to its breakfast lineup: Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal.
The oatmeal consists of organic steel-cut oats, organic quinoa, sliced toasted almonds, ground cinnamon and honey.
At 290 calories, a bowl of the oatmeal contains 9 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and is priced around $4.19.
A new burger is sliding onto White Castle’s menu. The new Veggie Slider features a grilled, lightly seasoned Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger — composed of broccoli, carrots, peas, spinach, zucchini and other vegetables — on White Castle’s signature Slider bun. Customers may then top it with ranch, honey mustard, or sweet Thai sauce.
“The Veggie Slider offers a unique taste that’s different from any other sandwich on our menu or any other restaurant’s menu, for that matter,” said Jamie Richardson, vice-president.
The Veggie Slider may be found at any White Castle nationwide for 99c.
While outside temperatures are heating up, Starbucks’ Cold Brew Coffee provides coffee lovers with a new way to cool down.
Cold Brew Coffee is steeped in cool water for 20 hours, which results in a smooth, rich brew with notes of chocolate and citrus, according to Starbucks.
“We began by asking what we wanted from Cold Brew,” said Michelle Sundquist, a member of the Starbucks research and development team. “Then we looked at qualities of the coffee created through the cold brewing process, and began to narrow in on the specific flavors we wanted. We landed on what’s now Cold Brew Blend. It combines coffee from Latin America and Africa, and is specially designed by the Starbucks coffee team for this brewing method.”
Starbucks’ Cold Brew Coffee will cost $3.25 for the 16-oz Grande size cup.
Jamba Juice, based in Emeryville, Calif., is going green with its two new smoothies that both feature kale: the Amazing Greens smoothie and the Greens and Ginger smoothie.
The Amazing Greens smoothie blends kale, lemon, peach juice, peaches, bananas and pumpkin seeds to provide 2.5 servings of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables.
The Greens and Ginger smoothie combines kale, mango, peach, lemon and ginger puree and is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, B6 and vitamin K, according to the company.
“Consumers continue to become increasingly aware of the benefits of getting their daily requirement of fruit and vegetables and continue to trend toward beverages as a convenient and affordable way to do so,” said Julie S. Washington, chief brand and innovation officer of Jamba Juice.
The Amazing Greens smoothie will cost approximately $4.99 to $5.49, and the Greens and Ginger smoothie will cost around $4.49 to $4.99.
Putting a spin on their classic lemonade, Chick-Fil-A, based in Atlanta, is introducing the new Frosted Lemonade, which combines their fresh-squeezed lemonade with their Icedream vanilla soft serve.
Chick-fil-A team members reportedly created the concoction during breaks. After Chick-fil-A heard about the combo, they refined the recipe, tested it in a few of their restaurants, then decided to launch the lemonade nationwide after positive customer feedback.
“We always knew customers loved our lemonade, and we always knew they loved Icedream,” said David Farmer, vice-president of menu strategy and development for Chick-fil-A. “But we never thought to combine the two to make a completely original treat that isn’t a milkshake or even a smoothie. Thanks to team members, this recipe will now be a delicious, low calorie treat that all customers can enjoy anytime.”
Customers may buy Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade in a 16-oz serving with prices starting at $2.69. The treat may be spun with diet or regular lemonade and contains 240 or 330 calories respectively.