Restaurant operators unveil dessert items.
Sonic Drive-In is serving brownie batter and yellow cake batter shakes, made with vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped topping and a cherry. The returning items will be available for a limited time.
“In developing the Brownie Batter and Yellow Cake Batter Shakes, our culinary team worked to recreate those fond childhood memories of baking at home and that moment when you got to sneak a taste from the mixing bowl,” said Scott Uehlein, executive chef at Sonic. “We’re thrilled to offer guests another opportunity to enjoy these nostalgic treats in a unique way, like only Sonic can do.”
New seasonal offerings at First Watch include shrimp and grits, crab cake benedict and a chorizo breakfast sandwich topped with an over-easy egg, Monterey Jack cheese, smashed avocado, Cholula sauce and house-made pico de gallo.
“At First Watch, we are always working to elevate the dining experience for our guests by offering new, flavorful dishes made with only the freshest, quality ingredients,” said Shane Schaibly, senior vice president of culinary strategy for First Watch. “So, when it came to planning this year’s spring-inspired menu, we knew we wanted to pack a punch by offering inspired takes on brunch classics that highlight some of the season’s delicious, premium proteins. Whether you are looking to stay landside with flavorful chorizo or take a bite out of the sea with sweet crab or tender shrimp, this menu truly has something for everyone to get excited about, and we cannot wait to hear what our guests think of these savory new specialties.”
Taco Bueno is offering fried fish and shrimp tacos for a limited time. The items include lettuce, pico de gallo and zesty jalapeño ranch dressing.
New at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews is a menu lineup featuring the brand’s Whiskey River barbecue sauce. The smokehouse brisket burger features a beef burger topped with Whiskey River barbecue sauce, smoked brisket, black-peppered bacon, provolone cheese, roasted jalapeños, dill pickles, onion straws and chipotle aioli on a toasted brioche bun. Smothered barbecue brisket chips are Yukon chips topped with beer cheese sauce, smoked brisket, hardwood-smoked bacon, diced red onions and Whiskey River barbecue sauce. The pineapple upside-down cake milkshake combines vanilla soft-serve with pineapple juice and cake flavor, topped with whipped cream, pineapple, caramel sauce and a cherry.
“As we move into the spring and warmer months ahead, barbecue options naturally become more enticing and top-of-mind,” said Jonathan Muhtar, executive vice president and chief concept officer. “With our Whiskey River Backyard barbecue menu, we wanted to put a spin on that familiar experience with a flavor we know our guests love, inviting families and friends to enjoy a delicious barbecue meal without any of the work.”
Frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry has unveiled a new strawberry shortcake flavor for a limited time.
“We are thrilled to introduce this new springtime flavor that celebrates the sweetness of the season,” said Melissa Hubbell, senior director of marketing for Kahala Brands, parent company of Pinkberry. “Our Strawberry Shortcake flavor instantly evokes sweet recollections and is sure to be a nostalgic treat for any and all ages.”
American Dairy Queen Corp. is debuting Signature Stackburgers. The lineup includes the FlameThrower, Loaded A.1., Bacon Two Cheese Deluxe, Two Cheese Deluxe and original cheeseburger.
“We know our fans are looking for cheeseburgers that offer big flavor and premium ingredients that keep them coming back for more, and the Signature Stackburgers menu was designed to meet that craving,” said Kelly Kenny, vice president of brand and product marketing. “We now are offering five different cheeseburgers that bring flavor variety to our everyday menu, each made with perfectly melted cheese, seasoned beef and a host of creative toppings, all served on a perfectly soft and airy bun.”
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is offering Easter Heat n’ Serve meals, including a prime rib family dinner served with au jus and horseradish, mashed potatoes, roasted gravy, two side dishes and sweet yeast rolls. A new addition to the side selections is three-cheese squash casserole, which has a creamy cheese blend and breadcrumb topping.
“Care is always on the menu at Cracker Barrel, especially during Easter with high-quality options like our Prime Rib Heat n’ Serve Family Dinner, and our assortment of candy, accessories and games is always a great value for our guests,” said Jennifer Tate, senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Given today’s economic challenges, we know guests are looking to get the best bang for their buck when celebrating special occasions and our selection of homestyle Heat n’ Serve meals were created with budget-conscious families in mind.”
The flavor of the month at Baskin-Robbins is Totally Unwrapped, which has layers of fudge-covered pretzels, fudge- and caramel-covered peanuts and caramel swirled through peanut butter and chocolate ice creams.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is launching a brunch menu, featuring a steak and egg bowl, grilled salmon benedict, brunch burger, bacon and egg brioche sandwich, avocado toast salad and shrimp and grits.
“Brunch time sparks a special kind of energy that draws family and friends to the table to celebrate the weekend and savor meals that transcend traditional breakfast and lunch offerings,” said Steve Sturm, senior vice president and executive chef at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.
Taco Cabana is introducing breakfast bowls, filled with seasoned potatoes, refried beans, eggs, queso, pico de gallo and a choice of chorizo, bacon or country sausage.
Debuting at El Pollo Loco is Mexican shredded beef birria, a dish made popular by social media. The item is available as part of a stuffed quesadilla, burrito and crunchy tacos, served with a dippable, savory beef broth made with garlic, chili and lime.
The new Chef’s Chicken Sandwiches at Panera Bread feature all-white meat chicken breast filets that are marinated, seasoned, seared golden brown and finished sous vide. Each filet is topped with Parmesan crisps or spicy pickle chips and garlic aioli sauce on a buttery brioche roll. A spicy version adds a spicy Buffalo sauce made with aged red cayenne pepper and roasted garlic, plus notes of honey and molasses.
“Our chefs and bakers know how to combine flavors to create elevated culinary classics — the familiar, made fantastic,” said Claes Petersson, head chef and chief food innovation officer of Panera Bread. “We’ve brought that expertise to this new category many times over. We always love crafting a new offering from Panera’s pantry of clean ingredients because we believe clean food, freshly prepared, tastes delicious. From the juicy chicken breast filet to the spicy, crispy pickle chips, our two new Chef's Chicken Sandwiches pack a serious flavor punch.”
Qdoba Mexican Eats is introducing the smoky chicken cheese-crusted quesadilla, made with a golden cheese-crusted tortilla and filled with flame-grilled adobo chicken, smoky chile crema, three-cheese queso, pico de gallo and shredded cheese.
Recent menu additions focus on relaunches of fan favorites.
Seasonal launches lean into sweet and spiced flavors.