Categories
Fast Food News

Chipotle Is Testing Spicy Milkshakes And Avocado Tostadas

Photo Courtesy of Anna-Marie Walsh/@beautyandthebeets

Chipotle had the reputation of being a healthy alternative fast casual restaurant that was very selective with its menu items, but as it tries to climb out of the hole dug by a plague of e. Coli outbreaks, it looks like they’re throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

The Mexican grill’s latest rollout of test menu items are far removed from its “healthy” reputation, as they include quesadillas, nachos, tostadas, and even a Mexican chocolate milkshake.

Yes, you might soon be able to get a milkshake at Chipotle.

These items are being tested at their Next Kitchen in New York, where they’ve tested items before such as quinoa and frozen palomas.

While none of their new menu items are particularly exclusive to any restaurant, it does feel like Chipotle is taking a page out of Taco Bell’s innovation book. After all, they are a major competitor in the Mexican-inspired fast food world.

Over the last decade, Taco Bell has had a barrage of innovative menu items, and it has been difficult for fast food competitors to keep up. Between burritos that feature Fritos and at one point even Pop Rocks, and nacho fries, Taco Bell has proven that going balls to the wall not only helps generate hype, but it actually shows in sales.

If you don’t believe that these limited time menu items are beneficial to a restaurant such as Taco Bell, their most recent Nacho Fries rollout was the most successful launch in their history, selling more than 53 million orders in less than 2 month span.

Even Del Taco has shown a willingness to mix things up with huevos ranchero burritos, queso blanco, and even fire roasted shrimp.

Sofritas quesadilla & avocado tostada from the Chipotle test kitchen.

A post shared by Erik (@boringerik) on

Conversely, Chipotle has had slow and prodding innovation, with past attempts at chorizo and queso not exactly connecting with consumers. Their chorizo option is no more, and they had to adjust their queso recipe after facing backlash for its chalky taste.

With Chipotle trying to jump back in the saddle, this is the first time in recent memory they’ve announced five new items at once. You have to think at least one of them will connect. Possibly the milkshake?

It does looks like the shake has potential. New Yorker Anna-Marie Walsh tried it out at the test kitchen, describing it as having a bit of a spicy taste, adding that it was “absolutely delicious.”

A post shared by Tim Wildin (@timtimnyc) on

Believe it or not, you were able to order a quesadilla before, but it wasn’t on Chipotle’s official menu, and as we learned with the secret menu Quesarito, it was a bitch to for them to fire up a quesadilla with the way their kitchen was set up.

Time will tell if these items will be deemed worthy of a nationwide rollout. It certainly seems like milkshakes, quesadillas, and avocado tostadas would be a welcoming addition to their everyday menu. Until then, Chipotle fans will just have to go with their usual order.

Categories
Restaurants

Olive Garden Puts the Fate of Their New Menu in the Hands of Tweeters and IGers

10636196_10152390223766805_4442862087314441284_n

Olive Garden can’t seem to figure out what you want, so they just said, screw it, we’ll leave it up to you.

According to Yahoo, Olive Garden will be crowd-sourcing from their Twitter and Instagram followers, trying to  figure out which of the company’s new menu items will become mainstays. OG introduced two new sets of menu items in their Northern Tour of Italy and Southern Tour of Italy. The two menus will go head-to-head in a gangster manner, as voters decide which will stay for good by using the hashtags #TeamNorth or #TeamSouth. And for those who aren’t the least bit tech-savvy and think a hash tag has something to with corned beef, you can also vote in-restaurant.

The Northern Tour of Italy consists of an Asiago Tortelloni with Meat Sauce, the Chicken Lombardy, which comes with three cheeses and topped with bacon, and the Fettuccine with Creamy Parmesan Portobello Sauce.

The Southern Tour of Italy consists of Mezzaluna Marinara, Spicy Pesto Shrimp and a Bucatini with Spicy Tomato Bacon Sauce.

The future of Olive Garden is in your hands, Tweeters.

H/T Yahoo

Categories
Fast Food

Spotted: Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Sandwich at Carl’s Jr.

carls-jr-french-toast-sandwich

Earlier this week, Carl’s Jr. dropped their new Double Loaded Omelet Biscuit but it seems like the chain is already looking for the next best thing.

In case a savory double omelet stuffed with bacon and cheese isn’t your thing, maybe this Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Sandwich will satisfy your sweet tooth. Still in a testing phase, the sandwich was spotted at a Carl’s Jr. in Torrance, CA and featured your choice of ham, bacon, or sausage, eggs, cheese, and maple syrup sandwiched between two cinnamon swirl pieces of french toast.

The Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Sandwich is being featured at a sweet introductory price of $2.99 , we’re hoping this latest breakfast mashup will be tested at more Carl’s Jr. locations soon.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating

Categories
Fast Food

El Pollo Loco Lets Customers Have It Their Way with New ‘Create Your Own’ Bowls

el-pollo-loco-create-a-bowl

El Pollo Loco sounds like they’re taking a cue from Chipotle’s burrito bowls with their new “Create Your Own” bowl options. Starting at $5.79, the chicken chain lets customers design their own custom meals by choosing from various proteins, sides and toppings.

Creating a bowl is as easy as 1, 2, 3; customers can choose one protein from chicken breast, carnitas, or chicken thigh, oh, and you can double your meat a la Chipotle style for $1.50. To complete their custom bowl, customers can choose two sides (rice, black beans, pinto beans, broccoli), three toppings (avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, jack cheese, mango salsa, guacamole, corn), and then finish off their bowl with a sauce of choice: poblano salsa, queso, enchilada sauce or creamy cilantro dressing.

The “Create Your Own” bowls will be available for about five weeks and are available via drive-thru and in-store.

H/T Nation’s Restaurant News + PicThx Brand Eating

Categories
Restaurants

Get Your Thanksgiving Fix Early With Panera Bread’s New Fall Menu

panera-turkey-cranberry-flatbread-sandwichIn keeping with seasonal tradition, Panera Bread has launched their new Fall menu. The chain’s new Turkey Cranberry Flatbread Sandwich brings customers an early taste of Thanksgiving. Filled with roasted turkey breast, cranberry mostarda, garlic herb cheese, and spinach, this flatbread is very similar to a previous fall menu panini that Panera offered a few years back.

A new addition to the pasta lineup includes Butternut Squash Ravioli, which features sage and egg striped noodles stuffed with butternut squash, butter, brown sugar and amaretti cookies topped with a leek and garlic cream sauce, topped with fresh baby arugula and onion shoestrings. How cookies belong in a ravioli is a little weird but whatever, as long as it’s related to pumpkin or Thanksgiving it still fall appropriate.

Customers with a sweet tooth can find a new pastry waiting for them at the front display. The Caramel Apple Scone is described as a cream based scone with caramel chips, dried cinnamon apples, and then topped with cinnamon apples and caramel icing.

Brand Eating reports that “Jack-O-Lantern cookies, Pumpkin Muffies, Cranberry Orange Muffins, apple chips as a topping for their Steel-Cut Oatmeal, Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Cherry Vanilla Bagels, Pumpkin Cookies, and Pumpkin Muffins” will also be making their autumn comeback.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating

Categories
Restaurants

Wendy’s Porks Up Menu With New Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Fries

wendys pork

Wendy’s is looking to switch up your average fast food fare by adding pulled pork to their menu. While the chain is known for carrying more premium items than their drive-thru counterparts, such as their pretzel bun sandwiches, pulled pork does seem like an odd choice for a burger chain.

The new items include a pulled pork sandwich and pulled pork cheeseburger, both of which are topped with slaw and nestled on a toasted brioche bun. What could possibly pair better with these sandwiches than pulled pork cheese fries: natural cut fries topped with cheddar cheese sauce, tangy pulled pork, and diced red onion. Wendy’s new line up also includes your choice of three different barbecue sauces: smoky, sweet, or spicy.

Before you start imagining the tapeworm you could possibly catch at a fast food restaurant serving pork, you should know Wendy’s is pretty serious about their barbecue game. The chain smokes their pork between 8-12 hours and adds your choice of sauce to your sandwich once it’s prepared, meaning you don’t end up with a sandwich drowning in sauce that’s been sitting in a prep table all day.

Wendy’s new pulled pork menu is only available for a limited time.

H/T + PicThx First We Feast

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Jamba Juice Debuts New Energy Bowls, Basically Smoothies You Can Chew

jamba-juice-new-energy-bowls

Jamba Juice is rolling out a new line of Energy Bowls that is sure to appease their regular smoothie loving customers. The new line up features revamped versions of old favorites, such as their Acai Bowls, as well as brand new options. The new Energy Bowls features a blend of whole fruits, soy milk, and greek yogurt topped with an assortment of toppings and fresh fruit. According to Brand Eating, the new menu currently offers six different bowls:

– Acai Berry Bowl – a blend of Acai (pronounced “ah-sah-ee”) juice, soymilk, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, topped with fresh bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, plus sliced almonds and honey.

– Acai Primo Bowl – a blend of Acai juice, soymilk, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, topped with organic granola, fresh bananas and blueberries, coconut, sliced almonds, and honey.

– Berry Bowl – a blend of Greek yogurt, soymilk, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, topped with organic granola, fresh bananas and blueberries, and a mixed berry drizzle.

– Chunky Strawberry Bowl – a blend of Greek yogurt, strawberries, banana, peanut butter, and soymilk, topped with organic granola plus fresh banana and strawberries.

– Mango Peach Bowl – a blend of Greek yogurt, mangoes, peaches, bananas, and soymilk, topped with organic granola, fresh bananas, coconut, and a passion fruit drizzle.

– Tropical Acai Bowl – a blend of Acai juice, soymilk, mangoes, and peaches, topped with fresh pineapple and banana, plus sliced almonds and coconut.

In conjunction with the new menu’s launch, Jamba Juice is offering a coupon on their website for half off any Energy Bowl through September 22.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating

Categories
Deals

Cinnabon Gets Pumpkin Wasted With Pumpkin Rolls and Pumpkin Pie Chillatta

cinnabon pumpkin spice

If you’re not selling something pumpkin spice flavored, you’re just not trying. We’ve already seen pumpkin spice Oreos, and even pumpkin spice gum, now Cinnabon is up to bat by revamping some of its classic menu items with a pumpkin spice twist.

Who: Cinnabon

What: 

  • Pumpkin Caramel Classic Roll 
  • MiniBon Roll
  • Center of the Roll
  • Pumpkin Pie Chillatta- pumpkin, cinnamon and caramel with pumpkin pie crust crumbles, whipped cream and caramel drizzle

Where: All participating Cinnabon locations.

When: Now through Nov. 30