3 topping trendlettes saucing up menus
This month, restaurant chains turned toppings on their heads. Transforming butter into a savory burger sauce and redefining sauerkraut, restaurants have zeroed in on low-cost extras that give new menu items a specialty feel.
1. Butter for a better burger
Butter now is being pushed as a specialty sauce. Burger King recently rolled out its Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger, and Jack in the Box is building on the popularity of its Buttery Jack with the Double Jack, featured on a new buttery bakery bun. Checkers/Rally’s also introduced a Buttery Steak Burger, drizzled in savory steak butter.
2. DIY saucing
Operators are using sauces as an inexpensive and easy customization tool. They’re key at Locol, Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s new fast-food spot in LA where chicken nuggets are served with green-goddess sauce and the cheeseburger gets an edge from “awesome sauce” made with garlic and gochujang. At Tava Indian Kitchen, with three locations in California, guests top burrotis (burritos wrapped in roti bread), Chipotle-style, with a choice of five sauces, including tamarind or yogurt raita.
3. Contemporary cabbage
Cabbageless sauerkraut intersects two hot food trends: a German revival, and pickling. Farmshop in Santa Monica, Calif., features a scratch-made radish kraut with its pastrami, while other restaurants’ renditions have included kraut made from beets.