Taste Tracker

Pat Cobe

Every week, Senior Menu Editor Pat Cobe takes a look at the latest new menu news from major chains and menu trends. The column features extensive work from RB Art Director Nico Heins on a visual presentation.


Menus make a seasonal shift, take on bolder flavors

Taste Tracker: Chimichurri at Sweetgreen and Cubanos at Potbelly; chicken gets a jolt of spice at Moe’s; Dairy Queen rolls out Stackburgers; Sonic’s slush ring, Dog Haus' cocktails and more menu newsmakers of the week.


Spring menus are blooming with new flavors and ingredients

Taste Tracker: Tacos make news at Freshii and bowls at Taco Cabana; Firebirds does brunch; seafood heats up at Smokey Bones while Red Robin plays with smoke; drinks take on spring flavors.

Taste Tracker: El Pollo Loco adds birria; Szechuan accents Starbird Chicken; breakfast gets heartier at Taco John’s and Bob Evans while Noodles & Co. tries plant-based chicken; sweet news at Cinnaholic.

Auntie Anne’s and Buffalo’s Café go mad for basketball; BWW ties merch with food; Black Bear and Velvet Taco celebrate St. Patrick all week; and Newk’s and Miller’s turn up the heat.

Wow Bao, Rapid Fired Pizza, Corner Bakery and Dog Haus turn to plants; March events inspire Bennigan’s and Toasted Yolk; burgers rock at Hard Rock and Wayback; and Applebee’s goes sweet.

Taste Tracker: Lenten LTOs at Dickey’s, Popeyes, Del Taco and Red Lobster; Wendy’s into March Madness; a turkey sandwich for Jimmy John’s; Chopt travels to Asia; and more menu news of the week.

Panera and Noodles & Co. debut new salads; sandwiches star at Chick-fil-A and Eggs Up Grill; Metro Diner, Bonefish Grill and Lion’s Choice get a jump on Lent; celebrating with margaritas.

Taste Tracker: Cracker Barrel’s wines; McAlisters spotlights steak; chicken stars at Pei Wei, Checkers and Ledo Pizza; Genghis Grill does Mardi Gras; Smokey Bones candy coats cocktails.

Heart-shaped pizzas, doughnuts and trays; Hard Rock's Super Bowl and Valentine’s specials; football themes at BWW, Subway and Moe’s.

Taste Tracker: Panda Express swaps meat for plants in two classics; healthy sipping at Bluestone and Nekter; calories count at Fazoli’s; and fruits and vegetables fill up bowls.

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