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.

Food

Restaurant menus warm up with winter specials

Taste Tracker: Carrabba’s Italian spin on comfort; hearty Mexican fare at Abuelo’s and Taco John’s; Smashburger partners with Rick Bayless; and holiday-ready sweet treats.

Food

Festive drinks, holiday foods and global flavors fill post-Thanksgiving menus

Taste Tracker: TGI Fridays’ seasonal cocktails; Chopt goes to Mexico and Del Taco does tamales; Smashburger and Main Event shake things up; plants, burgers, chicken and pizza continue to trend.

Mendocino Farms and Rush Bowls launch new items; chicken sandwiches keep on coming at Jollibee and Jack in the Box; Panera layers carbs on carbs; and comfort foods take on fall flavors.

Taste tracker: Panda Express has a chicken sandwich and nuggets rule at Pokemoto; guac goes Japanese at Jinya; chains celebrate cheeseburgers; queso at Einstein Bros. and more.

Taste tracker: Shake Shack partners with restaurateur Dominique Crenn for an LTO; bacon and cheddar team up at Wendy’s and Schlotzsky’s; nachos and tacos trend at El Pollo Loco, Torchy’s and Taco Cabana; Dutch Bros. and Bennigan’s tout new drinks; and sweet treats get seasonal.

Taste tracker: Shake Shack partners with famous chefs for LTOs; bacon and cheddar team up at Wendy’s and Schlotzsky’s; nachos and tacos trend at El Pollo Loco, Torchy’s and Taco Cabana; Dutch Bros. and Bennigan’s tout new drinks; and sweet treats get seasonal.

September signals a new beginning, with Labor Day weekend marking the unofficial transition from summer to fall. Operators are responding to that signal with new menu launches and revamps of favorites.

Taco Bell pumps up the flavor of Nacho Fries; chicken rules the roost at Panda Express, Pollo Campero and Metro Diner; B. Good and Guy Fieri launch new burgers; and there’s no stopping the pumpkin spice blitz.

Taste Tracker: Dunkin’ debuts pumpkin and apple while 7-Eleven savors summer; beer cheese and pumpkin treats at Frisch’s; Dairy Queen whips up a pumpkin Blizzard; bar food gets bolder at Fox & Hound; and more menu news of the week.

Taste Tracker: Pizza Hut, Dog Haus and Lucille’s add plant-based items; it’s back-to-school time for Carl’s Jr. and McAlister’s; Red Robin heats up while BurgerFi cools off; and BBQ season is not over yet.

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