Burgerville, Shake Shack, the Habit and Cowboy Chicken beef it up for fall

Taste Tracker: New spins on bowls at Playa Bowls; Fazoli’s bakes pizza into pasta; mushroom mania hits Blaze; Rubio’s new fish taco wins a contest; and more menu news of the week.
Photographs courtesy of the brands

Chain chefs have been busy riffing on burgers.

Burgerville launched a seasonal Oktoberfest Burger that includes a sustainably raised beef patty layered on a soft pretzel bun and topped with locally produced garlic aioli, toasted red cabbage, whole grain mustard and Swiss cheese. The Habit Burger Grill is exploring a different part of the world with its Korean BBQ Charburger. The build starts with a chargrilled burger patty that’s topped with teriyaki-braised shredded beef, kimchi, melted cheese and caramelized onions.

There’s more meaty action at Shake Shack, where the menu heats up with a Spicy Shackmeister Burger. It’s dusted with the chain’s signature hot pepper spice blend, which also flavors Spicy Fries with Ranch Sauce.

Although the word “chicken” is in Cowboy Chicken’s name, the Texas-based chain is offering a Brisket Sandwich slathered with barbecue sauce and garnished with yellow onions, jalapenos, and bread-and-butter pickles. On the side, guests can order sweet potato waffle fries, available through mid-October.

And to round out the meaty lineup, Charleys Cheesesteaks has a limited-time Parmesan Peppercorn Cheesesteak with Parmesan & Peppercorn Sauce, crispy onions, melted provolone and A.1. steak sauce.

Pizza is also getting some play this month. Blaze Pizza introduced the Mega Mushroom pizza topped with sauce, shredded mozzarella, spices and triple the mushrooms at a special price of $8.99. And Fazoli’s bakes pizza ingredients into pasta with an LTO of Pizza Baked Pasta. Customers can order it au natural or as Meaty Pizza Baked Pasta or Supreme Pizza Baked Pasta; the latter comes with Italian sausage, bacon, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms.

Rubio’s is sticking to what it does best: Seafood. On the menu through Oct. 10 is the Coconut Shrimp Mango Salsa Taco, a recipe that came out of the first-ever battle for the next fish taco. An Arizona customer created the LTO, in which shrimp is breaded with two kinds of coconut for a super-crunchy coating.

Playa Bowls is offering up a menu flavored for fall. In the lineup are an Apple Turn Up Acai Bowl topped with granola, apple slices, banana, apple butter, peanuts and cinnamon, as well as a Jack-O’-Lantern Acai Bowl with pumpkin flavors. More pumpkin shows up in a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, cold brew and protein bites.

Not to be left out of the pumpkin parade, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery launched Pumpkin Pecan Pie Pancakes and a Pumpkin Martini. But the fall menu also includes Carbonara Breakfast Pasta, a morning take on the spaghetti classic made with pork belly, eggs and veggies, as well as Short Rib Loco Moco and Monte Cristo Brioche Toast.

Breakfast, brunch and lunch concept Eggs Up Grill also ramped up its menu for fall. Guests can order up Pumpkin Praline Pancakes, Chicken Fried Steak Benedict, Apple Cider Mimosas and S’mores Cold Brew Latte through Nov. 22.

Burgers get bolder

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