Restaurant chains are hoping to catch the luck of the Irish this week, rolling out limited-time offers tied to St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. The festive items range from Irish favorites such as corned beef to Irish whiskey and green foods. Also included in this week’s roundup are a new format for pizza and a fast-food chain’s plan to reshape its menu.
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Cousins is offering a Reuben sub through March 22. The sub features corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread, and is available on 7.5- or 15-inch loaves baked fresh daily. It can also be prepared as a Sub in a Bowl.
Red Lobster is getting in on the seasonal fun with its Jameson Irish Mudslide. The dessert cocktail is made with Jameson Irish whiskey blended with creme de menthe and vanilla ice cream served in a collectible Lighthouse glass. It’s topped with Hershey chocolate swirl, the chain’s signature brownie, whipped cream and gold-colored sugar crystals.
Chili's Grill & Bar
Also incorporating Jameson into its LTO drink menu is Chili’s Grill & Bar, which introduced the Lucky Jameson as its Margarita of the Month for March. The drink features Jameson Irish whiskey, Lunazul Blanco tequila, triple sec and sour mix, and is garnished with lime and orange wedges.
Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe is also using Jameson on its holiday menu, but in a slightly different format. The casual-dining chain’s Guinness & Bacon Jam Cheeseburger is topped with Jameson bacon jam along with Guinness cheese sauce. Hard Rock is also offering the St. Paddy’s Shake (pictured) made with Absolut Vanilla vodka, vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookies and mint, as well as a nonalcoholic Lucky Leprechaun Shake. The items are part of the chain’s Shamrock ‘N Roll menu, available March 13-18.
Dunkin’ has added Snackin’ Bacon to its snack options. The strips of crispy bacon are flavored with Sweet Black Pepper seasoning and served in a sleeve for on-the-go consumption.
And for St. Paddy’s Day, the chain is bringing back its Irish Creme flavor for hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks for a limited time. Also available is the Lucky Shamrock Donut, a yeast ring donut with green icing and St. Patrick’s Day-inspired sprinkles.
In non-St. Patrick’s Day menu news, quick-service chain Marco’s Pizza introduced a line of Specialty Pizza Bowls made with pizza ingredients, minus the crust. There are three varieties: Deluxe (pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushroom, green peppers, onion, pizza sauce and three cheeses), Meat (pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, bacon, pizza sauce and three cheeses) and Garden (mushrooms, black olives, onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, pizza sauce, a three-cheese blend, Romesan seasoning and garlic sauce).
Panda Express is launching a menu overhaul called the Panda Promise that will take place over the next five years. Under the initiative, the chain plans to use chicken raised without antibiotics for all LTOs, reduce the amount of sodium in menu items, use cage-free eggs nationwide, use whole vegetables that are hand-chopped and wok-tossed for entrees and offer entrees with a least 8 grams of protein and 300 calories or less on over half of its menu.
Pizza Hut is hitting on a hot flavor with its new Nashville Hot chicken wings. Available boneless or bone-in, the wings are made with a spicy cayenne pepper sauce that blends tangy, savory and sweet flavors. The wings are cooked fresh, and the chain says they are 25% bigger than competitors’ versions.