Bowls and breakfast items make up several recent additions to menus this week. See what restaurants and chains are launching in these two categories.
B.Good introduced three winter warmers to menus this month, including a plant-forward Butternut Carbonara Bowl. It features noodles made from butternut squash, spinach, peas, egg, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, roasted coconut and creamy miso sauce. Squash also highlights a Roasted Squash Soup—a creamy blend of Hubbard squash along with other winter varieties. The third new item takes the form of a sandwich rather than a bowl. The Bomba Chicken Sandwich is layered with grilled chicken, caramelized onions, Parmesan, butternut squash and spicy bomba sauce. The seasonal winter items will be available through the end of March.
A partnership with a commercial seaweed farm inspired the new Tingly Sweet Potato + Kelp Bowl at Sweetgreen. The fast casual worked with Momofuku chef David Chang to develop the dish. It’s a mix of marinated kelp, roasted chicken, sweet potatoes spiked with Momofuku’s tingly sauce, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro, the Japanese seasoning furikake, wild rice, kale and lime-cilantro dressing. Seaweed is not only nutrient-rich, but it is also regenerative to the ecosystem, helping to remove carbon from the atmosphere and oceans.
Photograph courtesy of Sweetgreen
Black Angus Steakhouse launched its Steakhouse Bowls nationwide. Targeted for lunch customers, the bowls are available with a choice of top sirloin, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp or salmon, served on a bed of greens tossed with balsamic dressing along with cucumbers, balsamic onions, red cabbage, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, zucchini, five-grain rice blend and a choice of sauces—teriyaki, barbecue and honey Sriracha.
Breakfast will be starting at Wendy’s on March 2. The morning menu, which is launching nationwide, includes the Breakfast Baconator, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit and a Frosty-ccino coffee drink. When Wendy’s introduces breakfast, it will mean that eight of the 10 largest U.S. chains serve breakfast food in the morning, potentially prompting a massive marketing fight, noted Jonathan Maze, executive editor of Restaurant Business.
Valentine’s Day is the most popular restaurant reservation day of the year, according to OpenTable. This year, the holiday falls on a Friday, which can boost restaurant visits even more. While many couples opt for a celebratory dinner out, some restaurants are luring diners with branded gifts and special promotions that don’t require a table for two. Click through to see how operators are spreading the love this year.
Several chains are crafting heart-shaped edibles to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Einstein Bros. Bagels is bringing back its fresh-baked heart-shaped bagels from Feb. 10-14. The bagel hearts come in plain, chocolate chip and cinnamon-raisin and can be preordered by the half- or baker’s dozen. For a sweeter breakfast treat, Dunkin’ is offering up heart-shaped donuts for the entire month of February. Back by popular demand are two varieties that were off the roster last year: Brownie Batter Donut and Cupid’s Choice Donut. And Mountain Mike’s Pizza is baking up 14-inch heart-shaped pizzas, available through Feb. 29. Guests can order up any large, one-topping pizza in the shape of a heart for the same price as a standard pizza.
Red Lobster is encouraging sweethearts to forgo the usual box of chocolates for a heart-shaped box of cheddar bay biscuits. The “You’re My Lobster” boxes, filled with a half-dozen of the chain’s signature biscuits, can be ordered from RedLobster.com and picked up in a nearby restaurant location or delivered to the door. The promotion starts on Feb. 10.
The “Qdoba for a Kiss” deal is coming back to Qdoba Mexican Eats for Valentine’s Day 2020. Guests who come into the stores on Feb. 14 and share a kiss with anyone or anything—a significant other, a burrito, a photo of a celebrity or even themselves—can get a free entree with the purchase of a regular entree. Those who post their kissing pic (or a favorite memory with a loved one) on Qdoba’s Instagram feed (#QDOBAforaKiss following @qdoba) earn a chance to win a $100 Qdoba gift card.
Cowboy Chicken is running a “Share the Love” contest on Facebook and Instagram with two gift baskets as the prize. Each basket includes two Cowboy Chicken shirts, two branded cups with 99-cent refills, a $25 gift card to the restaurant, a bottle of hot sauce and other treats. To enter, guests have to relate what they love best about Cowboy Chicken on Feb. 14, and winners will be announced Feb. 18. Customers visiting a Cowboy Chicken location on Feb. 14 can get a free serving of homemade peach cobbler.
Guests can preorder the Love at First Bite menu at Hard Rock Cafe, which includes choices such as Caesar Salad Bruschetta, the Bordeaux Burger and a Valentine’s Brownie drizzled with raspberry sauce. For those who don’t want to decide ahead, the limited-time Sips and Sweets menu is available Feb. 10-17. Selections such as Lobster Flatbread, Surf & Turf Deluxe Steak, a decadent Chocolate Cake and a Raspberry Martini are on offer.
From Feb. 7 through Valentine’s Day, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is offering two special dining options for couples. The Porterhouse for Two is a large beefy cut with a fillet on one side and New York strip on the other, while Surf and Turf pairs two cold-water lobster tails with a 6-, 8- or 11-ounce fillet. Both are accompanied by a choice of starters and classic sides.
Dunkin’s Valentine’s Day beverages are targeted to espresso fans. The Pink VelvetMacchiato combines rich espresso with red velvet cake flavor and hints of cream cheese icing. When served iced, the drink creates a colorful pink-layered look. The Pink Velvet Signature Latte can double as dessert. It’s a blend of espresso and red velvet cake flavor, topped with whipped cream, mocha drizzle and hot chocolate powder.
Sol Cocina, with locations in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Playa Vista and Newport Beach, Calif., is serving two celebratory seasonal cocktails throughout February. The Rose and Hibiscus Margarita features tequila infused with dried hibiscus flowers and rosebuds, then shaken with lime juice, agave nectar and a splash of soda; a garnish of the same flowers is dusted over the top. The Prickly Pear Frozen Mimosa is made with prickly pear puree, sparkling wine and housemade frozen margarita mix.
Noncommercial operators are spreading the love, too. The Panther Smoothie Shoppe at Clark Atlanta University is running “Sweet Treat” LTOs from Feb. 3-14. The array includes strawberry cheesecake, Oreo cheesecake and strawberry parfaits. To save labor, CAU Dining executive chef Christian Jendrasak starts with premade cheesecake slices, then garnishes them with toppings, whipped cream and other garnishes. The parfaits are layered with angel food cake and strawberry pie filling. And Houston Independent School District is offering high school students a build-your-own mac and cheese bowl in honor of V-Day.