Applbees combo

Menu Tracker: New items from Applebee’s, Qdoba

From seafood to sliders, restaurants across all segements roll out new menu items.

Applebee's combo
Applebee’s shrimp combo features blackened shrimp over rice pilaf and crispy shrimp.

has added two new limited-time offerings to its annual New Orleans-themed promotion at its 1,871 restaurants.

The Jazzed Up Flavors of Bourbon Street menu features Creamy Cajun Steak & Shrimp and a Shrimp Combo Platter.

The steak and shrimp dish is a blackened seven-ounce sirloin topped with Cajun-seasoned shrimp and served with fried red potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions and a white wine andouille sauce. It is priced at $12.99.

The shrimp platter is blackened shrimp over almond rice pilaf in an herb-and-ale scampi sauce. It is served with crispy shrimp and a side of sautéed spinach and red pepper relish. It is priced at $12.49.

Jazzed Up Flavors of Bourbon Street items are also included on Applebee’s 2 for $20 menu, which offers guests two entrées for $20.

Although the items are available for a limited time, guest preferences will determine the menu’s end date, a company spokesman said.

Back Yard Burgers has added a Bold and Crunchy Fish Sandwich as a limited-time offering for Lent. It is the Nashville, Tenn.-based chain’s first fish sandwich to be introduced at all 83 restaurants.

The sandwich includes a tortilla-crusted tilapia filet topped with blackened Creole mayonnaise, served on a toasted roll. It is available as a combo with regular fries and a drink for $7.49.

The concept also has added a Spicy Chicken Sandwich as a seasonal limited-time offer. It is available as part of a combo for $5.49. Both items are available through March 31.

Butterfly shrimp
Buffets Inc. is offering seafood options on Friday during Lent.

has reprised Lenten specials for Friday night dinner service at its Ryan’s, HomeTown Buffet and Old Country Buffet concepts.

Ryan’s is offering Butterfly Shrimp, Southern Fried Fish and Catfish on its menu. The Butterfly Shrimp is white farm-raised shrimp that is butterflied, breaded and deep-fried. The Southern Fried Fish is a mild whitefish that is lightly breaded with a Southern-style seasoned corn meal breading and deep-fried. The Catfish is U.S. farm-raised catfish prepared in the same way as the Southern Fried Fish.

HomeTown Buffet and Old Country Buffet are offering the same Butterfly Shrimp, as well as filets of baked farm-raised Atlantic salmon with Montreal seasoning and lemon.

All of the items are available at the buffet, which has an average dinner price of $10.79 for an adult meal across the 337-unit system.

Krispy Kreme has rolled out two doughnuts with Oreo cookies.

has teamed up with Oreo to create two doughnuts, available at participating locations in the 730-unit chain until April 21.

The Cookies and Kreme cake doughnut is a chocolate cake doughnut with Oreo cookie pieces mixed in. It’s topped with white icing, cookie pieces and a dollop of Oreo-flavored “kreme” with cookie pieces.

The Cookies and Kreme doughnut is filled with “kreme” and cookie pieces and topped with dark chocolate icing and cookie pieces. Both are available for a suggested retail price of $1.09.

Krystal, Pie Face and Qdoba

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Krystal has introduced four sandwiches for a limited time in several markets.

The Philly Cheese Krystal is the 352-unit chain’s classic slider topped with grilled onions, peppers and melted cheese. The Krystal Fish is a panko-crusted Alaska pollock fillet topped with tartar sauce. The Fish Deluxe is the same sandwich with lettuce and American cheese. And the Bacon Cheese Krystal is the signature slider topped with American cheese and bacon.

Krystals slider
Krystal’s new Philly Cheese sandwich.

The Bacon Cheese, Krystal Fish and Philly Cheese sandwiches are all offered as $3.99 value meals with a small order of fries and a drink. The Philly Cheese Krystal value meal comes with three sandwiches; the others come with two sandwiches.

The Fish Deluxe is being offered as a combo with medium fries and a medium drink for around $6.87, depending on location.

The Bacon Cheese sandwich has been introduced as a permanent item in Athens, Decatur, Guntersville and Huntsville, Ala.; Jacksonville, Lake Park and Savannah, Ga.; and Jackson and Knoxville, Tenn.

The Philly Cheese will be offered through March 17 in Albany and Columbus, Ga.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Hattiesburg and Greenville, Miss. The chain plans to introduce the sandwich to more locations starting April 22.

The Krystal Fish and Fish Deluxe are available in Mobile, Ala.; Macon and Warner-Robbins, Ga.; and in Memphis and Chattanooga, Tenn., through April 21.

Pie Face, a fast-casual Australian concept with three locations in New York, is offering Flat White and Long Black coffee, two Australian-style coffee drinks.

A Flat White is an espresso topped with a thin layer of foam — somewhere between a cappuccino and a macchiato — and a Long Black is similar to an Americano.

The drinks are available in two blends using beans from Ethiopia, India and Brazil. Pie Face describes the Soft blend as “a mellow but full-bodied lighter roast with nutty, stone-fruit flavors, notes of apricot and mango. The Hard blend is roasted until it releases dark oils, giving it chocolate-like flavors and notes of blueberry. The coffee is priced between $1.95 and $3.95, depending on the size.

Qdoba Mexican Grill has permanently added a flavored brown rice to the menu at all of its 583 restaurants.

The brown rice — flavored with roasted garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, onion and red chile — is lower in sodium and calories and higher in fiber than its cilantro-lime white rice, and is available for the same price.

The rollout was the result of consumer testing in the chain’s home state of Colorado. Testers were given a choice of cilantro-lime brown rice, green chile rice, and the roasted tomato rice that ultimately was put on the menu.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] [7].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary [8]