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Applebee’s refreshes menu with new dishes

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, which has been updating its menu over the past 18 months, introduced a new Stacked Stuffed & Topped Steaks and Pastas section.

With this menu extension, a spokesman said, more than 80 percent of the casual-dining chain’s menu has been revised and updated in the past year and a half.

“Steaks and pastas are our best-selling core items so we know guests love them,” said Shannon Johnson, executive director for culinary innovation and development at Lenexa, Kan.-based Applebee’s Services Inc. “We are taking these tried and true favorites and literally stacking, stuffing and topping with them with new flavors.”

The new items, which start at $9.99, include:

Florentine Topped House Sirloin: A seven-ounce sirloin grilled to order with roasted red peppers, sliced mushrooms, onion, fresh spinach and bruschetta, topped with garlic and herbs and served over fried red potatoes. A nine-ounce sirloin also is available.

Chicken Parmesan Stack: Country-fried chicken stuffed with Italian cheeses, smothered in spicy marinara and served atop a bed of fettuccini with roasted garlic Alfredo, onions and peppers, topped with parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese and served with toasted garlic bread.

Bruschetta-Topped Chicken Salad: Grilled chicken breast and warm fried mozzarella scoops served on romaine that has been tossed with champagne vinaigrette, with tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, basil and garlic, sprinkled with Asiago cheese and finished with a balsamic glaze.

Applebee’s previously had rolled out Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccine, which the restaurant is now offering as an appetizer; and Stuffed Meatballs and Mozzarella Scoops, which features two meatballs with fried mozzarella topped with marinara, parsley and Parmesan cheese.

“People thought we were nuts when we took a perfectly good meatball and stuffed it with Provolone, but our guests have eaten 30 million of those meatballs in less than a year, so we’re definitely onto something,” Johnson said.

Applebee’s, a division of DineEquity Inc., has about 2,000 units in 49 states, 15 countries and one U.S. territory. DineEquity also owns the IHOP brand.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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