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Wendys Bacon Portabella Melt

Menu Tracker: New items from Wendy’s, Burger King, Del Taco

Subway, Red Robin, Dunkin’ Donuts, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Starbucks, Sonic Drive-In, and Cousins Subs also introduce new menu items.

Wendy's Bacon Portabella Melt
Wendy's Bacon Portabella Melt

is reprising its Bacon Portabella Melt but is serving it on a new bun.

The Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche is a quarter-pound beef patty topped with sautéed portobello mushrooms, Cheddar cheese sauce, applewood-smoked bacon and two slices of American cheese, served on a brioche bun and toasted to order. It is priced at a recommended $4.79 and will be available from Nov. 11 until late December.

The new bun replaces the 6,500-unit burger chain’s pretzel bun, which was introduced as a limited-time offer earlier this year and will be discontinued as supplies end, the Dublin, Ohio-based company said.

Burger King is adding the Big King sandwich, previously a limited-time offer, to its permanent menu, for a suggested price of $3.69.

The sandwich is two beef patties topped with proprietary King Sauce, lettuce, American cheese, pickles and white onions, served on a sesame seed bun. Unlike earlier iterations of the Big King, the new item also has a middle bun, similar to McDonald’s Big Mac, as noted in earlier reports.

Quick-service chain Del Taco is introducing a new line of Epic Burritos intended to compete with fast-casual chains.

Big King sandwich
Burger King's Big King sandwich

The three new burritos replace the 551-unit chain’s 16- to 18-ounce Macho Burritos. They range from 14 to 18.5 ounces and are priced starting at $4.99.

• Epic Fajita Burrito: Grilled chicken or steak, roasted vegetables, black and pinto beans, cotija cheese, lime rice, sour cream and guacamole

• Epic Steak & Potato Burrito: Carne asada steak, crinkle-cut fries, chipotle sauce, bacon, Cheddar cheese and sour cream

• Epic Chicken Chipotle Ranch Burrito: Marinated grilled chicken, lime rice, chipotle and ranch sauces, bacon, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, guacamole and pico de gallo.

“Burritos have been reframed by fast-casual competitors, who have increased guest expectations around size, flavor and variety. With Epic Burritos, we are satisfying those expectations with the same freshness and value proposition that defines the Del Taco brand, but with the convenience of a drive thru and at a lower price point,” chef brand officer John Cappasola said in a press release.

Subway has introduced two sandwiches made with Sriracha sauce. Chicken or steak sandwiches are topped with creamy Sriracha sauce, pepper Jack cheese and a choice of vegetables.

Subway's Sriracha Steak Melt
Subway's Sriracha Steak Melt

The Sriracha Chicken Melt is priced at a suggested $4.50 for a six-inch sub or $7 for a Footlong. The Sriracha Steak Melt is priced at $4.75 for a six-inch sub and $7.50 for a Footlong.

The sandwiches are available through November, but the new sauce, which can be added to any other sub, including breakfast sandwiches, will be available at least through the end of the second quarter of next year.

Red Robin has introduced a new premium burger inspired by a sandwich developed by New York City-based fine-dining chef Laurent Tourondel. The item is the first in a new “Red Robin’s Finest” line of hand-formed, half-pound Black Angus burgers topped with premium ingredients.

The Finest Smoke & Pepper Signature burger is made with black-peppered bacon, extra sharp Cheddar and a barbecue sauce developed by Tourondel. The burger is flavored with alderwood smoked sea salt and served on a buttered ciabatta bun. It is available for an unspecified limited time, with unlimited Bottomless Steak Fries, for $13.49.

Dunkin', Starbucks and more

(Continued from page 1)

Sonic's Natural Cut Fries
Sonic's Natural Cut Fries

has introduced two new hot beverages and two doughnuts for the holiday season.

• Red Velvet Latte: The flavors of red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting, topped with a red drizzle. The coffee is priced at a suggested $2.29 for a small, as are the chain’s other seasonal lattes, Peppermint Mocha and White Chocolate.

• Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: Flavored with salted caramel and priced at $1.79 for a small

• Red Velvet Drizzled Donut: A glazed red velvet cake doughnut with a cream cheese icing drizzle, priced at 89 cents

• Holiday Star Doughnut: A star-shaped doughnut filled with Bavarian Kreme and topped with green icing and white star sprinkles, priced at 89 cents.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is adding a line of toffee- and nut-flavored drinks, available through Dec. 29.

The new Toffee Nut Latte, Toffee Nut Iced Latte and Toffee Nut Ice Blended drinks are made with espresso or espresso extract, vanilla powder, toffee-nut sauce, nonfat milk or toffee pieces. They are priced starting at $3.75 for the hot and iced drinks, and $3.95 for the blended drink. A caffeine-free Toffee Nut Ice Blended drink also is available, starting at $3.85.

Starbucks has added a new Gingerbread Latte for the holiday season. The beverage is made with espresso, steamed milk and gingerbread-flavored syrup, topped with spice-infused whipped cream and a molasses drizzle. Prices vary by location.

Cousins Subs' new spicy chipotle subs
Cousins Subs' new spicy chipotle subs

is the latest quick-service chain to upgrade its French fries. It has also introduced four spicy items at its 3,500 locations.

New skin-on Natural Cut Fries are made with whole russet potatoes, and replace the chain’s previous fries. Tots are still available. The Oklahoma City, Okla.-based franchisor recommends that its franchisees charge an extra 10 cents for the new fries.

Sonic also has introduced a Classic Spicy Chicken Sandwich at a recommended price of $4.19; an Island Fire Spicy Chicken Sandwich, $4.25; an Island Fire SuperSonic Cheeseburger, $4.46; and a Southwest Chipotle Breakfast Burrito, $3.29, all spiked with cayenne pepper. The Island Fire items also have a sweet-and-spicy habanero sauce. The new sandwiches and burrito will be available through Dec. 22.

Cousins Subs has introduced two spicy sandwiches for a limited time.

• Chipotle Cheese Steak: Beef, Cheddar cheese, hot pepper relish, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and chipotle mayonnaise, served on a jalapeño Cheddar roll, priced at $6.99, though prices may vary by location

• Chipotle Chicken: Sliced chicken breast, bacon, pepper Jack cheese, jalapeños, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and chipotle mayonnaise on a jalapeño Cheddar roll, priced at $5.99.

The sandwiches are available at the Milwaukee-based chain’s 135 locations through the end of the year.

This story has been revised to reflect the following update:

Update: Nov. 7, 2013
  The latest version of this story includes pricing for Sonic's new menu items and an end-date for its limited-time offer.

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

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