Skip navigation

Restaurants reimagine menu favorites

Restaurant chains are looking to capitalize on successful menu items by introducing variations on tried and true favorites.

Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, the 203-unit chain in Carlsbad, Calif., that popularized fish tacos, has added two new iterations of that item.

The sesame soy fish taco is beer-battered wild Alaskan pollock topped with soy sauce, creamy wasabi dressing, spring mix and avocado slices. The avocado corn fish taco is the same fish, topped with avocado corn salsa and creamy chipotle sauce.

Atlanta-based Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has reprised its award-winning Wicked Chicken as a limited-time offer, with the addition of a creamy garlic, pepper and Parmesan dipping sauce.

The 1,580-unit quick-service chain first introduced the item — made with strips of chicken breast marinated with Louisiana seasonings, battered, breaded and served in crispy, twisted shapes — in 2010. It won the NRN MenuMasters award for best LTO in 2011.

Wicked Chicken is available with Cajun fries, a buttermilk biscuit and a miniature bottle of hot pepper sauce through Feb. 19 for $3.99.

Dunkin’ Donuts in Canton, Mass., has expanded on its non-breakfast sandwich line — currently featuring grilled cheese sandwiches on Texas Toast for $2.99 — with four Bakery Sandwiches. They are Ham & Cheese, with Black Forest ham, white Cheddar cheese and creamy Dijon sauce; Turkey Cheddar & Bacon with ancho chipotle sauce; Chicken Salad; and Tuna Salad.

All Bakery Sandwiches are available on a French roll, bagel or croissant at participating restaurants, and are priced at $3.49 each.

“As people find themselves busier than ever, they are snacking more frequently throughout a clockless day,” Dunkin’ Brands’ chief global marketing and innovation officer, John Costello, said in a statement. “The addition of Bakery Sandwiches to Dunkin’ Donuts’ all-day menu reflects our commitment to meeting our guests’ changing eating habits and expectations for more fast and satisfying menu items that can be enjoyed any time of day.”

Quick-service chain Jack in the Box has expanded on its hamburger line with the introduction of a BLT cheeseburger LTO, beginning Feb. 2.

It is being promoted as a combo meal with a 20-ounce drink and small order of fries for $4.99

“When it comes to burger toppings, our guests have a major crush on bacon,” menu marketing and promotions director Tracy Dunn said in a statement. “We’ve seen an overall increase in the sale of products that feature our hickory-smoked bacon, which we introduced last year.”

San Diego-based Jack in the Box also has improved its beef patty, which is now being seasoned while it cooks.

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

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.