Skip navigation
Menu Tracker

Menu Tracker: New items from Burger King, Taco Bell, and Panda Express

Plus innovation at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, Blimpie, Bolay, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, California Pizza Kitchen, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Carvel, Cava, Dog Haus, Friendly’s , Graze Craze , Gregory’s Coffee, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, Hard Rock Cafe, Jason’s Deli, Just Salad, McAlister’s Deli, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Nation’s Giant Hamburgers, Nekter Juice Bar, Next Level Burger, Nordstrom, Scooter’s Coffee, Smoothie King, Sonic Drive In, STK Steakhouse, Studio Movie Grill, Velvet Taco, Wienerschnitzel, WOB Bar & Kitchen, and Yogurtland

Mwahahahaha! It’s spoooky season, guys and ghouls, and that means lots of jiggly green and gooey red menu items — yes, kind of a similar color palette to Christmas, but in shades that evoke putrification rather than holiday cheer.

There are clear rules about what works for Halloween and what doesn’t. Items that imply terror are fine, but nothing really scary is allowed — no actual blood (maybe a bit in rare steaks) or live spiders. Bones in chicken, steak, and pork chops are okay, but definitely no human ones!

Marrow bones are fine — if you dare!

STK Steakhouse dares, with American wagyu bone marrow, in fact. It doesn’t have any actual Halloween-themed items, but Black Tap does, and so do Burger King, Friendly’s, Gregory’s Coffee, McAlister’s Deli, Nekter Juice Bar, Next Level Burger, and Sonic Drive In.

There are new pumpkin items at STK as well as Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Gregory’s Coffee, Nation’s Giant Hamburgers, and Next Level Burger.

Other autumn flavors are afoot at Carvel (in partnership with Cinnabon), Cava, Bolay, Handel’s, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, and Panda Express, which is launching its first dessert.

Oktoberfest, contrary to its name, starts in September, but it’s still going on and being celebrated by Dog Haus, Hard Rock Café, and Wienerschnitzel.

You would think WOB Bar & Kitchen would care about Oktoberfest, but apparently it doesn’t.

It is also football season, and Graze Craze, a concept that specializes in pre-ordered charcuterie boards, has a game day special.

And other things are happening too: Studio Movie Grill has some specials inspired by Taylor Swift’s tour, and Taco Bell has a breakfast taco, which is kind of a big deal in and of itself.

California Pizza Kitchen has a new pizza, Applebee’s has brought back its Dollarita, and Scooter’s Coffee has a new dollar menu.

Nordstrom has new pasta, Carrabba’s has the first of four weekly pasta specials, and Jason’s Deli has a new penne carbonara.

Blimpie has some Italian subs, Smoothie King has new bowls, and Just Salad has a new item developed with a celebrity nutritionist.

Velvet Taco has its own celebrity of sorts, long-time fan Bret Schafer who won a contest to create a Weekly Taco Feature. It’s inspired by Beef Wellington.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Correction: October 06, 2023
An error in the price and availability of the Black Tap shake has been corrected.
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.