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Menu Tracker: New items from Chick-fil-A, Domino’s, Carl’s Jr., and Hardee’s

Plus innovation at Beyond Juicery & Eatery, Bojangles, Bonefish Grill, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Chicken Salad Chick, The Counter, Fazoli’s, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Fresh & Co., Frutta Bowls, La Madeleine, Macaroni Grill, Next Level Burger, Norms, Nothing Bundt Cakes, On the Border, Original ChopShop, Outback Steakhouse, Potbelly, Qdoba, Rutter’s, Saladworks, 16 Handles, Sarpino’s USA, Shake Shack, Smokey Bones, Sweet Chick, Taco Bell, Taco Cabana, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Velvet Taco, Vitality Bowls, Voodoo Doughnut, White Castle, and Wingstop

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and that means that restaurants are adding pink or red and chocolate things to their menus. Cases-in-point are new items from Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Fazoli’s, La Madeleine, Potbelly, Rutter’s, 16 Handles, Smokey Bones, Tropical Smoothie Café, Vitality Bowls, and Voodoo Doughnut.

That last item is one of many heart-shaped items currently available. Pretty much every pizza chain will make a heart-shaped pie for you, so they’re not listed here because it’s obvious, and biscuit specialists including Bojangles and Hardee’s are offering heart-shaped biscuits.

Hardee’s and sister chain Carl’s Jr. are also reprising their Philly cheesesteak-themed items, which were first offered in 2010 if not sooner.

Next Level Burger has a pink-shake flavored with cinnamon that’s clearly a Valentine’s Day special, albeit an unusual one.

Why are strawberries and cherries associated with the holiday but cinnamon isn’t? That’s a mystery.

Lent also starts the week after next, and so seafood dishes are arriving on menus at chains including Macaroni Grill, On the Border, Qdoba, Taco Cabana, and White Castle.

Bonefish Grill has a new crab frittata, but that seems to have more to do with an enhanced Sunday brunch than Lent, and similarly Outback Steakhouse has crab-topped barramundi, but it’s part of an Australia themed promotion that includes “chook” ribs. Chook is Australian slang for chicken, and the “ribs” are actually chicken thighs.

In big chain news, Domino’s has rolled out a line of loaded potato tots, Chick-fil-A is testing a fried cauliflower sandwich, and Taco Bell has introduced a Crispy Melt Taco nationally after testing it in Alabama.

Die-hard Taco Bell fans in Arizona also have a chance to score a giant Mexican Pizza for the Super Bowl.

Wingstop has brought back its Hot Honey Dry Rub, Norms has brought back its quesabirria, and Shake Shack has more truffle items.

Shake Shack also has some very culinary-forward, as does Original ChopShop.

The Counter has a new Moroccan-themed burger and fries to go with it, Chicken Salad Chick has a Thai-themed chicken salad, and Saladworks has grilled cheese sandwiches.

There’s warm oatmeal at Frutta Bowls, Oreo cakes at Nothing Bundt Cakes, and mushroom items, among other new things, at Fresh & Co.

Sarpino’s USA has a pizza with pesto on it, and Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana has one with spicy chicken.

Beyond Juicery & Eatery has a new energy supplement, Sweet Chick has carrot-cake pancakes and waffles, and Velvet Taco’s Weekly Taco Feature is a surf & turf.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Correction: February 14, 2023
This gallery has been updated with the ingredients in Vitality Bowls' "Vanilla Crunch."
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