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Menu Tracker: New items from Chipotle Mexican Grill, KFC and Smashburger

Plus offers from Fat Straws, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Frisch’s Big Boy, Rapid Fired Pizza, Toppers Pizza and Velvet Taco

Vegan meat and cheese substitutes continue their march onto menus this week as KFC brings its test of Beyond Chicken to Southern California and Toppers Pizza teams up with Milwaukee-based chef Melanie Manuel to offer cheese and chicken analogs at locations in Madison, Wis.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is celebrating Hatch Green Chile season by putting it on burgers and hot dogs, Rapid Fired Pizza is celebrating summer with a barbecue chicken pizza, and Frisch’s Big Boy is celebrating a beloved arrival at the Cincinnati Zoo, Fiona the hippopotamus, with purple cake and pancakes.

Chipotle is now offering drinks made by Tractor Beverage Co., Smashburger is selling cold brew from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Fat Straws has a summertime line of chilled teas topped with cheese foam — diluted and whipped cheese that in recent years has become a popular topping for tea in parts of East Asia.

Velvet Taco’s Weekly Taco Feature has barbecue jalapeño sausage and refried beans.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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