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Menu Tracker: New items from Starbucks, Jack in the Box, and Friendly’s

Plus innovation at Beef-A-Roo, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Bojangles, California Pizza Kitchen, Culver’s, Dutch Bros, Farmer Boys, Holey Grail Donuts, Hungry Howie’s, Island Fin Poké, Joe & the Juice, Kung Fu Tea, Mendocino Farms, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Mountain Mike’s, Next Level Burger and Veggie Grill by Next Level, Pieology, Playa Bowls, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Red Lobster, Scooter’s Coffee, Slapfish Coastal Seafood Kitchen, Smoothie King, Snooze A.M Eatery, Sweetgreen, Tacodeli, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, Toasted Yolk Café, Velvet Taco, Voodoo Doughnut, and White Castle

The run-up to Valentine’s Day continues with love-themed specials, including fairly easy items to execute such as heart-shaped biscuits from Popeyes and Bojangles, and heart-shaped pizzas from California Pizza Kitchen, Hungry Howie’s, and Mountain Mike’s.

Starbucks has two new drinks with flavors that evoke the holiday (chocolate and strawberry), BJ’s has a Pizookie with similar flavors, Scooter’s Coffee has a pink drink special, Dutch Bros has three of them, Farmer Boys has a “Burger Bouquet,” Playa Bowls has a returning seasonal base it calls “Stupid Cupid,” and Next Level Burger and Veggie Grill, which Next Level Burger recently purchased and rechristened Veggie Grill by Next Level, have vegan strawberry treats.

Those sister chains also have new “steak” made of mushrooms, and Sweetgreen has its first steak option (you know, the kind made from meat) in test in Boston.

Smallish chains Joe & the Juice and Beef-A-Roo have rolled out breakfast, and breakfast-and-brunch chains Snooze and Toasted Yolk Café have each introduced a bunch of new limited-time offers.

Smoothie King is the latest chain to test fruit juice “Refreshers.”

Someone should have copyrighted “refreshers.”

Valentine’s Day is also Ash Wednesday this year, and that means it’s time to roll out seafood items, which is exactly what Culver’s, Taziki’s, and White Castle are doing. Mendocino Farms also has a new salmon roll, but only at two locations in Seattle, Slapfish has some new seafood rolls, too, but you’d kind of expect that. There’s never a shortage of seafood items at Red Lobster, of course, but it has new items in celebration of its own holiday, Lobsterfest.

Velvet Taco’s Weekly Taco Feature is a nod to Mardi Gras as it has a New Orleans theme.

Tacodeli has a new pork taco.

Friendly’s has a bunch of new permanent additions to the menu, and Jack in the Box is testing a bunch of items all over the place. It also has made its Spicy Crispy Jack Wrap a permanent addition to the menu.

Moe’s Southwest Grill has jumped on the birria bandwagon, Island Fin Poké has a kids bowl, Pieology has a new calzone, Holey Grail Donuts and Voodoo Doughnut have new doughnuts, and Kung Fu Tea has new drinks in collaboration with the TV series ZAG Heroez Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Correction: February 09, 2024
This gallery has been updated to reflect that Smoothie King's SK Refreshers are only in test at select locations in two markets.
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