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Menu Tracker: New items from Wingstop, Taco Bell, and Popeyes

Plus innovation at Bob Evans, Bojangles, Bonanza and Ponderosa Steakhouses, Buona, Chevys Fresh Mex, Church’s Texas Chicken, Cousins Subs, Erbert & Gerbert’s, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Golden Chick, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, Jamba, Jim ‘N Nick’s, Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, Pickleman’s Gourmet Café, Pizza Guys, Roy Rogers Restaurants, Smashburger, Taco Cabana, Taco John’s , Tijuana Flats, Velvet Taco, and WaBa Grill

Lent started on Wednesday, and that means many, many restaurant chains across the country are adding seafood items on the menu. That includes Bojangles, Church’s Texas Chicken, Cousins Subs, Erbert & Gerbert’s, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Golden Chick, Pickleman’s Gourmet Café, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Roy Rogers, Taco Cabana, Taco John’s, Tijuana Flats, and WaBa Grill.

Sister casual-dining chains Bonanza and Ponderosa are offering items with bourbon maple glaze, and one of them is salmon, so I suppose that counts too.

Buona, an Italian beef sandwich chain in Chicago, takes its own approach to Lent by not adding fish and instead removing beef from one item with the annual offering of its Pepper and Egg Sandwich.

A couple of years ago, as plant-based proteins were on the rise, there was a question as to whether such meat analogs were permissible on Friday during Lent, and the consensus seemed to be “Sure. Why not?”

Is that why Smashburger has chosen to add jackfruit-based patties as a new option? You’d have to ask them.

Other chains have other fish to fry, so to speak. Wingstop is bringing back its hot honey rub, Taco Bell has introduced its version of an empanada, and Pizza Guys is highlighting its most frequently selected toppings on four special pies. Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que is taking its guests on a tour of regional barbecue, and Jim ‘N Nick’s has a new jalapeño cheddar sausage, plus items highlighting it. Chevys Fresh Mex has a number of seasonal specials, Jamba has new bowls, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream has special cherry flavors this month, and Velvet Taco’s Weekly Taco Feature has hot honey.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Correction: February 23, 2024
An error in the description of Bob Evans’ Garden Veggie Farm Fresh Protein Bowl has been corrected.
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