It’s a ghost pepper jamboree this week, with that spicy chile being introduced on menu items at Popeyes, Taco Cabana, and Wendy’s.
In other spicy news, kimchi is pretty much fully mainstream now: It’s on a sub at Quiznos.
And we’re well into spring, and that means it’s time for more strawberry items, which are now being offered at Bob Evans Restaurants, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Friendly’s, Juice it Up!, Nekter Juice Bar, Robeks, Tacos 4 Life, Voodoo Doughnut, and Wendy’s.
Black Bear Diner is marking the season with raspberries.
It’s also Cinco de Mayo, commemorating the 1862 Battle of Puebla in Mexico, which Velvet Taco is acknowledging by offering a taco al pastor as its Weekly Taco Feature, and On the Border is teaming up with Mark Wahlberg’s tequila to offer a special cocktail (click through so you don’t miss its cute name).
In other Mexican food news, Taco Cabana is expanding on its Double Crunch pizza with two new iterations, and Taco John’s has a beef-and-potato quesadilla.
Subway has two new curated sandwiches, Carl’s Jr. has some hangover bundles, Black Angus Steakhouse has a new virtual brand, and Jimmy John’s sells brownies now.
Both Portillo’s and BurgerFi inexplicably now have Rodeo burgers.
Qdoba is bringing back its mango salsa, and PJ’s Coffee is bringing back its wedding cake flavors.
Blue Bottle Coffee has orange blossom drinks, Scooter’s Coffee has a blended peanut butter offering, and Shake Shack’s dairy-free shakes are now available nationally.
Shake Shack also has a new veggie burger, and vegan burger chain Next Level Burger has a meatless brunch burger topped with eggless egg.
Nordstrom has shrimp burgers and Burgerville has fried asparagus.
Pizza Hut has a cheesesteak pizza, and Original Chop Shop has red pepper hummus.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]