Meat, poultry remade on the menu

by Rebekah Schouten
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A change of seasons brings changes to restaurant menus as foodservice operators try to keep pace with shifting consumer tastes and dietary needs.

McAlister's Chicken-Jalapeno pasta bowl
McAlister's chicken bacon jalapeño pasta

McAlister’s Deli, based in Alpharetta, Ga., announced its new line of pasta entrees in four varieties: chicken bacon jalapeño, four cheese chili, chicken Cavatappi and Cavatappi.

“Our new pasta entrees are a significant menu expansion for us,” said Donna Josephson, vice president of global marketing at McAlister’s. “Our goal is to offer our guests new, unique flavors beyond the deli that expand our lunch, dinner and catering options. Pasta is a differentiator for us as we continue to evolve the brand and establish McAlister’s Deli as a dinner destination.”

The pastas are offered in a full entree portion size and a choose-two portion. As a catering option, the entrees are served with a garden salad and Parmesan crostini.

Culver's Butter Burger on gluten-free bun
Culver's Butter Burger Deluxe on a gluten-free bun

Customers avoiding gluten may now enjoy sandwiches at Culver’s due to the addition of the gluten-free bun to their menu.

“Our mission is that each guest who chooses Culver’s leaves happy,” said Craig Culver, CEO and co-founder of Culver’s, headquartered in Prairie Du Sac, Wis. “When some of our guests shared that they were unable to enjoy our signature ButterBurger because of gluten allergies, we had a responsibility to respond. This option makes it possible for all guests to savor a delicious burger.”

When customers order a burger or sandwich with the gluten-free bun, the sandwich will come unassembled with a warmed, wrapped Udi’s gluten-free bun to ensure it has not been in contact with any gluten. Adding the bun will cost $1 extra.

Applebee's salsa verde shredded brisket nachos
Applebee's salsa verde shredded brisket nachos

Applebee’s, based in Kansas City, is offering customers nine new ways to start their meals with their new appetizers, including Bar Snacks, Shareables and Pub Plates.

New Bar Snacks include Double Crunch Bone-in Wings, Pot Stickers, and Churro S’mores. New Shareables include a larger portion of Pot Stickers, Sriracha shrimp, and sweet potato fries. New Pub Plates include sweet chile brisket Sliders, Kobe-style meatballs, salsa verde shredded brisket nachos, a larger portion of Double Crunch Bone-in Wings, and a chicken quesadilla.

“We’ve taken classic bar-and-grill favorites and elevated them with premium ingredients and on-trend flavors guests love,” said Darin Dugan, senior vice president of culinary and marketing. “And we offer them in a variety of portion sizes and combinations that provide guests with an unprecedented ability to customize and personalize their experience.”

White Castle veggie slider
White Castle's veggie slider

A new burger is sliding onto White Castle’s menu. The new Veggie Slider features a grilled, lightly seasoned Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger — composed of broccoli, carrots, peas, spinach, zucchini and other vegetables — on White Castle’s signature Slider bun. Customers may then top it with ranch, honey mustard, or sweet Thai sauce.

“The Veggie Slider offers a unique taste that’s different from any other sandwich on our menu or any other restaurant’s menu, for that matter,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president.

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