Olive Garden Nachos - Detail - © Peter Pham - FoodBeast

Fast Food Week!

Another week of slim pickings on the Fast Food Newsfront. But the stories we did dig up are full-bodied and flavourful! Including… Unique Italian Nachos, some saucy new Breakfast Sandwiches, A Doughnut-and-Chicken joint in L.A., and something fishy from Arby’s, after a ten year lapse…

Olive Garden Nachos - © Peter Pham - FoodBeastOlive Garden Nachos: Mozzarella, Marinara and Pizza Toppings
– in this case, Sausage – on unique deep-fried Pasta Chips!

Olive Garden introduces Italian Pasta Nachos

Not Really Fast Food, but Finger Food, nevertheless… The Olive Garden has launched what it calls Italian Nachos – Toasted triangular Chips piled high with traditional Pizza Toppings. What a great idea! What makes this obvious adaptation of the traditional Tex-Mex staple special? The ‘Chips’ are actually deep-fried Pasta triangles, not Tortillas! But I think Italian Nachos would be great even with regular Chips…

Starbuck’s partners with VISA on  Rewards Card

You’ve seen partnerships before, between Credit Card companies and retailers, but here’s a first for the Fat Food sector – at least I think it is. You can now get your very own Starbucks Rewards VISA card. The pros? You get Starbucks ‘Stars’ for every $4 you spend, and those are redeemable for Starbucks food or beverages. The cons? You have to pay a $49 per year fee just to have the card and there are no cash-back or other benefits – you can only get Starbuck’s Stars with this card. I guess it makes sense if you’re a real Starbuck’s junkie…

Panera Bread offers new Breakfast Sandwiches

Panera Bread outlets are offering a new line of three Breakfast Sandwiches, all on Brioche Buns. The new Sandwiches are: Bacon, Egg & Cheese; Sausage, Egg & Cheese; and plain Egg & Cheese. You can also choose one of three new sauces to go with those: Spicy Chipotle, Basil Pesto or Sweet Maple. The bad news? Panera is discontinuing three of its existing Breakfast Sandwiches including: Asiago Bacon Egg, & Cheese; Mediterranean Egg White; and Turkey Sausage, Egg White, and Spinach.

Arby’s invades the Fish niche…

Not satisfied with invading the Chicken sector via its recent purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s – the self-proclaimed Meat pros – are test marketing a new deep fried Cajun Fish Sandwich in Evansville, IL, and Louisville, KY. Arby’s spokespeople insist it’s a new Sandwich, not just a reboot of their old Crispy Fish Sandwich from 2008, which featured a ‘Cajun Tartar Sauce’. It’s an all-new approach, they say, geared to today’s market, featuring a Crispy Fish Filet, Cajun Tartar Sauce, and Shredded Lettuce on a toasted Sesame Bun.

Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken greases L.A.

Astro, a new resto in downtown Los Angeles, has married two of the world’s favourite deep-fried treats under one roof. You can get a number of different specialty Doughnuts – both square and round! – and their generously-crusted Fried Chicken. Ideally, you order both. And, yes, you can get a variety of Fried Chicken Sandwiches on regular Buns, Biscuits or your fave Doughnut. Crazy? Crazy like a fox!

And there you have it!

Another shot short list of the past week’s top Fast Food sector stories. But a meaty one, nevertheless!

~ Maggie J.