Fast Food Week: Quick Service Restaurant And Snacks News

Fast Food Week Edition 47 features a really strong offering of new and returning menu items from a variety of vendors. And for once in a long while, the majority are mains and sides, rather than just treats and novelties…

New Plant-Based Protein - © 2022 Taco BellThe Bell’s new propriety Plant-based substitute for its signature Ground Beef…

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s want fan participation…

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are preparing for the climax of a recent campaign to encourage fan participation in the creation of  new menu item. They’ve been asking fans to vote for their fave ingredients at a special website for several weeks. Soon they’ll live-stream an online show from their Nashville test kitchen showing the real-time creation of the new item. It’s called the ‘Create Your Happy’ project, and it’s probably the first of is kind to involve social media so intensely.

… Launch coordinating ‘Create Your Happy’ menu

It features a wide selection of menu items in a ‘4 for $6’ format. Carl’s lets you choose from 10 popular dishes, Hardee’s from a list of 9. Available for a limited time in several select markets, including Chico-Redding, CA; Champagne, IL; and Louisville, KY.

Buffalo Wild Wings tests ‘Boneless Pizza’

Not a typo. The Wing guys are testing new bite-sized pizza squares featuring chunks of their Boneless Wings. They’re available in Buffalo and Honey BBQ flavours.

Boneless Pizza - © 2022 Buffalo Wild WIngs

Other toppings include a rainbow of cheeses, Buffalo Sauces and Ranch, chopped green onions, pickled Jalapeños and bacon crumbles. All come on a thin, crispy crust.

Taco Bell testing new plant protein crumble…

We previously advised, in this space, that Taco Bell was taking the high road and developing its own proprietary plant-based crumble. It’s a look-alike for the Bell’s signature seasoned beef. Starting yesterday, several dozen Bell locations in greater Birmingham, Alabama, were offering a taste of the new meat substitute. The headline menu item for it is a new new Crispy Melt Taco. It starts with ‘a freshly fried white corn shell tortilla’, adds the veggie protein, and tops off with shredded cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey pepper jack cheeses, plus warm nacho cheese sauce. It’s a limited-time test, of course.

… Brings back Grilled Cheese Burrito

The Grilled Cheese Burrito, which got great reviews during its initial release, is back for a limited time.

Grilled Cheese Burrito - © 2022 Taco Bell

It features seasoned beef, seasoned rice, three-cheese blend, Fiesta strips, chipotle sauce, nacho cheese sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, and topped with grilled/toasted cheese. Comes in Steak and Chicken, too!

Papa John’s sneak-previews new Dragon Flame Pizza…

The new rolled-crust pie, dubbed Dragon Flame, is its spiciest yet, PJ’s will give out free slices tomorrow only. And they’ll be available at only one location: at King’s Landing Park in Apopka, Florida, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., while supplies last (see photo, top of page). It features Sriracha dry spice, smoked pulled chicken, Italian sausage, green peppers, and Fresno chilies, plus a dusting of red chili and garlic crunch. That’s hot!

… Breaks out new Pizza Bowls

PJ’s has come out with something I can’t remember seeing before: ‘bowls’ of mixed pizza toppings, ready to scoop with spoon or chips.

Pizza Bowls - © 2022 Papa John's

They appear to contain about the same amount of toppings as a medium Pizza, but it’s hard to tell from the pictures. One disappointed reviewer said, “[It’s] just a sad bowl of pizza toppings. It’s like in some nebulous purgatory between salad and pasta. […] Nothing will convince me to shell out the $7.99 […] for a bowl of just pizza toppings.” We’ll see what fans have to say…

Dunkins reveals Fall Menu

… And it’s full of Pumpkin Spice and Blood Orange flavoured items – including doughnuts, muffins, breakfast sandwiches and a bunch of hot and cold beverages. On offer now, for a limited time, at participating locations across the U.S.

Ruffles intros original wrinkle on chips

Ruffles was the brand that introduced ridged potato chips. Now, it’s débuted a new chippy treat made for dipping. Its called the Ridge Twist.

Ridge Twists - © 2022 Ruffles

Basically, it’s a pair of ridges twisted together, looking kind of like a Fusilli pasta. I’m tempted to quip that its double helix must represent potato DNA. They’re initially offered in Double Cheddar and Smoky BBQ flavours. It’s a project in collaboration with the WNBA.

Granola Bar fans take note

Nature Valley has launched a new line of Crunchy Dipped Granola Bars. They claim to contain no no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no high fructose corn-syrup. The first three flavours lout include: Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Salted Caramel.

And that’s the skinny…

… On what will be making some of us a little fatter on into the not-so-distant fall. See you back here in 7 for the next edition of Fast Food Week!

~ Maggie J.