Frindly's turkey tips with broccoli and rice pilafFriendly’s has revamped its menu with three dozen new breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items.

Breakfast includes indulgent items such as Bananas Foster Pancakes, Brioche French Toast and Red Velvet Waffles, as well as lighter items such as a Strawberry Yogurt and Fresh Fruit Parfait and Steel Cut Oatmeal.

New lunch items include three new salads, wraps, Buffalo Wings, Cheeseburger Sliders and patty melts.

Friendly’s also introduced some lower-calorie dinner items, including grilled salmon, Turkey Tips with broccoli and rice pilaf, and new macaroni and cheese and meat loaf options.


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Kids’ options include oatmeal sprinkled with Oreo cookies and a Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie. A new drink, Sharks in the Water, is made with blue raspberry Sprite in a glass filled with gummy sharks and served with a side of red syrup dubbed “shark bait.”

Along similar lines, a new kids’ dessert offering is Worms in the Dirt — chocolate ice cream layered with gummy worms, Oreo crumbs and whipped topping, with a cherry on top.

Additionally, the chain has added a new limited-time ice cream flavor — Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Supreme, featuring toasted marshmallow ice cream mixed with chopped peanut butter cups and swirls of toffee ripple.

Applebee’s Grill & Bar has revamped its kids’ menu to include two pricing tiers and 10 new meals approved by the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program, which sets criteria for the nutritional value of meals for children regarding fruit, vegetable and fiber content, as well as overall calorie levels.

Long John Silver’s Dippin’ Fish Strips The Really Hungry menu, priced at around $4.50, includes new Chicken Grillers, or grilled chicken tenders, a Cheese Quesadilla and half a Cheesy Bread Pizza.

The Really Really Hungry menu, priced at around $5.50, includes new Cheesy Grilled Chicken, Chicken Mac ’n Cheese, a Chicken Quesadilla and a full Cheesy Bread Pizza.

The chain has also added a new array of sides: Mozzarella Sticks, GoGo squeeZ Applesauce, Apple Dippers with Yogurt, Vanilla Yogurt with Strawberries, House or Caesar Salad, Baby Carrots with Ranch dressing, White rice and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. They join Steamed Broccoli and Fries, which were already on the kids' menu.

Kids LiveWell menus include various combinations of steak, Chicken Grillers and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, served with broccoli, 1-percent milk, a house salad, applesauce and juice.

Del Taco has introduced turkey to its 547 locations, which customers can have in tacos or tostadas. Turkey Tacos are priced at $1.29, and a Turkey CrunchTada Tostada is priced at $1.89. The turkey contains 33-percent less fat than the chain’s beef.

Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its DDSMART menu of better-for-you items with the introduction of a Sliced Turkey Breakfast Sandwich and a Whole Wheat Bagel.

The 310-calorie sandwich has three slices of turkey, an egg and a slice of reduced-fat Cheddar cheese served on multigrain flatbread. It can also be served as a Wake-Up Wrap on a warm tortilla, for 160 calories. The new bagel has 320 calories.

Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel have introduced new Thintastic Bagels, which have 35-percent fewer calories than its regular bagels, as a permanent option. The bagels are available in Plain, Whole Wheat and Everything varieties as carriers for any of the chains’ sandwiches.

Long John Silver’s has introduced a portable Dippin’ Fish Strips menu item at its more than 1,250 locations. The item is served in a box that opens to hold a sauce cup for easy dipping. A box of five crispy fish strips is available for an introductory price of $2.99.

Baskin-Robbins is celebrating awards-show season by introducing Movie Theater Popcorn as its January Flavor of the Month. The popcorn-flavored ice cream has butter popcorn crisp pieces wrapped in a salted caramel ribbon.

Carvel is offering three flavors of mint ice cream at its more than 450 locations through March 31: Mint Soft Serve, Fresh Scooped Oreo Mint and Fresh Scooped Mint Chocolate Chip.

Pinkberry, Carrabba's and more

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Baskin-Robbins Movie Theater Popcorn is its January Flavor of the MonthPinkberry has introduced new Tangerine and Vanilla Bean nonfat frozen yogurt flavors at its more than 230 locations for an unspecified limited time.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has introduced Latte Macchiatos at its nearly 950 locations. The beverages are made with steamed whole milk and a choice of caramel, vanilla bean or dark chocolate sauces along with a shot of espresso poured over the top. The item is available through March 2 and priced at $3.45 for a small, $4.25 for a regular and $4.55 for a large.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill is bringing back several popular limited-time offers and grouping them into two fixed-price meals for an unspecified limited time at all of its 238 restaurants, except for those in Kirby, Texas; Woodway, Texas; and Tampa International Airport.

As part of the Festa di Carrabba, guests get a choice of appetizer or dessert and a soup or salad in an addition to one of three entrées, priced at $15, or one of three pricier entrées for $18.

The $15 entrées are:

• Champagne Shrimp and Scallops Linguine: Pan-seared shrimp and scallops with mushrooms and roasted red peppers tossed with linguine in Champagne cream sauce;

• Parmesan-Crusted Chicken: Sautéed chicken breast coated in Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs served with a choice of side dish;

• Grilled Tuscan Skewers: Grilled sirloin, red onion and tomato on skewers topped with Chianti sauce and served with a choice of side dish.

Tropical Smoothie Café's Coconut Curry Chicken Wrap The $18 entrées are:

• “Forever Braised” Beef Brasato: Boneless slow-cooked short ribs topped with a red wine vegetable sauce and served over risotto;

• Lobster Mac & Cheese: Cavatappi corkscrew pasta with lobster, pancetta and four cheeses, topped with toasted breadcrumbs;

• Potato Crusted Haddock: With light mustard cream sauce and diced tomatoes, served with a choice of side dish.

Whataburger has brought back its Monterey Melt as a permanent menu item. Originally introduced as a limited-time offer, the burger has Monterey Jack and American cheeses, grilled onions, grilled poblano peppers and jalapeño ranch sauce. Prices vary by location, but are comparable to the 740-unit chain’s other hamburgers.

Rubio’s has introduced an Ancho Citrus Shrimp Burrito and lightened up its Burrito Especial at its 193 locations.

The new burrito is made with pan-seared shrimp basted in ancho chiles, garlic, cilantro, a blend of canola and olive oils, and a squeeze of lime juice, as well as a new citrus rice flavored with lime juice and lemon grass. It is priced at $7.79.

The new citrus rice is also used in the chain’s lighter Burrito Especial, which no longer comes with sour cream or cheese. The price remains the same, at $6.49 for chicken and $6.99 for steak.

Sizzler has introduced All-You-Can-Eat Pork Riblets for a limited time at participating locations in its system of more than 200 restaurants. The riblets are made with pork ribs in honey barbecue sauce and served with a side of thick-cut steak fries. The item is priced at $8.99 and available through Feb. 23.

Tropical Smoothie Café has added a Coconut Curry Chicken Wrap and Coconut Lime Chicken Salad to the menu at its 360 locations.

The wrap is made with chicken, carrots and mixed greens with coconut curry sauce, served in a warm tortilla.

The salad is made with chicken, tomatoes, carrots and mixed greens, served on kale, spinach and romaine lettuce with coconut lime dressing. Prices vary by location. Both items are available through Feb. 23.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary