McDonald’s will debut three new versions of its signature Quarter Pounder next month: Deluxe, Habanero Ranch, and Bacon and Cheese. The buns for all three will also have more whole grain than the original Quarter Pounder, which will keep its original bun. The burgers are priced starting at $3.99.

The 14,000-unit chain will also introduce a McCafé Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie and a Dulce de Leche Shake on June 10 as a limited-time offer through Sept. 15.

The smoothie blends blueberries, raspberries and a splash of pomegranate juice, and is priced starting at $2.49 for a small, depending on the location, the same as McDonald’s other smoothies.

The shake is made with reduced-fat vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup, and is topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Pricing starts at $1.99 for a small.

Burger King has launched a limited-time BK Rib Sandwich as part of a barbecue-themed summer menu. The sandwich, which intends to compete with McDonald’s limited-time McRib, is priced at $3.49.

The menu also includes a barbecue chicken salad with seven types of lettuce; grape tomatoes; a blend of Monterrey Jack, Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses; and a fried or grilled white-meat chicken fillet, for a suggested price of $5.39. The salad is drizzled with sweet BBQ sauce and honey mustard dressing.

The 13,000 chain has also reprised its sweet potato fries, for a suggested $1.89 for a small, $2.19 for a medium and $2.39 for a large. A Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with sliced onions on a toasted artisan-style bun is priced at $3.49. Other items on the menu include a Carolina BBQ Whopper, Carolina BBQ Tendercrisp or Tendergrill Sandwich, frozen lemonade and frozen strawberry lemonade, and several Oreo-branded desserts.

Applebee’s has launched two new limited-time menu items as part of its “Fresh Flavors of Summer” menu, as well as four new sandwiches on its Lunch Combos menu.


MULTIMEDIA
Applebee's Margarita Queso Chicken & Shrimp

Applebee's summer menu

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The Fresh Flavors of Summer menu items start at $9.99 and include:

• Blackened Sirloin & Garlicky Green Beans: A seven-ounce steak rubbed with blackened seasonings and basted with lime butter, served on a bed of crispy red potatoes tossed in a tomato pesto sauce with a side of garlicky green beans and chunky Roma pepper relish

• Margarita Queso Chicken & Shrimp: Chipotle lime shrimp and grilled chicken in cilantro lime glaze served over a combination of Mexican rice, white queso, corn and black beans. The dish is served with avocado, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

The four new sandwiches have been permanently added to the Lunch Combos menu, which starts at $6.99. They include:

• Classic Turkey Breast Sandwich: Thick slices of slow-cooked turkey breast, romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes and smoky mayonnaise on toasted ciabatta

• American BLT Sandwich: Six slices of applewood smoked bacon and melted American cheese with iceberg lettuce, tomato slices and smoky mayonnaise on toasted Tuscan bread

• Four Cheese Grille Sandwich: A melted blend of sharp Cheddar, aged white Cheddar, Asiago and Parmesan cheeses on toasted Tuscan bread, served with a bowl of tomato basil soup

• Turkey Bacon Avocado Sandwich: Thick-sliced, slow-cooked turkey breast; avocado slices; Jack cheese; lettuce and tomato; bacon and green goddess dressing on ciabatta.

Applebee’s has also added a Green Goddess Wedge Salad made with iceberg lettuce and green goddess dressing.

Caribou, First Watch, Cheddars and  Qdoba

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Caribou Coffee has introduced four Lite Sparkling Teas and Juices, which contain half the calories of six varieties it introduced last summer.

The new flavors are Green Tea Lemonade, Peach Black Tea, Lemon Ginger Pomegranate and Apple Raspberry. The first three are permanent additions, while the Apple Raspberry is a limited-time offer. Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee Company Inc. did not say when the offer would end.

The drinks are priced at $2.79 to $3.18 for a small, $3.19 to $3.62 for a medium, and $3.49 to $3.95 for a large, depending on the location.

First Watch has introduced two seasonal items available through June 30 at all of its 106 locations.

• Smoked Salmon & Spring Chive Scramble: Scrambled, eggs, smoked salmon and chive cream cheese topped with herbs and served with dressed greens and a ciabatta crisp. The sandwich is priced at $8.59.

• Toasted Turkey Artichoke Sandwich: Sliced turkey and provolone, creamy artichoke spread, baby spinach and lemon vinaigrette, served on toasted sourdough with dressed greens. The sandwich is priced at  $7.89.

First Watch has kept its Quinoa Power Bowl on the menu due to popular demand. The chain introduced the item on its winter menu. It includes quinoa, kale, shredded carrots, roasted tomatoes, grilled lemon chicken, basil pesto sauce, feta crumbles and herbs, and is priced at $8.29.

Cheddar’s Casual Café has added a Lighter Side section to its menu, as well as two new hamburgers, two salads, three sides and two desserts. The Lighter Side items each have fewer than 575 calories and include:

• Grilled Baja Chicken: Seasoned chicken breast on black beans and rice, topped with pico de gallo, for $7.99

• Lemon Pepper Whitefish: Grilled whitefish with lemon pepper, served over ginger rice and alongside a salad tossed in tomato herb vinaigrette, for $6.99

• Sweet Heat Chicken & Shrimp: Chicken breast and grilled shrimp glazed with sweet chile sauce, served over ginger rice and alongside a salad tossed in tomato herb vinaigrette, for $8.49

• Garlic Parmesan Steak Sirloin: Garlic-Parmesan-crusted six-ounce steak, served over caramelized onions alongside an iceberg wedge salad with light ranch dressing, for $9.49

• Citrus Miso Glazed Salmon: Served on ginger rice with a side of steamed broccoli, for $7.99

Two new burgers include a Mushroom Swiss Burger, priced at $5.29, and a Jalapeño Burger, priced at $5.49. The Jalapeño Burger features fried hot peppers, pepper Jack cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, onion and tomato.

Also new to the menu is Asian Salad with chicken, carrots, herbs, mango, wonton, crisps, peanut sauce and sweet chile glaze, for $7.99; BBQ Chicken Salad with greens, roasted corn, grape tomatoes, two types of cheese, bacon, onion straws and BBQ Ranch dressing, for $7.99; side dishes of edamame, black beans and an apple-yogurt medley, for $1.99; a 99-cent mini strawberry cheesecake; and a Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and almonds, for $3.99.

Qdoba has brought back its mango salad as a limited-time offer. The 600-unit Wheat Ridge, Colo.-based chain has offered the item every year starting in May since 2007. It is available while supplies last.

The salad includes a salsa of mango, cucumber and red bell peppers over a bed of romaine lettuce, drizzled with cilantro-lime vinaigrette. It is available as a vegetarian option or with adobo-marinated grilled chicken. Prices vary by location, but the approximate price with chicken is $7.09.

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