McDonald’s is the latest chain to introduce a pumpkin spice latte, adding the drink to menus at its more than 14,100 domestic units through mid-November, or while supplies last. The beverage has a suggested retail price of $2.29 for a small, $2.89 for a medium and $3.39 for a large.

The latte is made with Rainforest Alliance Certified espresso and whole or nonfat steamed milk, infused with spices and pumpkin pie flavoring.


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McDonald’s also added a steak option to its breakfast sandwiches at about 9,600 domestic locations.

Wendy’s is bringing back its Flatbread Grilled Chicken sandwiches, first introduced in March, for a limited time.

Chief marketing officer Craig Bahner said the sandwiches helped drive Wendy’s chicken sandwich sales to their highest levels in six years.

The Smoky Honey Mustard Flatbread is priced at $3.49 and the Asiago Ranch Flatbread at $3.99, the same prices as earlier this year.

Wendy’s is also reprising its Monterey Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich, topped with Monterey Jack cheese and ranch dressing, for a limited time. It is available for 99 cents on the 5,817-unit chain’s Right Price Right Size menu. Wendy’s did not indicate how long either limited-time offer would last.

Dunkin’ Donuts is bringing back pumpkin-flavored items for the fall at its 7,306 domestic units. The quick-service chain also has introduced a new steak breakfast sandwich.

The pumpkin items include a Pumpkin Pie Donut, priced at 89 cents, and a Frozen Pumpkin Coffee Coolatta, priced at a suggested $2.69 for a small. The yeast doughnut is filled with pumpkin pie-flavored buttercream, frosted with white icing and sprinkled with graham cracker topping. The Coolatta is a frozen coffee drink. Both are available through October.

The Angus Steak Big N’ Toasted is made with two eggs, Angus steak and a slice of American cheese between two slices of Texas toast, priced at a suggested $4.19. The item is available until the end of September.

Del Taco has introduced a new tostada at its 551 locations following a brand relaunch earlier this year. The CrunchTada features slow-cooked beans, shredded lettuce, shredded Cheddar cheese and taco sauce on a new thicker, crunchy tostada shell for $1 on its Buck & Under Menu.

The Beef CrunchTada Pizza is the same shell topped with beans, seasoned beef, nacho cheese, taco sauce, grated Cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and cilantro, priced at $2.29.

The Chicken CrunchTada Pizza, priced at $2.49, is topped with beans, marinated grilled chicken, nacho cheese, creamy chipotle sauce, grated Cheddar, diced tomato and cilantro.

Long John Silver’s has added a Ciabatta Jack Sandwich to its permanent menu for a limited-time introductory price of $1.99. The sandwich features a choice of batter-dipped fried fish or chicken on a ciabatta roll with lettuce, melted Monterey Jack cheese and a choice of tartar or Baja sauce.

Red Robin is celebrating the fall with a new Oktoberfest menu, available through Nov. 10.

The Oktoberfest Bürger — topped with Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, beer-mustard sautéed onions and lettuce, served on a pretzel bun — is at the center of the menu. It is priced at an average $10.49, and was also on last year’s menu.

The chain is also reprising its O’Fest Beer Shake from last year, made with vanilla soft serve blended with caramel and Sam Adams OctoberFest beer and priced at $4.59. Red Robin has also introduced a new cocktail, Captain’s Berry Angry Cocktail, a blend of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider, raspberry and nutmeg, priced at $6.99. A new Pumpkin Pie Shake is made with Libby’s-brand pumpkin pie filling, vanilla soft serve, nutmeg and graham cracker crumbs, priced at $4.49.

A new Brew-Battered Brats appetizer is five jalapeño-Cheddar bratwursts beer-battered, fried and served on a bed of Yukon kettle chips, priced at $5.

For dessert, Red Robin is offering a new German Chocolate Brownie Bite-Tini, which combines brownie bites and whipped cream topped with toasted coconut and priced at $3.99.

First Watch, IHOP, Gordon Biersch, Bruegger's

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First Watch has added three seasonal dishes to its 111 restaurants through Nov. 3.

The Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast is the chain’s signature spiced pumpkin pancakes, Aidells grilled all-natural chicken sausages, and two eggs cooked any style, priced at around $8.29, depending on the location.

The Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Bowl is the latest iteration of the seasonal Quinoa Power Bowl introduced last winter. The dish is made with roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, all-natural chicken breast, herbed goat cheese and quinoa, topped with candied walnuts and drizzled with balsamic dressing. It is priced at $8.99.

A Butternut Squash Soup is accented with carrot and nutmeg, priced at $3.99. The soup and Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast also appeared on last year’s fall menu.

IHOP has introduced two new varieties of its stuffed French toast, available through Nov. 3 at its 1,593 locations.

The Peach Vanilla Stuffed French Toast is cinnamon-raisin toast stuffed with a sweet cream filling, dipped in a vanilla batter and grilled. The toast is topped with glazed sliced peaches, a vanilla cream drizzle, powdered sugar and whipped topping. The Strawberry Vanilla Stuffed French Toast is topped with glazed whole strawberries instead of peaches. The item is priced at around $6.99, depending on location.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant has introduced three new Oktoberfest-themed menu items and a seasonal beer at its 34 locations, available through Oct. 20.

The Baby Brats are three miniature sausages made with the casual-dining chain’s popular Märzen lager, grilled and served in pretzel buns with caramelized onions and Märzen mustard, priced at $7.

The Oktoberfest Pretzel Burger is toped with bacon, Swiss cheese, sweet pickled red onions and Dijon mayonnaise, priced at $10.95.

The Traditional Sausage Platter is a trio of German sausages served with sauerkraut-bacon potato croquettes, braised red cabbage and a selection of beer mustards, priced at $14.95.

The seasonal FestBier is an amber lager with a slightly sweet toasted maltiness and subtly spicy German Hersbrucker hops. Prices vary by location.

Bruegger’s has added a Sriracha egg sandwich that it introduced as a limited-time offer earlier this year to its permanent menu. It has also debuted a new breakfast sandwich with Cheddar cheese and chimichurri sauce as a limited-time offer through Jan. 7, as well as several seasonal fall items.

The Sriracha Egg Sandwich is made with egg, sausage, Cheddar cheese, red peppers and Sriracha sauce. The new Chimi Cheddar is made with egg, peppered bacon, Cheddar cheese, green peppers and Argentine chimichurri sauce. Bruegger’s version of the sauce is made with onions, parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, red wine vinegar, jalapeño peppers, thyme, lime juice and black pepper in a canola/olive oil blend. Both items are priced at around $4.09, depending on location.

The 302-unit chain’s fall favorites — Pumpkin Bagel, Pumpkin Cream Cheese and Pumpkin Spice Coffee — are all available through Nov. 27. The cranberry apple bagel is also being brought back through January. The bagels are priced at $1.10, or $2.39 with cream cheese. A medium pumpkin spice coffee is priced at $1.99.

California Pizza Kitchen, Joe's Crab Shack, The Melting Pot

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California Pizza Kitchen has introduced a line of appetizer-sized pizzas called California Flatbreads as permanent additions to its menu, priced at an average $5.95 each.

The Bianco is a white pizza topped with whipped truffle cream, Gorgonzola cheese, mozzarella cheese and fresh sage. The Shaved Mushroom + Spinach is topped with cremini mushrooms, sautéed spinach, California olive oil and Romano and Parmesan cheeses. The Spicy Fennel Sausage + Poblano is made with sausage, fresh mozzarella, fire-roasted chiles, Greek oregano and spicy marinara sauce.

Joe’s Crab Shack is adding a seasonal lineup to its menus through Nov. 19.

New Big Easy Bites are an assortment of crispy cheese-studded shrimp fritters, panko-crusted boudin balls and crawfish toast served with red pepper aïoli and bacon butter. The dish is priced at $10.49-$12.99, depending on the location.

The new Southern-fried Maine Lobster is breaded and fried lobster claws and knuckle meat, priced at $21.99-$26.99.

Joe's Crab Shack Big Easy BitesAnd new Joe’s Shrimp and Cheddar Grits, made with New Orleans-style barbecue spiced shrimp, is served with andouille Cheddar Grits and priced at $15.29-$18.49.

BBQ Dungeness Crab returns to the menu this season. The crab is dredged in a dry-spice barbecue rub and cooked in the shell with dry heat, priced at $25.49-$31.99. The Ragin’ Cajun Steampot also returns, made with Pacific Dungeness crab, snow crab, shrimp and andouille sausage, priced at $25.99-$29.99.

Quaker Steak & Lube is adding a seasonal menu line called Burgers, BBQ, Bourbon & Brew through Jan. 6, at most of its 60 locations.

The Mozza-Rati Burger is a half-pound burger with garlic sauce and marinara sauce, topped with fried mozzarella cheese sticks and melted provolone, priced at an average $9.49.

The Boom Boom Surfburger is a half-pound burger with the chain’s signature Thai ‘R’ Cracker sauce, topped with Swiss cheese and spicy Boom Boom shrimp, priced at $9.49.

California Pizza Kitchen's Shaved Mushroom + Spinach pizzaThe BBQ O-Ring Cheesesteak is made with thinly shaved sirloin, barbecue sauce, onion rings, bacon and Cheddar-Jack cheese, priced at  $9.29.

A seasonal Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Bar Jar cocktail is made with Jack Daniel’s American Honey whiskey, sweet and sour mix, and a splash of Sierra Mist.

The Melting Pot has added new premium items to dip into its fondue, as well as several seasonal cocktails, at its 138 locations in North America.

The Premium Cheese Fondue Dippers are permanent additions to the menu and include sliced capicola, mortadella, salami, summer sausages and cornichons, priced at $2.50 per person.

Five Roaring Cocktails, available through Nov. 2, are priced at an average $8.45.

The Speakeasy Smash has mint leaves, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, and sweet and sour mix.

The Debonair Derby is made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, Cointreau, grapefruit and honey.

The Swanky Doll is Hendricks Gin and Cointreau with lemon juice, orange juice, simple syrup and grenadine.

The Sparkling Sidecar is Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, simple syrup, lemon juice and orange juice shaken and topped with Luccio Special Collection Moscato wine.

The Bootleg Bramble is made with Bombay Gin shaken with lemon juice, simple syrup, and sweet and sour mix, finished with Monin Blackberry syrup.

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