What is in this article?:
- Shrimp rules seafood dishes in 2013
- Other seafood gains ground
Rising prices didn’t stop restaurant chains across the country from putting the crustacean on menus.
Despite skyrocketing shrimp prices, America’s favorite crustacean remained a menu mainstay this year, often paired with other seafood, chicken or beef.
Applebee’s introduced Cajun Steak & Shrimp as part of its “Flavors of Bourbon Street” promotion in February. The dish combined a blackened seven-ounce sirloin steak and Cajun seasoned shrimp, priced at $12.99. In the same promotion, Applebee’s rolled out a shrimp combo suitable for Lent, with blackened shrimp, almond rice pilaf, an herb and ale scampi sauce, and a side of fried shrimp, priced at $12.49.
Many chains introduced shrimp and fish during Lent, as they do every year, but Taco Cabana made its seasonal Shrimp Tampico — marinated with ancho chile and other spices — a permanent option in tacos or quesadillas, priced at $6.89.
El Pollo Loco also strayed from its usual chicken items with shrimp limited-time offers introduced in May, starting at $2.99, though prices varied by location.
The Baja Shrimp Grande Taco featured marinated grilled shrimp, shredded cabbage, creamy cilantro dressing, sliced avocado and mango salsa served in a warm corn tortilla. The Baja Shrimp Tostada Salad had the same shrimp with Spanish rice, pinto beans, romaine lettuce, mango salsa, avocado, cilantro and citrus vinaigrette on a crispy tostada shell. And the Baja Shrimp Stuffed Quesadilla included Jack cheese, cabbage, tomatillo salsa verde and avocado wrapped in a warm tortilla.
Surf and turf items with shrimp started to appear in May, when Applebee’s introduced a Margarita Queso Chicken & Shrimp, starting at $9.99, which had chipotle-lime shrimp and grilled chicken in a cilantro-lime glaze served over Mexican rice, white queso, corn and black beans, with avocado, chopped cilantro and lime on the side.
In August, the 1,885-unit chain introduced another chicken-and-shrimp limited-time offer, Honey Pepper Chicken & Shrimp, priced at a suggested $10.99. The item featured grilled chicken over fried red potatoes and green beans, topped with fried shrimp tossed in honey-pepper sauce.
Cheddar’s Casual Café, a 130-unit casual-dining chain, also introduced chicken and shrimp as a “Lighter Side” item with fewer than 575 calories. Chicken breast and grilled shrimp were glazed with sweet chile sauce and served over ginger rice and a salad tossed with tomato-herb vinaigrette, priced at $8.49.
P.F. Chang’s introduced Vietnamese Noodles with Steak & Shrimp, featuring marinated shrimp with flank steak, rice noodles and vegetables, at its 207 locations. The item was priced at $12.95.
Olive Garden introduced its first hamburger in December, overshadowing new “Lighter Italian Fare” items, including a baked tilapia and shrimp dish with fewer than 575 calories, available at its 832 locations for around $15.99, depending on the location. The dish is served with white wine sauce and garlic broccoli.