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Mango is also appearing in a variety of drinks, including Wienerschnitzel’s Summer Sippers — a lemonade line made available this summer in strawberry, cherry and blackberry flavors as well as mango.

Mango’s also one of Sonic Drive-In’s five new sugar-free flavorings, along with peach, raspberry, blackberry and mint.

P.F. Chang’s is using mango- and guava-flavored rums in its new Long Island Rum Tea, which also has an aged light rum, sour mix, cranberry juice and pink cherries.

But most mango applications at chains this year have been in savory dishes, such as P.F. Chang’s new Peking Summer Rolls, made with roasted duck, julienne green papaya, snow peas and carrots wrapped in cool rice paper and served with a mango-jalapeño vinaigrette.

Mango is one of the flavors of Wienerschnitzel’s line of Summer Sippers.Mango and chiles also are combined in Quaker Stake & Lube’s new Mango Habanero salmon, fire-grilled and served with pineapple pico de gallo.

Tropical Smoothie Café;'s new Tropical Tacos — a choice of grilled tilapia or grilled chicken with chile lime cilantro spread and romaine lettuce in toasted flour tortillas — are topped with a signature Caribbean salsa, made with pineapple, jícama, red peppers and cilantro, as well as mangos and jalapeño peppers.

Mango and chile also are in Cheddar’s Casual Café’s new Asian Salad, which is made with chicken, carrots, herbs, wonton crisps, peanut sauce, mango and sweet chile glaze.

El Pollo Loco is using a mango salsa on its new Baja Shrimp Grande Taco, which also comes with shredded cabbage, creamy cilantro dressing and sliced avocado, as well as its new Baja Shrimp Tostada Salad, which has the same marinated, grilled shrimp that’s used in the tacos, along with Spanish rice, pinto beans, romaine lettuce, avocado, cilantro, citrus vinaigrette and mango salsa, all in a crispy tostada shell.

Another Pollo Loco variation on that theme is its Citrus Mango Tostada Salad, introduced this summer for a limited time, which is made with its signature citrus-marinated grilled chicken, mango salsa, mango slices, sliced avocado, rice, pinto beans, romaine lettuce and chopped cilantro in a tostada shell with low-fat citrus vinaigrette.

It’s unclear what tropical fruit will be the next trend on the horizon. Lychee has long been a popular fruit in martinis at independent restaurants, and mangosteen has found a following in high-end juice bars. But Jamba Juice recently added two items that include the fruits of the coffee plant that grow around coffee beans, which Jamba Juice is calling Kona Berries.

The Kona Berry Blast Smoothie is made with a beverage derived from dried coffee fruit and other juices along with pineapple juice, soy milk, raspberry sherbet, strawberries blueberries and the chain’s Charger Boost. The Kona Berry Blast Bowl is made with that same coffee-fruit-based beverage, soy milk, bananas, strawberries and blueberries topped with organic granola and banana slices.

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