Spring offerings from fast food joints

Spring offerings from fast food joints

It’s time to check out what’s new on the fast food menus, plus take a peek of some new items that old brand names have released for spring.

With March Madness winding down — all that’s left to the 2016-17 NCAA basketball season is the Final Four — you still have time to check out Hooter’s new Smoked Wings, which are half the calories of their regular wings. Smoked wings are marinated overnight then cooked over hickory chips. You can also try them in new flavors such as Texas BBQ or Garlic Habanero.

McAlister’s has introduced three new seasonal items, the Black Cherry Spinach Salad, Garden Fresh Black Cherry & Ham Sandwich, and the Pure Cane Sugar Lemonade.

The Black Cherry Spinach Salad is spinach topped with grilled chicken, bacon, dried cherries, gorgonzola, candied pecans and house-made balsamic red onions and black cherry vinaigrette.

On the Garden Fresh Black Cherry & Ham Sandwich are Black Forest ham and Swiss cheese with spinach, and house-made balsamic red onions and black cherry honey mustard on toasted slices of nine-grain bread.

Arby’s says you don’t have to be Greek to enjoy their new Greek Gyro (710 calories). It’s flame-seared, knife-carved gyro meat, with crispy vegetables, creamy tzatziki sauce and warm pita bread.

I know you might think breakfast when Denny’s comes to mind, but for a limited time, they have created the “Big Burger Show” menu with six new craft burgers.

“As America’s Diner, we’re proud to offer our guests unrivaled value and variety that extends way beyond breakfast,” said John Dillon, chief marketing officer for Denny’s. “Our delicious craft burgers are a firm fan favorite at Denny’s, but we’re always looking for ways to modernize a classic and enhance our signature flavors. The ‘Big Burger Show’ menu is a tasty – and affordable – celebration of a true all-American dish, updated with quality ingredients and our signature hand-pressed, made-to-order beef patties for our best burgers yet.”

The Bacon Gouda Burger is 100 percent beef topped with four crispy bacon strips, sweet caramelized onions, shredded Italian cheeses, and covered with a rich Gouda cheese sauce served with all the fixings on a brioche bun.

The Honey Jalapeno Bacon Sriracha Burger is bold with cheddar cheese, sweet and spicy thick-cut Honey Jalapeño Bacon, jalapeños and creamy Sriracha sauce served on a brioche bun.

The Slamburger is a take on Denny’s iconic Grand Slam breakfast. This burger on a brioche bun has crispy hash browns, egg and two bacon strips — all finished with Pepper Jack queso.

Bacon Avocado Cheeseburger ingredients are crispy bacon, fresh avocado and melted cheddar cheese.

Want sweet and savory? Try the Bourbon Bacon Burger that has sautéed mushrooms, fire-roasted bell peppers and onions served with sweet bourbon sauce then drizzled on a cheddar bun.

Denny’s also has a classic Double Cheeseburger.

Dunkin Donuts has several new items including the Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut that is filled with peanut butter crème; Chocolate Pretzel Donut, which is a glazed chocolate cake donut topped with salty crushed pretzels; Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich; Coconut Crème Pie Iced Coffee; and Pink Lemonade Coolatta.

Taco Bell continues to listen to its faithful customers and has added the Triple Double Crunchwrap (700 calories), which was first introduced last summer. If you don’t remember, it’s a double layer of beef, a double layer of nacho cheese sauce, and a double layer of the crunchy tostada shell and also available in a spicy format.

Schlotzsky’s, which opened its first eatery in Austin in 1971, has launched three new brisket sandwiches — Traditional, Cuban and Tex-Mex.

“Our new brisket sandwiches reflect Schlotzsky’s commitment to bold flavors and fresh ingredients, but also bring something entirely new and exciting to our sandwich menu,” said Schlotzsky’s President Kelly Roddy. “We know our customers are looking to be more adventurous with their food and as a Texas staple, brisket gives us a unique opportunity to create new menu items with flavors that tie back to our Austin roots.”

The Tex-Mex Brisket is hickory-smoked brisket with queso fresco, cheddar cheese, salsa verde, and roasted red peppers.

The Cuban Brisket has ham, Swiss cheese, barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard and sliced dill pickles served on a jalapeño cheese bun.

The Traditional includes mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, barbecue sauce, sliced dill pickles and red onions while served on a toasted sourdough bun.

Finishing off with something cool and refreshing, the Dairy Queen Blizzard of the Month for April is the Reese’s Extreme. It’s filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces candy mixed with peanut butter and chocolate topping.