While news outlets trip over each other writing exactly the same “Chipotle might open a better-burger restaurant!!” article, they’re missing some interesting things Chipotle IS doing; things that should interest burger-bar operators.
As it reexamines its food menu in the wake of the health issues, Chipotle is testing some new beverage ideas, in conjunction with a sommelier named Richard Betts. As reported by Denver’s Westword, the test—in just one unit in the Denver area—includes new ideas for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Chipotle has had a margarita from the start but it’s more lemonade-like than punchy. Betts version is a frozen margarita with Sombra mescal from Oaxaca (a brand Betts owns), Astral tequila, agave syrup, ice and lemon and lime juice. He also switched the well sangria brand to Eppa Sangria from California.
A partnership with Longmont, Colo.’s Oskar Blues Brewery produced Oskar Blues Beerito, which Westword describes as a “Vienna Mexican lager.” And rather than stock several other beers, this test cuts the list to one: Modelo Especial in a can.
Non-alcoholic beverages in test are a watermelon agua fresca, a new hibiscus teas and a proprietary tea blend from In Pursuit of Tea. At the fountain are Coke Life (sweetened with stevia extract) and Blue Sky sodas (in which Coca-Cola has a stake). Reportedly this is the first fountain appearance for Coke Life and Blue Sky. Izze soda and Evolution Fresh juices are part of the test as well.
McDonald’s is promoting its new chicken sandwiches in Canadian stores as “A fresh new take on lunch,” which I guess is why they (grilled or crispy) have been named “The 12.” Still it’s a curious choice.
The grilled version seems a take on the Artisan Grilled Chicken on the U.S. menu, but both styles are getting a heavy local-sourcing push: “Chicken raised on Canadian farms” is the positioning. Specifically Ontario farms, we learn elsewhere.
The chicken breast is topped with white processed Cheddar cheese (Canadian marketing rules require the “processed” disclosure), leaf lettuce, tomato and applewood-smoke-seasoned sauce on a sesame and poppy seed glazed bun. The 12 with grilled chicken is 400 calories and 14 grams of fat; the fried version has 610 calories and 38 fat grams.
Jack in the Box is taking a break from burgers (double Jack and the Habanero Pepper Jack Ultimate Cheeseburger) to bolster its breakfast menu. Added this week is a Triple Cheese & Hash Brown Breakfast Burrito.
The cheese trio is pepper-Jack, provolone and Cheddar. They join scrambled eggs and a crispy hash brown in a warm flour tortilla with Fire Roasted Salsa.
Also new at Jack are panko-coated onion rings, a Sriracha Curly Fry Burger Munchie Meal for late-nighters and Caramel Iced Coffee.
Is it just coincidence that Wayback Burgers says it will begin serving its whacky “Cheeeesy Gold Milkshake” on April 1? Let’s just recall that last April 1 it joked about a new cricket-powder milkshake (and later really tried it).
This new concoction is part milk shake, part queso dip: vanilla bean ice cream and Cheese Whiz. Supposedly priced at $4.50, but I’m expecting them to recant this one later on. Enjoy April Fools Day. And eat wisely.