Smoke & Spice Define December’s New Menu Items
December is here, which means we’ve got your last New Menu Items spotlight for the year. It’s been a wild one, but I’m happy to say we end on a familiar note.
Of all the trends 2020 has seen, smoke and spice have been a thread tying the year together. Whether it came from comfort foods like BBQ and chicken wings, or the continued evolution of tacos and pizza as a medium for global flavors, smoke and spice found its way in.
December proves to be no different with heavy flavors of smoke and piquant sauces (with one outlier) for bold statements. Here’s what we’re seeing:
December 2020 New Menu Items
Black Seed Bagels
New York’s Black Seed Bagels, a first-timer on our list, makes a splash with their Oxomoco Barbacoa Bagel Sandwich. It features roasted lamb and salsa made with morita chiles and tomatillos, topped with a fried egg and pickles on a bagel of your choice. This item is made in collaboration with Justin Bazdarich, chef of Oxomoco restaurant in Brooklyn, and highlights the trend for specific chile callouts on menus.
Chipotle is coming in strong with their new smoked brisket. It’s seasoned with spices including garlic, cumin, and coriander, seared on the griddle, and tossed in a spicy sauce that compliments the smoky flavor. It’s only being released regionally for now, but other chains have found success with brisket (Torchy’s, Arby’s, Little Caesars, etc.) so, I expect this to last.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is another first-time New York business on the list this month with their new Chicken alla Vodka Pizza. It features a standard pizza skin pizza topped with chicken, onions, mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomato cream sauce. Vodka sauces are simple yet delicious way to mix up the menu by simply combining house pizza or marinara sauce with cream or even Alfredo sauce.
The always innovative Smashburger has launched a smoky Pulled Pork Tailgater Burger for December. It features smoked pulled pork, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese on a Certified Angus Beef patty on a pretzel bun with spicy mustard. An addition of their house BBQ sauce adds a tangy twist worth trying.
See You Next Year, Trend Hunters!
But, before then, make sure your menu hits on the smoke and spice trends. It’s a great way to keep your customers warm and satisfied this winter.
Comment below with trends you’re seeing or how you plan on adding these flavors to your menu. We’d love to hear about your innovation.