Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Flavor & The Menu Staff

A Taste of Barcelona Ataula | Portland, Ore.

Jose Chesa Comfort food from any culture offers an unbeatable authenticity that appeals to today’s diners. Ataula’s Chef/Co-owner José Chesa created the Pepito sandwich from his childhood memories of growing up in Barcelona, where his father, also a chef, served a version at his restaurant. It’s built of luxurious layers of braised veal breast, roasted red pepper confit, veal jus, horseradish cream and Havarti cheese on brioche. “It’s juicy and melts in your mouth, with a touch of sweetness from the peppers and a balance of richness and saltiness from the cheese and veal,” says Chesa. The Pepito has been on the menu since Ataula opened. “For almost three years it has been one of our top three sellers,” he adds. “Even though we change the menu seasonally, this has been a staple.” Proof that global comfort has a rock-solid place on American...

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Burger Trial Balloon Brick House Tavern + Tap | based in Houston

Bison Burger with candied bacon, cheddar cheese and jalapeño- cilantro mayo The Bison Burger was only going to run as a weekly special at Brick House Tavern + Tap, reports Tim Griffin, Director of Culinary Innovation. But its soaring popularity moved it into a menu mainstay. “Since adding it to the main menu, it has become our best-selling specialty burger, and with good reason,” he says. “Bison was an interesting choice for us because at the time, it was a new protein that was just starting to appear on restaurant menus. I wanted to use it in a creative...

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Cubano Craving Honey Butter Fried Chicken | Chicago

Mustard Butter: brushed onto bun of Cubano sandwich Josh Kulp & Christine Cikowski At Honey Butter, Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp, co-executive chefs and managing partners, are famous for their fried chicken, made extra craveable with a signature side of honey butter. But they recently played around with the classic Cubano, which was the brainchild of their executive sous chef, Becca Waron. Roasted pork shoulder, basted with molasses and orange juice, is sliced and layered in a ciabatta bun with ham, Swiss cheese and housemade bread-and-butter pickle. “The bun is slathered on the inside with chipotle mayo, which adds...

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Serendipitous Success SuViche | based in Miami, Fla.

SuVama Ceviche with leche de tigre, cancha corn, marinated choclo, sweet potato and red onion Jaime Pesaque Just a few months after opening one of the four SuViche locations in Florida, the pressure was on. “In a packed restaurant, and still being rookies, we had a line of tickets coming in—they were all ceviches,” says Jaime Pesaque, Executive Chef. “As we scrambled to prep these quickly in a tiny kitchen, one of the cooks poured the wrong sauce on one of the ceviches. I noticed the mistake and set the dish aside as we continued to push out food...

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Skillet Switch-Up Hacienda Colorado | Based in Denver

Brunch Skillet: Hash browns, queso blanco, scrambled eggs, chorizo, avocado, limón crema Breakfast skillets are the original bowl builds, really, using potatoes as a base and often crowning the dish with decadent, melty cheese. At Hacienda Colorado, the Brunch Skillet modernizes the build, starting with a foundation of crispy hash browns in a spicy queso blanco, then layering on scrambled eggs and chorizo. The skillet is topped with fresh avocado, red bell pepper, poblano pepper and cilantro, and a bit of limón crema. With such a small, but strategic switch, fresh and seasonal cues are the first things the...

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