Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Elyse Glickman
June 8, 2022

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Michael Mohammed

Michael Mohammed

Mexican fast-casual chain Chronic Tacos seeks to deliver elevated adaptations of south-of-the-border favorites. A prime example is the innovative Surf & Turf Burrito. “This unique take on traditional surf-and-turf dishes has an indulgent flavor profile that is both fresh and savory,” says Michael Mohammed, CEO.

Steak is marinated for 24 hours before being seared on a flattop, while fresh shrimp gets tossed with a custom seasoning, is sautéed with garlic and lime and then briefly flambéed with white wine. The two proteins are added to housemade Spanish rice and black beans on a warm flour tortilla. “Once topped with lime, cheese and salsa, we close it out with our homemade Baja sauce,” says Mohammed, crediting the final component as the one “that pulls it all together and puts this dish over the top.” The flavor-forward elements are all components in other menu items, making the burrito a showcase for cross-utilization. “We were able to create a fun and unique item without bringing in new ingredients. It was a win-win for our customers and our operators,” he says.


About The Author

Elyse Glickman

Elyse Glickman has an extensive food and beverage journalism resume encompassing reviews, chef profiles, trends, recipes and other topics for publications and websites in the U.S. and abroad. For more than a decade, she covered the Los Angeles dining scene as a senior food editor for “Boulevard Magazine” and “C-Suite Quarterly,” while digging deeper into wine, beverage and cocktail topics for trades such as “The Tasting Panel,” “Bar Business,” “El Restaurante.” She also has explored international restaurant and food trends for travel stories published in Roseann Tully’s “Intermezzo” and “SIP” magazines, “Taste & Travel” and “Global Traveler.” [email protected]