Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Patricia Fitzgerald

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Jess Bograd

Has there ever been customer demand for a restrained approach to barbecue? It’s hard to imagine. Fans routinely look for bold flavors, tender meat, messy sauce and lots of napkins—and any self-respecting ’cue concept is going to seek opportunities to exceed expectations here. The counter-serve smokehouse chain City Barbeque is up to the challenge with its Carolina Goldmine Sandwich, characterized by Jess Bograd, Senior Director of Culinary, as “an over-the-top celebration of barbecue.”

The build starts with bone-in pork butts that are hand-seasoned with a house rub and smoked over hardwood hickory for 16 hours before being pulled and tossed in a tangy, bright and flavorful Carolina Gold barbecue sauce. The sandwich ups the protein ante with a grilled split beef sausage. “We round it out with Carolina Gold barbecue sauce and crisp pickles, all loaded on a toasted brioche bun,” says Bograd. “The overall flavor experience is indulgent, hearty and bright. You get a bite of acid and crunch from the tangy pickles and a smoky, peppery flavor from our sausage. The mustard-forward Carolina Gold sauce blends everything together nicely.”

Sandwiches are king on the City Barbeque menu, reports Bograd. “The Carolina Goldmine offers our guests an exciting new sandwich option. In test, it exceeded our expectations, outselling several of our high-performing menu items. Once we launched it systemwide, it quickly rose to the top four in overall category sales.”


About The Author

Patricia Fitzgerald

Patricia Fitzgerald is Contributing Editor of Flavor & The Menu, and a writer and content editor for a wide range of clients and media outlets. With more than 25 years at the helm of School Nutrition magazine, she has made the K-12 foodservice segment a particular niche, but her experience also includes work in many other industries and professions, including telecommunications, packaging, disability advocacy, waste management, community associations, small business retailers and more. [email protected]