Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Lettuce Carries the Dish Gloria’s | based in Dallas

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff

Datassential’s 2016 MenuTrends puts lettuce wraps in the top-five fastest-growing appetizer category. It makes sense, as the crisp, fresh carrier is a great modern-day stand-in. At Gloria’s, the Tacos de Pescado are tucked in a romaine leaf instead of a taco shell. “When we set out to create our fish tacos, we wanted to marry a myriad of flavors and incorporate light and healthy elements,” says Gloria’s R&D Chef Nancy Fuentes. The “taco” is layered with grilled tilapia; purple cabbage marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro; a slice of avocado and fresh jalapeño. Chipotle-ranch dressing and queso fresco top it off. “They’re often the most-ordered lunch item because they’re delicious, quick and light,” she says. “Interestingly, customers looking for gluten-free options have helped make this dish a hit.” Another side effect? More customers are ordering other dishes like fajitas with the lettuce in place of tortillas. “This dish breaks the stereotype that healthy can’t be adventurous,” adds Fuentes.

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