Bar Bites

King & Prince Seafood’s new Small Plates/Bar Bites product line features Jambalaya Fritters, Crispy Southern Flounder and Lobster & Seafood Pups.


News Bites: Applebee’s New Appetizer “Platform”

Applebee’s Grill and Bar, Kansas City, Mo., launched what it says is a “new platform” of appetizers with bold flavors and premium ingredients—all served in a variety of sizes and combinations to serve any appetite or table dynamic.


The new line includes Bar Snacks, Shareables and Pub Plates in sizes fit for snacking, appetizer sharing or as individual entrees. A new “Build Your Sampler” enables guests to customize plates and platters by mixing and matching any combination of items to fit their table’s desire for a variety of flavors and portion sizes.


“We’ve taken classic bar-and-grill favorites and elevated them with premium ingredients and on-trend flavors guests love,” says Darin Dugan, senior vice president of culinary and marketing. “And we offer them in a variety of portion sizes and combinations that provide guests with an unprecedented ability to customize and personalize their experience.”


Officials say nine new appetizers include traditional, American bar-and-grill favorites such as nachos, meatballs and fried shrimp—but they are taken to new heights by the use of premium ingredients and unique and innovative builds that “underscore flavor and craveability.”


For example, new Salsa Verde Brisket Nachos features tender, slow-roasted brisket, shredded and tossed with salsa verde and served with gooey white queso cheese sauce on the bottom and stretchy shredded cheddar on the top. Fresh jalapenos, lettuce and pico de gallo add texture and contrast, and in-house, hand-cut tortilla chips complete the dish.


New Kobe-Style Meatballs uses top-of-the-line premium ground beef for a juicier, more flavorful meatball that is slow-cooked in Pomodoro sauce and served with a French-style baguette.


New Sriracha Shrimp are fried with Applebee’s proprietary coating, which provides a light, flaky crunch. Then they’re tossed in a Sriracha Chile Lime sauce and served on a nest of wonton noodles.


New Double-Crunch Bone-In Wings are larger, meatier wings, flash-fried twice for extra crunch, then tossed with a choice of six sauces: Honey BBQ, Spicy Sweet, Asian Chile, Classic Buffalo, Hot Buffalo and Thai Peanut.


New Bar Snacks include Double Crunch Bone-in Wings, Pot Stickers and Churro S’mores; New Shareables include a larger portion of Pot Stickers, Sriracha Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fries with three dipping sauces; and new Pub Plates includes Sweet Chile Brisket Sliders, Kobe-Style Meatballs, Salsa Verde Shredded Brisket Nachos, a larger portion of Double Crunch Bone-In Wings and a Chicken Quesadilla.

Applebee’s has more than 2,000 locations in 49 states, 16 countries and one U.S. territory. Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants are franchised or operated by DineEquity, Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Applebee’s International, Inc. and its affiliates.

“With small plate menus spiking over 300% since 2012, we are pleased to offer operators the addition of our new Small Plates/Bar Bites product line. Each of these new products offers the same versatility and affordability that our customers have come to expect from King and Prince Seafood,” says L.B. Watkins, category manager.


Watkins describes Jambalaya Fritters as a “fun spin” on the classic Cajun dish straight from the Bayou. King & Prince fills the fritters with a blend of shrimp, rice, Andouille sausage, vegetables, and spices. They also are dipped in a light, crispy “Tavern Battered” coating.


Crispy Southern Flounder is a hand-cut flounder filet that’s coated with a seasoned blend of flour and cornmeal and flash fried.  Watkins says the portion is ideally sized for a versatile small-plates menu.

Last but not least, Lobster & Seafood Pups are not the ordinary corn dog. Instead, they are blends of lobster and seafood surrounded in golden cornmeal batter for a flavor combination and perfect for appetizers and kids menus.


Twisted Taste Appeal

Simplot Food Group, Boise, Idaho, says its SIDEWINDERS fried potatoes now come in three new flavors to help operators create signature appetizers or update a traditional side.


“These offerings can help operators impress patrons with a unique shape and bold, on-trend flavors,” says Matt Petersen, senior marketing manager, Potatoes. “The outstanding plate coverage of SIDEWINDERS will drive profits and provide guests with a one-of-a-kind dining experience.”

Simplot says its first introduction, Bent Arm Ale SIDEWINDERS, delivered true craft beer batter flavor and were an instant success with operators and patrons alike.


Simplot Conquest SIDEWINDERS, one of two new extensions to the line, “are full of natural potato flavor, with a crisp outside and fluffy inside, plus triple the hold time–perfect for QSR,” notes Petersen.

Petersen says Simplot’s second new flavor, SeasonedCrisp JR Buffalos SIDEWINDERS, delivers a bold color and spicy zing and is sure to wow guests with the second most popular appetizer sauce/flavor in QSR, midscale and casual dining restaurants, according to Datassential Menu Trends 2014.


Kitchen “Maid” Appeal

Tampa Maid Foods LLC, Lakeland, Fla., has extended has extended its Harvest Creations and Ocean Innovations lines with four new breaded appetizer and snack offerings: Calamari with Peppers, Breaded Broccoli Florets, Crispy Breaded Cauliflower and Crisp Banana Slices. Each is prepared with Tampa Maid’s proprietary Dipt’n Dusted flour coating.


 “Our Tender Calamari (pictured) is mixed with a blend of Hot Cherry & Banana Peppers and is lightly tossed in our exclusive Dipt’n Dusted flour coating,” says Kathy Thomas, sales and marketing coordinator. “With a zesty flavor, this mix is a versatile addition to any appetizer or entrée menu.”


 Thomas says the individually quick frozen (IQF) product goes from freezer to fryer with no fuss or no waste and offers easy portion control. Meanwhile, the product’s coating system keeps ingredients light and crunchy on the outside with an optimal savory texture and flavor.


 Tampa Maid Foods says their new Broccoli Florets, Cauliflower Florets and Banana Slices are also tossed in the company’s proprietary flour coating to fry up crisp and golden. All offer vibrant colors and firm textures that can help operators turn up the flavor on any appetizer, entrée or dessert item.