Restaurant chains show off fall flavors
With the last traces of summer fading away, a warmth enters our homes, more specifically, our kitchens. Restaurants are cooking up earthy meals using the cornucopia of flavors that the fall brings. The iconic pumpkin spice latte only scratches the surface of what the season has to offer. Flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, melded with hearty but sweet squash and potato, leave the stomach feeling festively full. These ingredients are translated into drinks as well with a variety of apple ciders and frothy cinnamon lattes.
Fall brings out flavor that appeal to the senses and bring out fond memories. Desserts almost always have a crisp or caramelized apple element, or cranberries or pears drizzled in maple. There is something unique about these types of foods and the tradition much of it holds. Keeping in par with those traditions, several restaurants are celebrating the season with news dishes that take these humble ingredients and add culinary expertise to it.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill takes bold American cuisine and adds a contemporary touch. Its fall menu features all its previous fall favorites. Its dishes showcase crispy brussel sprouts, wood-grilled cauliflower, sprinkles of pumpkin seed, and a dash of spice, rubbed into the meat for an added kick. The limited edition Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Spice Butter Cake, announced by the chain, has the classic crunchy, spiced pecans. Firebirds’ fall drink menu beautifully pairs with lunch and dinner. Bartenders remix traditional cocktails by infusing pear, cranberry, and maple. The “Tipsy Pig,” for example, has bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters and a homemade bacon brown sugar syrup. “These are menu items full of fresh, bold ingredients that pair well with the cooling temperatures,” explained Executive Chef Steve Strum. “It only made sense to bring back the fan favorites.
If you’re looking for breakfast that matches the weather, Corner Bakery is using fresh ingredients to create an autumnal breakfast menu. “We are excited to introduce our guests to Corner Bakery’s new harvest creations. Our freshly prepared dishes are full of flavor,” said CMO Donna Josephson, in a statement. Apple and walnut stand up crisply, with apple walnut pancakes accessorized with bacon, warm cinnamon-y apple oatmeal and muffins packed with essential fall flavors like carrots, raisins, and spice.
Just because it’s fall however, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside to enjoy the tastes. While you’re watching the leaves change color, adults can sip on apple cider—hard apple cider that is. Cider festivals are taking place all over the country, from Seattle to New York. These festivals showcase a variety of ciders and flavors available, covering all possibilities of this unique way to consume apples. For a quick but filling bite after the festival, head over to Sweetgreen and enjoy the flavors that meld together late summer with early fall. The restaurant’s late summer menu brings out sweet, fresh flavors like peach and watermelon and pairs them with roasted vegetables and proteins. The “Peach Burrata Bowl,” for example, has locally-sourced peaches, burrata, and tomatoes, accessorized with red onions, basil, and roasted almonds.
Comforting soups are also a must and can be found at the beloved local chain, Panera Bread. Along with its year-round creamy, delicious soups, the season brings out the “Autumn Squash Soup.” With its warm but vibrant ocher color, the soup blends together butternut squash and pumpkin with hints of honey and cinnamon and tops it off with roasted pumpkin seeds before it’s served. While you’re there, you can sweeten your sense with its pumpkin cookie, an all-butter cookie perfect for people of all ages, not just the kids!
Alternatively, take the classic American biscuit and make it fall! Cracker Barrel is launching a variety of biscuit-oriented dishes to make the perfect, cozy meal. Offering twists on all-time fall favorites, Cracker Barrel released a parmesan-crusted biscuit pot pie, filled with fall veggies, a biscuit French toast with sweet blackberry topping, and buttermilk biscuit, beignets served with rustic butter pecan sauce. What’s more, Cracker Barrel has the perfect drink to accompany these meals—a delicious pumpkin pie latte which you can get hot or iced, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
The key to creating a meal that pays homage to the season is to use fresh ingredients that are available this time of the year. Oftentimes, the simple treats are the most delicious, but adding a unique twist that still preserves the original recipe can make your fall offerings truly delectable.
Author credit: Sonikka Loganathan
Photos: Corner Bakery (featured), Firebirds (top), Corner Bakery (logo-bottom)