For premium, profitable and popular menu items, chefs across the country are turning to pork. From small, shareable plates like a pork belly flatbread with hoisin sauce to center-of-plate entrées like a cocoa spice-rubbed pork tenderloin with whiskey jus, pork’s versatility makes it a back-of-house favorite, and patrons can’t get enough of the amazing flavor. Take a look at who is cooking with pork.


  • Famous Dave’s added Buffalo’d Bones to the menu, featuring St. Louis-style ribs split lengthwise, smoked, cut into individual bones, deep-fried and tossed in Buffalo sauce. (200 units, HQ in Minnetonka, MN)
  • Jason’s Deli added Johnny Cashew’s Smoked Pork, featuring pecan-smoked pork, cashew butter, marinated red onions and red pepper jelly. (253 units, HQ in Beaumont, TX)

  • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill unveiled its spring menu, including: (36 units, HQ in Charlotte, NC)
    • Pork Tenderloin Sandwich – pork tenderloin, spinach, roasted red pepper and jalapeño-mustard sauce on rosemary focaccia
    • Cocoa Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin – corn-and-goat-cheese polenta and whiskey jus
  • Panda Express added Chinese Spare Ribs – made with a Chinese barbecue seasoning including sesame oil, mirin, red chili bean paste, garlic, red peppers, sweet fennel, cinnamon, clove, anise, and soy sauce. (1,729 units, HQ in Rosemead, CA)
  • Sizzler brought back All-You-Can-Eat Riblets with honey barbecue sauce. (129 units, HQ in Mission Viejo, CA)

  • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery unveiled a limited-time Brewery/Chef menu, featuring a Cuban Cristo made with shaved pit ham, chopped pork shoulder, sliced dill pickles, Swiss cheese, honey mustard and mayonnaise on sourdough bread, dipped into beer batter, deep-fried, dusted with powdered sugar and served with fries and jalapeño-berry jelly. (35 units, HQ in Chattanooga, TN)
  • California Tortilla is bringing back street tacos, including Carnitas Verde made with carnitas pork, enchilada sauce, and onion-cilantro relish. (43 units, HQ in Rockville, MD)
  • Fado Irish Pub is featuring Crispy Pork Belly Flat Bread with cucumber, pickled vegetables, cilantro and hoisin sauce. (14 units, HQ in Atlanta, GA)

  • Olive Garden added two new pork items: (838 units, HQ in Orlando, FL)
    • Sausage Stuffed Giant Rigatoni – large pasta filled with flavorful Italian sausage and topped with house-made meat sauce and fresh melted mozzarella
    • Italian Mac & Cheese – rotini with a creamy four-cheese sauce topped with bacon
  • Boston Market released Slow Braised Pulled Pork, featuring zesty barbecue or garlic-citrus sauce. (460 units, HQ in Golden, CO)
  • Black Bear Diner added Huevos Rancheros Benedict, featuring a split English muffin, fire-roasted pulled pork, green chiles, two poached eggs, cilantro and salsa hollandaise. (67 units, HQ in Redding, CA)

  • Noodles & Company released three Buff Bowl options, including Buff Pesto with Naturally Raised Pork, made with garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes.  (439 units, HQ in Broomfield, CO)
  • Glory Days Grill is featuring a seasonal dish of Stuffed Pork Tacos, made with two soft flour tortillas stuffed with tender pulled pork, shaved cabbage, black bean salsa, creamy jalapeño sauce, fresh cilantro and smoky-spicy chipotle mayo. (22 units, HQ in Gaithersburg, MD)
  • Twisted Root Burger Co. introduced the DORK Burger, made with a 50/50 pork and duck patty. (12 units, HQ in Dallas, TX)

  • Cousins Subs re-launched their ‘Go Hog Wild’ LTO Menu, including: (117 units, HQ in Menomonee Falls, WI)
    • Cubano – ham, Genoa salami, pulled pork, Swiss cheese, mayo, brown mustard, sliced dill pickles, onions, and tomatoes
    • Pulled Pork & Slaw – pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and coleslaw
  • Pie Five Pizza is offering the new Maui Wowwi pizza – an artisan thin crust topped with tangy BBQ sauce, savory ham, smoky bacon, crisp red onions, sweet pineapple, and finished with fresh cilantro. (32 locations, HQ in Dallas, TX)
  • Sonny’s BBQ introduced Jalapeño Cheddar Hot Links, featuring pork, jalapeño peppers and Cheddar cheese.  (124 units, HQ in Winter Park, FL)
  • Bakers Square added an Individual Quiche Lorraine, made with a flaky, deep-dish pastry crust filled with crisp chopped hickory-smoked bacon, Swiss cheese and onions baked in a savory egg custard. (45 units, HQ in Nashville, TN)

  • Tropical Smoothie Café added a Hawaiian BBQ Pork Slider made with pulled pork, sweet BBQ sauce and house-made kale and apple slaw with Dijon honey mustard. (411 units, HQ in Atlanta, GA)
  • Brick House Tavern + Tap unveiled new meatballs, including: (21 units, HQ in Houston, TX)
    • Drunken Pork Meatballs – pork meatballs, bacon, buttermilk, and a Tabasco-whiskey barbecue glaze
    • Classic Meatballs – pork and beef meatballs with spicy basil marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese and a Parmesan-panko-breaded mozzarella cheese stick
    • High Life Brat Meatballs – pork and veal meatballs cooked in Miller High Life beer

  • Dunkin’ Donuts added Spicy Omelet Breakfast Sandwich, made with egg, bacon, jalapeño peppers, red bell peppers, habaneros and pepper jack cheese. (8,062 units, HQ in Canton, MA)
  • Quizno’s added a Ham on Pretzel Bread, featuring ham, Swiss cheese, brown spicy mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and onions on a pretzel baguette. (1,200 units, HQ in Denver, CO)
  • Duffy’s Sports Grill added Pasta-Laya, made with Andouille sausage, grilled chicken, sweet red peppers and onions tossed in a spicy tomato cream sauce served over corkscrew pasta and finished with fresh basil. (26 units, HQ in Lake Worth, FL)
  • Del Frisco’s Grille launched a Prime Beef & Chorizo Burger for its May Burger Month special. It’s topped with fried pickled jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, red onion and chipotle mayonnaise. (16 units, HQ in Southlake, TX)

  • Bruegger’s Bagels launched its new spring menu, featuring a Chorizo Jack Sandwich with egg, pepper jack cheese, chorizo sausage and jalapeño cream cheese on a guajillo bagel. (298 units, HQ in Burlington, VT)
  • Schlotzsky’s launched an Italian Masterpieces line, featuring: (347 units, HQ in Austin, TX)
    • Sausage & Peppers with Goat Cheese – canestrelli pasta, tomato-basil sauce, Italian sausage, bell pepper and goat cheese
    • Sicilian Ciabatta Specialty Sandwich – ham, sharp provolone cheese, pepperoni, cotto and Genoa salamis, roasted red bell peppers, olives, pepperoncini, field greens, Roma tomatoes and a ciabatta roll
    • Chicken Alfredo Gourmet Pizza – sausage, grilled chicken breast, bacon, red bell pepper, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses
  • Taco Bell launched the Biscuit Taco, featuring scrambled eggs, cheese and a choice of bacon or sausage. (5,921 units, HQ in Irvine, CA)

  • Caribou Coffee added a Ham & Gruyère Pretzel Roll, featuring roasted Black Forest ham, Austrian Gruyère cheese, Dijon mustard and a pretzel roll. (400 units, HQ in Minneapolis, MN)
  • Kings Family Restaurants added a new “Ham It Up!” ham and cheese melt, made with grilled ham, Swiss cheese and Kings Signature bacon jam. (31 units, HQ in McKeesport, PA)
  • Burgers and More by Emeril is featuring the Cuban Burger, made with roasted pork, Black Forest ham, pickle, Dijon mustard, and Swiss cheese, pressed together panini-style on a Cuban baguette. (1 location in Bethlehem, PA)