the chain gang

Today in Chains: Arby’s Adds Porchetta, Starbucks Adds Piña Coladas

It’s a BYO rum situation, so plan accordingly. Photo: Starbucks

It’s a big day for fast-food innovation, with new menu additions from Starbucks and Arby’s. First up: Starbucks, which just added a piña-colada-flavored drink to its tropical-tea lineup. The Piña Colada Tea Infusion, as it’s officially called, comes hot (cold?) on the heels of the new Mango Pineapple Frappuccino and the also-new Teavana Shaken Iced Pineapple Black Tea Infusion, which is the same thing, only without the coconut milk. The real excitement, though, is that the beachy beverage is getting a spot on the permanent menu, so you can remember the pineapple-infused joys of summer year-round, even as you debate the merits of ordering one alongside a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Meanwhile, meat king Arby’s — which has been cycling through all sorts of fun proteins lately — announced its latest experiment: a porchetta sandwich, set to debut in August nationwide, and intended as a graceful “nod” to the ancient version famous in Umbria. Neville Craw, the brand’s executive chef, told USA Today that every one of Arby’s porchettas “is made by hand before it goes into the smoker and we are really kind of doing the same quality, same craftsmanship that you would get at a single restaurant somewhere in NYC.” That last part sounds debatable, and the actual sandwich veers from Italian tradition a bit, as it’s served with “melted provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, banana peppers, red wine vinaigrette and garlic aioli on a toasted sub roll.”

Arby’s Adds Porchetta, Starbucks Adds Piña Coladas