Vidalia Onions Claim Spot on Applebee’s Farm-to-Table Inspired Menu
By Grocery Headquarters Staff
The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) and Applebee’s have partnered to bring consumers a summer dish boasting Georgia pride and farm fresh flavor. For a limited time this summer, Applebee’s is featuring the new Grilled Vidalia Onion Sirloin on its menu. The promotional menu item features a seven-ounce sirloin topped with a grilled Vidalia onion slice and served with garlicky spinach, smashed and crisped red-skinned potatoes and a Hawaiian-style barbecue sauce. “We are thrilled to provide our unique, sweet Vidalia’s to Applebee’s,” says Susan Waters, executive director of the VOC. “This flavorful dish provides a great opportunity to educate consumers on the seasonality and versatility of Vidalia onions.” To launch the new dish, Applebees hosted a press conference at their restaurant in Dunwoody, Georgia, near the very first Applebees’ location in Decatur, Ga. The restaurant was aptly named “VidaliaBees” for the day on April 25 as they accepted the ceremonial first Vidalia onion from representatives of the VOC. Applebee’s Executive Chef Michael Slavin and brand representatives showcased the recipe. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="419"] Applebee's Executive Chef Michael Slavin (left) and Susan A. Waters, executive director of the VOC (right) plate the first Grilled Vidalia Onion Sirloin at an Atlanta-area Applebee's, renamed VidaliaBee's in honor of the dish.[/caption] “Bring on summer fun,” says Peter Czizek, Applebee’s vice president of culinary and menu strategy. “Our new menu is full of authentic flavors, and we can’t wait for our guests to taste how Vidalia onions take our steaks to the next level.” Applebee’s is promoting the new menu item with a national television ad campaign combined with public relations and social media outreach. The Vidalia onion was named Georgia’s official state vegetable in 1990. Applebee’s has a special connection to Georgia, as Bill and T.J. Palmer opened the original T.J. Applebee's Rx for Edibles & Elixirs in Atlanta in 1980.