Entertainment Editor

Cheddar’s offers new summer menu

By Jennifer DiDomenico A&E Editor Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is offering new menu items for summer, and we have to say they are pretty spectacular. Cheddar’s in Kissimmee hosted a media dinner on May 21, where we got to try all of the new items. We also had the opportunity to chat with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is offering new menu items for summer, and we have to say they are pretty spectacular.

Cheddar’s in Kissimmee hosted a media dinner on May 21, where we got to try all of the new items. We also had the opportunity to chat with Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Executive Chef Brittany Neisen, who creates and reinvents recipes for the menu at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen’s corporate office in Central Florida.

Before trying the new items, we tasted two of Cheddar’s most favored starters, the Honey Butter Croissants and Homemade Onion Rings. Fun fact: Cheddar’s in Kissimmee orders 1,800 pounds of onions every week?

First up on the new menu, the Watermelon Vodkarita. We vote this at the top of our summer drink list. The drink includes a mix of Tito’s Vodka, watermelon puree and sour mix. It’s even topped with a big ol’ slice of watermelon.

News-Gazette freelance photographer Jarred Paluzzi noted the Watermelon Vodkarita is  “the perfect summer drink,” and other guests commented that “you can’t even taste the alcohol.”  It’s great summer blend.

Moving on to the eats, the new summer entrees include Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa and Salmon & Strawberry Salad. According to Neisen, salsa is a common base in many of the restaurant’s dishes.

“We repurpose as many prep items as we can,” said Neisen. The onions, for example, are ordered especially for Cheddar’s famous onion rings, but are also used in dishes up and down the menu.

The Salmon & Strawberry Salad is refreshing and light — there’s no better pair than lettuce and fruit, in my book. Neisen called the salad “iconic for summer.”

For dessert, Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cake served with ice cream. Not on the new menu, but certainly delicious.

The post popular year-round menu items include House-Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Homemade Chicken Pot Pie, hand-battered Monte Cristo Sandwich and hand-breaded Chicken Tenders.

Other Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Florida locations can be found in Brooksville, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Lutz, Orlando – Colonial Drive, Orlando – Semoran Boulevard, Pensacola, Pinellas Park, Port St. Lucie, Sanford, Tamarac, Tampa, Wellington and West Melbourne.

For more information on Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, or to view the restaurant’s full menu, visit www.Cheddars.com.