The Vidalia Onion Committee and Applebee’s have partnered to bring consumers a unique summer dish that boasts Georgia pride and farm-fresh flavor with the introduction of the new Grilled Vidalia Onion Sirloin, part of Applebee’s new summer menu.
Applebee’s is offering this promotional menu item, which 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, through Aug. 17.
The Kansas City, MO-based, 2,000-unit casual-dining brand of DineEquity Inc. estimated it will use as many as 23,000 pounds of onions per week during peak times this summer.
To launch the new dish, Applebee’s hosted a press conference at its restaurant in Dunwoody, GA, near the very first Applebee’s location in Decatur, GA. The restaurant was aptly named “VidaliaBees” for the day on April 25 as it accepted the ceremonial first Vidalia onion from representatives of the Vidalia Onion Committee.
Applebee’s Executive Chef Michael Slavin and brand representatives showcased the recipe.
“We are thrilled to provide our unique, sweet Vidalia’s to Applebee’s,” Susan Waters, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee, said in a press release. “This flavorful dish provides a great opportunity to educate consumers on the seasonality and versatility of Vidalia onions.”
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.
“Forget the polar vortex, and bring on summer fun,” Peter Czizek, Applebee’s vice president of culinary and menu strategy, added in the press release. “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 Committee and representatives from Applebee’s also introduced the Grilled Vidalia Onion Sirloin to food bloggers during a luncheon event on April 26 as part of a weekend field tour in Vidalia, Georgia. The committee will continue to promote the Applebee’s menu item on their social media platforms as well.