LENEXA, KS -- It's not your eyes playing tricks on you, or your ears, your nose or your tongue. It's the sights, sounds, smells and great tastes of Applebee's Sizzling Entrees, including new Sizzling Smokehouse Chicken Stack and Sizzling Cajun Steak and Shrimp.

Flame grilled steak, chicken or shrimp with hot bubbling cheeses, caramelizing sauce and sautéed or steamed vegetables all served on sizzling skillets add up to a dining experience that will tantalize your senses. And starting at $8.99, Sizzling Entrees are a treat for your wallet too. They may even stir a little nostalgia.

Applebee's co-founder Bill Palmer, whose team created the first iteration of sizzling entrees -- fajitas -- in the mid-80s, recalls the entree envy created by the smoking hot, steamy dishes moving from kitchen to table by Applebee's team members.

"Back in the day, we would deliver sizzling meals to the table with fire hats and sirens going off, which created a lot of commotion and energy," said Palmer. "Because of the presentation, when we sold one, we'd eventually sell 15 because everybody had to have one."

Inspired by the stories of Applebee's history as a flavor pioneer and armed with culinary expertise of today, Shannon Johnson, executive director, culinary innovation & development for Applebee's, and his team today announced the addition of two new Sizzling Entrees, bringing Applebee's total number of Sizzling Entrée selections to five. Applebee's guests can now tempt their senses with:

-- NEW Sizzling Smokehouse Chicken Stack - Grilled chicken breast seasoned with BBQ spices then topped with shaved ham, applewood smoked bacon and melted cheddar cheese, served atop two corn cakes with a BBQ demi-glaze and cheesy corn side dish.

-- NEW Sizzling Cajun Steak and Shrimp - Applebee's 7 oz. house sirloin grilled with blackened seasonings and served over sautéed onions and red peppers, topped with blackened shrimp and traditional Cajun gumbo with okra, served with a side of red beans and rice.

-- Sizzling Asian Shrimp (Spicy) - Blackened shrimp, rice, broccoli, red peppers, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots and bok choy, drizzled with sweet and spicy sauce and topped with crispy wonton strips and cilantro.

-- Sizzling Steak & Cheese - Applebee's classic 9 oz. sirloin with sautéed onions, mushrooms and red & green peppers, topped with rich Italian cheeses, served with garlic mashed potatoes.

-- Sizzling Chicken with Spicy Queso Blanco - A grilled chicken breast served over sautéed onions and red & green peppers, smothered in spicy Queso Blanco, cilantro and served with fried red potatoes.

"The DNA of Sizzling Entrees centers on aromas, as well as sights and sound which capture the imagination of our guests," said Johnson. "We are bringing the exciting and nostalgic feel that is true to our heritage back to Applebee's, but with fresh, bold flavors that will simply blow your taste buds away."

"The new Sizzling Entrees have the 'WOW' factor that stirred a generation of guests years ago, but they are better and more flavorful than they've ever been," said Palmer. "For those who love to 'remember when,' and for a new generation of Applebee's guests, Shannon and his team have created great new flavors and a treat for your senses. It's an Applebee's dining experience that will have you reminiscing for days."

About Applebee's

Applebee's (www.applebees.com) is the world's largest casual dining chain, with approximately 2,000 locations in 49 states, 16 countries and one U.S. territory. Based in Lenexa, Kan., Applebee's takes pride in providing a welcoming, neighborhood environment where everyone can enjoy the dining experience. Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar® is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) brand, and is franchised and operated by Applebee's Services, Inc. and its affiliates.

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