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by Brian Clarey

Big doings in chain-restaurant land this week, with a slew of new menu items like flatbread sandwiches coming to Wendy’s, Kids’ meals at KFC, deep-dish pizzas from Little Caesar’s, Boston Market ribs and a new spring menu at Cracker Barrel that includes a cinnamon-pecan crumble skillet, mushroom-Swiss chopped steak and grilled chicken and strawberry salad.

Meanwhile, a lobster bounty that hit the Northeast last year has dried up after late-winter storms, bringing prices up around $10 a pound and causing something of a drop in demand.

Locally, Table 16 in downtown Greensboro launches its spring menu this week. Details TBA, but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing with the word “skillet” in it.

And the Mad Hatter has become the next jewel in restaurateur/developer Marty Kotis’ theoretical Greensboro culinary empire. It’s to be in the old Ham’s location off West Friendly Avenue, will have a “Charlestonian” vibe and, like the English brewpub, the microbrewery and the craft burger place, will open at some time in the near future.

Bust on Friday morning? If not, I suggest you hit the Krispy Kreme on South Stratford Road in Winston- Salem at around 8 a.m., because that’s when Kyle and Richard Petty will be holding a meet-and-greet to celebrate the venerable doughnutmaker’s commitment to the Victory Junction camp.

All weekend long, Urban Ministry holds its Spring Grocery Store Food Drive at all Greensboro-area Lowe’s, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Bestway and Whole Foods grocery stores.

Tuesday is Just One Shift Day, a worldwide initiative among serviceindustry workers who donate their tips from just one shift for a good cause. This year, donations go to Wine to Water, which works to provide clean water to the needy around the world (and, incidentally, the subject of a YES! Weekly cover story way back in December 2009 by Ogi Overman). Locally, Kirsten Jennings at Tee Time; Tiffany Howell, Andrea Sykes Brown and Lauren Kutzke at the Burke Street Pub; Adam Troutman from King’s Crab Shack; and Amber Marshall at Carlisle’s Pub will be donating. For more information, go to winetowater. org or justoneshift.com.

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