Weight Loss Support - Grrr - Red Robin Restaurant




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Glory87
07-29-2008, 10:33 AM
I was reading this article linked off MSN:

16 Secrets the Restaurant Industry Doesn't Want You to Know (http://health.msn.com/nutrition/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100187534&page=1) and the author had a link to the nutritional information at Red Robin, which I had always wanted to know:

http://www.redrobin.com/home/customizer.aspx

Red Robin has always been a place where I thought I could find something healthy and low cal on the menu. I always ordered the grilled salmon on a whole wheat bun, no bistro sauce, with lettuce and tomato (I would squeeze lemon on the salmon and sprinkle on some of that spicy seasoning that sits on the table).

I had no idea of the calorie count, but generously estimated 500 calories, because I was in a restaurant and I figured it would be higher than I thought. Per the "customizer" - 742 calories.

Restaurants NEVER cease to shock me.


nelie
07-29-2008, 10:46 AM
I'm glad they've added this.

Looks like the bun is 240 calories. Fries are 390 calories.

My normal order is a veggie burger, sometimes with a lettuce bun, sometimes whole grain, sometimes side salad, sometimes fries.

midwife
07-29-2008, 10:49 AM
It's really appalling. How in the world can IHOP build an omelet for 1,150 calories? I eat out so rarely now. I can make yummy healthy food at home and I can control the quality and the nutrition. Once I ordered a grilled veggie sandwich with a side of fruit. After I ate it, I found the calorie counts online---over 700 calories for *grilled veggies* *fruit* and the *bread*---must have been one heck of a loaf of bread. But it is crazy how restaurants manage to cram calories into things that should/could be healthy.

I like grilled salmon, but I have never had a grilled salmon sandwich that was worth 700 calories.

I know we have an international community here, but bear with me for the following statement. It's no wonder the USA has an obesity epidemic. Yikes!


ddc
07-29-2008, 10:59 AM
I didn't see anywhere that they give you the sodium content either.
That's my biggest gripe with Red Robin--everything I've ever gotten is too salty. Could be just the individual restuarant depending on who is salting stuff that day. I don't go there anymore.

Meg
07-29-2008, 11:00 AM
Midwife, IHOP adds pancake batter to all their omelets and that's what sends the calorie count into the stratosphere. Can you believe it?? :eek:

Restaurant calorie counts are truly insane. I read that the cheapest way for a restaurant to make food taste better is to add lots and lots of fat, so that's probably what happened to your grilled veggie sandwich. Keep in mind that "grilled" in a restaurant means it's cooked on those big flat griddles where they do the burgers swimming in grease. It's not grilled like on your grill in the backyard where fat drips down through the grates.

Glory, I always estimate that any food in a restaurant is double the number of calories than the same thing cooked at home but it looks like the reality is a lot worse. That is a truly horrifying article. :yikes:

JayEll
07-29-2008, 11:27 AM
Midwife, IHOP adds pancake batter to all their omelets and that's what sends the calorie count into the stratosphere. Can you believe it??


OMG! Who can believe it? :fr: Well, I never go near IHOP anyway, and here's yet another reason to stay away.

Jay

lilukay
07-29-2008, 11:36 AM
Man, I know what you guys mean about restaurants! I went out to dinner at one of those places that has the "light" menu kind of deal, and for one of their light meals, it would cost me 800+ calories! FORGET IT! I'll eat at home.

mandalinn82
07-29-2008, 11:50 AM
Apparently, the pancake batter makes the omelettes "Fluffy". I think there should be some sort of disclosure from restaurants if they're adding someting so ridiculously outlandish to a food item. PANCAKE BATTER? Give me a break.

I actually knew this but it upsets me when I hear it anyway.

julie99s
07-29-2008, 11:54 AM
97 grams of fat??! In one burger?! Really?! That one really floored me. All the food I could eat in place of that one burger! Oh my!
And 13 mg trans fat in BKs hash browns. Just yuck.

I think I'm starting to like this eating at home all the time thing more and more.

Insatiable
07-29-2008, 11:58 AM
It was not on that article but I recently found out that Macaroni Grill, (my favorite), their salmon and asparagus….that it, just salmon and asparagus was about 2200 calories. I was in shock. That was my final straw. I try not to eat out anymore.

Also, another big shocker to me was the grocery store. I kid you not, you have to read EVERY label. I was buying this sad looking chicken that looked like it was just boiled and cut into chunks. I use in my salads to help with my protein content. Well I decided to read the label and it had many many other ingredients in it than just chicken, like the artificial flavoring, high fructose corn syrup, etc. I was like ‘ITS JUST PLAIN CHICKEN’ I was hurt, now I really felt betrayed. I now have to make my own organic chicken on Sunday for the whole week. It is such a pain in the butt.

Meg
07-29-2008, 12:23 PM
Insatiable, you'll appreciate this -- here are the ingredients for a grilled chicken breast from McDonalds. Not a sandwich, just the "chicken":

Grilled Chicken Breast Filet:
Chicken breast filets with rib meat, water, seasoning (salt, sugar, food starch-modified, maltodextrin, spices, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed [corn gluten, soy, wheat gluten] proteins, garlic powder, paprika, chicken fat, chicken broth, natural flavors (plant and animal source), caramel color, polysorbate 80, xanthan gum, onion powder, extractives of paprika), modified potato starch, and sodium phosphates. CONTAINS: SOY AND WHEAT. Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color). CONTAINS: SOY LECITHIN

http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_controller.nutrition.categories.ingredients.in dex.html

I was in shock, just like you. Shouldn't chicken be ... chicken? It's just a frickin' chicken breast and it has 40 ingredients (if I counted right)?! That's insane!

midwife
07-29-2008, 12:41 PM
I'm appalled. Pancake batter?? And I consider myself fairly educated about nutrition....I never would have guessed that an omelet could be such a nutrition disaster.

Wow. I'm sorta speechless.

Insatiable
07-29-2008, 12:47 PM
Grilled Chicken Breast Filet:
Chicken breast filets with rib meat, water, seasoning (salt, sugar, food starch-modified, maltodextrin, spices, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed [corn gluten, soy, wheat gluten] proteins, garlic powder, paprika, chicken fat, chicken broth, natural flavors (plant and animal source), caramel color, polysorbate 80, xanthan gum, onion powder, extractives of paprika), modified potato starch, and sodium phosphates. CONTAINS: SOY AND WHEAT. Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color). CONTAINS: SOY LECITHIN


IT'S JUST CHICKEN!! :?::?::?::?::fr::fr::chicken::yikes:




I am scared to eat! :cry::cry:

meowee
07-29-2008, 12:48 PM
:dunno: . . . I just entered the salmon burger without the sauce and no added sides and it came out to 440 calories.

ladybugnessa
07-29-2008, 12:51 PM
Apparently, the pancake batter makes the omelettes "Fluffy". I think there should be some sort of disclosure from restaurants if they're adding someting so ridiculously outlandish to a food item. PANCAKE BATTER? Give me a break.

I actually knew this but it upsets me when I hear it anyway.

on the menus at our IHOP there is.

that's why i always get the egg beater omlette they don't add it to that one.


i just tried the red robin customizer... never again will i have the salad i always eat there... OMG even with the modifications I make it's nearly 1000 calories...

Ija
07-29-2008, 01:07 PM
This is all so discouraging but it sure as **** explains a lot!

I've been really careful about getting healthier things when I go out to eat, but it looks like that's not enough. Salmon and asparagus is highly caloric and fattening??!!! Wha? I guess now I have no choice but to research the nutritional information beforehand or just work the calorie overload into my plan somehow.

Crike.

Tomato
07-29-2008, 01:08 PM
Insatiable, you'll appreciate this -- here are the ingredients for a grilled chicken breast from McDonalds. Not a sandwich, just the "chicken":

Grilled Chicken Breast Filet:
Chicken breast filets with rib meat, water, seasoning (salt, sugar, food starch-modified, maltodextrin, spices, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed [corn gluten, soy, wheat gluten] proteins, garlic powder, paprika, chicken fat, chicken broth, natural flavors (plant and animal source), caramel color, polysorbate 80, xanthan gum, onion powder, extractives of paprika), modified potato starch, and sodium phosphates. CONTAINS: SOY AND WHEAT. Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color). CONTAINS: SOY LECITHIN

http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_controller.nutrition.categories.ingredients.in dex.html

I was in shock, just like you. Shouldn't chicken be ... chicken? It's just a frickin' chicken breast and it has 40 ingredients (if I counted right)?! That's insane!

Oh lordy, that's truly disgusting. Fortunately, most of the restaurants quoted in the article are not in Canada although I am not wearing any rose-tinted glasses thinking ours are better. I bet they are doing the same. Fortunately, I eat out only rarely, like when meeting friends or the occasional birthday celebration etc. I think I will never have McD's chicken again.:fr:

yoyonomoreinvegas
07-29-2008, 01:13 PM
Also, another big shocker to me was the grocery store. I kid you not, you have to read EVERY label.

Amazing isn't it? It now takes me twice as long to grocery shop now because I have to spend so much time reading.

And the chicken? In restaurants it's never "just chicken". I used to work in the purchasing department of a hotel and my desk was next to the food buyer's desk - since meats are generally sold by the pound, wholesalers like to *plump* up their profits by injecting liquid "flavorings, color *enhancers* and preservatives" that add not just chemicals but weight to each of those chicken breasts - that's why they look so plump and juicy. General rule of thumb: the less per pound you are paying, the more stuff besides chicken you are probably getting. Of course, big chain restaurants are more concerned with the size of their bottom line than they are with the size of our bottoms so they are going to get the least expensive chicken they can find.

Mollikins
07-29-2008, 01:17 PM
Mimi's Cafe has a Lifestyle menu that is supposedly a "healthier alternative" to their regular menu. This menu is broken into two (2) sections : Carb Conscious and Lower Fat. You should REALLY pay attention to these "healthier alternatives" before you choose.

Case in point : on the Carb Conscious menu they have listed .......

Two "AA" Large Eggs
Show Nutritional Information
Calories 415
Total Fat 32g
Saturated Fat 9g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 450mg
Sodium 667mg
Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 23g

If you look up 2 large eggs on sayyyyy NutriMirror, here's what ya get :
Nutrition Info
Eggs fried
2 large egg (92 gram or ml)
Calories 184
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 420 mg
Sodium 188 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 12 g

On the NutriMirror side you have FRIED right there in your face (now, they don't specify IN WHAT, but at least it's listed as FRIED) & on the Mimi's info the method isn't listed, but you can presume it's the same -- FRIED. Now assuming all things are equal in nature, why is there a 231 calorie difference ? Why is there 18g difference in total fat ? Why is there a 479mg difference in sodium ?!!! :yikes:

These are right there in your face comparisons (as far as one can glean, that is) & the difference is ASTOUNDING !!! :fr: I mean I'm glad they put this stuff out there for people to investigate -- my question is do they really THINK that this is HEALTHY ?!?!? :mad:

oooops forgot the linky !!

http://www.mimiscafe.com/menu.aspx?ID=25 Carb Conscious
http://www.mimiscafe.com/menu.aspx?ID=26 Lower Fat

fiberlover
07-29-2008, 01:18 PM
How about Panera bread - which touts it's 'all natural chicken' :
Pepper mustard chicken (boneless, skinless chicken breast, water, spice, salt, potassium lactate, vinegar, rice starch, mustard flour, natural flavors)

ddc
07-29-2008, 01:19 PM
More reason to eat at home. Oy!
Ok, you've convinced me.

nelie
07-29-2008, 01:29 PM
I have a friend who gets the chicken wraps at Red Robin. I looked those up. One is 1500 calories, the other is 1200 calories. Now that is crazy.

For my normal order, I had been estimating it at 300 calories and it is actually around 250. I usually don't eat at Red Robin though because for what I get, it isn't worth the price. It is an easy place to go for us though when someone from work wants to go out.

Mango683
07-29-2008, 01:38 PM
I am glad that I picked a good time for my weight loss journey- it's been so much better on the waist AND the budget!!!

Beverlyjoy
07-29-2008, 01:59 PM
It's crazy! We try to make good healthy choices and even the choices we think are good...aren't always foods without tons of additives.

I ALWAYS am very particular about how I want something prepared now. I used to not be that way. The wait staff probably think I am a pain in the butt - but, it's the only way to get something done halfway healthy. I other day we went to Applebee's - I got a Weight Watcher meal that was suppose to come with steamed brocolli. It was covered in some kind of fat or butter. I suppose I could have eaten it...but, the cooks will never learn to do it right if they aren't called on it when they don't. So, I sent it back for steamed brocolli.

happeningf
07-29-2008, 02:05 PM
I LOVE Red Robin! Each time I go, i get the Ensenada platter, no sauces, no strips or cheese on salad, and I only eat one breast. Comes out to around 300 cals.

rockinrobin
07-29-2008, 02:17 PM
More reason to eat at home. Oy!
Ok, you've convinced me.

:yes::yes::yes:

I'm sorry, I think this all just proves, once again, that there are NO healthy choices while dining out. Surely there are health-IER choices, but even those are by no means healthy.

I am very glad that I make eating out a rarity. It is something that I used to thoroughly enjoy. Now whenever I eat out, it's with the full knowledge that I "could be doing better". And therefore I just don't find it AS enjoyable.

Meg
07-29-2008, 03:04 PM
This thread really got me thinking and I started a related thread in the Maintainers forum that everyone is welcome to join in: Restaurant Meals (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2291729#post2291729) I put it in Maintainers because I'm wondering if any of our members reached their goals while eating out on a regular basis (like several times a week)? I'm genuinely curious whether it's possible to lose weight while frequently eating at restaurants or if the horrific calorie counts we've been discussing mean that eating out should be saved for very special occasions? :chin:

nelie
07-29-2008, 03:04 PM
I think it does depend on the restaurant you go to though. I wouldn't expect anything at Red Robin to be healthy, even if there are a few good low calorie options.

I go to a non chain chinese restaurant on a regular basis and I do find many of their options are healthy. They also have non healthy options which are clearly marked. Part of their selling point though is that they are a healthier option.

NotTheCheat
07-29-2008, 03:19 PM
There can be some good non-chain options around, depending on your area. For example, there is a place near where I used to live that lets you order your protein in ounces and as sides you can get a baked sweet potato or brown rice and some veggies. They partnered with a gym in the area and have healthy options but also serve very tasty stuff. Of course they are the rare exception.

Just in case anyone lives in Rockland county, NY: http://www.marigrills.com/apex.htm

JayEll
07-29-2008, 03:51 PM
happeningf, you're right--that Ensenada platter if you only eat it as you described is a good choice. Here's the breakdown:

http://www.redrobin.com/home/customizer.aspx

Jay

gmdavis
07-29-2008, 03:57 PM
My husband hates that I'm just not willing to eat out much anymore. We used to be good for 3-4 times a week in restaurants, but I can make myself much better meals at home and then I'll know what's in them!

nelie
07-29-2008, 04:02 PM
Nancy,

There is a medical center near here that has partnered with some restaurants to declare some of their food dishes 'healthy approved' or something like that. One of my alternate Chinese restaurants has many of their dishes with the approved rating. I thought it was interesting that a medical center would take the initiative to work with restaurants to declare healthier choices.

ANOther
07-29-2008, 04:26 PM
That tears it! Remind me never to go out for dinner again

mandalinn82
07-29-2008, 05:03 PM
This is why when I don't want to cook, I really only go to one place...a local salad bar, where I know the owners and have seen them actually grilling the chicken, asked them about how much oil they add, and see them putting the raw veggies into the containers. And then I come home and add in my own dressing!

If I go out somewhere, it's an event, not an everyday affair. Otherwise, how could you keep yourself relatively on plan??

preetyladyserenity
07-29-2008, 06:12 PM
2900 FOR FRIES!!!:fr:

That's 2 days worth of eating!

EZMONEY
07-29-2008, 06:23 PM
Glory I used to get a chicken burger at the one in Escondido at the mall. So good! Bun, chicken patty, guacamole, lettuce, red onion, cheddar cheese and honey mustard....I don't see it on the menu now...must have dumped it. The California one comes close.

I love the shrimp portifino at Macaroni Grill, when I started my journey last year I looked it up....almost had a heart attack right then and there! :dizzy:

Now I just figure it's not gonna be good so I just do the best I can and try to not eat out as often.

Eves
07-29-2008, 09:19 PM
Wow, I needed this today. I'm back in Kansas and I was thinking about eating out once or twice. Now make this only once, the last day, the last meal with the crew.

Ugh.

Today we stopped at a brewery in Columbia, Mo. I had the tuna steak sandwich (one half bun), the cucumber salad, and the grilled veggies. I looked at the veggies and they had this bready stuff on them. I asked about it and they added bread crumbs in oil to them! Aaack!

Ended up getting the cucumber salad and raw veggies. Unbelievable.

PhotoChick
07-29-2008, 10:13 PM
Apparently, the pancake batter makes the omelettes "Fluffy". I think there should be some sort of disclosure from restaurants if they're adding someting so ridiculously outlandish to a food item. PANCAKE BATTER? Give me a break.
Well ... but ... um ... they do! ;)

It says right on their menu in the omelette section that they add a "splash of our buttermilk pancake batter" to every omelette to make it light and fluffy. It's pretty out there in the open.

Edited: http://www.ihop.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=2
Our hearty omelettes are made with a splash of our buttermilk and wheat pancake batter for extra fluffiness ...

.

Tealeaf
07-29-2008, 10:53 PM
I eat most of meals at home (and, well, at work. Things I've brought from home, though). I do think that if you are eating out often, losing weight will tend to be more difficult. When I do go out, it is so rare, say once in a couple of weeks, I don't really knock myself out trying to find the lowest calorie thing. Sure, I might stay away from the Onion rings with a southwest creamy dip and the double bacon cheese burger. But I don't kid myself that I am eating a low calorie meal. I just have something that looks like it might not be too outrageous, and consider my "off" meal for the week.

lifechange
07-29-2008, 11:03 PM
Hi Tea Leaf- I have to eat out all the time due to my job. I have not had any trouble losing weight. I just have to be very careful with my choices and portion sizes- stick with grilled chicken, steak, fish, shrimp and veggies as sides. Ribs are a no go- my husband and son had them the other night and I ate 2 of them- so good! Checked the calories on the web site after- and just about died. Oh well, it didn't impact my weightloss that time. Never quite as happy going out on my own tab though- since the meals are so expensive and I am only eating part of it. My dog is very happy though- he greets me at the door and sniffs my purse.

mandalinn82
07-30-2008, 01:28 AM
Photo - wow, it's been a while since I ate ANYTHING at an IHop...never was much of a fan. When I first learned about the batter, it wasn't on the menu...apparently the information was added in early 2006. It was added in response to a fairly massive email campaign by the Low Carb community primarily, who felt blindsided...they'd been ordering omelettes thinking they were a low carb option, only to find out that there was pancake batter. So they started emailing and it got added to the menu...Good to know they've added it, at least!

I'd love to see some sort of regulatory requirement, though...something that required restaurants to list ingredients on menus. I mean, some of the stuff you can't even imagine, which I think is the problem. A list would make people pause and think, you know?

txsqlchick
07-30-2008, 08:01 AM
I know we have an international community here, but bear with me for the following statement. It's no wonder the USA has an obesity epidemic. Yikes!

Sadly it's not just the US. The UK is only a couple of percentage points off the US in terms of overweight/obesity rates. Basically, they're as bad off as we are now. It doesn't appear that way when you visit London, but London is the UK's slimmest city so you can't really see the problem to the full extent unless you get out of the greater London area.

I lived in northern England and trust me, it's just as bad there. :( France is really coming along too, it's pretty shocking. When I visited France in the early 1990s the only overweight people I saw were American tourists. The most recent trip was a few years ago and it was a very different story.

The US definitely isn't alone. I don't think we even lead the pack anymore.

ggmugsy
07-30-2008, 12:32 PM
I have a friend who worked at Red Robin and she told me they regularly spray the lettuce leaves with oil to make them look more appetizing. I'm sure other restaurants do this, too.

Very sad. I've all but given up eating in restaurants and choose to cook at home.

Apple Cheeks
07-30-2008, 08:12 PM
I have a friend who worked at Red Robin and she told me they regularly spray the lettuce leaves with oil to make them look more appetizing. I'm sure other restaurants do this, too.



Yikes! Talk about hidden calories! :eek:

It seems like restaurants are the new snake oil salesmen: they are shady hucksters selling us crap!

It's kind of sad knowing that I can go to Taco Bell and eat healthy (their new Fresca menu is yummy!), but I can't have a regular old salad at a "real" restaurant without them sneaking in hidden calories and junk.

No wonder there is an obesity epidemic! People can't even try to eat healthy while dining out without unknowingly sabotaging their diets! :mad:

PhotoChick
07-30-2008, 08:19 PM
I don't understand all the hostility towards restaurants - snake oil salesmen, shady tactics, etc.

I don't understand what people expect when they go out to eat. Do you really expect that a restaurant is going to compromise the flavor of their food (i.e. use less yummy fats and oils and salt and so forth)? That's not what brings people in to eat. What brings people in is that they can get food that they can't (or don't know how) to make at home. Foods made with butter, oil, etc. Sure salads are tossed with oil to make them glossy looking and attractive. Bread is toasted with butter or oil on the inside to prevent it becoming soggy from mayo or mustard and to give it an appealing color and texture. Steaks are finished with a pat of butter for richness and a glossy appearance.

Do people really not know that this is done? Do they really think that when they order a grilled chicken breast, there's no oil or butter involved?

I just don't understand what people expect when they go out to eat a restaurant. I expect restaurant food to be high calorie and often high fat and very definitely high sodium - and I have known that even before I began losing weight. It just is.

.

horsey
07-30-2008, 08:38 PM
Best idea - light bulb minute for me - is to NOT eat out. Stick one of those Boca burgers in the microwave and add a bit of lowfat cheese, lettuce and a tomato and viola a burger. Throw in those orange cut up sweet potatoes and viola fries. I got FAT eating out. The restaurant industry knows we get fat eating out, don't tell us "what they dont' want us to know" in an article because it's common knowledge there's few items on menus for US (those trying to be slim in a non slim overeating plot orientated world). Red Robin, I used to go there with my boy for the balloons, used to eat those huge burgers. We'll I think it's time to pop the baloons - cute restaurant but don't need to go there anymore. NADA. DONE. Off my list. By the way I'm only keeping a very few restaurants on the list - and a few items at those restaurants (McDonalds chicken sand 1/2 bun, stuff like that). No need to research menus if you just don't go there (side bonus - save $200 plus per month by not supporting FAT FOOD places)!

Apple Cheeks
07-30-2008, 08:42 PM
No, I honestly didn't know restaurants did that sort of thing. And it seems like most people don't know it, either.

Certainly I expect that eating out at a restaurant means higher calories, especially if I am not careful about what I am ordering.

But if I order a simple salad with dressing on the side I am not expecting there to be oil sprayed on the lettuce!

If I order a plain grilled chicken breast, I would not expect there to be anything other than a plain, grilled chicken breast on my plate.

Sneaking in butter, oil, and other crap into otherwise healthy choices without letting the consumer be aware of it is just wrong in my opinion.

So yes, I think they are shady snake oil salemsmen for doing it.

mandalinn82
07-30-2008, 08:48 PM
Photo - I think it's the "weird" stuff that gets me most...can't speak for anyone else.

The ingredients in an omelette batter may include cream or milk, eggs, butter, and even, if you're an old-school French chef and feel like your eggs aren't fluffing up like you'd like them to, a bit of flour...and it may be cooked in even more oil and butter. That's OK - normal ingredients. I'd consider all fats and oils to be normal ingredients for most or all things...buttering bread so it gets golden, finishing a steak, even tossing lettuces with oil for glossiness. It's a normal ingredient for what you order, and I expect and anticipate that a restaurant will take liberties with these normal ingredients to make meals look and taste the best that they can.

But certainly you wouldn't add some of the ingredients in a pancake batter (like leavening agents or buttermilk) to an omelette. That is where the line is drawn for me - when an item contains an ingredient that a reasonable person would not expect it contains, and that isn't listed on the menu (like IHOP, before they added it on).

Sort of like if a chicken breast was soaked in shrimp stock for improving flavor...it might taste better to some or even most people, but someone with a shellfish allergy would have no reason or expectation to believe that they'd be allergic to a chicken breast.

pinkcarnation
07-30-2008, 09:23 PM
I work around the corner from The Heart Attack Grill (Taste Worth Dying For!). The menu features Single, Double, Triple, and Quadruple Bypass Burgers, Flatliner Fries (Deep Fried In Pure Lard!), Jolt Cola, and unfiltered Lucky Stikes. The servers dress as "sexy nurses" (their website says the government makes them disclose they don't have any actual medical training.). I'm not kidding.

mandalinn82
07-30-2008, 09:28 PM
Pinkcarnation - my dad has a list of restaurants he wants to try in his life...this is on there! I try to tell him that if he goes there, his time to try all the OTHER restaurants might be shortened significantly!

Each burger patty is a full half lb, so if you had a quadruple bypass, that'd be 2 lbs in meat alone. And if you finish the Triple or Quadruple bypass burger, the sexy nurse waitresses will wheel you out to your car in a wheelchair.

EZMONEY
07-30-2008, 10:42 PM
The way I see it going to restaurants is a lot like dating.

You just never know what you really got served until maybe 2 years into the marraige...

the hidden calories start showing

you realize your old sweatshirts are never coming back.

txsqlchick
07-30-2008, 10:57 PM
No, I honestly didn't know restaurants did that sort of thing. And it seems like most people don't know it, either.

Certainly I expect that eating out at a restaurant means higher calories, especially if I am not careful about what I am ordering.

But if I order a simple salad with dressing on the side I am not expecting there to be oil sprayed on the lettuce!

If I order a plain grilled chicken breast, I would not expect there to be anything other than a plain, grilled chicken breast on my plate.

Sneaking in butter, oil, and other crap into otherwise healthy choices without letting the consumer be aware of it is just wrong in my opinion.

So yes, I think they are shady snake oil salemsmen for doing it.

I agree COMPLETELY. :carrot:


Sort of like if a chicken breast was soaked in shrimp stock for improving flavor...it might taste better to some or even most people, but someone with a shellfish allergy would have no reason or expectation to believe that they'd be allergic to a chicken breast.

You are JOKING...they do that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I have a potentially fatal shellfish allergy. Now I'll have to add that question to the arsenal I already ask when I go out to eat. Maybe it would be easier just to carry an epipen for when the restaurant industry tries to kill me. :o

ddc
07-30-2008, 11:29 PM
I saw a show that featured a burger joint in Memphis that deep fat fries hamburgers--it's called Dyer's. The guy claimed that they have never changed the oil, other than to filter it and add to it, from when the place opened---90 years ago!!!!! I don't think it's a secret though, that they do that. The customers they interviewed said they were awesome :(

mandalinn82
07-30-2008, 11:30 PM
I was making up the shellfish example - sorry to alarm! But I see them as equivalent (after all, putting flour in scrambled eggs could be problematic for someone with a wheat allergy).

betsysunqueen
07-30-2008, 11:40 PM
I saw a show that featured a burger joint in Memphis that deep fat fries hamburgers--it's called Dyer's. The guy claimed that they have never changed the oil, other than to filter it and add to it, from when the place opened---90 years ago!!!!! I don't think it's a secret though, that they do that. The customers they interviewed said they were awesome :(

I used to live in Memphis and Dyer's is awesome, if completely unhealthy. I don't think old oil is any worse for you than new oil. It's just . . . older.

PhotoChick
07-31-2008, 12:29 AM
Manda you keep insisting that "no reasonable person" would expect pancake batter in their omelettes, but it's NOT hidden on the menu. It's not even fine print. It's right there at the top of the omelette section of the menu and has been for YEARS. I eat at IHOP fairly often, actually, since there's one w/in walking distance of my house. I've been reading it off of their menu for at least the last 7 years (which is as long as we've lived in this house). That information is quite simply not hidden.

I get frustrated with people who want to throw accusations and call names (snake oil salesmen) when it's not warranted. Perhaps because I'm a business owner and I get tired of my profession being called names (photographers are rip offs because they charge for their time and prints) and I am therefore sensitive to it when it happens to other professions as well.

Restaurants aren't scamming anyone. It's up to the consumer to be knowledgeable and to read the materials they provide. (And don't get me started on people who don't actually read price lists/menus/contracts and then pitch hissy fits and call names because they didn't bother to understand what they were buying.)

.

mandalinn82
07-31-2008, 12:59 AM
Photo, the last time I was in an IHOP, it wasn't there...I checked because I'd just learned about it. Maybe it was a franchise decision (is IHOP even franchised?)? I haven't been to one in YEARS, in any case, since a friend worked there. So as I said previously, I'm glad it's there now.

I'd moved to a more general topic, whether or not I think it is acceptable to include weird ingredients you wouldn't expect in a restaurant dish without listing them on the menu...I was just using the IHOP thing as an example (which is no longer true, since it is printed on menus now). I'm kind of curious where other people draw the line on that, which is why I used a no-longer-true example, to try to move the conversation forward. Sorry if I wasn't clear!

JayEll
07-31-2008, 07:37 AM
Naturally people get hot under the collar, as the old phrase says, when they learn what they were really eating. They may have been in denial and not wanted to know, but once you know, it's maddening.

I had a wonderful sandwich at Panera one day--and I hadn't looked up their food beforehand. Turned out I ate 1200 calories in one sandwich. Oops. Now I can't really say this was Panera's fault--I should have looked ahead of time--but, it wasn't that long ago that you couldn't find the nutritional information at all! So things have improved in that respect.

Restaurants want to appeal to the public, and so of course they want their food to taste good and look good, according to what the public desires. But also, they create that desire to some extent. The two things feed into each other.

The auto industry is a good analogy. They have been making bigger and bigger SUVs because that's what the public wanted--but at the same time, they have not given the public much in the way of other choices.

Now, more people are insisting on knowing what they are eating in a restaurant--and on more healthy options--and more people are insisting on fuel economy in their vehicles. So, both restaurants and auto makers are changing in response. This is how a so-called market driven economy works. What isn't acknowledged is that the industries create the market to a great extent through advertising. Thin young people eating massive plates of food in a party atmosphere...

So, PhotoChick, I'm a business owner, too--but I don't feel like defending chain restaurants... or auto makers! ;)

Jay

txsqlchick
07-31-2008, 07:46 AM
I was making up the shellfish example - sorry to alarm! But I see them as equivalent (after all, putting flour in scrambled eggs could be problematic for someone with a wheat allergy).

Oh, OK. I guess if I have to have a food allergy, a shellfish allergy is one of the easier ones to deal with. I'm glad I'm not allergic to wheat or peanuts...I'd starve!

txsqlchick
07-31-2008, 07:54 AM
Naturally people get hot under the collar, as the old phrase says, when they learn what they were really eating. They may have been in denial and not wanted to know, but once you know, it's maddening.

I had a wonderful sandwich at Panera one day--and I hadn't looked up their food beforehand. Turned out I ate 1200 calories in one sandwich. Oops. Now I can't really say this was Panera's fault--I should have looked ahead of time--but, it wasn't that long ago that you couldn't find the nutritional information at all! So things have improved in that respect.

Restaurants want to appeal to the public, and so of course they want their food to taste good and look good, according to what the public desires. But also, they create that desire to some extent. The two things feed into each other.

The auto industry is a good analogy. They have been making bigger and bigger SUVs because that's what the public wanted--but at the same time, they have not given the public much in the way of other choices.

Now, more people are insisting on knowing what they are eating in a restaurant--and on more healthy options--and more people are insisting on fuel economy in their vehicles. So, both restaurants and auto makers are changing in response. This is how a so-called market driven economy works. What isn't acknowledged is that the industries create the market to a great extent through advertising. Thin young people eating massive plates of food in a party atmosphere...

So, PhotoChick, I'm a business owner, too--but I don't feel like defending chain restaurants... or auto makers! ;)

Jay

Like PhotoChick said, I think people do expect restaurant food to be a little more fatty than what they might cook at home.

However, as a consumer I want to make informed choices about what I eat. I don't go out to eat often by myself (I don't even hit drive throughs anymore) but I think it's my right as a paying customer to know precisely what I'm putting into my body. I think restaurants should be required by law to not only publish the nutritional content of their meals but should be required to provide that information to customers at the point of sale, i.e. ON THE MENU ITSELF. I do go out to eat sometimes with family and friends; it's how we socialize here in Dallas; and I don't want to miss seeing my friends because I'm trying to lose weight. On the other hand, I don't want to blow my diet either because I order what appears to be a healthy option only for it to have 1000 calories. Since we often don't know where we're going until we're out, I can't research it online beforehand either. So, I'd like for the info to be right on the menu. That way, I can choose something that works for me without being the stick in the mud and while still having a social life. Is that too much to ask? :?:

Tomato
07-31-2008, 09:08 AM
I work around the corner from The Heart Attack Grill (Taste Worth Dying For!). The menu features Single, Double, Triple, and Quadruple Bypass Burgers, Flatliner Fries (Deep Fried In Pure Lard!), Jolt Cola, and unfiltered Lucky Stikes. The servers dress as "sexy nurses" (their website says the government makes them disclose they don't have any actual medical training.). I'm not kidding.

Wow - and people actually eat there? Of course I know (and I expect anyone else would know as well) that burgers are not the best food to eat, although that is not stopping the masses from flocking to Burger King, McD's, Harvey's and other burger joints. But when you add such an appealing name like Trip Bypass Burger, I can quarantee you I would think twice, even in my pre-weight loss days, about eating there.

Tomato
07-31-2008, 09:19 AM
I used to live in Memphis and Dyer's is awesome, if completely unhealthy. I don't think old oil is any worse for you than new oil. It's just . . . older.

I beg to differ. Repeated use of oil speeds up its deterioration. If you already want to use oil for deep frying repeatedly, it should be filtered after use and stored in refrigerator - but show me a restaurant that does that. Also, new oil should not be added to used oil - the whole batch of used oil should be discarded.

betsysunqueen
07-31-2008, 09:50 AM
I beg to differ. Repeated use of oil speeds up its deterioration. If you already want to use oil for deep frying repeatedly, it should be filtered after use and stored in refrigerator - but show me a restaurant that does that. Also, new oil should not be added to used oil - the whole batch of used oil should be discarded.

That's interesting--I had no idea! Thanks. :)

BrandNewJen
07-31-2008, 02:04 PM
I consider myself to be insanely well informed about dieting, nutrition, etc (the hard part is DOING what I already know!)

Like others, I go out very rarely and I know when I do my diet is going to suffer for the day, no matter what.

But spraying oil on lettuce???? That one is TOTALLY new to me... and ridiculous and appalling. Fresh, uncooked veggies, something that requires very little involvment from the cook, I would expect to be served as such. FRESH UNCOOKED... and unmolested.

Oil sprayed on lettuce... that's crazy.

jellydisney
07-31-2008, 07:03 PM
Great post Jay! I totally agree that the auto industry and food industry have a lot in common. I love it when consumers finally "vote with their wallets" and force the industry to change.

On another note -- today I went to Cheesecake Factory, and I have NO idea how many calories I ate because they don't post nutritional information on their website. I ordered the safest thing I could imagine: a bowl of chicken vegetable (broth-based) soup and a side salad with balsamic viniagrette. I would be pretty darn upset if they poured butter into the soup and sprayed the lettuce with oil. But how am I to know?

Insatiable
07-31-2008, 07:37 PM
OMG, this is a real eye opening thread. Since I have read it I have saved my self over 1000 calories. I forgot my lunch today so I had to go out....normally I would go to Wendy's for a salad with no dressing...but then I remembered this thread and that chicken is not chicken at a place like that. I went crazy I didn't know where to eat.:dizzy:

OOOHHH the heartattack grill...I saw that on the food network. It looks so good. Good thing I am no where close. TOM would get me on that for sure.

The cheesecake factory has the worlds best and most fluffiest omletes. has anyone seen those eyes. They are a masterpeice. So fluffy and yellow. I used to eat them all the time. I wonder if they put pancake batter in them. Oh they must !!!:(

THANK YOU 3FC FOR ALL THE EDUCATION THAT YOU GIVE TO HELP US ALL MAKE BETTER CHOICES. :D

nelie
07-31-2008, 07:48 PM
The old me...

If I'm going to the cheesecake factory, I'm having cheesecake. Now I wouldn't do that but I've had a few cheesecake 'dinners'. Looking at the calories of some of their dishes, that actually seems to be a better choice caloriewise.

I do think information should be available for consumers to make smart choices. A website is good, information in the store is even better.