The price tag — which is awfully steep to pay for something coming out of a cart or a truck — got me thinking about what the price ceiling is when it comes to street food. What seems like a reasonable amount to pay for offerings such as banh mi tacos and caramelized s'mores? I don't think I would spend more than $12 on any single item I've ever seen come out of a food truck. Do you, like me, have a magic number?
It turns out that posted calorie counts on restaurant menus aren't always accurate. For those of you watching your weight, this might feel like a major blow, but it doesn't have to be. The next time you dine out, follow these easy tips to keep calories in check.
Research the menu before you go
A few days before the reservation, check out the restaurant's menu online. It gives you time to assess if there are healthy menu options, and, if there isn't, you can call the restaurant ahead of time to see if it can make any modifications to its menu for your diet. Most restaurants don't mind making a diet-friendly plate, but giving advance notice will give the chef time to think out a special plate for your needs.
Skip the bread basket
The bottomless bread basket is an easy way to tip the scale when you're watching your weight. (Not to mention that the crusty baguette is probably made from refined grains.) The average piece of bread contains about 100 calories, while a pat of butter adds another 36. The apps haven't even hit the table and you've already eaten 150 calories. If you absolutely can't pass on the bread, try and limit your portions and skip the butter for olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead.
See more calorie-saving tips after the break!
Today, the coffee company rolled out a new line of Bistro Boxes — all-day meals and snacks under 500 calories with a focus on healthier, more wholesome food — to approximately 5,400 Starbucks locations across the United States and Canada. The target? The 45 percent of Americans who are "wellness seekers looking for healthy options," according to one executive.
The lineup includes $7-and-under entrée-sized Bistro Boxes, such as Chipotle Chicken Wraps, Sesame Noodles, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and a Salumi & Cheese box. Also available are the smaller-sized Tuna Salad, Protein Plate, Chicken & Hummus platter, and Cheese & Fruit box.
Given the trend of healthier on-the-go menu options, this rollout seems to make sense for Starbucks. But considering the fact that these items don't come cheap and Americans aren't willing to pay more for healthier options, it remains to be seen whether these offerings will be successful. Will you try them?
Non-shocker: in comparison to homemade meals, restaurant portion sizes are larger, higher-calorie, and filled with inexpensive, obesity-promoting foods like processed grains and trans fats, all factors that certainly promote weight gain. That's a staggering statistic when combined with the fact that more than half of all American adults eat out more than three times per week.
Are you one of them — and if so, are you worried about its long-term impact on your waistline?
YumSugar: You recently came out with Food & Wine Cocktails 2011. What's your favorite drink in the book?
Kate Krader: There's a bunch of awesome cocktails. Phil Ward's old-fashioned with tequila. The new drinks that are made by chefs are cool. More chefs are getting involved in cocktail programs! Linton Hopkins's sidecar is really good. Wylie Dufresne's sake drink is the best one I've ever tasted.
The menu includes the Fit Slam, with scrambled egg whites, spinach, grape tomatoes, turkey bacon, fruit, and an english muffin; a chicken avocado sandwich and cranberry apple chicken salad for lunch; and tilapia ranchero for dinner. Some of these dishes — like the Fit Slam breakfast and the tilapia ranchero — actually sound healthy in a refreshing way. Could you see yourself heading to Denny's more, now that they've created a lighter menu?
Since the April announcement of 2011's Best New Chefs, the 10 newly anointed honorees had been prepping for a blowout showcase at this year's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. On Saturday night, the country's top talent showed their innovation and vast diversity with a range of dishes that spanned the gamut from breakfast tacos to brassica with sea lettuce. Curious to know what dishes the year's top 10 new toques created? Keep clicking to find out.
Jack in the Box claims that the move to kill toys in kids' meals wasn't in response to outside pressure, but the hubbub surrounding Happy Meal bans couldn't have hurt its decision. Note that while other fast food establishments like McDonald's and Chipotle have been seeing growth, Jack in the Box sales still haven't managed to return to pre-recession levels. Do you think dropping the toys from kids' meals and simplifying the menu will kick-start sluggish sales?
Source: Flickr User Roca Chang
Although there's the occasional time I find myself at a chain restaurant, I generally avoid them. The large portions, standardized decor, and generic food don't appeal to me. If I'm going to spend money on a meal out, I want it to be delicious and original!
That being said, the chains I make an exception for are BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse and Hillstone. I've eaten at both more than once and wasn't disappointed. Hillstone's artichoke dip is one of the best I've tasted! How about you? What chain restaurants do you eat at?
Source: Flickr User QuesterMark