Smart Choices

So Monday night I had the pleasure of dining out at a restaurant I don’t often frequent. Olive Garden Dun Dun Dun…..  Talk about walking into a caloric nightmare right?  Never ending-anything are not words a dieting person should be around!  Surrounded by bread sticks galore, cheesy sauces, and an appetizer list that is fried item after fried item it used to be very tricky to navigate the landscape of their menu.  It was much easier to just avoid this place!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the calorie content of each item was listed on the menu!  Plain as day but unobtrusive, it made the selections of my dinner items much easier than pulling out my listings of food that I would have pre-printed out looked up before hand. As we all evaluated our options I looked at things I had ordered in the past, and was pleased to see that some of my favorite items were on the lower calorie end of the spectrum!  The mushroom appetizer that I would often make my meal of was a great choice!  The general consensus was that having the nutrition info on the menu was AWESOME! It won’t dissuade you from ordering something that you want, if you want it.  However it can guide you towards a better choice if you are looking for one.

Personally I went with something middle of the road caloricly speaking.  I opted for the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia.  I don’t often eat fish, other than sushi so I figured this would be a nice choice, it was buttery and delicious!  I looked at my choices of salad or soup, and seeing the stats on their salad, with the dressing I knew I wanted soup.  Not to mention I am a soup fanatic!  (I can’t wait to get home to my freezer full of homemade soup!)

I looked at the dessert menu, just to see what the caloric counts were, and oh my god, seeing just how many calories (920!) were in the Zeppoli was enough to deter me! Those little pillows of heaven, which I have never had at Olive Garden, but have had many times made from scratch called to me, but not so loudly that I couldn’t send them packing!

So as the changes to restaurant menus continue I am pleased to see people being receptive to them.  I know there is and was much apprehension about it however I think if people aren’t ordering the super-high calorie items off the menu’s simply because they are seeing the cold hard facts about the item then maybe there will be a shift to more development of healthy flavorful lower calorie foods.

This is only the second restaurant I have seen with the calorie content printed right on the menu.  The other one was a Ruby Tuesday, and I haven’t seen it at all Tuesday’s.  I look forward to this being rolled out as part of the reform package.  I think it is going to open a lot of eyes.

What do you think?  Have you come across many menu’s with calorie info right on them?  What do you think of them?  Do you support being an informed consumer?  I certainly like not having to go to the web to find out all the info all the time!

4 thoughts on “Smart Choices

    • My understanding is that the new laws that were passed a few years ago make it mandatory by sometime in 2012 for places with more than 20 locations for all items that are normally on the menu. 🙂

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