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BTD Forums  /  SWAMI Xpress  /  If you're going to go out to eat, where do you go
Posted by: JJR, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 6:22pm
that doesn't make you pay for it!!!  

We have enjoyed Panera Bread for a while now. I seem to be fine after having their salads.  In fact, I quite like them.  I don't do all the dressing and wheat and stuff and they'll change it for you.  We also have a local Diner that is Greek owned (lot of them up here) that does a good job.  I don't order everything on the menu but I've had their broiled salmon, walleye, and they make a great roast turkey dish.  Their veggies are steamed and good, no added junk and I do eat their hashbrowns.  They tell me they use olive oil.  White potatoes are a neutral for me and they don't seem to bother me one bit.  I eat them at home too.  I also eat the chips at Panera.  The oils are ones I'm not supposed to have, but I don't really care at this point.  It doesn't seem to be that bad for me.  Now one thing I'd LIKE to do is go up and eat all kinds of breads, bagels, croissants, goodies with my meal, but I don't.  

So where do you go?  My wife is wanting me to try Ruby Tuesday's.  She's claiming the foods seems pretty clean.  And they have salads.  I'm wondering if it's OK.  I think there might be quite a few choices I should try that probably wouldn't make me feel awful, but I don't know which places.  Places like Applebee's, the food seems all really salty and processed.  And just not all that good, but I could be wrong.  

Another issue I have is that onions seem to provoke my heart arrhythmia.  And so many dishes in so many restaurants use onions.  And then there are other foods I don't do well on that are so common.  Cheese, garlic, and even lemons are not all that great for me right now.  And of course I stay away from wheat.  

I'm getting weary fighting the good fight of pure foods and it would be nice to have some choices. I haven't even traveled in a while, and it's discouraging to even think about.  I have also ate a Texas Roadhouse and they have a Caesar Salad and they'll let you put their salmon on it.  That seems to be OK.  That place is loud though.  

What I'd really like to do is go to McDonalds at breakfast and eat their pancakes and eggs and sausage.  I think they have the most wonderful pancakes.  And then I'd like to go eat a Fish sandwich from some burger joint at lunch.  With a huge vanilla milkshake and fries.  And then I'd like to go Kentucky Fried Chicken for Dinner and eat the heck out of a two piece meal.  With cole slaw, and fries and their super nice butter, awesome biscuits.  And then I'd like to go to Starbucks for dessert and order some kind of goodie with a Venti Latte and 3 packets of sugar.  But I doubt I'd survive that day.  And oh yeah, I'd like to go to some late night joint and get a gyro plate after all that.  And then cap it all off with a beer.  Yep, that would all be really cool.  But I doubt I'd be able to even sign on to a computer to tell you how my day went if I did that.  


So, again, if you're going to go out to eat, where do you go that seems alright with your system?  Some of you might not have the problems I do, but I know some of you are affected greatly by what goes in.  I'm interested in anyone's opinion, but the most helpful to me will be the "sensitive" people.  Hhehehehehe.  

Thank you for you input!
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 6:32pm; Reply: 1
The last time I went out to eat, I went to a burger place and ordered a bunless burger plus a side salad. The point of the outing was to meet up with relatives who were briefly in town and only had time to stop for lunch; no time to come to our place for food I prepared. I didn't feel entirely full after the large but un-dressed salad, so I ate more when I got home.

Then another time, a rich relative from CA arranged a catered "party" for all the relatives in the NY/NJ area. A kosher meat restaurant, with sushi for appetizers (I skipped the soy sauce) and then a variety of flavored rices and middle eastern type veggie and meat dishes. I didn't eat the chicken nuggets or french fries they  got for the kids (but the little ones did!)

I don't "go out to eat" on a regular basis. It's too expensive and too little I'm able to eat. Those two occasions I mentioned above are literally the only times I've eaten food I (or my DD) didn't prepare in about 3 years. And I was nervous about both times. I felt OK afterwards, but the first time I was super careful and came home hungry, and the second time (when they heaped us up with leftovers on the way out) I found myself over-eating carbs for a week, with resultant brain fogging and weight gain. It was a pleasure seeing my relatives again after several years, but I can't afford to eat that way more than a couple of times a year!
Posted by: Goldie, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 6:54pm; Reply: 2
I find that (normally very expencive) places that offer Happy hour meals.. like snak meals on smaller food platters are much more fun as I do not wish to overeat .. cost less then 10.- /since I dont drink alcoholic stuff I save on where they make most of their money, and can still mingle and enjoy the place and good freindly service..

Some places serve half salads that seem to work better, and I buy only meat items, rather then anything white..  



Posted by: JJR, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 8:10pm; Reply: 3
Both great ideas.  Ruthie, I've been thinking about doing the same as you and having a burger without the bun.  I haven't had any beef that's not grass fed lately though.  

Goldie, yeah, we have some of those restaurants around here also.  Might be something to try.  I find I have a hard time finding plates that make stuff without the things I can't have though.  
Posted by: Victoria, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 10:14pm; Reply: 4
The rare times I eat out (maybe once in 2 years), I go to one of the better restaurants, where each person can expect to pay $19 - $29.  I will get either grilled wild salmon, cod or halibut with a side of steamed or stir-fried vegetables (usually something like broccoli, carrots, zucchini).   Or I'll get a rack of lamb or some kind of beef - rib-eye, prime rib, etc. My income is not high, that's why I do it so seldom.

I've gradually stopped going to the family-dining type of place because I don't feel well afterwards.  And it's not a savings for me to get an inexpensive salad if I don't feel satisfied afterwards and have to go home and eat another meal.

One type of place that can work is a fish restaurant.  They like to bread everything, but will generally have a simple grilled option.  I really don't like having to substitute salad for cooked veggies because my body doesn't digest raw lettuce very well and it leaves me feeling empty.
Posted by: JJR, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 10:23pm; Reply: 5
Lately for me salads are good, but they're not enough.  Every time I've been going to Panera I want to eat something else also.  Which is a bummer.  It makes me want their bread, but I'm not thinking that's a good idea.  If I was OK wit any of their soups, I could get a cup of that.  But, I'm not sure any of them would sit alright.  I stay away from dairy, so......  If I wasn't bad with onions, I think I could do their veggie soup.  They have a black bean soup I used to eat, and it seemed OK, but it has beans I'm not supposed to eat.  I'm not supposed to have black beans, and I think they use another type of bean that is an avoid.  I forget.  I haven't had beans lately either.
Posted by: Spring, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 10:35pm; Reply: 6
Quoted Text
  I will get either grilled wild salmon, cod or halibut


Salmon and halibut are my favorites to order. But, now, since salmon is hard to find in the variety that I am supposed to eat, I have found that I really like halibut. Catfish, of all things, is a diamond for me, but it is so entirely loaded with "grease" I can't bring myself to order it at any restaurant. But I do enjoy filets cooked at home very much. Otherwise, I simply order an entree and add a salad if there is nothing else available that I not afraid to eat! Lola's idea of taking along a small bottle of dressing is a great one!
Posted by: Possum, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 10:39pm; Reply: 7
Yeah JJR - it is really hard to eat out if you have to avoid onions (& black pepper ::))

We ate out just on Monday at a pub like place & luckily it was pretty empty as most places have less diners on a Monday... I managed to discuss my needs/allergies with the very helpful waiter, who turned out to be an organic horticulturist... He pointed out that I seem to be allergic to alkaline foods...? :-/
I do also seem to react to a lot of the low & med acidic foods as well?! :-/

I have always done best on the highest acidic foods (with the exception of foods like wheat...); & do especially well on meat (but obviously not pork) & the neutral foods; (particularly when combined) ;)

So I ended up with the usual of a nice steak with butter & an avocado for lunch... I skipped any other salad as he said the lettuce was bagged stuff & I know that is gassed or sprayed ??) I was impressed with the service & felt much more understood :) Mind you it was not cheap but I'd rather pay than feel sick or hungry afterward?!
Posted by: ABJoe, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 10:54pm; Reply: 8
When we're going out, I ALWAYS preview the menu online to determine what I think are the best choices for me...  

My WW's company goes out to dinner twice a year and they always choose high end restaurants where I am usually able to get a broiled fish, etc...  I also preview the appetizers to see what damage they are going to do if I eat them...  I can usually tell after just a little whether I am going to have trouble or not, but I still don't want to start eating something that I know will cause me grief...

I rarely eat any bread at a restaurant as I don't know what the corn content is.
I never eat a restaurant soup unless it specifically states it is vegetarian as many use chicken broth which is not good for the B half of me...
Posted by: paul clucas, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 12:53am; Reply: 9
Salmon and rice with veg, if it is available - otherwise I get a bunless burger with salad at the less expensive places.

If I have time, I pack my own home-made buns to swap at the table.   ;)

I have to watch the starchy food - grains, potatos, corn
Posted by: jayneeo, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 2:36am; Reply: 10
when in an area with limited dining choices I'll happily go to the Outback! I'll have victoria's steak ( a small filet) with a salad and a sweet potato.
Posted by: marjorie, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 2:56am; Reply: 11
If I eat out, a salad with some sort of protein usually grilled fish.

Interesting point about the pepper... I wonder how much our bodies can tolerate without affecting us so much. I just thought of some moments when I there was pepper on my foods.... yikes!
Posted by: Amazone I., Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 3:46pm; Reply: 12
I'm loving it to visit Ioannis, my best greek cook and friend...he's justamente some 5 minutes far from my home....am I not lucky ??) ;) ;D...next: sometimes chinese foods as well or fish and rice and veggies in the Hotel *Nous* but this is very very private ... ;)(shhh)(hehe)
Posted by: JJR, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 5:58pm; Reply: 13
I've been eating the pepper on the salmon at panera.  I love the flavor.  But I'm not sure how good it is or what it does to me too.  I don't get the salmon every time though.  So...  I haven't seemed to have any negative affect from it, that I could tell right away.  Although I did get my heart arrhythmia for about 5 beats when I was there last time.  But I wasn't feeling super well that day to begin with.  And that happens sometimes when I'm fatigued.  But it could've been the pepper too.  It just seems like pepper could instigate that.  I'm not sure.
Posted by: 14442 (Guest), Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 6:16pm; Reply: 14
Panda Express, most sushi places, Indian food, steak and sweet potato Texas type grillhouse,  soup & salad bars etc.
Posted by: JJR, Thursday, March 1, 2012, 2:26am; Reply: 15
I love sushi and haven't had it forever.  I need to try it again.
Posted by: RedLilac, Friday, March 2, 2012, 4:21pm; Reply: 16
I’ve been to Ruby Tuesdays.  For a chain they serve a decent meal.

Wherever you go ask what it is made with.  Tell them your allergies & food sensitivities.  
Posted by: O in Virginia, Friday, March 2, 2012, 4:35pm; Reply: 17
We've begun to make dining out a special event, and not so much a normal part of our lifestyle.  We've decided that the food is so awful in chain restaurants - even the ones that we thought were pretty good before seem to be deteriorating in quality (economic times?), but that just may be me noticing more after following swami - and awful as well in most of the more affordable non-chain places, that we have reserved eating out for someplace special that may cost more but where the service and variety on the menu and the quality of food is very good.  For example, we've decided (and how we're going to actually implement this may get tricky socially) that rather than going out for breakfast after church each Sunday at a diner with other church members, and where there is almost nothing I can eat, we'll go out once a month for Sunday brunch at a nice restaurant we know and both enjoy.

There are a few restaurants around here where I can get decent, even good, food, but it is a hassle to drive downtown.  Locally, there are a couple of Vietnamese restaurants that I trust.  And take out from Whole Foods seems pretty good.  Or you can eat it there.  I like the idea of selecting a plate of something cafeteria style and having it in the wine tasting area/bar with a glass of something wonderful.  I haven't convinced DH yet to do that with me, but I'm working on him.

We often wind up at a Ruby Tuesday when we're on a road trip on I-95.  It is a compromise, but I agree it seems not too bad.  We haven't been on a road trip in a while, but I used to get the little filet of beef, some broccoli or asparagus, skip the potato, and have a glass of red wine.  I really enjoy that type of meal and feel well on it, and wonder of wonders it turns out to all be swami superfood for me anyway.  I'm sure the beef is not grass-fed, nor the veggies organic, but for a once in a blue moon dinner in a chain restaurant it's probably the best I can do.
Posted by: JJR, Friday, March 2, 2012, 5:27pm; Reply: 18
I'm pretty choosy about my meat.  But I've never noticed a difference in feeling from organic or non organic veggies.  I think most organic have more flavor, and I'm sure are better, but I eat a lot of non organic veggies too.  Because we buy a lot of frozen, non organic stuff.  It seems fine for us.  But, it would be better if we always did.  But we are more interested in getting good meats, and they're expensive.
Posted by: san j, Friday, March 2, 2012, 5:59pm; Reply: 19
Quoted from JJR
we are more interested in getting good meats, and they're expensive.


If the price of good meat in a restaurant deters you, know this: Any restaurant's mark-up on meat is generally the lowest of all of that restaurant's offerings. In other words, it makes least money on the meat, hoping to recoup the "loss" on side orders, other courses, beverages. So: When you do go out for meat, don't order paid extras as much, and you'll stay closer to what it would have cost you to buy the meat retail yourself.
Posted by: O in Virginia, Friday, March 2, 2012, 6:08pm; Reply: 20
Quoted from san j


If the price of good meat in a restaurant deters you, know this: Any restaurant's mark-up on meat is generally the lowest of all of that restaurant's offerings. In other words, it makes least money on the meat, hoping to recoup the "loss" on side orders, other courses, beverages. So: When you do go out for meat, don't order paid extras as much, and you'll stay closer to what it would have cost you to buy the meat retail yourself.


Neat tip, San J.  :)
Posted by: O in Virginia, Friday, March 2, 2012, 6:12pm; Reply: 21
JJR, I haven't noticed a difference in how I feel between organic or non-organic veggies either, now that you mention it.  I just try to eat as cleanly as possible because as an Explorer with potential liver issues, I think it's the way to go, and organic is what my swami advises.  We just have to do the best we can, though.  :)
Posted by: kittykar1, Friday, March 2, 2012, 6:25pm; Reply: 22
We usually go to a steak house and get a big steak, baked sweet potato and a side of steamed veggies or a side salad. Outback is really good, for a chain they have good steaks. But the servers  at all steak houses look at you weird when you tell them you don't want the bread or rolls.

Also get a burger and just toss aside the bun. I ususally order with the bun so I get all the toppings. In the past if I order without the bun, I just get a plain old hamburger that looks sad on the plate without the toppings, go figure. ;D

Our local chinese will fix fix orders without avoids and they don't use MSG.

I think the food is what keeps going back to Disney World for vacation. They have a chef come to the table at the nicer restaurants and go over your options. Each kitchen has an allergy chef that prepares all the allergy free meals in a separate area, so there is no cross contamination. We feel like we eat like kings for that week and don't have to worry about getting sick. Counter service meals can be ordered gluten free also, just takes a little longer or we pick around the menu like we do at home. We don't eat out a lot at home, but I guess kinda live for that one week a year. Also adore the pineapple whip floats at the Dole counter in Magic Kindom, no dairy and awesome. 8)
Posted by: Jane, Friday, March 2, 2012, 7:45pm; Reply: 23
I'm pretty lucky here.  We have a Ted Montana Grill and they serve a lot of buffalo.  We also have some great seafood places.  I don't worry about whether or not something is organic when I'm out and I don't exclusively buy organic at even WFs.  Sometimes I just buy what looks good.  I try and get organic but if I need something and they only have conventional I get it and just don't worry about it.  I do the best I can.
Posted by: ProudWarrior, Friday, March 2, 2012, 11:42pm; Reply: 24
You might try Japanese grill - you can ask the chef questions and they can add or leave off whatever you want. Depending on your location, your choices will vary of what food the offer, but you have more control- you even get to watch them cook it in front of you :)
Posted by: san j, Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 8:02am; Reply: 25
Tonight we went to a fine steak house for dinner -- the kind with glass cases in front, displaying the aging prime cuts before being portioned. Beautiful meat, expertly prepared, attentive service. Easy to be compliant at a place like this! Dinner partner was O - he went for the veal chop; I had the filet mignon. Wonderful goat cheese dressing on the salad. Fresh herbs.
Etc.  :)
Posted by: san j, Thursday, April 12, 2012, 5:07am; Reply: 26
ps. And I had the other half of my filet for lunch today.  ;)
Posted by: O in Virginia, Thursday, April 12, 2012, 6:26pm; Reply: 27
Sounds nice, San J.  A treat!  :)
Posted by: JJR, Thursday, April 12, 2012, 7:45pm; Reply: 28
MMmmmmmmmmmm...

I had gone to a Greek Style restaurant that was new to me on Easter Sunday to meet my Grandma.  It wasn't as good as the Diner I go to by my house.  So I tried to get the safest thing.  I had an omelette with just broccoli in it and some hashbrowns.  I didn't eat the whole omelette as I didn't want to eat 3 eggs at one sitting.  Plus, it wasn't as good as other places.  Kind of "stringy".  And the hashbrowns were a little greasy.  But I survived and I didn't even feel all that bad after eating it at all.  Praise the LORD!!!!
Posted by: Amazone I., Thursday, April 12, 2012, 9:01pm; Reply: 29
JJR next time order some lamb at the greek restaurant ;) ;D


btw we do have a beautiful libanese restaurant here....very good foods too , almost all organic but I must be honest ::) too expensive..... :P :o :B but it's beautiful to observe the belly dancer's ;) (hehe)(clap)(smarty)
Posted by: Spazcat, Friday, April 13, 2012, 1:31am; Reply: 30
I like Chipotle for fast food.  They are attentive to GF and use relatively high quality ingredients.
Posted by: Lola, Friday, April 13, 2012, 5:01am; Reply: 31
gf meaning corn containing subs ??)
Posted by: Spazcat, Friday, April 13, 2012, 2:22pm; Reply: 32
Quoted from Lola
gf meaning corn containing subs ??)


I usually get a brown rice bowl or a salad.  It's possible there is corn in the seasonings and what-not, but this is a very occasional thing and I will usually take Deflect when eating out no matter what, 'cause you never know!

Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, April 13, 2012, 5:08pm; Reply: 33
Quoted from Spazcat
I like Chipotle for fast food.  They are attentive to GF and use relatively high quality ingredients.

I like that they keep most of the foods separate and you can have them add what you like (from their options) when you go down the line...  

I am not sure how much corn-derived additives they have in their foods, but I doubt it is any more than any other restaurant...
Posted by: Eric, Friday, April 13, 2012, 7:01pm; Reply: 34
Quoted from Spazcat
I like Chipotle for fast food.  They are attentive to GF and use relatively high quality ingredients.


I hear Chipotle was started by one of the McDonald's execs who turned away from his evil ways. lol And they're in the process of franchising a healthy restaurant chain?  But not sure, I'm investigating it.
Posted by: Eric, Friday, April 13, 2012, 7:03pm; Reply: 35
http://nrn.com/article/former-mcdonald’s-president-readying-launch-lyfe-kitchen
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, April 13, 2012, 7:26pm; Reply: 36
Quoted from Eric
I hear Chipotle was started by one of the McDonald's execs who turned away from his evil ways.

Not sure about that...  I know McDonald's owned the Chipotle chain for a period...
Posted by: JJR, Friday, April 13, 2012, 7:38pm; Reply: 37
I've been on their website and they just don't seem to have a protein option for me.  I could probably eat their rice though.  I haven't eaten beans in a while.  And they just have black beans I think.  I gotta try some pintos again soon.
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, April 13, 2012, 7:46pm; Reply: 38
Here is a link that works for the article Eric introduced:
http://nrn.com/article/former-mcdonald%E2%80%99s-president-readying-launch-lyfe-kitchen

Here is another article with the menu:
http://sanfrancisco.grubstreet.com/2011/10/the_healthy_fast-food_menu_at.html

Eric,
Based on a comment after the article, the restaurant has been open since middle of October last year(2011).  Do you know how it is doing?
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, April 13, 2012, 7:51pm; Reply: 39
Quoted from JJR
I've been on their website and they just don't seem to have a protein option for me.  I could probably eat their rice though.  I haven't eaten beans in a while.  And they just have black beans I think.  I gotta try some pintos again soon.

I assume this is referring to Chipotle's...  Last I knew they offered black or pinto beans.  I think they had little tomato bits in their rice, so my DD couldn't eat it, but she could have avocado and I couldn't...  We don't eat here often, but when traveling, it seemed like a good choice for us for a quick meal.  Between the beans and cheese, there was adequate protein for a lunch for me.
Posted by: JJR, Saturday, April 14, 2012, 1:25am; Reply: 40
Yeah.  I don't do cheese or beans right now, so....  No protein options for me.  I have wanted to try it though and when I add those back in, I might just do that.  Not sure when that will be.  I have other foods I want to try before cheese.  Or beans for that matter.  So, it might be a while.
Posted by: san j, Saturday, April 14, 2012, 2:07am; Reply: 41
Indian restaurants that have tandoors are good bets (similar to Japanese Robata grill restaurants for appropriateness). You can get roasted lamb or chicken or fish or prawns, depending on your Type. You can get rice (basmati) if bread isn't an option. Salad is usually available, too, and nicely pairs with the meat. Tandoori meat is marinated in yogurt and spices and ---
--- is delicious.
Tandoori salmon can be awesome.  :)
Posted by: hopeful18, Saturday, April 14, 2012, 2:22am; Reply: 42
We also go to Chipotle for fast food. I can get a brown rice bowl with black beans, medium salsa (Tomatoes are a bene for me), lettuce & guacamole. Beware of the pinto beans because they are cooked with pork. I used to get them until recently, when the person preparing my food asked which meat I wanted. After I told her I wanted it vegetarian with pinto beans, she told me that the pinto beans were cooked with pork. Yuck.
Posted by: Lola, Saturday, April 14, 2012, 2:29am; Reply: 43
oh yes!
they re 'ebony and ivory' of Mex cuisine!! ;D
Posted by: Eric, Saturday, April 14, 2012, 2:52am; Reply: 44
Quoted from ABJoe

Eric,
Based on a comment after the article, the restaurant has been open since middle of October last year(2011).  Do you know how it is doing?


No clue, I just recently learned about this.
Posted by: JJR, Saturday, April 14, 2012, 11:39pm; Reply: 45
Quoted from Lola
oh yes!
they re 'ebony and ivory' of Mex cuisine!! ;D



Ha?  Pintos cooked in pork.  I bet they're super good.  Hehehhe
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