|September 14, 2012||Posted by Carrie under food, nutrition|
I’m not a fan of big chain restaurants. There are a few exceptions – as there are to most of my ‘rules’.
Here’s why: I like food. I think food should be special and tasty and good. I don’t like that with a chain restaurant someone, likely not in the location where I am eating, has decided the menu. There is nothing seasonal, nothing personal about the menu.
I like mom & pop single location restaurants. I like knowing that a person in the restaurant itself put some thought and care into the food. I especially love a restaurant that uses local ingredients.
Another problem with big chain restaurants is the portions. Now that so many restaurants post calorie information, I’m constantly blown away by the multiple 1000+ calorie entree options.
A few weeks ago, we went to a local chain that we hadn’t been to in years. I know that studies are showing that calorie information on a menu does not have a proven result in encouraging patrons to select lower calorie meals – but it works for me and for my husband. Honestly, there were 2 things on the menu that were under 800 calories that either of us would order. I ordered a black bean veggie burger without the cheese and with the mayo dressing on the side and then ate is as an open faced sandwich leaving 1/2 the bun. Seriously, why does a veggie burger need two types of cheese plus a dressing?
That’s what I’m talking about – it’s like restaurants pile things on just because they can.
Simple is good people. A salad doesn’t need candied walnuts and dried fruit and two types of cheese and crunchy noodles with a creamy dressing. Get some fresh ingredients and let the flavors shine through. By the way, did you know that at many chains, the salads are the least healthy menu items?
There are some chains that do things the best they can – like Corner Bakery. The food there is simple, the portions are small and reasonable and I think the food tastes good.
Then there’s Taco Bell’s new campaign with their ‘world renowned chef’ who created their chicken bowl. Yea, like that hand-crafted flavor is still there when the cookie cutter assembly line puts the food together – aside from the over 65% of your daily recommended sodium in the one bowl.
Like I said, I’m not opposed to going to the big chains – we do frequent a few of them. But, I will usually take the time to customize my order to make it more my taste.
What’s your opinion on chain restaurants? Which ones do you think do right by their food? Are there some that you think pile on the portions? Do you make decisions based on calorie information if you have it?
It’s Fitness Friday – so, I’m connecting the dots to say that you should enjoy your food as part of an overall fitness focused life and go visit Jill’s blog hop.