Tips for you. Some old, some new.
On Friday evening I will be checking out Paul Martin's American Bistro in Roseville.
From their website: The menu at Paul Martin’s consists of dishes aimed at taking diners back to the American farm with meat raised in a humane and wholesome way, locally sourced organic produce, fish from conscientious fishmongers, artisan cheeses and cured meats from small local purveyors and custom-made bread from expert bakers.
I like the concept and I see some good wines on their list (in my opinion--I was surprised to see I have tried 5 or 6 of them!), so I am looking forward to Friday's dinner and wine service preview.
I don't dine out that often (2 or 3 times a month at most and no fast food whatsoever), but when I do there are a few things I do so that my diet isn't completely sabotaged:
1. Make sure I have a glass of water and I am drinking from it at all times. Water helps one to feel more full and definitely aids in metabolism.
2. When ordering, I avoid the following terms: syrup, glaze, "our own house dressing", honey-mustard, fat-free dressing, "fruit" sauce, caramelized. These terms usually indicate excessive sugar. Also: cream sauce and fried obviously indicate high fat. Steer clear.
3. I stick to steamed, broiled or grilled items. Also: You can request that your item is grilled "dry", otherwise, it might be slathered in oil or butter and then grilled, which is the opposite of why I order grilled food. :)
4. I make sure I know if the meat I order has been marinated and in what. This could be in OIL overnight. Yikes!
5. If there is bread served, I limit myself to one piece of bread, but I tear it into two pieces and leave one half in the basket, so that I am still allowed to reach for "another piece", and I get the other half. I can usually avoid the bread altogether if it looks to be ordinary or served room temperature. It's the seedy and fresh baked stuff I just can't pass up!
6. I make it en papillote if it is on the menu! Cooked in parchment envelope, that is. This is an excellent French cooking method--the meat is cooked in vegetables, spices, and baked in parchment paper. It's quite a lovely presentation as well. I am pretty sure Biba has a fish dish on their menu done this way.
7. If I order a taco salad, I get it WITHOUT the obnoxious 5,000 calorie deep-fried shell, and ask for no cheese or sour cream. If you must have either of these, order it on the side so that you can add to taste and it doesn't saturate the lettuce or the meat. BTW, get grilled shrimp if you can. Chicken meat cuts used in those salads are usually the fattiest ones. Lastly, use the salsa as your dressing! :) Beware of Taco Bell's "salsa". It contains High Fructose Corn Syrup. *sigh*
8. Dessert: I skip it and get coffee (see the second half of this tip). If something you are dying to try is on the menu, order it, but split it with another (preferably two or three more people). Or skip traditional dessert and order a coffee with a little milk and cinnamon on top. Most places can/will accommodate you, or you can pay your bill and hit a coffee shop for your dinner's finish. Many coffee shops now have several sugar free syrups (not just vanilla) to make those coffees with skim milk even more delicious. Ask them what sugar free flavors they have. You might be surprised to hear sugar free caramel or sugar free raspberry. Yum! Just stay away from those caramelaloocamochachoccalattes. Glorified milkshakes, they are.
That is all for now... :)