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Diet Friendly Dining – T.G.I. Friday's

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/24/2011 10:00 AM   :  86 comments   :  79,326 Views

Today in our ongoing Diet Friendly Dining series, we look at newly updated T.G.I. Friday's. Previously, Friday's didn't provide complete nutrition information for their menu items. Beginning at the end of September, nutrition information became readily available on their website.
We continue to recommend menu selections for a complete meal contain around 500 calories or less with 15-20 grams of fat or less. For many people, this is about one third of their daily calorie allowance. To meet this goal at T.G.I. Friday's it will require smart selections when ordering. We hope these tips will help.

Portion size is always a key when dining away from home. The “Right Portion, Right Price” options, which are 750 calories or less, are the section of the menu to focus. It will also still be important to pay special attention to fat and sodium contents especially if you have medical conditions that require close monitoring of these nutrients.

Appetizers are typically high calorie and high fat "extras" that are best avoided as the start to a meal. A couple options would serve as entrée alternatives.

Mediterranean Tapa-tizer Skewers – Select either grilled chicken or Black Angus sirloin marinated and seasoned skewers served with grilled pita, ginger-lime slaw, and cucumber yogurt sauce.
Calories – 620 sirloin/660 chicken
Fat – 27 grams sirloin/ 20 grams chicken
Carbohydrates – 49 grams sirloin/ 74 grams chicken
Fiber – 4 grams
Sodium – 1,360 mg sirloin/ 1,570 mg chicken
Protein – 36 grams sirloin/ 47 grams chicken
 
Japanese Hibachi Tapa-tizer Skewers – Select either grilled and marinated chicken or Black Angus sirloin served with grilled pita, ginger-lime slaw, and extra glaze.
Calories – 620 sirloin/ 750 chicken
Fat – 18 grams sirloin/ 20 grams chicken
Carbohydrates – 73 grams sirloin/ 105 grams chicken
Fiber – 4 grams sirloin/ 6 grams chicken
Sodium – 1,700 mg sirloin/ 3,110 mg chicken
Protein – 35 grams sirloin/ 38 grams chicken
 
Spinach Florentine Flatbread – Over-baked flatbread topped with spinach & artichoke heart spread and bruschetta mix.
Calories – 410
Fat – 23 grams
Carbohydrates – 31 grams
Fiber – 3 grams
Sodium – 1,280 mg
Protein – 19 grams
 
 
Entrée Options
 
Petite Sirloin - 6 oz filet-style cut of fire-grilled Black Angus sirloin (served with choice of two sides such as ginger-lime slaw and broccoli)
Calories – 370
Fat – 24 grams
Carbohydrate – 2 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Sodium – 1,450 mg
Protein – 38 grams
 
Flat Iron Steak – 8-oz cut of fire-grilled Black Angus (served with choice of two sides such as ginger-lime slaw and broccoli)
Calories – 400
Fat – 27 grams
Carbohydrates – 2 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Sodium – 1,950 mg
Protein – 35 grams

Dragonfire Salmon – Norwegian grilled fillet served with mandarin oranges, ginger-lime slaw and steamed broccoli
Calories – 590
Fat – 23 grams
Carbohydrates – 57 grams
Fiber – 7 grams
Sodium – 2,090 mg
Protein – 40 grams
 
Dragonfire Chicken – Fire-grilled chicken breast served over jasmine rice with Mandarin oranges and steamed broccoli
Calories – 670
Fat – 15 grams
Carbohydrates – 99 grams
Fiber – 11 grams
Sodium – 2,160
Protein – 40 grams


Salad
 
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Caesar Salad – Glazed, fire-grilled marinated chicken breast served atop chopped romaine with croutons and grape tomatoes
Calories – 500
Fat – 28 grams
Carbohydrates – 25 grams
Fiber – 5 grams
Sodium – 1,870 mg
Protein – 40 grams
 
 
Best Kids Meal Choices
 
Pasta and Marinara with added choice of two sides
Calories – 300
Fat – 2.5 grams
Carbohydrates – 57 grams
Fiber – 5 grams
Sodium – 190 mg
Protein – 11 grams
 
Chicken Skewers with added choice of two sides
Calories – 310
Fat – 10 grams
Carbohydrates – 33 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Sodium – 1,000 mg
Protein – 23 grams
 

Best Side Choices
 
Ginger-Lime Slaw
Calories – 90
Fat – 5 grams
Carbohydrates – 11 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Sodium – 220 mg
Protein – 0 grams
 
Broccoli
Calories – 50 grams
Fat - .5 grams
Carbohydrates – 10 grams
Fiber – 5 grams
Sodium – 370 mg
Protein – 3 grams
 
Fruit Cup
Calories – 60
Fat – 0 grams
Carbohydrates – 16 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Sodium – 0 grams
Protein – 1 grams
 
Roasted Vegetable Medley
Calories – 100
Fat – 6 grams
Carbohydrates – 12 grams
Fiber – 3 grams
Sodium – 490 mg
Protein – 2 grams
 
 
Are you glad T.G.I. Friday's has included nutrition information? Will it influence how often you visit this casual dining chain?


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Comments

  • 86
    These suggestions are helpful and interesting! Thank you!
    - 5/24/2013   4:15:34 AM
  • 85
    Cover your eyes and snap the wallet shut:this place, chili's, Ruby Tuesday's, Applebees Uno's... all the same,, I would rather buy a bag of apples and eat in the park or my car.. - 3/28/2013   5:03:23 PM
  • 84
    I'd like to know what gives the salmon 57 carbs: must be the oranges? For me, one of the hardest parts of dining out with posted calories is that most entrees include "served with, or with your choice of," and those calories are not included in the total calories listed. More often than not, those extras or "withs" cannot be found on the menu. Sometime, you can find more information online than what's on the menu. - 3/3/2013   1:45:17 PM
  • 83
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Balsamic Glazed Chicken Caesar Salad. Such a simple salad that packs in so much flavor! And for 500 calories-- it sure beats the pants off higher calorie options! I hope they keep this one around for a long time! - 2/14/2012   11:34:47 PM
  • 82
    I eat at Friday's every couple of weeks. Certainly appreciated when they started the Right Price/Right Portion menu. Often order the Dragonfire Salmon or the skewers. Do wish they had more appetizers that are healthy. Most restaurant appetizers seem to be high calorie/fat and fried foods. Glad that we now know the calories for tracking. - 10/26/2011   12:08:34 AM
  • 81
    TGIF always says they don't share their nutritional info because they have so many different chefs and different menus and it's difficult to pinpoint the exact amounts. I'm amazed you guys have this info.

    - 10/25/2011   6:10:01 PM
  • 80
    Holy smokes - some of those meals are off the charts for sodium! I don't really ever go to TGIF's but in general I like to go to places that offer NI info. - 10/25/2011   2:43:23 PM
  • 79
    I will actually dine there more now that I know they have their nutrition information up! Thank you! - 10/25/2011   1:17:57 PM
  • 2DIETORNOT2DIET
    78
    We no longer have a TGI Friday's been gone for 3-4 years and I did like it when it was here, everything sounds good but really high in salt - 10/25/2011   11:58:20 AM
  • 77
    I recently went to TGIFridays and ordered the roasted vegetable medley. It was delicious, but the portion was disappointingly small. Will restaurants EVER adapt to the new Nutrition Plate model with half of the plate vegetables and some fruit, one quarter grain and one quarter protein? It doesn't seem they will... - 10/25/2011   12:44:00 AM
  • MYRICKCATHERINE
    76
    You left off the balsamic chicken Cobb salad. It is a better option than the Caesar salad especially if you leave the bacon off. It has much less sodium! I am watching sodium and trying to stay under 2500 mg. Very hard to do but that salad fits and it has yummy avocados, the glaze in the chicken almost makes a salad dressing unnecessary.
    - 10/24/2011   10:03:43 PM
  • 75
    Fridays is a huge fave of mine, I'm really happy they are publishing their nutrition info and have so many good choices on their menu. - 10/24/2011   8:15:28 PM
  • 74
    I agree with SPAYYOURCAT - the sodium levels are ridiculous! - 10/24/2011   4:09:33 PM
  • 73
    The sodium levels are ridiculous! - 10/24/2011   2:44:17 PM
  • 72
    I LOVE Fridays and I'm very thankful they added their nutrition information! - 10/24/2011   1:57:24 PM
  • 71
    Much better than Chilis
    - 10/24/2011   1:16:35 PM
  • PIXIECHIC1
    70
    I think its always a great idea when eateries disclose more info. We can't make good decisions without the right info and although i don't eat there, its a good thing. - 10/24/2011   12:50:35 PM
  • 69
    No it won't help me want to eat there. I ate there once and I was so not impressed with their food. I usually check out web sites before I go eat some place. But the one thing I did notice when checking out web sites about places to eat. You can pick something healthy to eat and get there and they don't have what you want on the menu. Not all places have the same thing on their menu as listed on the web site. - 10/24/2011   12:25:48 PM
  • 68
    I am so glad that Friday's is finally disclosing nutritional values! YAY! - 10/24/2011   11:28:19 AM
  • 67
    I dont usually go there, but I do like to look at nutrition info before I eat out. - 10/24/2011   11:14:45 AM
  • 66
    It's about time they provided this information. I never understood why they couldn't publish it sooner, seeing as they are required to have nutrition info available for their NYC locations (and possibly others) due to local law. I had contacted them a couple of times and always got some garbage answer about how their menu changes and varies, so they couldn't publish it for all their locations. I'm glad they finally realized people want this information. I will be much more likely to eat there if I know what I'm eating. - 10/24/2011   11:08:23 AM
  • 65
    It definitely helps to have info available. I used to love to go there, but when I started last year & started tracking I realized just how bad their food was while I was "guesstimating" the nutrition info. Now I only go places with the info, so I'm happy to have them as an option again. - 10/24/2011   11:02:52 AM
  • GINA39
    64
    This is so helpful I can not believe what I use to eat and how many calories and fat grams are in these meals . Thanks for this - 1/11/2010   10:22:32 AM
  • 63
    I haven't ate there since 1992-wsince reading all the comments I might give them a try again esp because of reading about the chicken salad - 11/2/2009   10:04:52 PM
  • 62
    I just had the dragonfire chicken yesterday and, though they warned me it would be spicy, I actually found it to be quite mild. Since I don't normally eat chinese food anymore this was a nice size substitute to enjoy while my friends scarfed down a plate of "fried green beans" and huge bugers with fries. I have to say, I don't think I missed anything because the brown rice and broccoli were nice sides that didn't... umm.... involve breading and frying and loads of salt. - 7/26/2009   12:14:58 PM
  • 61
    I do not normally eat at TGIF, but in general I would like casual restaurants to list the nutritional info on all of their items and to offer different portion sizes of an entree - regular or small. I love Portillo's (Chicago area) but they do not list their nutrition info and when I sent an inquiry, the politely indicated they had no intention of releasing the info. - 6/5/2009   9:00:00 AM
  • KATORS
    60
    I wish they would have smaller portions with smaller prices, and have the smaller lunch portions available all day. I also wish that when you order the seasonal veggies that they wouldn't cook them in butter. I always forget they do that! - 6/4/2009   7:41:55 PM
  • FIGHTEN40
    59
    I always ask for "dressing on the side", most restuarants don't have a problem with that - 6/3/2009   4:11:24 PM
  • HOCKEYGAL27
    58
    Smaller portions would be nice and it would also be nice if they would put the salad dressings on the side instead of on the salad itself. - 6/3/2009   11:27:32 AM
  • CRABBI1004
    57
    I wish they didnt charge extra for eating of the kids menu. Thats usually about the right portion for me but boy will you get heck if you ask to order it! - 6/3/2009   10:06:29 AM
  • LUBOOST
    56
    Our TGI Fridays was the first restaurant I'd been to that gave us the nutritional counts with the menu, and boy was I surprised! It was horrible! I found very few 'healthy' meals there. We now have new favorites... - 6/3/2009   1:29:45 AM
  • 55
    I usually check out the website first, for whats available and will go to the food tracker and check the items. Usually the meals are enough for two so I end up eating half and taking half home for next day. Hubby and I used to share a main dish and get a side salad. I think all restaurants need to supply the public with nutritional information either on a website or at least in store. All restaurants need to pay more attention to sodium and fat, If I can make tasty food with fewer calories fat and sodium restaurnats should be able to as well. - 6/2/2009   9:17:44 PM
  • WEIGHTYISSUES2
    54
    Some restaurants are starting to offer the "just right" portions. It's a great idea whose time as come because those just right sizes are the sizes we all used to eat! I'd rather get a higher quality, smaller portion than a low quality, huge portion of food that I end up throwing out or taking home if it's more expensive. - 6/2/2009   6:48:59 PM
  • 53
    I wish they would offer more unsweetened drinks, I do not drink tea or diet soda's so a nice lemonade or juice unsweetened would be nice. For now I stick with water with lemon. I also believe they should give you the nutritional value of foods. Sometimes you think you ordered great only to find out you have been sabotaged. - 6/2/2009   4:56:58 PM
  • SUEKAF
    52
    It would be awesome to be offered Butter Flavored Sprays, Fat Free Sour Cream, and a list of low-fat/no-fat dressings - 6/2/2009   4:41:54 PM
  • 51
    I wish all restaurants would list a calorie count. But I would really like to see all restaurants offer a "lite" version of a salad dressing. We all know that the full-fat dressings can wreck a perfectly healthy meal! - 6/2/2009   3:57:42 PM
  • 50
    I wish they would all offer healthier choices, but at the very least should be required to post the nutritional content of all their dishes! - 6/2/2009   3:23:47 PM
  • AMELITA2
    49
    I wish they will let be everything the way they do it.All restaurants or dining are perfect always. - 6/2/2009   3:13:35 PM
  • 48
    I wish they would not load the veggies with butter in a "healthy" alternative meal - 6/2/2009   2:35:50 PM
  • 47
    They were recently trying to pass a law here where all restaurants and fast food chains would have to display the nutritional information for their foods, but it was greatly shut down by the people holding office. I think it was a great idea though that they should've ran with. I'd love to know what's in the food. I won't eat out anywhere cause I don't know what I'm eating. (granted, you can go on websites usually and they have calorie content, etc but I'm not going to do that everytime) - 6/2/2009   2:28:56 PM
  • 46
    I wish the restaurants would provide nutrition stats for their menu items. Even if the choices were laden with calories people would at least know what they were eating and could plan for the occasional meal at any restaurant. It's not knowing that is so frustrating. - 6/2/2009   1:03:18 PM
  • ANNIEMARIE6
    45
    I WISH THAT ALL RESTAURANTS WOULD SERVE MORE LOW CALORIE LOW FAT AND LOW SUGAR MEALS FOT THE NPEOPLE WHO NEED THESE SPECIAL MEALS. - 6/2/2009   12:33:17 PM
  • 44
    Why can't restaurants cook like we do at home - use less salt and fat - I know it enhances the flavors - but at the peoples expense.
    I would like to see nutrition guides in all restaurants - fast, casual, and all... - 6/2/2009   12:18:16 PM
  • 43
    I agree with MD Tweety also. These days we only go to the restaurants ( when we go out) that will modify what's on their menu to suit my low sodium diet. Then, you know its freshly baked fish without any salt added!! Pasta to suit my taste - its freshly prepared with all the fresh ingredients. NONE of the chain restaurants provide that option! - 6/2/2009   11:56:49 AM
  • 42
    deleted - 6/2/2009   10:48:02 AM
  • 41
    A nutrition list would be nice. After all, calorie counting is not the be all and end all to eating healthy. And we now to watch the fat, protien and carb intake. But, I recently descovered several of the casual dining salads are very high in sodium - not good!

    Having nutrition info on the menu would be an added bonus to helping me make healthy choices. - 6/2/2009   10:46:07 AM
  • 40
    I would like restaurants to always provide nutritional information either online or at the restaurant. Also, I'd much prefer smaller portions even if I have to pay a little more overall. I know all the rules for healthy eating in restaurants, but it is difficult to turn down some of those not so healthy options if they are there to tempt me. - 6/2/2009   10:25:36 AM
  • 39
    I love the idea of restaurants providing nutrition info on the menu. We should be lobbying for that in the US and Canada. - 6/2/2009   10:21:07 AM
  • 38
    I really just wish all resturants would provide nutritional information. It does make a difference to me when choosing where to go and also what to eat while I am there. When I cook at home and don't know the nutritionals, I at least know what is going into the food so I can make an estimate, but when eating out you don't know. - 6/2/2009   10:15:51 AM
  • GEMINILOVECA
    37
    I haven't been to Friday's in a LONG time.... too hard to avoid all the stuff that's high-fat, high sodium...... too tempting for me. - 6/2/2009   9:47:44 AM

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