Nutrition Articles

Dining Out: Steakhouse Cuisine

Restaurant-Specific Strategies


Steakhouses serve extra-large portions of hearty, filling heartland food without much spice or variety. Plain side dishes and a smaller number of sauces and toppings make it easier to control calories with smart choices and special preparation requests.
Common Ingredients:

Menus are dominated by meat, pastas, various potatoes slathered with gravy or toppings, and deep-fried appetizers. Vegetables are few and far between, except for potatoes, which are often fried in some form. Most offer salads, but many have only starch and pasta-based side dishes. Many restaurants are offering healthier chicken and fish alternatives.
Hidden Dangers:
  • Steakhouse cheeseburgers can pack nearly 1,000 calories.
  • Shrimp Scampi is often drowning in butter and packs nearly 1,000 calories.
  • Fried Chicken has 910 calories and 54 grams of fat. To make it healthier, choose breast meat and remove the skin.
  • Two Potato Skins can have almost 500 calories—before adding sour cream.
  • Watch for these words:
    • Breaded
    • Crispy
    • Country-Style (fried and smothered in gravy)
    • Encrusted (coated and panfried)
    • Bearnaise (sauce made with butter and egg yolks)
    • Dijonaise (Dijon mustard and cream sauce)
  • Jalapeno Poppers (2): 660 calories and 36g fat
  • 6 Buffalo Wings with blue cheese dressing:1,000 calories, 68g fat
  • 16-oz Porterhouse: 1,300 calories, 104g fat
  • Au Gratin Potatoes: 400 calories, 22g fat
  • BBQ Ribs: 1,680 calories
  • Nachos: 800 calories
  • Crab Cakes (2): 240 calories, 15g fat
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