Dining Out: Steakhouse Cuisine


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

Healthy Finds:
  • Baked Potatoes are generally healthy—it’s the bacon, cheese, sour cream and butter that add most of the calories and fat. A plain spud has only 68 calories and NO fat.
  • 6 Oysters on the half shell carry less than 150 calories.
  • Most steakhouses offer steamed vegetables as a side dish. One cup can have less than 50 calories (if it’s not soaked in butter).
  • Look for these words:
    • Baked, steamed
    • Blackened, grilled
    • Broiled, charbroiled
    • California-Style
    • Roasted, rotisserie
    • Brochette (meat, fish, poultry or veggies on a skewer)
  • 5 peel and eat Shrimp: 114 calories, 1g fat
  • BBQ Pork Chops: 400 calories, 25g fat
  • Broiled Salmon: 353 calories, 21g fat
  • Filet Mignon: 385 calories, 20g fat
  • Steamed Broccoli: 50 calories, 0g fat
  • Corn on the Cob with butter: 120 calories, 5g fat

The Big Tip:

Remember: one serving of steak is only about 3-4 ounces, or about the size of your open palm. Many steakhouse steaks are actually 3 or 4 servings!
Substitution Ideas:

 Try This Skip That
Manhattan clam chowder  New England clam chowder
Peel & Eat shrimp Fried shrimp
Spinach salad Creamed spinach
Baked potato Mashed potatoes
Steamed lobster tail Crab cakes
Poached fish Fish 'n chips
Veggie burger Bacon cheeseburger
Sirloin or Tenderloin T-bone or Ribeye
Rice French fries
Garden salad (dressing on side) Caesar salad
Angel food cake Pie

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Member Comments

Go8d to kn9w Report
thanks for sharing Report
Thanks Report
Tks. so much for these tips Report
Good to re-read this and be reminded to be mindful at the 'Horn or the Outback Report
Great information for my planning guide. Report
Nice article Report
We don't go to steakhouses very often. I feel like the food is soon to become a heart attack Report
Good article. Report
I like a good steakhouse steak something to consider before I go. Report
Since we hardly ever go to a steakhouse, all of these "dangers" at a steakhouse is the reason we go, to finally have some good tasting foods. We don't do it often, so just enjoy it and go back to not so tasty food , which means so called healthy food. Report