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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