Dining Out Guide

Eating Healthy at Romano's Macaroni Grill

From SparkPeople’s Editors

With the word "grill" in the name, you might assume that a restaurant would have plenty of simple, healthy grilled entrees and appetizers. That's not exactly the case here. Romano's Macaroni Grill is known for generous portions of decadent Italian food.

  • Frequently, lunch portions are a lower calorie, lower fat option compared with the dinner portions. The Mediterranean Grill and Signature Handcrafted Pastas are the same gigantic size at both lunch and dinner.

  • Skip the pizza, as all choices have more than 1,000 calories and 3,000 mg of sodium for an individual serving.

  • Be aware of the Due & Trio options. Although individually they may not be outside our recommended guidelines, several together can blow them out of the water.

  • Soups and salads can be good options, but they can also trick you. The newScallop & Spinach Salad at 420 nutrient-rich calories with only 4 g fat and 1,510 mg sodium can be a great choice if it is your entire meal. On the other hand, you would want to avoid the Chicken Florentine, which is a pasta dish masquerading as a salad. It will set you back 1,020 calories, 17 g fat, and 2,830 mg sodium. Soup here is high in sodium. Your "best" soup choice as a meal would be a bowl of Tomato & Cheese Tortellini Soup with its 440 calories, 9 g fat, and 2,180 mg of sodium--but keep chugging that water.

  • If you are starting your meal with a salad, it is interesting to note that while you will get more nutrition from the Warm Spinach Salad compared to the Side Caesar Salad, you will also get more calories and double the fat and sodium. Your best salad choice as a meal starter surprisingly is the Side Caesar Salad with dressing, offering 240 calories, 4 g fat, and 510 mg of sodium.

  • If you do not find a Handcrafted Pasta dish that meets your taste and style, consider making your own. Select from great lower calorie, nutrient rich options like Sautéed Shrimp (45 calories/0 grams fat/560 mg sodium), Grape Tomatoes (5 calories/5 grams fat/0 mg sodium), Fresh Broccoli (10 calories/0 grams fat/10 mg sodium), and Fresh Mushrooms (10 calories/0 g fat/5 mg sodium). Select the Pomodoro (160 calories/2 grams fat/580 mg sodium) or Arrabbiata (180 calories/2 grams fat/650 mg sodium) sauces as your lowest calorie options.

  • The best entrée selections include: the Grilled Chicken Spiedini (360 calories/1 g fat/895 mg sodium), Jumbo Shrimp Spiedini (290 calories/1 g fat,/1,075 mg sodium), Simple Salmon with sides (420 calories/5 g fat/770 mg sodium) and the Capellini Pomodoro (390 calories/2 g fat /980 mg sodium).

  • This restaurant provides nutritional info on its website.

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