Dining Out Guide

Eating Healthy at Tony Roma's

From SparkPeople’s Editors

Since its beginning in 1972, Tony Roma's Place has been a casual, comfortable neighborhood bar and grill known for great-tasting baby back ribs. Today, you can find nearly 200 Tony Roma's restaurants throughout 17 states, 33 countries, and six continents, making it one of the most globally recognized restaurant chains. In addition to ribs, diners can enjoy a full menu including steak, seafood, and chicken as well as unique appetizers and mini desserts.

  • It is important to notice that even the better choices are likely too high in sodium, fat, or calories to fit well with typical daily nutrition goals. If you are planning to visit this restaurant, be sure to plan for the visit so your weekly nutritional averages still fall in line.

  • When ordering a meal, skip the French fries in favor of other side options like fresh fruit or steamed vegetables, and ask if some of the seasoning can be left off to help slightly reduce the sodium content.

  • If possible, visit at lunch time when portion sizes tend to be smaller.

  • Soups and salads can be great choices for a light meal. Consider a bowl of Chicken Tortellini Soup (167 calories, 9 g fat, and 749 mg sodium), the Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken (356 calories, 3 g fat, 2,011 mg sodium) or Grilled Salmon (475 calories, 17 g fat, 1,109 mg sodium). Try topping your salad with either the Apple Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing (39 calories, 0 g fat, 449 mg sodium for 1.5 fl oz) or Balsamic Fig Dressing (90 calories, 0 g fat, 285 mg sodium for 1.5 fl oz).

  • If seafood and chicken are more to your liking, we recommend the Grilled Mahi Mahi (243 calories, 2 g fat, 1,050 mg sodium-- can be reduced if you eliminate seasoning), or the Mojo Chicken with wild rice (490 calories, 4 g fat, 3,761 mg sodium --can be reduced if you eliminate seasoning).

  • If you just have to try the ribs, be sure to ask for limited seasoning to reduce the sodium content as much as possible and stick with the Half Slab Original Baby Back Ribs (511 calories, 19 g fat, 2,906 mg sodium). The best steak option is the Katsu Steakhouse Flat Iron with sweet mashed potatoes (700 calories, 35 g fat, 3,569 mg sodium -- can be reduced if you eliminate seasoning). If you want a sandwich, aim for the Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich (570 calories, 31 g fat, 3,083 mg sodium).

  • Selecting smart side items in place of French fries can help reduce overall meal damage when it comes to calories, fat and sodium. Of course, the Roma's Dinner Salad (88 calories, 3 fg fat, 174 mg sodium) with one of the recommended dressings listed above is a good option. If you prefer a hot side, consider the Broccoli with butter (145 calories, 12 g fat, 149 mg sodium) and ask for it to be steamed and unbuttered, if available. Two other good choices would be either the Mashed Sweet Potatoes (144 calories, 1 g fat, 51 mg sodium) or the Wild Rice Blend (143 calories, 0 g fat, 600 mg sodium).
Although this may not be the most ideal restaurant chain for health-conscious people, there are some reasonable options if you plan and prepare for your visit. You can review nutrition information ahead of your visit by checking out the Tony Roma's website here.

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