In a perfect world, we would only eat at locally sourced, locally owned restaurants and there would be lots of options for special diets. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t really work that way. I’m lucky enough to live in a relatively urban environment with a lot of local food options. Very few of them have a wide array of vegetarian, plant-based, reasonable-calorie meals, however, and so one of my anti-foodie pleasures is Ruby Tuesday. I admit it. I’m a sucker for a salad bar.
This afternoon, I wanted a big salad but didn’t really feel like standing around my over-heated apartment chopping and washing dishes, so instead I headed to RT. I was surprised to see they have added even more low cal and vegetarian items to their menu, including roasted spaghetti squash and something called “zucchini cakes.” Some of their other vegetable options: balsamic tomatoes, asparagus, snap peas, steamed broccoli and mashed cauliflower.
I’m trying to detox from a salty/alcoholic evening at trivia last night (we lost), so I decided to go with the three vegetables and salad bar combo for lunch today.
VERDICT: The zucchini and cauliflower were really tasty and filling, but I was disappointed by the lack of seasoning on the roasted squash. I ended up putting the mashed cauliflower on the squash, and that evened things out. I’m slightly skeptical about the “grilled” zucchini, because they tasted really flavorful like they were probably sauteed in oil or butter.
While I’m all for cooking at home to control ingredients and price, I’m happy that there are more vegetable options on the menu. I’m OK with a once-a-month burger or pasta carb-fest, but I like being able to find everyday restaurant food that reflects my normal eating.
What is your “not really a special occasion”-dining out strategy? Vegan/veggie/gluten-free/whatever… how do you eat out without sacrificing your general food principles? PS: This is a legitimate question, but read this entry on “blog discussion questions” from AJ on Hollaback Health, which I am totally guilty of and reconsidering after reading this post.