Calories, Anyone?

It’s Friday! Know what that means? It’s one of our top seven favorite nights of the week to eat out. If you’re dieting (and you are) then you’ve already heard (or learned the hard way) that you should make every attempt to check nutritional information before you head out.

Easier said than done, though. While most large chains post this data on their web sites, you might be out of luck if it’s a smaller chain or a local establishment. And even some large chains don’t make it easy to find, or go to great lengths to hide it behind all their so-called healthy food.

I was particularly disappointed with Outback Steakhouse recently. While trying to dig up some data, I was happy to see the “Nutritional Info” link displayed prominently on their web site. This is typically very encouraging, so away I clicked. The page had links for Gluten-Free, Healthy Weight Loss, Diabetic, and Low-Carb items, among others.

But as I scanned the page I noticed something missing. The actual nutritional information. It was pathetic. I mean, how many of us would consider this worthwhile?

Seared Ahi Tuna – Add dressings if your program allows

Gee, thanks. That tells me everything I need to know.

cheese-friesMy guess is it’s a distraction technique so you don’t inquire too closely about some of the things they serve. Like the one Men’s Health discovered and crowned as The Worst Food in America. It’s the Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing. They say “worst” but I say, “nom nom nom nom.” I mean, it’s cheese fries for Pete’s sake. Besides, how bad can it be?

Whoa. Um… it’s bad. I take back what I said. Here’s the damage: 2,900 calories, 182 grams fat, 240 grams carbohydrates. And remember, this is one appetizer. They didn’t list salt, but I’m pretty sure it’s probably one and a half cups.

So, where we going out tonight, peeps?


p.s. Some of you may have noticed I have no blog roll. It’s mostly because I’m still tweaking my site design and just haven’t added it back in yet. But until then, I thought I’d give a shout out to a few folks I know well:

Slim Shoppin: This is my sister Jennifer’s blog and she writes about all things food. She also links back to my site so if you get lost over there, you can always find your way back here.

Biggest Diabetic Loser: This is my sister Beth’s blog and she writes about all things food. She also links back to my site so if you get lost over there, you can always find your way back here. (Didn’t I just say that?) You’ll be sorry you weren’t there earlier this week when she gave away some tea bags.

The Alcoholian: This is Max’s blog before it was usurped by John, a guy who is probably the greatest amateur chef you’ll ever run across (and easily better than more than a few professionals.) In his own words, the blog is “a spirited and irreverent journey into the world of food, alcoholic beverages, and the innovative use of construction materials.”

Austin Agrodolce: This is Deb’s blog and she really likes to cook and garden and think and write about it all. Warning: contains meatballs. Yum.

I’ll be putting together a real blogroll Real Soon Now. If you’d like to get on it, just send me $12,500 and I’ll see what I can do.

15 Responses to “Calories, Anyone?”

Megan said
October 3, 2008 at 5:05 am

I would love to be on your blogroll…I don’t have $12,500, but I can send you all the pumpkin treats you could ever want!!

I hate when I go to a website and they don’t have the nutritional info. At the same time though, I don’t know how much to rely on the nutrition info provided because each restaurant has varying cooks and not every dish comes out the same. I wonder how large of a discrepancy there would be if you actually took the dish served and compared it to the info posted.

Inny said
October 3, 2008 at 7:13 am

😀 Can you put me on your blogrolls as well. I promise, I will pay you back if I get rich one day 🙂
The fries look so yummy!

Lori said
October 3, 2008 at 7:33 am

Your blog makes me laugh!
It is staggering about the calories in restaurant foods.

I used to do mystery shopping, and Outback was one of the places to go. We were required to order an appetizer, meal *and* dessert. Even splitting the app and desert – the calories must have been phenomenal. At least 3000….. for dinner…. after I had eaten breakfast and lunch.

Biz said
October 3, 2008 at 9:22 am

Thanks for the shout out Charlie – I am going to try to figure out my blogroll this weekend when I ahve time.

And, sadly, my family has enjoyed the Aussie fries on more than one occassion!

Um, and you can’t just take “a bite.” The first time you get the combined french fry/cheese/bacon/ranch combination, you better keep your hands and feet away!

Happy Friday all!

Charlie said
October 3, 2008 at 10:12 am

Hey, that’s right. You don’t have a blogroll yet, Biz!

madison (follow my weigh) said
October 3, 2008 at 10:42 am

i know, it really irks me when they talk about nutrition on their menu that gives NO help at all!

hey you’re on my blogroll, the automatically enrolls me onto yours!

Vicki said
October 3, 2008 at 9:11 pm

You’re on mine too. You know what to do!!

Charlie said
October 4, 2008 at 8:07 am

Megan, I think $12,500 would be a bargain compared to “all the pumpkin treats I could ever want.”

Christy said
October 4, 2008 at 9:17 am

You make some very interesting points. I like your site. It is informative and still funny….very nice.

johngl said
October 5, 2008 at 7:52 am

Hey Charlie, thanks for the link back and the compliments as well!

As a heads up, I don’t put nutritional information on my postings; I am not that organized. I’m not as funny as Charlie is either, but I am working on it.

Jennifer said
October 6, 2008 at 9:02 am

Thanks for giving me a shout out Charlie! You’re the best brother in the whole wide world! And…the funniest!

Love ya!

Ken said
October 6, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I would love to be on your blogroll as well…

megan said
October 9, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I just found your site and love it. I think I love you Charlie. LOL 🙂

Jen said
October 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Just found your site. I love it! Keep up the good work. I am frustrated as well about the lack of info about restaurants. I wish it would become a law that they have to post the nutritional info. With so much talk about the obesity epidemic, you would think that this was a no-brainer. Ha Ha.

Putting you on my blogroll…

Laura Jane said
October 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm

I just found your site, and I think it’s great! I’m very frustrated with the lack of nutritional info available at restaurants – even at a lot of national chains.