Thursday, September 30, 2010

Restaurants- What Are They THINKING?

 I was inspired to write this post from a post from Back To The Fridge.   He talked about ordering a "plain jane" backed potato and was served a Frankensized potato that was anything BUT plain jane. 

There is a restaurant near us called Space Aliens.  It sounded intriguing and fun so we took the kids there.  They have a mini arcade so of course the kids were thrilled. Plus there are tons of cool lights and aliens decorated all over the place so there is plenty to look at.  I like restaurants where you don't have to keep 3 kids quiet and not moving around for the entire meal.  That is not enjoyable at all so this was good. 

So while the kids got pizza and fries and smoothies and completely unhealthy items, I thought I would attempt at a "decent" meal.  I got the small steak, 6 oz, not huge. They had much bigger.  I got it with a baked potato and veggies. They asked if I wanted cheese, bacon, sour cream, butter, onions and a dozen other things on my potato.

"HECK YES!!". 

But alas, no.  I asked for no butter on the veggies and potato and just some sour cream on the side. Very sensible.

Then, for like $2.99 you can get these pork thingys, I forget what they are called, it's their feature.  We'd never had them so I decided we'd get them for us to share.  It was cheaper to get them as an addition to MY meal which is why I ordered them.  I believe it was the husband who really wanted them. 

I get my food. 

My steak and veggies that had all these extra greasy, delicious, onion thingys, sauces galores and all of a sudden my healthy steak and veggies didn't look quite so healthy anymore.

Then.  They put down my potato. This baby needed it's own zip code.  It was SO BIG. I'd never in my entire life seen such a enormous potato.  We're talking mutant here.  This seriously was as big as a dinner plate.  HUGE.  Even plain it looked quite intimidating.

Oh, and remember those $2.99 pork thingys.  Another plate, a gargantuan platter sized plate heaped galore, overflowing with fried pork things that looked positively scrumptious/disgusting. (there is a fine line here, people). 

I can't imagine the look on my face but even the waitress looked embarrassed for me.  My husband and kids are just in stitches laughing at me as they KNEW my goal was not to over eat and have a "simple" meal.  They all had their one plate of pizza and fries and here I am with 2 overflowing dinner plates and a platter in front of me. 

I so wish I had a picture. 

The entire potato came home with us. I don't think I ate a bite.  We ate more than enough pork thingys which were good but not THAT good.  At least 1/2 of those came home with us.  I'm not sure they ever got eaten, they weren't the kind of thing that you reheated. I know it wasn't ME who at them.

Ok, there has to be a lesson in here somewhere. Oh yea, WHAT THE HECK ARE RESTAURANTS DOING??  Is this really the portions that people expect at restaurants??   We just don't go to restaurants often anymore for just this reason. 

I told you that this post was inspired from Charlies post on his blog.  He talked about going to a salad bar and having it resemble nothing salad like at all.  That is how my salads USED to be. I'd heap on the cheese, egg, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, croutons, and. oh, maybe a few veggies. (it had to have the illusion of actually being a salad, you know). 

I still love the salad bar but I choose ONE semi unhealthy thing.  I LOVE croutons so I often will pile on the veggies and some garbanzo beans if they have them and add a few croutons. I skip all the other stuff and still enjoy the salad. I put at least 1/2 the dressing I used to and it is still HUGELY enjoyable. I don't believe in eating things that aren't enjoyable.  My measure of standard has changed though so I don't NEED all the gunk to enjoy it anymore. Yea! 

Moral of the story:  Stay away from restaurants? Ask before ordering?  Think before you eat?  Beware of frankensized potatoes?  You choose.


  1. Lately, I have this fear of restaurants and not knowing what is in the food they serve. With me, it's not really the portion size, but the ingredients. A good thing, since it keeps me eating at home.

  2. I love this post! I totally agree with title...What are they thinking? Have you seen Kitchen Nightmares? An older show now...Chef Gordan Ramsey would go into restaurants, and "clean" them up. I think a lot of restaurant owners just don't have a clue what the public wants.

  3. Amen. And I know I can make it healthier, usually better tasting, and seriously cheaper. Duh?

  4. Yeah...I try to stay away from going out to eat. I have been know to order one meal and share with my husband.

    I am here via the Hot 100

  5. I love this. It is so true that apparently as an obese nation, we have spoke and the restaurants have listened. that causes a problem for those of us who wish to no longer be obese. or I guess in reality it doesn't because now I don't hardly ever eat out any more. If I do, I get the single most healthy thing I can get and if it doesn't pass the sniff test, then it only gets picked at at most.

  6. Hey Debbie,

    I know how you feel. I remember when I thought I was eating healthy at Qdoba...only to find out my veggie buritto with no cheese was like a bagzillion calories for only 1/4 of the thing!

    Let's not talk about the salads at Chili's either!

    Good luck on your weight loss!

  7. an Englishman this all sounds insane...i remember watching the documentary supersize me and my jaw dropped at the portion sizes you guys in the states seem to get...the presenter (morgan, i think) was not joking when he said that the smallest fries in a U.S McD's was the largest possible size here in the UK. It sounds like the same thing is happening in your restaurants too(as opposed to just fast-food joints).

    We're fortunate here in the UK, i guess, but most restaurants seem to be reasonably healthy and don't overload you with multiple plates of stuff (in my experience)...or maybe UK restaurant-owners are just tight-fisted and give smaller portions to get more bang for their buck/pound! ;o)

  8. I see the comment from Phil above--seems the US needs to learn a thing or two from the UK!! I think part of the reason restaurants do this is to win back business from people who want to get their money's worth. But it does make it hard on those like us who are trying to be healthy! Craziness. next time, be sure to bring your camera so we can witness the table-sized potato lol.

  9. This is precisely why I stopped eating at restaurants except on rare occasions when I'm forced to. Only exceptions are those which post their menus, nutrition data and portion sizes online so I can make my choices before I go.

    However, I do not have children to consider. I know that makes things much more difficult. I so admire those of you who still try to make good choices for both you and your families!!


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