All Entries For restaurant chains

Just How Healthy Are Burger King's New Low-Cal 'Satisfries'?


A few weeks ago, Burger King started heavily promoting its latest menu offering called Satisfries, which are formulated to have 40% less fat than the leading fast food French fry (from McDonald's). We decided to try the fries, than take a close look at the ingredients and nutrition facts to discover whether these fries are as healthy as they seem.
Posted 10/4/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 48 comments   28,762 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Outback Steakhouse


This Australia-inspired chain is known for its steaks and the Bloomin' Onion, a deep-fried, batter-dipped appetizer that has more than 2,300 calories! While you'll find plenty of over-the-top dishes, Outback's menu has some healthy fare, too. Large portion sizes will require sharing entrées or taking half home especially if sodium content is of specific concern. While there are still plenty of high calorie, fat and sodium options, with a little preparation and planning, you can find a Down Under meal that won't weigh you or your little "joeys" down.
Posted 5/7/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 26 comments   17,968 views
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Food on the Run: Jack in the Box


I recently read that Jack in the Box is planning to open its first Ohio restaurant this summer near my neighborhood. I didn't know much about the fast casual chain except that they faced national scrutiny once because of an E. coli outbreak. I decided to do a little research and found the hamburger chain has more than 2200 restaurants in twenty states spanning the U.S. from coast to coast. With a recent opening in Indianapolis, Indiana and another 25 to 30 restaurants projected to open later this year, I decided to take a closer look at how the chain stacks up nutritionally.
 
Jack in the Box has an expansive menu, featuring the first fast casual 100% Sirloin Burger as well as lighter appetizers and real fruit smoothies. For the nutrition conscience, there are whole grain pitas, entrée salads, and grilled chicken. Here are some of the best choices I will be looking for when the new restaurant opens down the street.
Posted 4/23/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 19 comments   9,128 views
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Food on the Run: New Burger King Menu Review


Perhaps you have seen one of the new Burger King ads with David Beckham, Jay Leno, or Salma Hayek  or heard about the controversy related to the pulled one for Mary J Blige. In either case, more than likely you have heard the company has added new menu items. With the first major food expansion since the chain launched in 1954, we thought it was important to take a closer look.
 
Critics suggest the new menu additions like frappes, fruit smoothies, specialty salads, and snack wraps are very similar to the menus items of their top-rated competitors. While the 10 new menu items do match McDonald's offerings rather closely, perhaps the new updates are also a sign of the times. With a saturated fast-food market, maybe offering nutrition conscious options is a necessity just to stay competitive. Regardless of the reason for the new menu items, here are the nutrition details for the new choices to help you decide if they are right for you and your family.
Posted 4/9/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 88 comments   25,643 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers


Red Robin was named Zagat 2011 Fast Food Survey full-service chain "Best Burger" for the third straight year in a row. Known for their great atmosphere, unique burgers and Yummm®, this family friendly restaurant has had quite a transformation to achieve this honor. Originally started as a tavern back in the 1940s, it quickly became known as Sam's Red Robin for its singing owner that could frequently be heard singing "When the Red, Red, Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)" with his barbershop quartet. By the 1970s, Red Robin had transitioned from a tavern to a gourmet burger restaurant. Today, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is an award-winning restaurant with both kid and parent appeal. When observing the pride they have in providing value centered service to their guests as well as the communities where they do business, it could be easy to forget to ask how their food stacks up nutritionally.
 
Innovative gourmet sandwiches tend to come with high calorie and sodium counts. Add to that calories and sodium from the Bottomless Steak Fries® (434 cal/18g fat/444 mg sodium per serving) and Bottomless Beverages™ and the totals could easily soar. While it may feel hopeless that you can enjoy a meal here while also staying within nutritional guidelines, there is a way to have your burger and eat it too! Here are some tips to help.  
Posted 3/26/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 46 comments   77,636 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Quaker Steak & Lube


I had to do a double take the first time I passed this restaurant. Born out of a desire to preserve "the culture of those old gas stations and high-powered muscle cars," The Lube isn't your ordinary wings joint. If you are looking for a new place for a night out with the guys or a family-friendly restaurant that focuses on dad, The Quaker Steak and Lube might be worth checking out. Not only have they won "Best Wings USA" they have over 100 local, national and international awards for their sauce recipes as well as a focus on healthy kids options. Oh yea, there are plenty of cars, trucks and motorcycles too!
 
Of course, there are plenty of high fat and high calorie options to tempt you. Yes, many are extremely higher in sodium and only slightly better when you request no added salt when ordering. However, you can also find some health conscious options as well. Although the restaurant doesn't make their nutrition information readily available, the team at Healthy Dining Finder has. Here are some of the healthier options and special request suggestions they highlight.
Posted 2/6/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 20 comments   17,281 views
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Food on the Run: Extreme Pita



You want a fresh and nutritious sandwich on the go. One of the reasons you love Subway is because you can customize your sandwich to your personal taste with health in mind. Now you can enjoy the same benefits along with the power of the pita.
 
You can find an Extreme Pita in 14 states in the U.S. and nine provinces of Canada. Not familiar with this franchise? Watch this:

 
Here are some of the better choices when you visit this restaurant with a fresh take on the sub sandwich.
Posted 1/9/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 20 comments   7,047 views
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Food on the Run: Fazoli's


This mid-western Italian quick serve family favorite restaurant chain is rolling out new healthier menu options. With a kid friendly focus, Fazoli's was recognized as one of the best family restaurants in the United States by Parent's Magazine. Now, health conscious parents can select from 15 new menu items including several under-400 calories. With a focus on value, Fazoli's aims to provide nutrient rich menu options for everyone while keeping the family budget in mind.
 
With no fried foods or trans fats, there are some better options to select when you visit a Fazoli's near you.
Posted 11/21/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 15 comments   7,030 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: Tony Roma's


Back in 1972, Tony Roma's Place was a casual, comfortable neighborhood bar in south Florida that was known for great tasting baby back ribs. Before long, word spread and Tony's quickly became one of the most popular and successful restaurants in Miami.
 
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. Today it is also not just a great place for ribs. Diners can enjoy a full menu including steak, seafood, chicken as well as unique appetizers and mini desserts.
Here are some of the better choices to keep in mind when you visit your local Tony Roma's.
Posted 11/17/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 30 comments   10,062 views
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Food on the Run: Potbelly Sandwich Shop


What happens when an antique shop needs to bolster their business? They add sandwiches and homemade desserts to their unique atmosphere and create the Potbelly Sandwich Shop. What started as a unique offbeat dining sensation on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago has turned into a national franchise home run with over 200 restaurants today. 

Potbelly Sandwich Shops have the charm and heritage of an antique shop while providing nutrition, earth, and neighborhood conscious food and service. With many options on the menu and the ability to specialize any order the way you like it, the choices are endless. In our ongoing Food on the Run series, here is some of the better nutrient wise choices you might want to consider next time you are in the mood for a sandwich with nostalgia.
Posted 11/14/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 28 comments   8,824 views
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Diet Friendly Dining: LongHorn Steakhouse


LongHorn has been serving great tasting grilled steaks for more than 30 years. Today, you can find many other great tasting grilled options as well in their 350 restaurants located in 33 states. LongHorn has a stated commitment to sustainability and reducing businesses impact on the environment. Some ways they support that commitment is by building efficient restaurants as well as increased energy, water and waste management efficiency.
 
Grilling can enhance the flavor of meats, poultry, fish and even garden-fresh fruits and vegetables. Since marinades, spicy rubs, or tangy glazes are frequently used to enhance the flavor, it is important to pay attention to the calories and sodium content when selecting a grilled favorite when eating away from home.  When ordering meals away from home, we suggest aiming for a complete meal containing 500 calories and 15-20 grams of fat or less.
 
Portion size is always a key when dining away from home and keeping your nutrient intake in check. One way to enjoy your favorite dish while saving calories and fat is to eat at lunchtime instead of dinnertime. If dinner is when you decide to eat out, plan on only eating half of the entrée and taking the rest home or sharing your entrée with a friend.
 
Appetizers here are typically high calorie and high fat "extras" that sometimes can be used as an alternative to an entrée but are best avoided as the start to a meal. Be sure anything you select as an entrée alternative is baked, broiled or grilled and does not contain sauces. Potato skins would be your best choice but of course without the cheese, bacon, or sour cream. Ask if they will top them with steamed broccoli instead.
 
Salads can be a good option but you have to pay attention since many are tossed in dressing and then topped with the other ingredients like meat, nuts, or raw veggies. Skip the Caesar salad that is higher in fat, calories, and sodium. Ask for the dressing to be included on the side and since portion sizes are on the large side, don't be afraid to take part of it home.
 
Here are some of the better options from LongHorn that you might enjoy next time you head out for a grilled favorite.
Posted 11/7/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 8 comments   10,425 views
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Are You Happy about the New Happy Meal?


Last summer McDonald's was in the news regarding concerns over toys served with Happy Meals. Earlier this year McDonald's was back in the news with concerns over a new commercial campaign. McDonald's has also recently made renovations to their look and has added foods intended to be healthier such as oatmeal and fruit smoothies.
 
Last week McDonald's hit the news again when the President of McDonald's USA, Jan Fields, introduced plans on Good Morning America for a new Happy Meal. The traditional Happy Meal of a hamburger, fries, and a soda has been tempting or satisfying children (depending on how you look at it) for the past thirty years. Relatively unchanged, the standard meal provides about 570 calories and 20 grams of fat. The new Happy Meal will reduce that total by about 100 calories and 6 grams of fat. Some see the changes as a positive response to concerns over childhood obesity. Others see it as the typical business of marketing.  Perhaps it is a little of both but it certainly can't hurt especially in light of the new Kids Live Well campaign. So is the new meal worth all the hype? Your answer to that may depend on whether you are "glass half-full" or "glass half-empty" type of person.

Posted 8/1/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 108 comments   15,490 views
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Food on the Run: Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches


As a 19-year-old back in 1983, Jimmy John Liautaud set out to create the world's greatest gourmet sandwich. He created and tested his sandwich ideas on family and friends and eventually opened his first Jimmy John's. This young entrepreneur with a focus on low prices, great food and delivery that started out as a hit with college students has grown to become a gourmet sandwich shop with over 1000 stores today.

JJ's seems to have a market on the sandwich shop triple threat – Fresh, Fast and Fair-priced. Jimmy John's bakes their bread in-house daily as well as slicing and preparing meat and vegetable ingredients in-house too. They also focus on wholesome ingredients such as meats without fillers and real mayonnaise and olive oil. So with all this focus on wholesome ingredients, how does it measure up nutritionally.

Posted 4/18/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 87 comments   18,363 views
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New Proposed FDA Restaurant Labeling Regulations


Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released news of two proposed regulations related to calorie labeling. As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed into law last year, calorie and nutrition information in designated food establishments must be disclosed. Establishments with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name with nearly similar menu items will be effected by the new regulations. Since we already know nutrition calculations are derived from a variety of sources and serve more as an estimate then an exact number, can these new regulations really help us stay on track toward our goals?

Posted 4/8/2011  2:00:28 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 77 comments   17,214 views
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Food on the Run: Jamba Juice




Today, there are over 700 Jamba Juice locations focusing on whole food, no high-fructose corn syrup, zero trans fat or artificial preservatives. With such a focus on wholesomeness, there must be some great choices when visiting your local Jamba Juice right?

Today we will take a closer look at this rapidly growing restaurant chain in our ongoing Food on the Run series.

Posted 10/14/2010  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 44 comments   12,924 views
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