Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cheesecake Factory

"R" and I were heading out for a little shopping and we needed lunch first. I picked her up at the club and off we went to Valley Fair with our first stop the Cheesecake Factory in the mall.

I had never set foot in one before, but I had heard the name countless times. I think it must be the most popular place for Figure competitors immediately after a competition.

I had a copy of the nutritional facts in my hand and I was astounded by the calories in their foods. 

I needed protein and some greens, and a little carbs too, shouldn't be difficult but the Cheesecake Factory is an evil, evil empire.

Don't get me wrong, I had a great lunch and a fun time with "R" but only because she and I are wise to their tricks and we know how to select a healthy meal.

We were seated and a young, college age waiter come over and started to tell us about the specials. 
Waiter: "We have cream of chick" 
Kristy: "No" I said, "No cream, thanks", so he went on 
Waiter: "Breaded and fried...."
Kristy: "No, no fried. I know what I would like. What is in your Chicken Caesar salad?'

Waiter: Romaine, chicken, Parmesan, creamy garlic Caesar dressing..."
Kristy: "Chicken breast right?"

Waiter: "Yes, chicken breast"

Kristy: "I would like romaine lettuce, chicken breast, Parmesan cheese on the side, no croutons, no dressing"

Waiter: "Oh, right, I forgot the croutons.."

R: "I will have the same"

Waiter: "I'll bring the bread"

Kristy: "No bread, thanks"

Waiter: "Looks like I have some healthy eaters today!"

Most people think a salad is healthy, most salads are anything but healthy. In the link below you can see Cheesecake Factory's nutrition charts, the Chicken Caesar is 976 calories, that is almost half my daily caloric intake. They show the saturated fat, but not all the fat....

The calories and fat are coming from the salad dressing and the croutons, a bit from the cheese but dry cheeses are low calorie and not a huge cause of concern. So that is why I told him to leave them off.

He delivered the salad dressing on the side in two gravy boats, it appeared to have been about 1/3 cup each!  On top of that, their food is served on serving platters, the portions should be illegal.

Unfortunately is it quite clear by looking around that many of the patrons frequent this place often.

I brought my own dressing (I was prepared). This is great dressing, low cal and wonderful flavor.

Here is the back, and in case you cannot read it, the nutrition is as follows:

1 Tbsp
15 calories
1 gram fat
115 grams sodium
1 gram carbs
1 gram sugar
1 gram protein

You can see my salad at the very top, and my container that I transported the dressing in. It made a great salad, and a healthy one as opposed to the impostor they attempted to serve me.
As we ate the waiter came back, rested his hand on my shoulder and asked how everything was, "R" and I both froze. "Fine, thanks, everything is great" I said.

'What was that?" R asked..."I have no idea, I have never been touched by  waitstaff at a restaurant before..." It made the entire event even more surreal.

He came back with the bill and said based on what we ordered, he knew that dessert was out of the question.

Not only was he cute, but darn smart too!

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