I know this is kind of an "eh...." question, but with the amount of travel I do, I'm pretty nervous about being able to eat out! I'm usually in a hotel room with 3-4 other people, making food storage a bit of an issue.
I'm fine with finding salads, grilled fish and the like, but I'm wondering if there's any sort of directory or list of acceptable-ish meals for bigger chain places like P.F. Changs.
By Paleo-ish I mean not fried, low sugar, low additive. It doesn't have to be "pure" paleo or anything like that, just something that wouldn't be ORANGE CHICKEN WITH FRIED RICE or what have you.
Thanks you guys, I'm really liking this community, you've been a great help and encouragement!
Request it to not be cooked in Vegetable Oil, Soy Sauce(unless GF) or Fried.
Request Real Butter, be sure to clarify that Margarine is NOT real butter.(yes this has been a repeated required explination)
Potato- mmm.see Real Butter requirement.(dont eat the skin)
avoid gravies(wheat) and most dressings(vegetable oils, blech) unless they can clearly list ingredients.
Some of my favorites eating out:
Outback: Steak Big one, Medium Rare. Potato with Cheese and Butter(im lacto-paleo) Steamed veggies(usually broccoli/cauliflower/carrots) psuedocheat: they have a gluten free dessert Chocolate Thunder down under. wayy too much sugar :)
Carrabas. Chicken Caesar Salad, no croutons.
Any Japanese Teppenyaki: bring GF Tamari if they dont have it available to cook with.
Local Chinese. Discuss with them that you are GF, otherwise they can handle.
PF Changs: has a GF Menu, just watch for the heavy vegetable oil use.
Chipotle: watch the veggies, cooked in heavy soybean oil. you can request fresh veggies no oil at most locations if youre willing to wait a few minutes(you should!)
Mexican: Fajita plate sans shells.
Sushi. be careful of the fake crab sticks, they have wheat in them, very minimal, but its there.
BBQ: All Day Pulled Pork can be amazing, question them about sauce ingredients, sugar content is often thru the roof. sometimes they use thickeners. I get a pound of pork at a local place, vinegar based sauce, never have leftovers. so good.
Sams Club: my 2 local ones, and I presume now everywhere, now have Gluten Free Rotisserie Chickens for $5. Easy Grab and go GF Paleo meal.
Longhorn: Flo's Filet, steamed veggies, baked potato.
Ted's montana grill: Buffalo!
so many of the big chains have GF Menu's now... just make sure that youre checking what they are using to cook with. Dont blow a healthy meal with a bolus of vegetable oil.
Edit: Moes now has Grassfed Steak and gluten free labeling!
I normally go with a burger...minus the bun. Of course if its grass-fed then all the better but normally its not specified and/or they don't even know.
I do is get a burger (no bun) and load it with as many paleo friendly toppings as I can...for example, mushrooms, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, etc. As for the side instead of fries I ask for steamed veggies. Places like Glory Days are very used to this and happy to comply.
Good luck! What a great question, I'm about to travel for work and this is great info!
I always go for a grilled chicken caesar with no croutons and the dressing on the side. If the dressing looks gross i set it aside and ask for oil and balsamic vinegar.
There are some chains, like Houlihans, that make everything fresh. When I go there, i just tell them what I want and they make it. It really depends on the chain.
I ended up at a PF Change outing not too long ago, and despaired over the menu until I saw the seared lamb. I got that and a side of asparagus and was good to go!
My general principle is to ask for substitutions, usually to swap out sides of rice/potato/white carb for some veggies. This is what can make the ultimate pollo bowl at El Pollo Loco somewhat paleo. Chipotle have highly flexible options.
Though in many cases, the follow up is needed: "that's okay if it's an extra charge." But usually worth it for me.
What works for me (but it's never perfection):
Ask if food can be cooked in butter, when possible (like eggs for breakfast, or sauteed greens).
Ask for EVOO, if possible (uncanny how many places have barrels of canola oil!).
No added sugar (sometimes I fib and say I'm "pre-diabetic" so they take me more seriously). This is a must at Thai restaurants.
No wheat (although hard to escape if gravy or breading is involved). Gluten-free choices are a value-add!
Usually no starch, add extra veggies (but I occasionally eat small amounts of potatoes and white rice).
Grilled meat with no added salt.
PF CHANG'S EXAMPLE: I'll order the northern style spare ribs appetizer and one of the gluten-free entrees like beef/broccoli. Since I know I can't escape PUFAs there, I load up on fish/krill oil beforehand. YMMV
Instead of a list, I'll just say that Bonefish Grill has been the best for me in terms of service and gluten free menu.
Once the waittron notices that I have asked for the GF menu, they are very helpful, and are even suggesting other ways to make dishes paleo that i had not thought of right away.
Adam recommends the ceasar without croutons, with anchovy fillets on top.
Do NOT use Olive Garden!I asked for a gluten free menu,made it clear I was ordering from the gluten free menu, and was treated to a big plate of wheat pasta(nothing else on the menu in my price range but the gluten free penne, and I was out to dinner with my boss)+ three days of stomach pains,intestinal bleeding,mouth ulcers,nerve issues ect.They were nice enough to apologize and refund the money,but from other sources, I am by far not the first person this happened to.Mexican places are normally pretty easy to work with, and I've heard Bonefish is as well.
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