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New Restaurant Surprises & Shockers!
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New Restaurant Surprises & Shockers!

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03.15.13
 

Check out these pleasant surprises and need-to-know shockers on the menus of chain restaurants near you!

 
 
  Surprise! Panera Bread "Hidden Menu" Power Breakfast Egg Bowl with Steak

1 bowl: 230 calories, 15g fat, 310mg sodium, 5g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugars, 20g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*

We're OBSESSED with the Hidden Menu at Panera -- so many amazing guilt-free options. This one is surprising, however, given that both STEAK and EGGS are involved. There's even avocado in this meal! It's a classic example of using just the right amounts of decadent ingredients. Love it!

 
  Shocker! Chili's Build Your Own Lunch Combo: Chicken Enchilada Soup + Classic Turkey Toasted Sandwich

1 bowl of soup + 1 lunch-portion sandwich with fries: 1,080 calories, 59g fat, 3,100mg sodium, 97g carbs, 8g fiber, sugars n.a., 47g protein -- PointsPlus® value 29*

Lunch combos can be very tempting (there's usually a bargain price involved!), and this one sounds innocent enough. Sadly, the soup alone has 400 calories and 26g fat, and the sandwich with fries has a nutritional price tag of 680 calories and 33 fat grams. BOO! Stick with the Lighter Choices menu at Chili's, and you'll be fine.

 
 
 
  Surprise! Ruby Tuesday Caribbean Chicken & Coconut-Crusted Shrimp

1 entrée: 413 calories, 14g fat, 402mg sodium, 20g carbs, 3g fiber, sugars n.a., 49g protein -- PointsPlus® value 10*

Limited-time-only items can be extremely tricky. The nutritional info often isn't available, and that whole "get 'em while you can!" appeal can be hard to resist. Well, kudos to Ruby Tuesday for disclosing the nutritionals. We never would have guessed this meal is so reasonable in the stats department! The fried-shrimp portion of this dish is balanced out with lean chicken breast, mango salsa, and a fruity dipping sauce. Sweet!

 
  Shocker! Denny's Cali Jack Turkey Burger

1 order: 750 calories, 34g fat, 1,140mg sodium, 53g carbs, 9g fiber, 18g sugars, 34g protein -- PointsPlus® value 17*

Scary! This one comes with a Fit Fare label (on account of its high protein and fiber counts), which means it's supposed to be a better-for-you selection. Well, we're not feeling very fit looking at the calorie and fat counts. And those stats include a side of broccoli, not a plate of fries! If you want to order this, save some fat by skipping the cheese and avocado. But for a better Fit Fare selection, try the veggie-loaded Chicken Avocado Sandwich -- just 490 calories and 11g fat (PointsPlus® value 12*), avocado and all.

 
 
 
  Surprise! Olive Garden Spicy Shrimp Vesuvio

1 dinner portion: 520 calories, 15g fat, 2,110mg sodium, 63g carbs, 4g fiber, sugars n.a., 34g protein -- PointsPlus® value 13*

The Leggeri (a.k.a. Lighter Italian Fare) menu has some serious gems but, surprisingly, you won't find this new dish on the light menu! We're very impressed with this entrée. You get a plateful of shrimp and veggies (roasted red peppers, hot cherry peppers, and spinach) swimming in a zesty red sauce, all over pasta. How GOOD does that sound!? Yes, it's very high in sodium (like many restaurant meals), but get this: The dish is topped with pancetta, a super-salty type of bacon. Eighty-six the pancetta, and you'll save a bunch of sodium and (bonus!) some fat and calories too.

 
  Shocker! Red Lobster Bar Harbor Lobster Bake

1 entrée: 1,020 calories, 37g fat, 3,670mg sodium, 104g carbs, fiber n.a., sugars n.a., 68g protein -- PointsPlus® value of about 27*

Let this be a warning -- don't get lured in by a pretty picture! When we first saw the snapshot, we assumed this was just a whole lot of steamed seafood. But after getting smacked in the face by the high stats, we read the description. There's linguini in there -- we're guessing A LOT of it. And a call to the company revealed that the dish includes a beurre blanc sauce, a.k.a. a hot buttery concoction. Celebrate Lobsterfest with the Harborside Lobster & Shrimp instead -- 470 calories and 13g fat (PointsPlus® value of about 12*).

 
 
 
  Surprise! Applebee's Napa Chicken & Portobellos

1 order: 450 calories, 12g fat, 1,470mg sodium, 31g carbs, 5g fiber, sugars n.a., 55g protein -- PointsPlus® value 11*

Sometimes the lightened-up section of the menu is filled with nothing but drab dishes. Not so at Applebee's! Every time we ogle this entrée, we want to do a little dance. The wine sauce! The mushrooms! The roasted potatoes! It all makes us so happy... especially with such impressive stats. Find this one on the Under 550 Calories menu -- check out the other entrées there as well!

 
 

HG Heads-Up: The sodium counts are pretty high across the board here (and on most chain-restaurant meals). If excess sodium is a concern, you may want to avoid dining out at chain restaurants as much as possible.

 

Before you pick a place to eat this weekend, click "Send to a Friend" to pass around this info!

CHEW ON THIS:

Beware the Ides of March... and if you celebrate March 15th with a "Caesar" salad, beware of fatty dressings as well. We defer to Newman's Own when it comes to salad dressing -- break out some Lite Caesar!

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We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.


*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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