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Best Of... Dining Out! (Restaurant Must-Read)
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Best Of... Dining Out! (Restaurant Must-Read)

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11.15.13
 

These days, many restaurants are offering light options. Some even have full-on menus devoted to smart selections -- a trend we enjoy... a LOT. Here are a few of the best around, plus our top picks on each. Read up, and order smart!

 
 
  Panera Bread Hidden Menu


We're not entirely certain why Panera isn't shouting from the rooftops about this lineup, but maybe the mystique makes it more appealing. Packed with protein and light on carbs, these hush-hush meals are majorly impressive. In the a.m., try the Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey (170 calories, 4.5g fat, PointsPlus® value 4*). Later on, dig into the Power Steak Lettuce Wraps (210 calories, 9g fat, PointsPlus® value 5*). For loads more details, check out our Panera Bread Survival Guide. High five, Panera!

 
  The Cheesecake Factory SkinnyLicious Menu


The fact that the Factory folks don't list nutritional info on their website or provide total fat counts anywhere -- WHY??? -- is somewhat mitigated by the presence of the truly terrific SkinnyLicious Menu. We've tried (and loved!) many of the offerings, and new ones are being added all the time. The 250-calorie Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos are huge, yummy, and all-around awesome. The Ahi Carpaccio (260 calories) is another HG favorite. And the lightened-up cocktail line is also pretty sweet. Click for more details from our official taste test a couple of years back!

 
 
 
  Applebee's Under 550 Calories Menu and Weight Watchers Menu


There are TWO smart places to look when you're "eatin' good in the neighborhood." The Under 550 Calories section has some serious gems that are anything but diet-y, including a couple of steak meals. The Napa Chicken & Portabellos comes with a red wine sauce, Parmesan cheese, potatoes, veggies... all for 450 calories and 13g fat (PointsPlus® value 11*). And check out the Weight Watchers menu for picks like the Grilled Jalapeño Lime Shrimp, with black bean corn salsa, veggies, and steamed rice, all for 300 calories and 6g fat (PointsPlus® value 8). Mmmm!

 
 
Olive Garden Leggeri (Lighter Italian Fare) Menu


This menu is great in that everything on it feels pretty indulgent. If you're craving pasta, a dinner portion of Capellini Pomodoro has just 490 calories and 10g fat (PointsPlus® value 12*). For a flavor-packed afternoon meal, a lunch order of Venetian Apricot Chicken has 290 calories and 4.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 7*). And if you REALLY want lasagna, the Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken has a fairly decent 530 calories and 20g fat (PointsPlus® value 14*).

 
 
 
  Chili's Lighter Choices Menu


This one has some pretty basic items, but we're okay with simple... There's less room for sneaky add-ins. For example, we'll happily enjoy the Lighter Choices 6 oz. Classic Sirloin with pico de gallo on top and steamed broccoli on the side (250 calories, 7g fat, PointsPlus® value 6*). But, be careful -- the regular 6 oz. Classic Sirloin is topped with garlic butter and served with loaded mashed potatoes, for a total of 860 calories and 48g fat! Click here for our Chili's Survival Guide, including a deluxe rundown of this menu (along with tweaks to make some items even lighter!).

 
  Hungry for More?


Click here for our Official Guide to HG Survival Guides! And don't miss our very latest guides: Ruby Tuesday's, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Wendy's. Read and chew...

 

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CHEW ON THIS:

Today, November 15th, is America Recycles Day. Don't forget to sort your recyclable cans, bottles, and more, Americans!

Click here for a printable, text-only version of this page.

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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