Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Horror of Houlihan's

I had to attend a work-related lunch and Houlihan's was the restaurant of choice. I immediately did reconnaissance but I saw nothing friendly on the menu. In disbelief, I comb through the menu over and over and, finally, I spot tortilla soup but when I look at the sodium count of 1,000 +, I'm dumbfounded.

One of my colleagues even tells me that most restaurants have options for healthier fare. Um, yeah, I know.

While I'm climbing, I chat about the luncheon with Jessica and she suggests calling ahead and letting them know that I have dietary concerns; the idea did cross my mind. In one of the You Are What You Eat episodes, Gillian McKeith tells Lisa Apston (2:25):

Have you ever thought of ordering off menu? You deciding what you want and asking them if they can do it or what can they do. Don't be afraid to assert yourself...

Just thinking about the thrashing that I received at the hands of Kate yesterday makes me want to be careful about what I put in my body...

I call Little House of Horrors Houlihan's and I'm told that I can order something, say chicken breast, unseasoned and the vegetables (asparagus or green beans) without sauce.

When I was looking at the veggie club, a straight up red herring, I even got resentful of the price. I usually have all the makings of a sandwich in my refrigerator: almond cheese, lettuce, basil, bell pepper, turkey -- and it doesn't cost $8 dollars per sandwich.

Eight dollars is not going to make or break me but it's the principle of the whole thing.

Like, how in the world do you get 1,000 + calories in a small salad?

Take a look at the stats on the Buffalo Bleu Salad:

  • Calories: 1037

  • Total Fat: 60

  • Saturated Fat: 17

  • Total Carbs: 70

  • Dietary Fiber: 7

  • Protein: 43

  • Sodium: 2,282

  • And the sodium? That's just diabolical.

    I would have thought nothing of going to a restaurant before without checking the nutrition stats but I would never have imagined that a meal would be infused with fat and sodium as a lure to get me to return.

    I'm disturbed by the nutrition stats at Houlihan's. Disturbed. Houlihan's gave me a chocolate chip cookie to placate me though.

    It seems that not even animals are immune to the obesity epidemic. Did you catch Nightline on Monday?


    1. that amount of sodium is intensely wrong omg????

    2. That is a HUGE amount of sodium. It's amazing that people aren't dropping like flies! Wow. Good for you for doing a bit of recon ahead of time...most people don't.

    3. Isn't that just incredible? In my previous life I wouldn't have thought to check any nutritional information on restaurant meals - part of me probably didn't want to know.

    4. @midlife_swimmer,

      Yeah, I don't understand why so much sodium is being added. :(

      @Mad Woman,

      Can you imagine if someone with hypertension went there and didn't do the recon? I'm glad that I didn't make an assumption that the grilled chicken was harmless...


      It is incredible and it makes me think about the stuff that I used to put in my body. I'm not a poster child for clean eating but...

    5. wow, great post and I love the video story. I watched it with my kids. we've got one cat in the neighborhood who is approaching morbid obesity fast!

    6. Diane,

      Thanks...I love it when the pet expert says that pets want interaction which is what most people want of other people and not things.

      Also, I can't believe that there's pet junk food complete with sugar. Wow.

    7. And the fact that they get away with having such crap on their menus.


      My WW counselor told us to tell the server that you were on a restricted diet - this makes them think of lawsuits and so they will pretty much do what you want.

    8. Angela,

      Thanks for the words from your WW counselor. I'll try it at another restaurant. Hopefully, that was my first and last time going to Houlihan's. For that matter, after this month, I'm hoping not to go to a restaurant for a long time...