Friday, March 16, 2012
550 Calories & Under at Applebee's
As research for the book I am writing, I tried the Garlic Sirloin off the 550 Calorie & Under Menu at Applebee's last night for dinner. I must say it was delicious. However, one of my clients had warned me that he didn't really buy that those entrees are actually under 550 calories. Now I can see why. The caramelized onions underneath the steak were really greasy, delicious, but greasy. I would also say that 7 oz. of steak is a hefty portion for someone on a diet regimen. Applebee's claims in their nutrition facts that their 7 oz. House Sirloin is 250 calories. However, I looked up 7 oz. of lean broiled sirloin on CalorieKing.com, and it showed that size portion would be 373 calories. Not cool.
I have a more positive take on the sides. As you can see from my pic, the portions of the potatoes and the portabella mushroom with creamed spinach are small. Kudos to Applebee's on that. I'm persuaded to believe the sides were actually low-calorie. The potatoes tasted more like butter than herbs, but at least there wasn't a large portion. They tasted like they had been boiled, and they were not greasy with oil.
With my client's opinion in the back of my mind I saved roughly half the steak and onions. After looking up the facts today I am glad that I did that. You can see some of the remaining grease on the plate.
I would also like to point out that Applebee's does post the following disclaimer on their website:
"Variations in ingredients and preparation, as well as substitutions, will increase or decrease PointsPlus™ values and any stated nutritional values, such as calories."
Taking the nutrition facts posted on the Applebee's website with a grain of salt, here are the calories on their 550 calorie and under entrees:
Great Tasting & UNDER 550 Calories™ - includes sides
Asiago Peppercorn Steak 380
Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp 500
Grilled Dijon Chicken & Portobellos 470
Roasted Garlic Sirloin 450
Sizzling Asian Shrimp & Broccoli 470
Sizzling Chili Lime Chicken 470
Applebee's also has a Weight Watchers PointsPlus™ menu which features low-calorie entrees as well. Personally I think they should just combine the two menus and tell us both the calories and the points. The menu at the Applebee's I went to listed 550 calorie entrees and Weight Watcher's entrees on two totally separate pages. It probably has something to do with their agreement with Weight Watchers. It would be nice if both menus were on one page. Anyway, here are the calories and points on those entrees:
WEIGHT WATCHERS® includes sides
Weight Watchers® Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin 460, 12 pts.
Weight Watchers® Creamy Parmesan Chicken 470, 12 pts.
Weight Watchers® Grilled Jalapeno-Lime Shrimp 300, 8 pts.
To sum up I would definitely order the Garlic Sirloin again. It was delicious, and I appreciate that Applebee's is trying to offer some healthier options. The next time I will probably skip the onions altogether. They seemed to be the source of the grease. Now if you will excuse me, there is a leftover steak with my name on it. Lunch? Yes, please!
P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow!