On Wednesday I drove into the city to meet my friend Sherry for lunch at Chili’s.
The nearest one for me is Murfreesboro, TN – and I prefer “the old Chili’s” on Broad Street. Why? Because the food and service is consistently GREAT. 🙂
Plus it always seems to be a little quieter, a little brighter, and just the best Chili’s experience I’ve personally found.
I love (LOVE!) food, but I’m also picky about my restaurants for atmosphere.
Because I love a good food experience. 🙂
Here’s a picture of Sherry and I at Chili’s (taken by my son, who also joined us), Sherry on the left and me on the right:
Sherry is one of those GREAT rare friends you just connect with immediately and can talk to about anything – for hours on end. 🙂 She also runs Cub Scout Ideas, so if you have boys in scouts be sure to check out her blog!
Anyway, Chili’s Grill & Bar has tons of great low carb options on the menu, which is another reason I really enjoy going there.
First I scoured the menu. I usually get the grilled salmon, but I was in the mood for something different – and they had tons of new options!
I also pulled up the Chili’s Nutrition Facts on my mobile, which I recommend you ALWAYS do when you’re eating out.
Better yet, pull up the nutrition facts for a restaurant BEFORE you go, and KNOW what you plan to order. That’s smart!
The Quesadilla Explosion Salad REALLY jumped out at me though.
Almost literally 🙂 lol.
I looked it up, and it had a shockingly high carb count: 83 carbs (73 net carbs).
Of course, that includes the three cheese quesadilla slices on the side, along with other high carb ingredients. Here’s what’s in the salad:
Still, THAT salad is what I wanted. Period. So I went about deciding on my modifications while the server was getting our drink order…
I ordered the salad “without the corn & bean salsa, and without the tortilla strips”. And then “instead of the two usual dressings, I’ll take just Avocado Ranch Dressing – and on the side, please.”
“Oh, and add avocado plus a full order of seared shrimp too.” 🙂
The two dressings listed on the menu had sugar in them and were higher in carbs. The Avocado Ranch dressing was only 2 net carbs for one serving (4 TBSP).
So yes, I completely changed the entire salad. LOL.
* I gave the cheese quesadillas it came with to my son.
Here’s how my “special order salad” came out:
My server was a sweet young lady, more than happy to accommodate my weirdo order without question, and she was very attentive throughout the entire meal.
As usual… a perfect lunch experience!
Next comes the issue of how to track my meal in MyFitnessPal, since I couldn’t exactly put it in as a 73 net carb “quesadilla explosion salad” as it was on the menu. What I do in situations like that is put in the ingredients individually – the best I can.
Here’s how the macros worked out:
The salad was HUGE, especially with the 12 seared & seasoned shrimp added – in addition to the grilled chicken already on the salad, plus the generous amount of avocado she brought me on the side. I ended up taking about 1/3 of it home with me, and finished it off for dinner later that night. 🙂
Lynn Terry, aka @LowCarbTraveler
p.s. Does it bother you to “special order” your meals when you eat out at restaurants? I don’t have a problem doing it, and have never had a problem from servers over it, but I know some people feel “weird” asking for changes to meals. What about you?? As for me, I want what I want, I’m paying for it, and it’s never been a big deal.
Oh – and someone asked me how much extra I paid. The avocado add-on was on the menu for 99 cents. I didn’t look at my itemized bill, so I can’t recall the upcharge for the seared shrimp I added – but it wasn’t much. And it made TWO meals, so it was worth it!