Eating to Live on the Outside: Don Pablo's

Okay, back in September I asked the question, “Ever wonder what a menu would look like if practically every dish had cheese in it?” Remember the answer? Here are a few hints: cheddar, Monterey Jack, and blue cheese. See, I knew it would come back to you—The Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille!

So, why would I bring up this old nemesis? Because this week’s restaurant looks like what would happen if The Desert Moon cut the cheese—now that’s a great pun!—well, not all the cheese. Don Pablo’s menu is still really tough, an Eat to Liver certainly has some work to do before ordering, but, it wouldn’t be fun if it wasn’t a struggle, right? Okay, let’s take Don Pablo’s for a test drive.

The salad section of most menus is usually a sanctuary for Eat to Livers, you’ll find that to be true at Don Pablo’s too, but you’ve got to be very picky. That’s why I’m going with the Low-Carb Sizzling Fajita Salad. Low-carb? Yeah, I’d feel dirty ordering it too, but despite its namesake it’s pretty reasonable. This low-carb salad comes with fire-roasted squash, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, Loca sauce, and your choice of dressing. I’m digging the veggies and of course I’ll go easy on the dressing, but the “Loca sauce”? No way! Sounds spicy and I don’t do spicy. You can also order sirloin, chicken, or Mahi Mahi with the low-carb salad. I’ll go with the Mahi Mahi because according to it’s an Eco Best. Not bad right? No major concessions here.

The next item to snare my attention is the Portabella Mushroom and Vegetable Fajita. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking—flour tortillas? Congratulations, you just found the first concession. Get ready because here comes another one, the fajitas are served on a bed of saffron rice. Okay so right off the bat we’ve got two concessions—is it still worth ordering? I think so. This dish is prepared with refritos (refried beans), lettuce, Pico de Gallo, cheese, sour cream, guacamole (upon request), portabella mushrooms, corn, squash, zucchini, carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and spinach. Wow! That’s a lot of veggies. So yeah, I think its worth ordering. But before I eat it, I’ve got a few alterations in mind—goodbye sour cream, cheese, and refritos! Now even though I love avocado, if the guacamole has any dairy in it, its gone too. I’d be sure to ask the wait staff about it. So despite the flour tortillas and the bed of rice, I’d feel pretty confident ordering this meal, after all, there are a lot of phytonutrients in those vegetables.

Now I want everyone to know I tried really hard to come up with some more menu selections, but as I mentioned earlier, Don Pablo’s menu is no joke. Sure, it’s better than The Desert Moon, but it’s hardly a picnic. Now I could have opted for a couple of the chicken-based dishes, but after months of doing this I find myself less and less drawn to chicken. This shouldn’t be a shocker to regular DiseaseProof readers because as I’ve admitted, the older I get the less I desire meat. I’m sure a lot of you can relate.

So the last menu selection I’d go for would be an amalgamation of Don Pablo’s side dishes. Actually, it’s not really an amalgamation, four out of the six sides I wouldn’t order. Sorry but sweet corn cake, refritos, Chile mashed potatoes, and Charra beans (beans cooked with bacon) don’t sound very appetizing. If I really wanted to play it safe a dish of black beans and garden vegetables would work, but if you ask me, it’s a little boring. I’d much prefer experimenting with one of the dishes I mentioned earlier. But hey, sometimes safer is better.

And remember if you’ve got an interesting Eating to Live on the Outside story we’d love to hear from you. Hey, we might even make a post out of it. Check out Don Pablo’s menu and email us at with your ideas and stories or just leave a comment. Let us know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside?
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Sarah - March 29, 2007 3:02 AM

Just to let you know, Don Pablos charra beans are not cooked with bacon. In fact all of their sides are vegetarian including the refritos.

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