Disease Proof

Eating to Live on the Outside: Ground Round

By now it’s a familiar story, you’re out having a good time with friends and someone suggests grabbing a bite to eat. Now you’re an Eat to Liver, but your buddies aren’t, so chances are healthy food isn’t on the agenda. Yup, you suddenly find yourself on a one-way train to deep-fried-double-battered-triple-cheese-extra-bacon hell. What do you do?

Instead of fisticuffs try rolling with the punches, at least that’s what I do. I’m down with Eat to Live, but I also live in the real world and occasionally that requires some deviations from Eat to Live, or concessions as I all call them. Hey I’m not proud of them, I do my best cushion the blow, but unfortunately the mainstream restaurant world isn’t exactly Eat to Live friendly. So usually I just try to make the best out of an otherwise crumby situation.

And that’s my goal. Find healthy menu selections from popular restaurants, such as Sizzler, Chipotle, California Pizza Kitchen, and Bennigan’s. Sometimes its easy, sometimes it’s hard, but if you really look, there’s bound to be something healthy on almost any menu. Hopefully this holds true for this week’s contestant the Ground Round.

It doesn’t take long to realize that the Ground Round is a meat-centric dining establishment. In fact even many of the “salads” are piled high with animal products, but let’s take a look anyway. My first choice would be the House Salad, but I’m not really sure what’s in it (the ingredients aren’t listed on the menu, only a little photo), if I had to guess it looks pretty standard: lettuce, tomato, onions, etc. Although I do see some croutons, I’d ditch those and limit the oily dressing. The Shrimp & Artichoke Salad also looks pretty tasty, but according to OceansAlive.org shrimp has some contamination issues, so I’d probably omit it from the salad. Oh, the basic Caesar Salad looks okay too.

The Ground Round also has a couple of sandwich wraps that I’d feel comfortable ordering. I really like the Roasted Vegetable Wrap (given the amount of meat on this menu the word vegetable is a godsend in itself), its ingredients include roasted red peppers, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and sun-dried tomato pesto mayonnaise. Sounds pretty interesting right? Other than the flour tortilla the only thing that really gives me pause is the mayonnaise, but I really like sun-dried tomatoes and pesto, so I would be willing to make this concession and keep it. What do you think? Another option to consider (if you’re in the mood for animal) is the Turkey Club Wrap. It’s not a very complicated dish, it’s made with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and cholesterol-free mayonnaise. Now, I have no problem with the turkey so I’m staying with it, but the bacon is history, and “cholesterol-free mayonnaise” is not enticing enough for me to consider, so adios to it too! Since both these wraps come with French fries I’d ask the wait staff if they have a healthier side available or just skip the side altogether.

The last thing to intrigue my taste buds is the Orange Grilled Salmon. Worried about the fish? Remember according to Dr. Fuhrman salmon is one of the better sea fares you can eat. So breathe a sigh of relief! This dish includes fresh stir-fried Asian vegetables, rice pilaf, and garlic bread sticks. I’m okay with everything, but the garlic bread sticks, don’t get me wrong I love garlic, but the bread is probably made with white flour and since I’ll be eating the rice pilaf I feel compelled to ditch something. All the seafood on the menu comes served with a variety of sides including broccoli or a vegetable of the day. Hey maybe you can ask the wait staff if you can make a main dish out of these healthy sides. That would be a great solution to this meaty Ground Round debacle.

Oh, and don’t forget, we want your feedback! Tell us what you might have done differently or what you agree with. Check out the Ground Round’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at diseaseproof@gmail.com.
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Patagium - August 5, 2006 12:57 PM

Thanks for the restaurant reviews. It's helpful. When I go to restaurants I have to be careful to keep the salt really low (in addition to all the other ETL guidelines). How do you think your preferred selections at Ground Round would rate for salt level?

patagium - August 8, 2006 12:01 PM

Gerry,

Thanks for the reply. Salt truly is a pain. Ingesting it makes me feel really bad so I do what I can to avoid it. I like the social aspect of going to restaurants but the unavoidability of salt can make it a painful experience. Even when they say that something is low salt or no salt they often have a lot of salt in it. People's perception of "no salt" is often different from mine.

Thanks for your efforts.

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