Disease Proof

Eating to Live on the Outside: Hobee's California Restaurants

Honestly, I’m not going to act surprised anymore. I’m just going to say it. Most American eateries are epicenters of low-nutrient, disease-causing food—period! And Hobee’s is just another in the long list of offenders. So, as is often the case, this week is going to be rough—argh!

Hoebee’s menu is packed with typical standard American garbage foods—not sure what those are? Mostly over-stuffed greasy omelets, char-cooked burgers, ooey-gooey cheese dishes, and plenty of sweets, to name a few. No doubt, this isn’t going to be easy. Alright, let’s give it a try.

Well, I had to skip five sections of the menu before I found some thing with potential. That’d be the Seasonal Fresh Fruit Plate; basically a plate of fruit served with a strawberry yogurt sauce. Minus the sauce, it’s a safe option. Not sure how excited I’d be to overpay for fresh fruit, but in a pinch, it’d work. The Oatmeal with either bananas or blueberries would work too, provided it’s not made with milk. If these don’t wet you’re taste buds you could always give the Breakfast Quesadilla or the Cheesey Scramble a whirl—not!

Now let’s look at the salads. For starters, it’s worth mentioning that Hobee’s offers an all-you-eat salad bar. This is Hobee’s saving grace and without looking at the rest of the menu, I can say with confidence. This is your best bet. Personally, I’d go with the salad bar and quit trying to make the unhealthy healthy. But, I’m a glutton for punishment, so, I’ll proceed. The Embarcadero Salad and the Mediterranean Salad both look good, but, both need augmenting. Together they include grilled chicken, pears, apples, walnuts, dried fruit, Bleu cheese, raspberry vinaigrette, spring mix salad, roasted vegetables, olives, beans, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, Feta cheese, and Balsamic vinaigrette. Okay, the cheese, chicken, and olives are out, limit that dressing, and either one is looking good. One or the other would work for me, but I’m leaning towards the Mediterranean.

Outside the salads, they’re a few more things I’d consider ordering, but just to reiterate. I prefer the salad bar over any of this. But for giggles, I’d also give the Portabello Ciabatta Sandwich a try; made with grilled portabello mushroom, roasted red pepper, fresh spinach, avocado, Swiss cheese, Ciabatta bread, and sundried tomato butter. Well, the clearly the bread is the concession, and, the butter and the cheese are toast—as in gone! Not terrible, but not great either.

If a sandwich isn’t to your liking, try the Seven Veggie Medley. It comes with at least seven vegetables, grilled tofu, and your choice of tomato-basil, classic basil, chipotle pesto, or teriyaki glaze served over brown rice pilaf. Alright, I’m pretty sure there’s a fair amount of oil in this, so that’s a problem. Also, rice pilaf has pasta in it—that’s a concession. I guess this could work if you’re in the right mood. I’m not thrilled about it.

Finally, if I were willing to make a pasta-concession, I might flirt with the Salmon Fettuccine; includes fettuccine, salmon, mushrooms, spinach, chopped tomatoes, garlic, capers, lemon, herbs, and olive oil. Luckily salmon is a safer fish to eat, so that’s not a big deal, but capers are salty so they’re out and all that olive oil makes me nervous. So, if I was really feeling daring I might order this, but I’d have to at least ditch the capers.

Okay, despite these options. Hobee’s is really bad news. If you’re a responsible Eat to Liver and you have a choice, avoid Hoebee’s. Granted, the salad bar is great, but what’s the point of paying all that money for salad—you’re better off staying at home. Now that’s just my opinion. It’s you’re turn. Check out Hoebee’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Send an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com or make a comment. Happy eating!
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Kirsten - September 7, 2007 2:13 PM

We LOVE Hobbees! I am assuming that you are working solely from their menu ... And of course we eat at home most of the time, but when you are on the road and visiting folks, it's nice to have someplace where you can assemble something resembling ETL.
Prior to ETL, as a lacto-vegetarian, I had some favorites there that I just don't eat any more (when we are in the Bay Area and are eating out).
Now, as nutritarians, Hobbees is still a pretty good eating out option, in my opinion. We just go with the salad bar and, often, the soup. There is always a vegetarian option, though it is of course more salty than we would ever eat at home.
For kids, they ALWAYS come right out with a fruit plate in the form of a happy face. I think that this is supremely cool and so do the kids!
And then there is the tea--yummy Good Earth spiced herbal infusion "tea" that is great with nothing added to it.
I know the menu is rife with non-food items for us, but the ambiance and the prominent salad bar makes this a place we feel very comfortable--slow food with some healthy options.
Thanks for the continuing reviews of places. What about Pita Pit, a fast-food option that is a cut above most college town eateries, also in my oh so humble opinion. ;)

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