During these difficult times, our family has made a conscious effort to continue to support local businesses by ordering from a local restaurant once a week. We typically dine-out once a week, and we feel it is a good way to continue to support our favorite spots. If you are able, I would encourage you to support local businesses as you can.
I am frequently asked about what the best choices are to order at restaurants and even suggestions of which restaurant have healthy choices. We are very lucky to live in a community that has a variety of local restaurants that provide delicious and nutritious choices to diners.
My first response when asked these questions, is to order what you really want, don’t overthink it. Dining at restaurants is not only about the food but about the experience. You want to enjoy your experience, and the food you are eating. Don’t order something just because you think it is ‘healthier’, but you don’t really want it. Don’t order a salad if you really want the burger and fries, you won’t be satisfied with your experience. Also, don’t just order the burger and fries because that is the only thing you know, explore the menu, and take this experience to try something new that looks intriguing. There are many healthy options that are delicious, and you will enjoy it.
Many of our local restaurants use fresh, nutritious ingredients for many of their dishes, which I love. I do recommend looking for menu items that include vegetables, a lean protein or plant-based protein, and a whole grain for a balanced meal. Choosing grilled or baked items more often than fried foods is a good way to reduce saturated fat and sodium. Items with heavy sauces or dressings can also be high in sodium and saturated fat. Ask for them on the side, so that you can control the amount while still getting some flavor, or ask if they have lighter dressings or sauces.
I always remind people that you can usually customize your order as you need or want to. When ordering ask your server about modifications that you can make to menu items. Many restaurants are accommodating customers with dietary restrictions – vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. If you see something on the menu that looks good, but you don’t necessarily like everything about it, try modifying it to meet your needs.
Big Grove Brewery is a restaurant that is a place that I always recommend for healthy meal options. I especially like that they use local fresh ingredients in their dishes, and they are always willing to make modifications to meet the customer’s needs.
Here at Performance it has always been a priority to support other small businesses in our community, and continue to do so. One way we are supporting local is by teaming up with and spotlighting some of our favorite restaurants in the area. Check out this video from Sean Towely, Chef De Cuisine, at Big Grove Solon about how they can cater to menu item modifications to leave each customer satisfied with their dining experience.