Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Applebee's Under 550 Calories Menu

A few weeks ago, Mister and I decided that we wanted to go out to dinner. After some back and forth, I suggested Applebee's and told him about the new low calorie menu that I had see advertised on commercials. He agreed, since he is watching his calories too.

I have never been to Applebee's before and he seemed surprised. We walked in and were told that it would be a 20-30 minute wait for a table, so we reluctantly sat at the bar to be served quicker- or so we thought. We took our menus and immediately looked at the Under 550 Calorie Menu. There is a good selection with quite a bit of variety. The calories range from as low as 261 for a salad all the way up to 541 for a steak.

I decided on the Teriyaki Shrimp Pasta which sits at 364 calories and Mister decided upon the Grilled Dijon Chicken and Portobello for 478 calories.

This next part has little to do with the actual menu but.... It took the food nearly an hour to arrive! It was bordering on totally ridiculous. However, the restaurant was busy, but the dishes are not very complex to put together.

When the food finally came, the portion sizes seemed decent. They were actual portion sizes, not those overly HUGE and MASSIVE portions where you eat for 20 minutes and it looks like you haven't even made a dent in the dish. For mine, there was a good cup of spaghetti topped with broccoli, snow peas and carrots. There was shrimp on top which was rubbery due to being overcooked. The taste was a bit bland however overly seasoned with cilantro- not my favorite herb.

The Grilled Dijon Chicken looked great. It was smothered with cheese and topped with red peppers and mushrooms. It was also accompanied by baby red potatoes, broccoli and carrots. Even though the chicken looked delicious, it was burnt to a crisp. It was almost inedible. Mister is one to clean his plate and he didn't finish the chicken- SHOCKER. Complaining didn't get him anywhere. They offered a free dessert to 2 people who just ordered off the low calorie menu. That is just silly. We declined. They ended up taking 15% off the burnt entree (not enough in my opinion).

All in all, the Under 550 Menu is in theory a good idea. However, I'm not sure how much I trust the cooks who make 1200 calorie burgers all day to make a delicious low cal meal that is edible. You never really know what is going on in the kitchen. They could be slathering butter on your steak and you think it is delicious because it is only 500 calories for the whole meal!

The menu is rather new as well. The cooks may not yet be used to the new menu items and they may not get ordered a lot for them to practice. If you are going to try this menu, then I suggest you wait a little while until the cooks familiarize themselves with the new items and the menu becomes more popular.

One plus to our visit was that you get a few new ideas of what to make for yourself at home. Low fat food doesn't have to be bland or only be salad. It can be steak and chicken with some cheese or pasta! I will be using the menu as inspiration at home.

Eat at your own risk!


out of 5     

(This is my new rating system- Cherries!)


  1. Sounds like a great idea but as you say, how can you be so sure. Also low cal dining out is only any good if it is nutritious and well cooked. Sounds like it wasn't as good as it could have been
    Good review

  2. I am 5'4 I think. Been a short pudgy person for quiet awhile now, tired of it.