Applebee's menu suggestions

Any chain with more than 6 locations needs to post calorie counts in Ontario where I live, almost all the main course salads at my 2 local chain pubs are over 1400 calories. I think it’s the dressing, nuts and goat cheese or feta that drives those calorie counts up.


That makes sense.

I always order the dressing on the side–there is no need to drown the salad to the point that it’s soup (but I do enjoy the nuts and cheese).


it’s not just “a lot for a salad”, it’s three-quarters of an average adult male’s total daily calorie intake…:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

There’s no way to link directly to the pop-up for the Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad specifically, but It’s about a quarter of the way down this page) and it looks like it’s not so much the protein that accounts for the massive calorie count (though at a claimed 58 g, there is most of an average person’s daily requirement in there), it’s the 90 g of fat and and 114 g of carbs (including 50 g of sugar !?) Apparently 190 calories of that (from 7 g fat, 25 g carbs, and 5 g protein) is in the “Golden Brown Signature Breadstick”, but even still - holy carp! On the other hand, I do wonder if they served it “dressed” or if the dressing comes on the side, in which case the nutritional info probably covers all the latter that’s “served”, rather than “what’s on the ((main) plate”, or some sort of theoretical average amount of dressing used… And I imagine it is the dressing that accounts for most of the fat and sugar. So if you go very easy on it, you can probably cut way back on the 138% of the RDV of fat and just under 2 ounces of sugar :grimacing: included in the calorie count…

(If it’s not, meaning, if that is what’s on the plate as it comes out of the kitchen, it frankly sounds kind of gross. At the risk of “over-sharing”, eating “a lot” of “oily” fat and sugar, but less than 3 ounces and 2 respectively, in a brief space of time would usually have me running for the Little Boys’ Room, especially if alcohol is involved in the same meal - and in general, I have a pretty cast-iron stomach… If I’m going to eat 90 g of fat (and a lot less sugar) at a sitting, I’d much rather just eat half a pound of bacon and call it a meal… :grin:)

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Recommended intake. Very few North American men are eating 2000 calories a day. Most North American men and women are eating more than 2000 calories a day. That’s why I’m fat.


You mean I’m not just big boned???


Ew. That’s 1/4 cup of sugar in a salad :dizzy_face:


Too much British influence has left me with a penchant for understatement, much like getting caught in a gale at sea in a small boat is “a bit sporty.” grin

Your breakdown @MikeG is appreciated. Since the column labels disappear as you scroll down you had to make an effort. Discussions like this one really put me off eating out. When we do, often my wife and I will each get an appetizer and share, or share a single entree, or simply plan for taking home leftovers. There is just too much food and that with too much fat and too much salt. Bah!


I guess I should have said "the 2000 or so calories an average adult “needs”? And, um, well, not to put too fine a point on it, but… “exactly” ?

I rarely comment on this subject in general/online because it’s a “touchy” one, but we’re not all  “fat” (and not all of those who aren’t “starve ourselves” - I could easily stand to lose 10 lbs, and while I do walk a lot just to go about my business, no one would ever call me an “exercise freak”.:grin:, I haven’t set foot in a “gym” since high school…) But frankly, I can’t even begin to imagine eating nearly 1500 calories at one sitting except maybe on “feast days” like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and even then it’s because I’m pigging out mostly on protein and carbs. The thought of eating 90 g of fat within the space of an hour or less makes my eye twitch - not “intellectually” because I know “it’s bad for me”, but because it would actually make me feel physically unpleasant (“ill” would be a gross exaggeration, but I’d certainly be thinking “that was really dumb, not gonna do that   again for a good long while…”) 800+ calories for a “large” meal, sure, but twice that? No…

Exactly… It’s about as much sugar as in a pint of soda or bottled iced tea - maybe even more? And not only is it an almost totally “superfluous” 200 calories, it just sounds really unpleasant to eat…

This, and not general sobbery against “mass market” restaurant food, is definitely why I avoid eating at places like Applebee’s and TGIF, which seem to go out of their way to slip “extra/hidden” fat and sugar (not to mention salt) into things… I’m pretty sure I could eat way more food than I’d want  to eat at a “greasy Americanized Chinese” restaurant, or 2-3 slices of typical neighborhood-pizzeria pizza, without hitting 90 g of fat, or maybe just hitting it in the latter case (and three  slices of normal (16-18") pizzeria-pizza is a lot of pizza…) And on both cases it would be a lot more satisfying than a “grilled chicken salad”…

I mean, I’m a (relatively :wink:) normal human - “fat tastes good” to me and I even have what I consider an unfortunate sweet tooth, but each in their place (also, not quite to this degree.) If I’m going to eat fat, I like it to be “fatty food” (e.g., bacon, green beans stewed in olive oil (almost literally), cheese, sausage, pizza with “extra” cheese and  pepperoni, and did I say bacon?), or candy (even - foodie-gasp - Hershey’s Kisses) or baked goods made with butter (rather than “high ratio shortening”:grimacing:. But not in things like “grilled chicken salad” that actually taste the worse for it, imnsho…

That being said, if devil of these details is  in the dressing, and they haven’t figured out a way to defy the known laws of physics, that’s an awful lot of dressing (even if it’s literally little more than seasoned fat-plus-sugar), so if you use a sane amount of it, the calorie/fat/sugar count should drop dramatically… (Which, among other things, dovetails with nutritionist/dieting recs for “staying on track” while eating out at places like this - “ask for the dressing on the side, and use it sparingly if at all”…)

But in mainstream Americanese, “vinaigrette” basically means "not ‘creamy’ or ‘cheesy’ "… I daresay this one is no more a “classic” vinaigrette than the grilled chicken is actually “Oriental” aside from probably have something at least resembling soy sauce in the marinade…:wink:

While 1500 calories sounds unbelievable, getting to that number at a mass-market restaurant is not hard. That big burger and a medium fries can zoom to that number. Case in point: Carl’s Jr’s Bacon Western Cheeseburger (my husband’s choice) = 1010 calories, while a medium fries = 400.

Their breakfast burger (sounds like something nutritious) = 1080 calories.

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sigh Yes. Generally recipes or dishes that include ‘creamy’ or ‘cheesy’ are not for me. My vinaigrette is two parts oil to one part vinegar (vice 4:1 commonly found), garlic, a bit of Dijon mustard, and some pepper. No salt, no sugar. I make mine in a pint Ball jar to make measuring and mixing easy.


Most restaurant meals I eat are in the 1500 range. I’m pretty much the average size of women in their mid 40s in North America. Size 14.

Good for you, that you’re disciplined, feel sick when you eat too much fat and only have 10 lbs you could stand to lose.

Won’t go down the path of what I do and what I’ve done, what I could do or what I should do. I’ve posted on dozens of those threads on the old site.

This is :broken_heart:


Well, maybe that’s the difference. It’s not an issue of “self-discipline” for me. I just can’t eat that much food and not feel gross… (not gross because it would make me overweight or because overweight is “gross”, just "ugh, there’s way too much food inside my body right now…) If I eat 1000+ calories at a meal, I just have no interest in eating anything else substantial for hours (and hours) afterward. I will snack (long) before my next meal, and chances are good it will be an “unhealthy” snack, but if overdo that, it’ll just postpone my next “meal” that much longer (however unhealthy that too may be…)


I think healthy is a completely separate issue from quantity. If you consume too many calories you’ll gain weight. It’s pretty clear that volume constraints favor getting heavy by eating calorie dense foods, but people who eat too much certainly appear (personal observation, no footnotes) to adapt to eat more and more volume of food.

I count myself fortunate that for whatever reason I only want to eat until I’m not hungry. Not until I’m full, until I’m not hungry. Perhaps I should thank my mother for being a mediocre cook and ingraining useful habits. sigh

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This has certainly morphed into something far beyond Applebee’s.
I don’t go out to eat because of necessity and watching my diet, but to enjoy the experience and (hopefully) something I can’t duplicate at home.
Different strokes and all that, I suppose.


This is an excellent point. I still don’t want a day’s rations in one meal but there are surely things I can’t do, or don’t have the time to do.

Sometimes it is about the experience.

Sometimes it’s road food when I can’t pack my own.


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