So today we went to the Cheesecake Factory.
Since we walked in right before the lunch rush, we were able to seat ourselves at the bar and see the platters going by for the other diners.
At one point, a manager type walked by with two dishes large enough for a colony of birds to bathe at ease and length. Disgusted and delighted, we asked what those massive platters were and we were informed that those were a California salad and a Barbecue chicken salad.
So salad, right? That’s healthy. Except.
There was easily half a pound of onion rings in one plate, and at least six chopped-up rashers of bacon in the other.
Does that still mean it’s a salad? Or a cholesterol trap?
And as we sat to eat and watch passersby, and wonder who ate the “salad”, we realized the answer is simple: most of the patrons who walked into the restaurant were overweight to obese. And those who aren’t heavy, are just greedy –us included. Whatever we couldn’t eat (and believe me, we tried), we took home.
Portions are ridiculous these days. This is not just a Cheesecake Factory problem –which was, by the way, quite a tasty place– but a global problem. All around us, people were not just eating those gigantic portions almost whole but also getting dessert. When they don’t get gigantic portions, they feel gypped.
Gigantic portions make you eat more. Eating more makes you gain weight. Weight lets in the door for more weight, and so the cycle goes (I’ve already put on like 5 lbs. alone this pregnancy, and it SUCKS).
A thousand-calorie salad with a cheesecake chaser?
Sometimes there are no words.
so I finally saw Super Size Me this weekend and yes, portion sizes are out of control. do they have Claim Jumpers here? A single dish at that restaurant could easily serve 3 people, but is technically for one.
advice for eating out: eat slowly and stop when full. take home leftovers.
Blech! I go there when my sister, niece and nephew want to, but I always leave feeling like a water buffalo. And not a healthy one either. The one that is all stuck in mud, being circled by lions. 😦
And I have never even had the cheesecake?!
I like the Cheesecake Factory myself, but yes, their portions are insane. I took myself out of the Clean Plate Club a few years ago, and I know it’s not good to waste food, but I am not going to feel obligated to eat it all – especially because I would like to hold out for the cheesecake :-).
And just because it’s a salad doesn’t automatically make it a healthy choice, as you note. What’s IN the salad actually makes a difference.
Oversized portions at restaurants drive me crazy. They lead to so much waste, too. (Sure, people take home leftovers, but in addition to all the resulting extra packaging, how often do leftovers just get thrown out anyhow?)
Cheesecake Factory has pretty tasty food, but so many of the big chains serve up massive quantities of mediocre food. I frequently find myself wishing I could have a moderate amount of a dish that was better prepared. Sadly, this seems not to be what most folks in our area want, though. Whenever we find such a restaurant, they invariably close within a couple of years.