The last time I walked into an Applebee’s restaurant, I was 18. It was the favorite weekend spot for my gal pals and I. That said… I grew up in a very small Texas town. My girlfriends and I would often get together at Applebee’s for lunches, study breaks or dinner. Occasionally we would sneak in a non-alcoholic beverage – to look cool…so we thought at the time. Needless to say, I have fond memories of Applebee’s.
This February, I had a blast from the past when I stepped into Raleigh’s Briar Creek Applebee’s. Unlike my high school days, I would not be ordering my usual fried southwestern egg rolls, quesadilla’s or chicken fried steak. This time around, I would be sampling a dish from Applebee’s new Lighter Fare Menu.
I love eating out, but it’s a challenge. I’m a die-hard foodie that does believe in balance. I am guilty for indulging, but I do enjoy every bite without the guilt. For those days that I am not indulging or “researching” for future social media posts, I will opt for a healthy meal. Lighter Fare Menu’s can be delicious and can be found in the most unexpected venues.
Applebee’s has come on board and added the Lighter Fare menu to cater to those seeking healthier options. Personally, I have become more conscience of my diet in general, what I like to call a “Thinking Eater”. Buying organic, shopping at farmer’s markets, buying produce that is in season, etc., has become a part of my lifestyle. YES, I want to have a delicious meal when I dine at a restaurant, but not always at the expense of an outrageous amount of calories and fat. Applebee’s Lighter Fare Menu provides that option, without sacrificing taste. Some of the dishes include: Hot Shot Whiskey Chicken, Shrimp Won Ton Stir Fry, Thai Shrimp Salad, Grilled Onion Sirloin with Stout Gravy, Pepper-Crusted Sirloin & Whole Grains. The new menu has only launched in select markets and available dishes will also vary by market. To see if this menu option is available at your local Applebee’s, go to http://www.applebees.com/ and select the Applebee’s near you. The menu option will list the menu types available at your local Applebee’s. The nutritional information is also available on their website.
At the Briar Creek Applebee’s location, I sampled the Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken which sits on a bed of honey glazed pecans & quinoa and is covered in a Granny Smith apple relish, cranberries and rice. It has 590 calories and has 43 grams of protein. You will notice that the portions are smaller, but in reality most restaurants serve two to three times the serving size we should actually be eating. Imagine that! The meal was delicious and very filling.
Although the Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill area have many wonderful non-chain restaurants, the reality is a large percentage of our population does frequent chains. They are affordable and family friendly. Applebee’s has a varied menu that caters to kids, teens and parents which is appealing to most families. The Lighter Fare Menu now provides an additional option to conscience eaters, regardless of age. Let me know what you think of Lighter Fare Menu the next time you visit an Applebee’s near you.