6

votes

List of Paleo-ish Options at chain restaurants?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 17, 2010 at 11:38 PM

I know this is kind of an "eh...." question, but with the amount of travel I do, I'm pretty nervous about being able to eat out! I'm usually in a hotel room with 3-4 other people, making food storage a bit of an issue.

I'm fine with finding salads, grilled fish and the like, but I'm wondering if there's any sort of directory or list of acceptable-ish meals for bigger chain places like P.F. Changs.

By Paleo-ish I mean not fried, low sugar, low additive. It doesn't have to be "pure" paleo or anything like that, just something that wouldn't be ORANGE CHICKEN WITH FRIED RICE or what have you.

Thanks you guys, I'm really liking this community, you've been a great help and encouragement!

Fbe7a077442b2ef5c41ea93aa89d7705

on October 25, 2013
at 09:02 PM

Blatant company promotion. The poster is the app creator. boo.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:53 PM

I would HIGHY recommend avoiding subway. From what I have read literally everything there has nasty additives. EVERYTHING.

F73d5dcd35ac9a7013f4ed3dc0ce1229

(10)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:33 PM

The only meat not cooked in soybean oil at Chipotle is carnitas. http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/special_diet_information/special_diet_information.aspx

F73d5dcd35ac9a7013f4ed3dc0ce1229

(10)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:32 PM

The only meat [not cooked in soybean oil at Chipotle is carnitas](http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/special_diet_information/special_diet_information.aspx).

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 14, 2011
at 04:53 PM

Good point, Adam.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on January 10, 2011
at 11:05 PM

at $5 it's expensive, and as noted in reviews, doesn't adhere to paleo very well, which is important for the people that actually NEED help.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on January 10, 2011
at 11:01 PM

not only does over easy or sunny side let you know they are real, but less likely to oxidize all the awesome stuff inside the egg yolk.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on January 10, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Order them sunny side up or over easy -- then you know they are real eggs.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:09 PM

If you have a sulfite sensitivity, be careful in Subway.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on January 10, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Check the label! Some locations apparently still have the old wheat type!

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on January 10, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Uhm, wow - thickeners (sometimes wheat) to egg? And here I thought it'd be safe. Thanks!

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:34 PM

I like your approach.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:33 PM

A burger with an egg on it has always been a favorite of mine.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:30 PM

I feel very lucky that one of the diners near me uses free range eggs from a local farmer!

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on January 10, 2011
at 07:43 AM

I don't have any i-products, so I'm afraid that's a pass for me XD

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 09, 2011
at 11:42 PM

I was thinking about the Sam's club rotisserie chickens today and wondering whether or not they're GF. Thanks for the info!

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on January 09, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Sorry, I didn't clarify: I ask for EVOO in salad dressing, not heated. Very good points, S-A, Andrew and Jay!

976844bb16c0ab60ca2632aa5df149f8

(317)

on December 19, 2010
at 10:15 PM

I never thought about added thickeners to eggs....great info!

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 19, 2010
at 04:19 AM

I wonder if I haven't noticed! They felt real, had all the color differences I'm used to, but I might not be as refined in my tastes yet. I'm already going to be ordering my eggs over hard from here on out, I eat em scrambled plenty at home.

Bc2110309df459e4fd6c8dab58e364ab

(1096)

on December 18, 2010
at 11:54 PM

Only when there is an option. At home, we order from KOL Foods (organic, grass fed, happy kosher). When I am on the road, I do the best that I can to stay in the game and not be a miserable (starving) mommy. Sometimes I cheat, but I can live with that.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 18, 2010
at 08:34 PM

Andrew, it's a good question and I think the answer is that canola oil is safer than olive oil if high heat is used... Canola oil seems to have som eunique antioxidants that are more heat stable than EVOO's otherwise wonderful polyphenols. The trade off is more PUFAs (both 3 nd 6 in canola) but I think that's worth staying under the smoke point, where bad shit truly does happen. Especially if the dish is overall somewhat low-fat, you're not getting that much omega 6 and you can always make up for it later with potatoes and beef.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on December 18, 2010
at 03:26 PM

If you're seeing changes after just a few weeks GF, then it's not a lie at all! However, you do need to sit down and really contemplate a gluten-free life before you go telling your friends and family. It's not a "I'll go GF on Monday again" sort of diet.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on December 18, 2010
at 07:30 AM

Reduced carb toast = cut the crusts off?!? :-)

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on December 18, 2010
at 04:41 AM

is oxidized olive oil better than canola oil?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Hmm the cracker barrel here in Georgia uses real eggs + thickener. Just make sure you ask , maybe it's a regional thing?

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 18, 2010
at 01:50 AM

I was just thinking that about the omelets. I know at cracker barrel and waffle house they're real eggs from my experience...but somewhere like Denny's, ehhh

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 18, 2010
at 01:11 AM

do you care about grass fed or mass fed?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 18, 2010
at 01:09 AM

GF ~ gluten free*?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:22 AM

eating omelets out, be Very careful that they are using Real Eggs, and that they are not mixing them to thicken it. Alot of places add wheat flour or pancake batter to thicken them up.. Sigh.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:20 AM

ask for coconut oil. EVOO has a VERY LOW smoke point, will oxidize if cooked with.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:17 AM

I tell them I am Gluten Intolerant, I have NEVER been charged extra. The only places that charge extra are if you want a GF Hamburger Bun or something silly candy cigarette like that. Eat real food. PF Changs has a GF Menu btw.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:10 AM

I really gotta get over being afraid to say I'm GF! Maybe because it's never been "diagnosed", I almost feel like I'm lying, but after seeing the changes in just 3 weeks...It's probably not a lie at all! I'll remember that phrase about it being okay for extra charge...it is totally worth it!

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:08 AM

Thank you very much! This is just the kind of reminder I needed. I always look for the "low carb" menu, but like at Cracker Barrel, they offer REDUCED CARB TOAST. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN XD I'll make a little cheat sheet card to take with me with some of these, thank you!

  • 9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

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17 Answers

best answer

11
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on December 18, 2010
at 12:03 AM

Any Meat.

Request it to not be cooked in Vegetable Oil, Soy Sauce(unless GF) or Fried.

Request Real Butter, be sure to clarify that Margarine is NOT real butter.(yes this has been a repeated required explination)

Steamed Veggies(any)

Potato- mmm.see Real Butter requirement.(dont eat the skin)

avoid gravies(wheat) and most dressings(vegetable oils, blech) unless they can clearly list ingredients.

Some of my favorites eating out:

Outback: Steak Big one, Medium Rare. Potato with Cheese and Butter(im lacto-paleo) Steamed veggies(usually broccoli/cauliflower/carrots) psuedocheat: they have a gluten free dessert Chocolate Thunder down under. wayy too much sugar :)

Carrabas. Chicken Caesar Salad, no croutons.

Any Japanese Teppenyaki: bring GF Tamari if they dont have it available to cook with.

Local Chinese. Discuss with them that you are GF, otherwise they can handle.

PF Changs: has a GF Menu, just watch for the heavy vegetable oil use.

Chipotle: watch the veggies, cooked in heavy soybean oil. you can request fresh veggies no oil at most locations if youre willing to wait a few minutes(you should!)

Mexican: Fajita plate sans shells.

Sushi. be careful of the fake crab sticks, they have wheat in them, very minimal, but its there.

BBQ: All Day Pulled Pork can be amazing, question them about sauce ingredients, sugar content is often thru the roof. sometimes they use thickeners. I get a pound of pork at a local place, vinegar based sauce, never have leftovers. so good.

Sams Club: my 2 local ones, and I presume now everywhere, now have Gluten Free Rotisserie Chickens for $5. Easy Grab and go GF Paleo meal.

Longhorn: Flo's Filet, steamed veggies, baked potato.

Ted's montana grill: Buffalo!

so many of the big chains have GF Menu's now... just make sure that youre checking what they are using to cook with. Dont blow a healthy meal with a bolus of vegetable oil.


Edit: Moes now has Grassfed Steak and gluten free labeling!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 18, 2010
at 01:09 AM

GF ~ gluten free*?

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:08 AM

Thank you very much! This is just the kind of reminder I needed. I always look for the "low carb" menu, but like at Cracker Barrel, they offer REDUCED CARB TOAST. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN XD I'll make a little cheat sheet card to take with me with some of these, thank you!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on December 18, 2010
at 07:30 AM

Reduced carb toast = cut the crusts off?!? :-)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on January 10, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Check the label! Some locations apparently still have the old wheat type!

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 09, 2011
at 11:42 PM

I was thinking about the Sam's club rotisserie chickens today and wondering whether or not they're GF. Thanks for the info!

F73d5dcd35ac9a7013f4ed3dc0ce1229

(10)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:32 PM

The only meat [not cooked in soybean oil at Chipotle is carnitas](http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/special_diet_information/special_diet_information.aspx).

F73d5dcd35ac9a7013f4ed3dc0ce1229

(10)

on April 21, 2011
at 11:33 PM

The only meat not cooked in soybean oil at Chipotle is carnitas. http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/special_diet_information/special_diet_information.aspx

2
21084e275703e9a3909dafa28e5d29b5

(1103)

on January 10, 2011
at 01:41 PM

I normally go with a burger...minus the bun. Of course if its grass-fed then all the better but normally its not specified and/or they don't even know.

I do is get a burger (no bun) and load it with as many paleo friendly toppings as I can...for example, mushrooms, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, etc. As for the side instead of fries I ask for steamed veggies. Places like Glory Days are very used to this and happy to comply.

Good luck! What a great question, I'm about to travel for work and this is great info!

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:33 PM

A burger with an egg on it has always been a favorite of mine.

2
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on January 10, 2011
at 06:13 AM

I try not to eat out often, that being the case, I don't sweat the small stuff and just stay away from bread, battered foods, corn, and beans.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:34 PM

I like your approach.

2
976844bb16c0ab60ca2632aa5df149f8

(317)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:15 AM

Don't forget breakfast for dinner...veggie omelet

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 18, 2010
at 01:50 AM

I was just thinking that about the omelets. I know at cracker barrel and waffle house they're real eggs from my experience...but somewhere like Denny's, ehhh

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:22 AM

eating omelets out, be Very careful that they are using Real Eggs, and that they are not mixing them to thicken it. Alot of places add wheat flour or pancake batter to thicken them up.. Sigh.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 03:38 AM

Hmm the cracker barrel here in Georgia uses real eggs + thickener. Just make sure you ask , maybe it's a regional thing?

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 19, 2010
at 04:19 AM

I wonder if I haven't noticed! They felt real, had all the color differences I'm used to, but I might not be as refined in my tastes yet. I'm already going to be ordering my eggs over hard from here on out, I eat em scrambled plenty at home.

976844bb16c0ab60ca2632aa5df149f8

(317)

on December 19, 2010
at 10:15 PM

I never thought about added thickeners to eggs....great info!

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on January 10, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Order them sunny side up or over easy -- then you know they are real eggs.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on January 10, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Uhm, wow - thickeners (sometimes wheat) to egg? And here I thought it'd be safe. Thanks!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on January 10, 2011
at 11:01 PM

not only does over easy or sunny side let you know they are real, but less likely to oxidize all the awesome stuff inside the egg yolk.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 02:30 PM

I feel very lucky that one of the diners near me uses free range eggs from a local farmer!

1
1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Do NOT use Olive Garden!I asked for a gluten free menu,made it clear I was ordering from the gluten free menu, and was treated to a big plate of wheat pasta(nothing else on the menu in my price range but the gluten free penne, and I was out to dinner with my boss)+ three days of stomach pains,intestinal bleeding,mouth ulcers,nerve issues ect.They were nice enough to apologize and refund the money,but from other sources, I am by far not the first person this happened to.Mexican places are normally pretty easy to work with, and I've heard Bonefish is as well.

1
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on January 10, 2011
at 09:23 PM

Instead of a list, I'll just say that Bonefish Grill has been the best for me in terms of service and gluten free menu.

Once the waittron notices that I have asked for the GF menu, they are very helpful, and are even suggesting other ways to make dishes paleo that i had not thought of right away.

Adam recommends the ceasar without croutons, with anchovy fillets on top.

They never charge me extra for the extra fish on my salad, and i love them so.

1
Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

on December 18, 2010
at 12:15 AM

What works for me (but it's never perfection):

  • Ask if food can be cooked in butter, when possible (like eggs for breakfast, or sauteed greens).

  • Ask for EVOO, if possible (uncanny how many places have barrels of canola oil!).

  • No added sugar (sometimes I fib and say I'm "pre-diabetic" so they take me more seriously). This is a must at Thai restaurants.

  • No wheat (although hard to escape if gravy or breading is involved). Gluten-free choices are a value-add!

  • Usually no starch, add extra veggies (but I occasionally eat small amounts of potatoes and white rice).

  • Grilled meat with no added salt.

PF CHANG'S EXAMPLE: I'll order the northern style spare ribs appetizer and one of the gluten-free entrees like beef/broccoli. Since I know I can't escape PUFAs there, I load up on fish/krill oil beforehand. YMMV

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on December 18, 2010
at 04:41 AM

is oxidized olive oil better than canola oil?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 18, 2010
at 08:34 PM

Andrew, it's a good question and I think the answer is that canola oil is safer than olive oil if high heat is used... Canola oil seems to have som eunique antioxidants that are more heat stable than EVOO's otherwise wonderful polyphenols. The trade off is more PUFAs (both 3 nd 6 in canola) but I think that's worth staying under the smoke point, where bad shit truly does happen. Especially if the dish is overall somewhat low-fat, you're not getting that much omega 6 and you can always make up for it later with potatoes and beef.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:20 AM

ask for coconut oil. EVOO has a VERY LOW smoke point, will oxidize if cooked with.

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on January 09, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Sorry, I didn't clarify: I ask for EVOO in salad dressing, not heated. Very good points, S-A, Andrew and Jay!

1
A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

on December 18, 2010
at 12:03 AM

I ended up at a PF Change outing not too long ago, and despaired over the menu until I saw the seared lamb. I got that and a side of asparagus and was good to go!

My general principle is to ask for substitutions, usually to swap out sides of rice/potato/white carb for some veggies. This is what can make the ultimate pollo bowl at El Pollo Loco somewhat paleo. Chipotle have highly flexible options.

Though in many cases, the follow up is needed: "that's okay if it's an extra charge." But usually worth it for me.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:17 AM

I tell them I am Gluten Intolerant, I have NEVER been charged extra. The only places that charge extra are if you want a GF Hamburger Bun or something silly candy cigarette like that. Eat real food. PF Changs has a GF Menu btw.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on December 18, 2010
at 03:26 PM

If you're seeing changes after just a few weeks GF, then it's not a lie at all! However, you do need to sit down and really contemplate a gluten-free life before you go telling your friends and family. It's not a "I'll go GF on Monday again" sort of diet.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 18, 2010
at 12:10 AM

I really gotta get over being afraid to say I'm GF! Maybe because it's never been "diagnosed", I almost feel like I'm lying, but after seeing the changes in just 3 weeks...It's probably not a lie at all! I'll remember that phrase about it being okay for extra charge...it is totally worth it!

1
Bc2110309df459e4fd6c8dab58e364ab

(1096)

on December 17, 2010
at 11:48 PM

I always go for a grilled chicken caesar with no croutons and the dressing on the side. If the dressing looks gross i set it aside and ask for oil and balsamic vinegar.

There are some chains, like Houlihans, that make everything fresh. When I go there, i just tell them what I want and they make it. It really depends on the chain.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 18, 2010
at 01:11 AM

do you care about grass fed or mass fed?

Bc2110309df459e4fd6c8dab58e364ab

(1096)

on December 18, 2010
at 11:54 PM

Only when there is an option. At home, we order from KOL Foods (organic, grass fed, happy kosher). When I am on the road, I do the best that I can to stay in the game and not be a miserable (starving) mommy. Sometimes I cheat, but I can live with that.

0
F896ba42dc8a0acde7480bf6a2c33d1d

on January 22, 2013
at 03:37 AM

Chili's has some great Paleo options...steak and steamed veggies, mango salsa chicken and veggies.

0
D613cc4b9409009d5735a23e9fec5886

(143)

on May 09, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Wait wait wait - BUTTER? Is that paleo? You are confusing a newb here!

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on January 25, 2012
at 03:17 PM

Cheesecake Factory Farmhouse burger w/out a bun - awesome

Chipotle Burrito Bowl or Salad w/double meat.

Sonny's BBQ, meat + salad bar (if I'm fairly desperate)

Those are my 3 go-to places.

0
A3e654929c08c0723607842656b57f8f

(834)

on April 21, 2011
at 09:52 PM

Just heard about this place which is somewhat paleo friendly:

. Roam Artisan Burgers in San Francisco

Roam Artisan Burgers offers diners a choice of grassfed beef, freerange turkey, all-natural bison or house-made organic veggie burgers.

All of Roam’s meat comes from a select group of purveyors and is humanely raised on open pastures.

What’s more, Roam’s fries are cooked in rice bran oil, pickles are made in house, the sodas are sweetened with low-glycemic agave nectar, and nothing contains corn syrup or added trans fats. Meals are paired with organic milkshakes, house-made sodas, wine and kombucha on tap and local beers.

0
95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 09, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Unless you have celiac or severe gluten intolerance, Subway can save the day in pinch. I get the foot long Philly cheese steak made into a salad. They'll make any sandwich into a salad. With the wide choice of veggies, it's a pretty good option, though next time I'm going to ask for double meat. A serving of meat at Subway isn't much.

I am sensitive to gluten and other grains, and I didn't get sick the last time I stopped at Subway. I made sure they used clean gloves and kept my food away from any bread, bread crumbs, etc.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 10, 2011
at 05:09 PM

If you have a sulfite sensitivity, be careful in Subway.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 14, 2011
at 04:53 PM

Good point, Adam.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on May 23, 2012
at 06:53 PM

I would HIGHY recommend avoiding subway. From what I have read literally everything there has nasty additives. EVERYTHING.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 18, 2010
at 01:14 AM

Safe are salads greens vegetables and seafood. look what they mix inside. Wild meat from wild boar or deer. Let you show the ingriedient. This will also show you what kinda restaurant you go.

0
2db86f4365e9b1331f292d2dc467e9ac

on December 18, 2010
at 01:02 AM

Lie. Say you are diabetic and celiac.

-1
19ef9c009267f32da2b28b5374792e3c

on January 09, 2011
at 10:11 PM

There's a new iPhone app that provides exactly what you're asking for! It's called PaleoGoGo, and you can check it out at www.paleogogo.com.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on January 10, 2011
at 11:05 PM

at $5 it's expensive, and as noted in reviews, doesn't adhere to paleo very well, which is important for the people that actually NEED help.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on January 10, 2011
at 07:43 AM

I don't have any i-products, so I'm afraid that's a pass for me XD

Fbe7a077442b2ef5c41ea93aa89d7705

on October 25, 2013
at 09:02 PM

Blatant company promotion. The poster is the app creator. boo.

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