Friday, December 03, 2010

Calorie Sticker Shock

The other night we headed up to Boston for a choir rehearsal right after work so I stopped by Au Bon Pain to grab a quick dinner to eat in the car. I got a sandwich for Jason and a Turkey Cobb Salad for me.

I don't know if they're doing this everywhere, but ABP has started putting calorie counts on the menu, probably prompted by the fact that so many communities are starting to legally require it. I actually love having the information right in front of me. I know the impetus behind the laws is to legislate health, which I don't think works. I've been to Nathan's on Coney Island and still ate the corn dog and fries even with the calories staring me in the face because I was on Coney Island and I was going to eat a hot dog. And fries. I don't think you're going to convince most people to not eat something they've already decided to eat just because they can see the calories.

However, usually I like eating healthy and I like to be informed about what it is I'm eating. (I would also love to know carbs, fat and protein, but then the menus would be ridiculously cumbersome, so calories will do.)

So, anyway, the ABP Turkey Cobb Salad is listed at 650 calories, which was fine for me, taking into account what I had eaten already that day. Only then I noticed the calories for the dressings. 310 calories for the Blue Cheese Dressing! Which means the salad is really only 340 calories.

Really, ABP? 310 calories for dressing?! That's crazy.

That's assuming, of course, that you have them mix the dressing into the salad. I usually get the dressing on the side anyway because restaurants are so heavy-handed with the dressing that the salad winds up just tasting like crunchy dressing. I had them make my salad, and then I grabbed a packet of the Sesame Ginger dressing, which is 230 calories for the packet, of which I used about a third.

I was just shocked about the 310 calories. That's like 2 Cokes. Seriously, if I'm going to just eat 310 calories willy-nilly, I'd rather have 2 Mexican Cokes*, thanks .

* Made with real sugar, not corn syrup!

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