Dining Out at Chili's

By Type1Lou Latest Reply 2012-06-11 22:39:56 -0500
Started 2012-05-30 12:08:40 -0500

Five of my girlfriends had dinner last evening at Chile's as a surprise birthday celebration for one of them. I hadn't checked on-line for nutritional values of their menu choices before going but thought I was safe by ordering one of their salads for my dinner. I dithered between the Santa Fe Chicken Salad and the Quesadilla Explosion Salad and finally decided on the Quesadilla Explosion Salad knowing it would have more carbs than the Santa Fe Chicken Salad.. I estimated about 45 grams of carb and bolused accordingly. I ate about 1/2 of the huge salad and brought the rest home. This morning, I decided to go on-line to see if Chile's had nutritional data posted for their menu. (They do) Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my salad had a whopping 75 grams of carb! (Of course, since I only ate about 1/2 of it, my bolus wasn't all that far off the mark…but that was purely accidental). The Santa Fe Chicken Salad would have been a better choice at 30 grams of carb. I've printed the list so I have it handy when we return to Chili's and will make it a point to check on-line before going out to eat at any of the national chains. Of course, local, non-chain restaurants still prsent us with a challenge. Bon Appetit!

15 replies

flipmom 2012-06-04 18:41:53 -0500 Report

always get chicken or beef fajita when I go there… usually can only eat 2 wraps and take home the rest.. the whole platter I would think is only 30 g of carbs cuz mostly protein.. just easy on rice n beans on the side or dont eat them at all..On salads, the dressing is what usually get ya..

Type1Lou 2012-06-06 17:12:02 -0500 Report

Per their nutritional data, Chile's Beef Fajitas without the tortillas and condiments have 23 grams of carb and the Chicken Fajitas w/o the tortillas and condiments have 24 grams of carb, and the Fajita Trio w/o the tortillas and condiments have 29 grams of carb. Don't know/can't tell how many carbs the tortillas and condiments have . And I do find the portions huge as well and usually wind up taking half home with me.

jigsaw 2012-06-06 17:22:22 -0500 Report

Yep, I have done the same a few times. Doing it less frequently because I'm currently making my own Fajitas. With mine, I add a low carb tortilla and my bg only goes to about 125 or so. That's not bad!!!

Type1Lou 2012-06-06 17:29:37 -0500 Report

That's great! I often make my own quesadilla's at home with the lowest carb tortillas I can find…we get better protion control at a fraction of the cost but sometimes, it is nice to go out and pamper oneself.

Nick1962 2012-05-30 15:02:57 -0500 Report

Yeah, that was a big shocker to me also. Don't know when I lost track of things like this, but restaurant portions are huge! If i go to the better places (when we can afford it), they seem to be more in line.

Type1Lou 2012-05-30 15:25:58 -0500 Report

I should have known to check BEFORE we went out! Some time ago time, at Applebee's, I ordered a Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad for dinner and when I went to check on- line afterwards, it too was mega-carbs at 63 grams!!!!… Since the info is available on-line, I don't see why the individual restaurants don't have the info available to share with their patrons on site…Applebee's didn't when I had asked before ordering.

Nick1962 2012-05-30 15:41:34 -0500 Report

I know right?! Or at least a lighter portion option. For the life of me I can't figure how to get a shrimp and spinach salad up to 63 carbs.

Type1Lou 2012-05-30 16:49:25 -0500 Report

The dressing accounted for 43 grams of those carbs. To be fair, Applebee's (and I think Chili's) does offer half portions which is good. This is the discription of the Applebee's Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad: Tender spinach, crisp bacon, roasted red peppers, red onions, toasted almonds and hot bacon vinaigrette topped with grilled shrimp…Sounds like a good choice but I'll need to substitute the dressing for one that's lower in carbs if I order it again!

locarbarbie 2012-05-31 08:04:23 -0500 Report

43 grams of carbs just for dressing? What do they use?…pure high fructose corn syrup? For normal ranch, 2 Tbsp is onlly 2 carbs…an ENTIRE 16 oz bottle of ranch dressing is 32 carbs. I have often wondered why, if so much of the population is now diabetic, why do they not tailor more items for a lower carb way of life? Knowing this, probably our best option is to ask for the dresssing on the side or substitute with one more low carb.

Type1Lou 2012-05-31 14:55:07 -0500 Report

If I recall, the hot bacon dressing also used maple syrup as part of the it. I had asked for it on the side, so may not have used all 43 grams of carb allocated to the dressing. It's nice that the nutrition info available on-line from Applebees gives you the carb total for the salad without the dressing. It would be nicer if they actually had that info available IN the restaurant.

Controlled 2012-05-30 14:16:12 -0500 Report

Great post. In California, restaurants are required to provide the nutritional information most of us here look for. I have to tell you, ever since I was diagnosed with this condition, I rarely eat at restaurants and when I do, it is very, plain generic food.

I don't mind the trade off. I have lost a lot of weight, maintain my A1C in the fives and do not require medication. But, believe me, I do understand what you're saying. I was diagnosed immediately following a meal in a restaurant that made me feel ill and sent me directly to a doctor's office.

Thank you for the reminder to all of us.

Type1Lou 2012-05-30 15:31:51 -0500 Report

I wish that was required here in Florida. Although many of the chains have the nutritional info available on line, the actual servers in the restaurant don't…at least that was true at Applebee's when I asked…I didn't ask at Chili's. I do know that MacDonald's prints the info on the backside of their tray liner/placemat, which is a good thing.

Congratulations on your great diabetes management! I've been Type 1 since age 27 but just went on a pump last August. Struggling to get my A1c's back into the 6's…right now at 6.9 which I feel is still too high. I agree that limiting the carb intake is the key to better BG 's.

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