South Beach Diet Phase 1 at Damon's Grill

Restaurant chains that specialize in ribs can be particularly difficult for those trying to stick to Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet or any other low-carb plan. That's because the menu is built around sugary barbecue sauce and fatty cuts of meat, not to mention greasy appetizers. Damon's Grill is such a restaurant, but does have a few decent Phase 1 options. Here is what we found:

Appetizers

You can do yourself a favor by avoiding the deep fried choices or the dips that are served with bread or chips for dipping. You are better off with just a small salad instead.

Soups

French Onion--This is a good option in any restaurant on Phase 1, but you need to have them omit that big crouton, and should also ask for the cheese to be served on the side.

Salads

Grilled Chicken Breast Salad--Flame-grilled chicken breast over lettuce with diced roma tomatoes and cucumbers. It's topped with cheese and croutons, and served with your choice of dressing. Ask for them to leave the croutons off, and order a low-carb dressing such as ranch or blue cheese on the side.

Damon's House Salad--Garden greens with tomatoes, cheese and croutons. Again, you'll want to avoid the croutons.

Caesar Salad--Romaine lettuce with croutons, shaved Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing. Just ask for them to omit the croutons and ask for the dressing on the side.

Entrees

Flame-Grilled Chicken--Grilled chicken breast brushed with your choice of sauce: barbecue or chipotle. You should go with the chipotle or maybe even no sauce at all.

Filet Mignon--A 9 oz. USDA Choice center cut tenderloin

Sirloin Steak--An 8 oz. cut of USDA Choice aged steak

Sides

The only acceptable sides are a side salad or vegetable of the day (only if it's not corn, carrots or beets).

Beverages

Acceptable beverages on Phase 1 are water, diet soft drinks, unsweetened iced tea, coffee, tea, or skim milk.

Dessert

Like the appetizers, desserts are all off-limits due to fat and sugar content that is off the charts. So have some coffee or tea, then eat your ricotta creme or sugar-free gelatin at home.

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