South Beach Diet Phase 1 at Hard Rock Cafe

A restaurant chain known mainly for displaying rock music memorabilia and hosting live performances, Hard Rock Café is also an eatery that serves American style cuisine along the lines of TGIF or Applebee's. Based on their menu at my local Hard Rock, here is a sampling of acceptable menu items for Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet:

Appetizers

All of the appetizers available at the Hard Rock are breaded, fried, breaded and fried, or served with chips for dipping. So you can skip this section and maybe start with a salad.

Salads

Caesar Salad-Romaine lettuce with croutons, Romano and Parmesan cheeses and Caesar dressing. Just ask for the croutons to be omitted and have the dressing on the side. This can also be ordered as a side dish.

Cobb Salad-Mixed greens topped with grilled chicken breast, avocado, tomato, red onion, bacon, cheddar and jack cheeses, and hard-boiled egg. It's tailor made for SBD Phase 1, but be sure to order a low-carb dressing on the side, such as ranch or blue cheese.

Entrees

Grilled Sirloin Steak-Choice 8 oz. sirloin grilled and topped with Merlot-garlic butter. Order the garlic butter on the side or ask for them to omit it, and instead of the mashed potatoes it comes with, have an acceptable side such as steamed or grilled vegetables.

Herb Grilled Chicken Breast-A boneless, marinated 8 oz. chicken breast that is grilled with herbs, garlic and pure olive oil. It's also served with mashed potatoes, so substitute some vegetables. This dish also comes with oven-roasted mushrooms, which are perfectly acceptable on Phase 1.

Grilled Salmon-An 8 oz. salmon filet that is grilled and served over Alfredo pasta. Have them omit the pasta, and ask for steamed vegetables or a side salad instead.

Sides

Seasonal vegetables, according to this menu, are said to be "fresh, green" vegetables. If that's the case, this should be acceptable as a Phase 1 side.

Side salad-You can order a regular side salad, but have them omit the craisins and croutons it comes with, and have a low-carb dressing on the side such as ranch or blue cheese. The other option is a side Caesar, but also have the croutons omitted on this one.

Beverages

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

Dessert

As with most chain restaurants, it's best to have some coffee or tea, and then go home to enjoy your ricotta crème or sugar free gelatin.

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