South Beach Diet Phase 1 at Tony Roma's

Tony Roma's Restaurants are located in many states, and most people know it as one of the better chains for barbecued ribs. Ribs, as you know if you are on Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, are not really acceptable Phase 1 fare. That's because of the fatty cut of meat, and the sugary barbecue sauces. But if you venture into a Tony Roma's, you can order plenty of items with confidence that you are sticking to your diet if on Phase 1. Here is a guide to Tony Roma's menu items that are acceptable for Phase 1:

Appetizers

Instead of ordering a fat- and/or carb-laden appetizer, have a small salad here.

Salads

There are a few options for both main dish and side salads, and the acceptable Phase 1 dressings at Tony Roma's are Ranch, Blue Cheese, Caesar, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Red Wine Vinaigrette, Oil & Vinegar or Pan Asian.

Tony's Asian Salads-Fresh chopped Asian greens are tossed with their Pan Asian dressing and topped with red peppers, cilantro, fried wontons and sesame seeds. Ask for the fried wontons to be omitted, and you can add grilled chicken breast or grilled salmon for a boost of protein.

Caesar Salad-Romaine lettuce is topped with Romano cheese, croutons and Caesar dressing. As with any Caesar, ask for the croutons to be omitted and order the dressing on the side. You can also add grilled chicken or grilled salmon.

Chicken Club Salad-Mixed greens are topped with smoked ham, bacon, grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes with pesto, cheddar cheese, red onions and croutons. Ask for the croutons to be left off, and this cobb-like salad is perfect for Phase 1. Complete it with a low-carb dressing such as Ranch.

Bleu Cheese Wedge Chop-Iceberg lettuce is topped with red wine vinaigrette and bleu cheese dressing (ask for both on the side), diced tomatoes with pesto, bacon, red onions and bleu cheese crumbles. This is more of a side salad than a main dish.

Other side salads available are the Roma's Dinner Salad and Roma's Caesar Dinner Salad. Like with the others, ask for any croutons to be omitted and order a low-carb dressing on the side.

Entrees

Grilled Norwegian Salmon-A large Norwegian salmon fillet can be brushed with a choice of scampi butter or barbecue sauce (go with the butter, which is the lesser of two evils), and served with a side of rice and toasted garlic seared green beans. The beans are fine but order a side salad, steamed broccoli or tomato pesto salad on the side instead of the rice.

Grilled Gulf Shrimp Skewers-Two skewers of grilled shrimp, bell peppers and onions, basted with scampi butter and special seasonings. This also comes with rice and green beans, so order an acceptable side in place of the rice.

Grilled Mahi Mahi-A 10 oz. Mahi Mahi fillet is grilled and topped with scampi butter and Roma tomato pesto salad. As with the other seafood items, this is served with rice and green beans so forego the rice for something like steamed broccoli.

Tony's Sirloin-A 9 oz. Sirloin steak grilled to order. Make sure you ask for a side salad, steamed broccoli, tomato pesto salad and/or green beans as your side dish.

Beverages

Acceptable Phase 1 choices are water, coffee, unsweetened iced tea or Diet Coke

Desserts

As always, dessert at Tony Roma's or most anywhere is full of fat, sugar, or both. Have a cup of coffee, and wait until you get home to have some ricotta crème or sugar free gelatin.

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