South Beach Diet Phase 1 at Schlotzsky's Deli
As with most chain restaurants, it can be a trying experience to dine out when you are on a diet, especially when you are on a low-carb diet. Such is the case with the South Beach Diet, whose first phase is very strict, allowing zero carbs or alcohol. That means no bread of any kind, no fruit, no fatty meats or cheeses, and no beer or wine. The good thing, though, is that you know what to expect at most chains because their menu is generally consistent everywhere. In this case we look at Schlotzsky's Deli, which specializes in sandwiches and pizzas, but also has some great Phase 1 options in the form of salads.
Grilled Chicken Caesar--Grilled chicken breast parmesan cheese over crisp romaine lettuce with Caesar dressing. Just avoid the croutons it comes with and go easy on the dressing.
Caesar--Same as the grilled chicken Caesar but minus the chicken
Garden Salad--Mixed greens, black olives, pepperoncini, cucumber slices, and grape tomatoes with choice of dressing. Make sure you order a low-carb dressing such as ranch or blue cheese on the side.
Turkey chef--Mixed greens, smoked turkey, bacon, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, black olives, pepperoncini, red onion and grape tomatoes with a choice of dressing.
And available at a limited number of locations:
Baby spinach & feta--Baby spinach with feta cheese, bacon, candied walnuts, red onion and balsamic vinaigrette. Just avoid the walnuts (or ask if they have just raw walnuts), and ask for the dressing on the side.
Chicken salad--This is traditional chicken salad, but made with grilled chicken, and served with parmesan cheese on a bed of mixed greens with cucumber and grape tomatoes. Ask for a low-carb dressing on the side, but the mayo in the chicken salad may be all the dressing you need.
Greek salad--Mixed greens with feta cheese, red onion, pepperoncini, black olives, and grape tomatoes with choice of dressing.
Ham & turkey chef--Same as the turkey chef but also with ham.
Soups--There are no descriptions on the Schlotzsky's website about the soups, but there is nutritional information. It looks like maybe the Vegetable Beef soup is the only SBD Phase 1 friendly option, and that is only if there are no potatoes or carrots in it. So proceed with caution, but you're better off sticking with salad.
Beverages--Best bets for SBD Phase 1 at Schlotzsky's are water, Diet Coke, unsweetened iced tea, or coffee.
Dessert--There are no acceptable options, since most desserts in any restaurant are loaded with sugar or fat or both. So just enjoy some coffee and have your sugar free gelatin or ricotta creme at home.