I know what you're thinking, Long John Silver's with all that deeply fried fish--how can that be eating out healthy?
Well, there is an undiscovered side to Long John Silver's that can keep you on track for eating healthy even at a fast food place. It's called Long John Silver's Freshside Grill, and it offers three meals that are actually under 350 calories and nothing fried to be found. My tester and I tried out the Grilled Pacific Salmon, and the Grilled Tilapia (also available is Shrimp Scampi). There are premium versions of these dishes that include a bread stick and corn on the cob, but they are extra in price, and extra in calories.
Like most fast food menu items, the pictures of the food always look like there's more food, and look better than the actual food. To look at the pictures of these Freshside Grill menu items, you'd think your plate would be stuffed with food, but the reality is that you get plates that are way less than full and certainly not anywhere near as attractive--at least at the Long John Silver's I visited here in Vegas.
However, I kept my objectivity because you can't compare fast food healthy food with restaurant healthy food. I thought the food tasted decent, but a bit bland. And don't expect the "grill" in the term Freshside Grill conjure up images of the kind of mouth-watering fare you might expect off a true grill. I think the Tilapia held up better than the salmon. The rice was pretty good and I loved the idea that you could escape fries as the standard fast food staple. It was also nice to see garden style vegetables join the dish, although they were unfortunately pretty mushy. You also leave the place with a comfortable feeling in your stomach, as opposed to that heavy feeling you get when you eat something fried.
So the take-away is this--Long John Silver's Freshside Grill gets an "A" for effort, and about a "B" for execution. My hat goes off to them for offering a healthy eating alternative on their menu, when so many of the fast food big names either avoid it, or only give it a tiny dot on their menus. Put it this way, if you wanted a healthy alternative that was quick, you can count on these offerings as a good alternative, and for that alone, I have to support Long John Silver's efforts. And I'm apparently not the only one who thinks this way as two people behind us also ordered from among the Freshside Grill selections.
The biggest trouble with Long John Silver's Freshside Grill? The stores that partner with another fast food provider under the same roof like they do in Vegas, only offer "traditional" Long John Silver's fried menu items. So there was only one location in Las Vegas anywhere near me that even gave me the possibility of trying it. To me, if you're going to offer a healthy menu item, offer it at all your locations--people aren't going to go out of their way to search for the "correct" Long John Silver's.
And if they could somehow make their hush puppies with a healthy recipe, then life would really be perfect.
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Please note that I do not have an affiliation with any of the companies featured in this post--they are simply products I am personally familiar with. The views expressed are my opinion only and you should decide, along with your healthcare professionals, on the appropriateness for your personal use.
Samples were provided for this review, but no worries I always tell it like it is!
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