My wife and I had one of those rare evenings to ourselves where our son was away and we could go hang out. We both are doing better but, we had this gift card,see and..well…it was for the Cheesecake Factory. Now, if you’ve ever eaten there you know that the regular menu reads like a assassination list for Weight Watchers diets. Typically, if you have anything more than water, you could be in trouble.
However, in response to those of us who are trying to eat better, they came up with their “Skinnylicious” menu. They have quite a number of items that appear to max out at around 600 calories for a meal. You should have seen the waiter looking at me as I was reading the menu. Seeing a big guy looking at the “Skinnylicious” menu must have been jarring because, he politely pointed out that the “regular” menu was on my right. I told him, “I know”. I suspect he might have chuckled to himself over that one later.
Still, I had a burger and a salad, coming in at 590 calories. I drank water and, honestly, the food was great. But, there was one more hurdle…dessert.
Let’s be real, most people go to this place for dessert. Heck, the place is named after a dessert. So, you know the deal going in. Fortunately for me, I HATE cheesecake. Yeah, I know…I’m weird…blah, blah, blah. But, that still doesn’t mean that I don’t like dessert.
Here, in Ohio, The Cheesecake Factory doesn’t list its calories on the regular menu so, I break out the smartphone and do searches on desserts. Typically, their desserts range between 800-1300 calories a pop (my advice: NEVER eat a whole dessert from this place at on time. You’ll pay for it in spades later). However, they do have this thing where they can bring half your dessert to you and they will pack up the rest for you to take home. The wife and I both chose this option. I went for the strawberry shortcake, for which a whole dessert rings in at 880 calories.
If I had gotten the whole thing, it would have looked like the picture above. Basically, it’s about 3-4 scoops of ice cream, between two halves of a large biscuit, covered in strawberries and topped with whipped cream. The picture doesn’t do this thing justice because even the half I got was huge. I decided that two scoops of ice cream was too much so, I slid one off the plate. I also scraped off most the whipped cream. So, I easily got rid of another 120-150 calories. Guess what? I still had a great dessert.
So, I survived a night of eating out and didn’t feel like a glutton afterward. So, yes, I can still eat out and not wreck my progress. I’ll mark this one down in the win column.