On the Road: Outback Steakhouse

Posted on: March 21st, 2012 by Martin Plowman

Eating healthy on the road has got to be one of life’s greatest challenges. Navigating a menu leaves me with my head spinning, and I’m lucky enough to have a nutritionist. This week, my grandfather and his wife were in town, and we decided to take them to their favorite restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL…Outback Steakhouse. No, I’m not kidding. They love that place and they can’t get it in England.

Outback isn’t really known for it’s stellar health food options. They have an appetizer with a whopping 1949 calories*. Yes, they even have “to share” in the name, but who shares an appetizer with five of their closest friends?

Fortunately Outback has a great steak and seafood menu. Without a doubt, a steakhouse is the easiest place to find healthy food options. Seafood and steak are excellent protein sources, and generally you can find a grilled or steamed vegetable on the menu.

I ordered the Filet and Lobster Tail. The filet that’s served in this dish is Victoria’s Filet, which has 218 calories and a whopping 36 grams of protein*. A plain steamed 4 oz lobster tail without butter has 110 calories and 24 grams of protein. Outback’s website’s calorie counts account for everything served with the plate (in this case, the large amounts of butter to dip your lobster in), which is why it says there’s 448 calories and 27 grams of fat. Remember that you can customize your menu. Simply ask for the butter on the side.

Side options can be tricky as well. Outback has some great selections and some really horrid ones. I opted for a side of steamed green beans and a side of grilled asparagus. However, I asked for them to be cooked without oil and not salted. I’ve been taking a bit of time off from my workout to recover from the 12 Hours of Sebring, so I don’t need all the extra salt that can come in a restaurant meal.

All in all, I was able to navigate the menu and customize it to my needs as an athlete. This meal turned out to be high in protein and I got two servings of vegetables.

 

Filet Calories: 218; Carbs: 0g; Fat: 9g; Protein: 36g.

Lobster Tail Calories: 110; Carbs: 1.5g; Fat: 1g; Protein: 24g.

Steamed Green Beans Calories: 55; Carbs: 6g; Fat: 3g; Protein: 2g.

Grilled Asparagus Calories: 52; Carbs: 3g; Fat: 4g; Protein: 2g.

Totals: Calories: 435; Carbs: 10.5g; Fat: 17g; Protein: 64g.

No Responses

Barb Kreisel says:

Thanks for the nutritional listings Plowey. It is rare to find a “chain” that is willing to deliver on a no oil request.

ploweypr says:

You’re welcome. I feel that the hardest part of racing is sticking to a healthy diet. It is so easy to plan meals back at home of what you should and shouldn’t eat, but the fact is it simply isn’t possible to follow those plans when you travel from airport to airport and when you are in the middle of nowhere and you are faced with either a TGI Fridays or some other restaurant chain. With the help of Nicole and St.Vincent’s Sports Performance, I hope to share some wisdom of how to choose the healthier option while eating out on the road.

Kay Kohlman says:

Kody and I always order “custom” meals at restaurants (just as you described). I used to order salmon a lot but it usually arrived too salty. Kody makes far better salmon on the grill at home. Kay.

Susan says:

Hi! Found this entry from Nicole’s FB page. I worked at Outback for almost three years in college, and I wanted to expand on what you were saying about customizing their menu —
– All their steaks AND vegetables are slathered in butter and seasonings. You were right about the lobster tail getting butter as well — this also goes for their “shrimp on the barbie” and most likely their white fish. This can be modified. My customers often asked for no butter or seasonings.
– Some dishes, such as the Alice Springs Chicken, can be served in a smaller portion size. The Alice is typically an 8 oz chicken breast meal, but they have a 5 oz available (and it’s cheaper!). The cheese fries and hot wings appetizers can also be served in half portions. It isn’t on the menu, but you can ask for it.
– Pretty much everything there is, in fact, fresh and made to order, so just about any request can be fulfilled. They even have a gluten-free menu.

Outback is probably one of the better chain restaurants you could choose, actually. And coming from someone who worked there, I hope that says a lot! 🙂

ploweypr says:

Susan, this is really helpful! Thanks for the info!

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