Let’s just start by saying, this couldn’t have come at a better time for me! Briefly, I’ll tell you I started Isagenix, I have lost 12 lbs. in 30 day (12/6/11 to 1/4/12).
When Applebee’s contacted me to review the four newest dishes in their Under 550 Calories menu I JUMPED at the chance, because I wanted to find places that I could go that I could eat out with friends, without having to look like the DORK-O-LA that would be getting a water and lemon wedge while everyone else chowed down on their hugely awesome meals. Not a lot of restaurants out there have healthy options, or lower calorie options, on their menus. And the ones that do, well, they don’t taste all that great.
I had no idea Applebee’s had this menu, nor did I know they had four items on the menu. I was excited to sample them and give everyone my feedback. So let’s get it started in here!
I live on Long Island, of course. I chose the location that was somewhat close to our main living area. The Applebee’s on Veterans Memorial Highway. It’s right across from the airport. It’s clean, even the bathrooms! With two kids I always seem to have to visit the bathroom while we’re out! This time The Boy had to go. My report: Clean and decent size, too. Not at all cramped. One of the automatic towel dispensers seemed to be busted, but there was another one that worked. Now, I can’t tell you how the men’s room was, but the ladies room was fine.
We were met there by Pat, the wonderful person who represents Applebee’s here on Long Island. She helped us get set up with the hostess and the manager, we were seated and our rather friendly and helpful server, Tom, was ready to bring us out our goodies. Now, when I say OUR, let me tell you who was with me on this adventure: my Mom, my Dad, Little Miss and The Boy. We left my husband home, because he doesn’t eat too many things and there was a Giants game on he didn’t want to miss. I guess he forgot they have the games on at the restaurant, but it’s all good. He was home taking the Christmas Tree down!
What did we sample during our visit? Four fantastic dishes.
- Roasted Garlic Sirloin
- Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp
- Sizzling Chili Lime Chicken
- Sizzling Asian Shrimp & Broccoli
We all shared the dishes, but each of us had our “dish” to eat the bulk of.
First up, Roasted Garlic Sirloin. This one is priced at $13.99. Prices vary I believe, depending on your location, so definitely look at that before you head out to eat. Anyway, it’s at 7 oz. sirloin, marinated in Garlic. It’s served over sauteed onions, it’s got potatoes and a grilled portobello mushroom cap with cream spinach on top. Now, in the picture in the menu and on the website, it looks like you’re suppose to get an entire mushroom cap filled with spinach, topped with grated cheese. Well, that’s not what you get. You get half a mushroom cap that’s hidden under the pile of spinach, topped with grated cheese. Little bit off, but still, very tasty indeed.
It was a bit salty, but the sirloin was cooked well and tasted fantastic. The onions were my favorite part, totally don’t give you enough of them in my opinion! The potatoes were tasteless. However, I’d order it and I don’t really like steak. The spinach was actually really well done, too. Personally, for me, the portion was a perfect size and it was priced well for the meal. Thumbs up. If they can improve the potato and back off the salt a little bit, that would be a STANDING OVATION from me.
Second, the Signature Sirloin and Garlic Herb Shrimp. This one is $15.99, which I suspect is due to the shrimp. I don’t eat fish, so my parents had to test the shrimp on this one. Both said it was cooked well, seasoned very well and there was a good amount of them on the plate. It’s a 7 oz. sirloin grilled and topped with the shrimp, along with a light cream sauce. It, too, has potatoes, but also seasonal veggies, fresh bruschetta, sliced almonds and chopped parsley.
I tasted the sirloin and it was cooked very well, perfectly in my opinion. The sauce on top was very good, I didn’t get too many almonds, though. The veggies…..EH. They were soggy. They should not have been cooked so long. They had lost their snap, totally soggy. And I don’t even remember the potatoes, so they couldn’t have been that good. The portion was a good size, the meat was cooked super and the sauce on it was fantastic. I’d get this and ask them to leave off the shrimp….but that wouldn’t be worth it for the price. LOL. It’s good, though. I’d give it a thumbs up, but totally need to improve the veggies and potatoes.
Third, Sizzling Chili Lime Chicken. It’s priced at $12.99. The chicken has a spicy sauce, with Asian style veggies and it comes out in a skillet that sizzles. All of the chicken and veggies is served over rice, with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Now, for me, the chicken was really good. It wasn’t dried out at all, totally perfect. I like spicy things, so that worked for me. The veggies were great, had that perfect snap to them. The rice was decent, could have been a little less dry. However, I didn’t taste lime at all. I would have loved to have gotten a fresh lime to squeeze it myself. IF you bring kids, make sure they understand not to touch the hot skillet.
This dish has plenty of food on it. You won’t go hungry, for sure. It’s a great value for the money. But you have to like a little spice, just a little kick. And you shouldn’t look for a lime flavor. It just isn’t there. However, I really liked the sauce and chicken and veggies. Definitely worth it. Half a standing ovation. Would have been a total standing ovation if I had the lime to squeeze myself!
Lastly, the Sizzling Asian Shrimp and Broccoli. This one’s $14.99. Again, due to the shrimp. It’s Asian flavors with tender spiced shrimp, mixed veggies in a sweet and spicy sauce. It’s got rice under it and a bit of fresh cilantro on top. I tasted the broccoli so I could taste the sauce, it was a good sauce, I liked the veggies. It looked like there was a lot of shrimp on there and Dad gave the shrimp the thumbs up. This was a two thumbs up dish, I’m going on my Dad’s word, since he ate the shrimp.
Now, the beef is not grass fed beef. It’s beef. The chicken is chicken. The veggies are not from your garden. It’s not a perfect world where you can eat the best of the best, but for one night out with friends, you have a great selection from these four dishes. If you like shrimp, I’d head for the Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp. If you’re not into fish, but like steak, head to the Roasted Garlic Sirloin. Won’t eat red meat, head for the Sizzling Chili Lime Chicken.
I would recommend any of these four dishes and honestly, you would NEVER know they were low calorie at all. Without them being labeled, you’d never know it. The portions are perfect, the prices are decent and the food is definitely good.
The BEST value for the money, I would have to say the Roasted Garlic Sirloin. It’s good, just ask them to put a little extra seasoning on your potatoes and you’ve got a pretty decent meal for $13.99. All of them under 550 calories. Outstanding!
Well done Applebee’s!
*I was not paid for this review. Applebee’s graciously provided the four meals to sample at no cost, along with our waters. All OPINIONS of these meals are mine, and mine alone (plus my Dad’s on the shrimp I wouldn’t eat). As always, I tell it like it is!