We took a coworker to lunch yesterday and she picked The Cheesecake Factory. I really wanted to eat healthy so I checked out their menu online before we headed out so I had some solid options in mind - that's part of "fail proofing" my day. I didn't want to get caught up in the moment and choose badly. On the menu I found a cobb salad. It's always my "go-to" at any restaurant so I figured if all else fails, I'd choose cobb.
What I chose instead was probably the single best, most tasty, most awesome salad I have ever had!
I can't describe HOW amazing this salad was. I'm not sure if it was the sweet vinaigrette, the combination of blue cheese and pear, or candied pecans with chicken, but I probably drove my coworkers crazy after every third bite extolling its supreme perfection.
I am a simple salad kind of gal. Some lettuce, some tomato, maybe sliced cucumber or onion, and some ranch dressing and I'm good to go. This explains why I get so bored with salad! I seldom venture out off the plain and narrow path. Cobb salad was my first big leap into the unknown. This was my second. Other than the dressing that comes on the Panera Bread cobb salad, I never get anything but ranch dressing, either. That's about to change. And this vinaigrette is available for purchase (take home) and is 13 calories per tablespoon! Unbelievable.
So my new mission is going to be to seek out new salad recipes and experiment with combinations of foods and dressings for my salads. The raw veggies are so good for you and I would like to have more salads as we come into the spring and summer. If anyone has any good salad or salad dressing recipes, send them to me! I'm on a mission now!
I'm just glad that the three Cheesecake Factory restaurants near me are all around 30 minutes away. Otherwise I'd probably be eating there too often and burn out on it (like I did with Panera Bread. I'm actually tired of that place!)
When it came time for dessert, I was also prepared. I looked over the dessert menu and found they had a great coffee section that included a nice selection of lattes, capaccinos, etc. I chose an organic dark roast plain coffee but asked for some extra cream. That was my splurge and honestly, I felt awesome leaving there knowing I was full, satisfied, and made some damn fine choices!
Final note: One coworker ordered some kind of Monterey burger with avocado, tomato, onion, maybe some chipotle mayo...anyway, we all were commenting that it looked amazing. He said it melted in his mouth and was probably the best burger he ever ate! What an endorsement!
I've been craving a good burger for a couple of months now, but decided to delay gratification on that until the 4th of July cookout with my family. I may need to rethink that and save up points and calories to
try the Cheesecake Factory burger. A person can only delay gratification so long before going completely mad, I think. :-) (Delayed anything is not my strong suit. Patience has never been my strength lol)