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Know Fat!????

Out walking around at lunch and noticed some franchise looking place (high quality sign tipoff) about to open at Landmark Center called "Know Fat! A Lifestyle Grille". Never heard of it before and I don't know what a "Lifestyle Grille" means.

Looks like a yuppie lo-cal low fat no taste type place that I'll avoid unless the CH'ers can go to bat for it.

Any rec.'s?

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  1. http://www.knowfat.com/

    "Nutritional information for each menu item - including calories, fat grams, carbohydrate grams, and protein grams - is accurate, accessible and clearly listed on the menu and on your receipt"


    4 Replies
    1. re: DavisSquare

      I work downtown and eat here periodically.

      This place is not for Chowhounds. It is for the strange, distant cousins of Chowhounds: Health Freaks.

      In one sense, Health Freaks and Chowhounds are strikingly similar in that they both pay near-religious attention to what they eat.

      On the other hand, the end results are obviously quite different. Chowhounds want every meal to be the pinnacle of deliciousness, whereas Health Freaks are looking to micromanage their nutritional intake.

      Know Fat is great for Health Freaks because of good nutritional content, coupled with said posted nutritional info. While the food is by no means horrid (grilled steak tips, sweet potatoes, and broccoli sounds a lot better than a Big Mac to me), you could certainly do a lot better if you were going on taste alone.

      Is it possible to be both a Chowhound and a Health Freak? I think and hope so. I tend to be a Health Freak by day and a Chowhound by night. I've had plenty of days where I've hit Know Fat for lunch, then met folks for carby goodness in the North End or Chinatown for dinner.

      As far as the best of both worlds, I find B Good in Back Bay/Harvard Square to be a much better-tasting take on the Know Fat idea. Slightly less good for you, significantly tastier.

      1. re: finlero

        That's a great post -- and I agree, many of us try to balance being health freaks with being chowhounds. There are many posts on the General boards about how to do so. The key is <gasp> exercise and moderation. Whatever.

        Getting back to the food, I understand the air-fries at Knowfat are good -- sweet potato and regular. What's good at B Good?

        1. re: yumyum

          What's good at B Good...

          I really like their burgers (it would appear that MichaelB disagrees). The B.Good and the Adopted Luke are my favorites.

          Like Know Fat, the baked fries are very good when fresh, but get bad in a hurry, so don't order as take-out.

          I have not personally had the homemade veggie burgers, but have heard even non-health-freaks wax poetic about them.

          I genuinely love the veggie side: simple stir fried carrots, broccoli, and peppers with a bit of soy sauce.

        2. re: finlero

          Great post -- terrific explanation of the health freak genus and the appeal of these places. I've never tried Know Fat but if it's *less* appetizing than B.Good I'd be inclined not to. I tried B.Good when they opened in Harvard Square and had their very odd burger. It's made from extremely lean beef and while they do some voodoo to keep it from drying out, the taste is just ... odd. All the minerally, almost metallic flavors that are usually balanced with fat and char in a regular burger were way too dominant in this one. In all fairness, the salad I had another time was not terrible, and I've never tried the air-fries, which seem to be their biggest draw (aren't these just roasted potatoes?). But I haven't had any desire to go back.

      2. Ahhh yes. Now that NYC has passed the no Trans Fat law, I'm sure we'll be getting more and more of this type of restaurant. Just not sure if they remove the taste along with the bad for ingredients?

        1. I go to the Downtown Xing one on occasion since it is near my office (George Forman was there last week!). It's a bit pricey for what you get, and I don't walk away without guilt as the dishes are low-fat but not low-cal. Also I hate places that take your name and then call it out to pick up your order. I am from Boston and savor my anonymity. Give me a number please.

          3 Replies
          1. re: DotDiner

            Just give your name as "Peter Wolf" or something.

            1. re: DotDiner

              Come on, don't you remember anything from the late 80s/early 90s? You can't get fat if you don't eat fat!


              1. re: DotDiner

                I always give a funny name and Mr. Taxi just shakes his head. Think of a name that you wish you had and use that!!

              2. You are all correct. Completely flavorless blech.

                Hey kill the transfat, fine, no problem.

                But I'd like my donuts fried in good old fashioned lard, and how 'bout McDonalds going back to beef suet for doing the French Fries? Now you're talking.

                1 Reply
                1. I think KnowFat's air cooked fries are quite good when eaten fresh out of the oven (they do not travel too well) and the place is, in general, a much better lunch option than McDonalds.

                  1. Hi All, I know there'll be eyes rolling everywhere on this site, but I guess you could call me a "health freak". I've never been to Know Fat, but I always try to eat as healthy as possible. The city's best chefs can prepare healthy fare when requested. I eat in all the restaurants the knowledgeable chowhounds frequent and healthy selections are always available. Don't wait until you have a heart attack to leave out the butter and cream. Who doesn't like a juicy burger, or a Speeds' hot dog every now and then? It's a little more work to eat healthy, but it's worth it in my opinion.

                    Now-keep the Emerils of the world in business and keep eating food prepared with lard. I love the reviews.

                    1. As both a dietitian and a foodie, I like the idea of being able to choose a restaurant where I know the calories & fat on occasion. It allows me to indulge in richer foods on other days without blowing an artery by age 40. Given this country's health, it's a good idea. The food here is simple and fresh, which allows us to appreciate other menu's richer, more complex foods. Just think, the longer you live, the longer you get to appreciate good restaurants.

                      1. I've tried this place once. One can't assume that just because they are supposed to be serving healthy food, that it's really healthy.

                        I wanted a salad, and wanted to see what was in the salad dressing that they offered on the various salads. Every one was either full of sugar (oh, but not high fructose corn syrup, as the server told me), or loaded with sodium. Since I have tried, but haven't yet learned, how to enjoy a salad dry, I decided on the steak tips instead. These were OK, but it was almost $10.00 for three tiny steak tips, and three steamed broccoli florets.

                        For my money, I'd rather go to Sebastian's and get a salad and put a bit of Olive Oil and Lemon Juice dressing on it. That's healthy.

                        1. Their sodium levels are through the roof! They posted them on the menu when they first opened, but removed them soon after. A days worth of sodium in one burger, is not MY idea of healthy.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: melodyrose

                            I've tried KnowFat and liked it but the name's missleading. It may be low fat but definitely high cal - I had a steak and rice burrito and it was 800 calories I think. I also like B. Good - they're much healthier. Most burgers are around 400 calories and the veggie burgers are good. Mango shakes are also healthy and good.

                            1. re: cing2x

                              A classic single from Wendy's has around 400 calories too. And tastes better!

                          2. I ate at one of these Know Fat places in Waltham one night and was under the impression it wasn't for health freaks per se, but a subset of them that are weight lifters. The wall was stacked with protein powder stuff and these super built guys were standing around. I ate a really lame small sandwich and some okay fries for more money than it seemed worth and felt like I was missing the point.

                            1. Know fat doesn't really know much. Their atmosphere is really institutional-like; think a modernized McDonald's. This place reminds me of goodburger in NYC, but goodburger is slightly better (and sometime's has ostrich burgers!).

                              The food isn't much better than your typical fast food garbage (Wendy's/McDonald's). Yes, it might be slightly healthier, but it sacrifices taste. The bison burger was very much like a mass-produced typical frozen burger (it might have been fresh but it was hard to tell).

                              They do everything well done here - you CANNOT do bison well-done, it makes it too dry as it's a lean meat. After asking for the bison medium, it was decently cooked. Yet, it tasted like it was jacked-up on salt and other "fast-food" spices... msg-like taste. This completely ruined the natural flavour of the bison.

                              Therefore, don't go for the bison unless you have an absolute craving and can't make one at home. The jury's still out on their other choices as this is all I've tried.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gluttire

                                I tried the branch at Rt 138 because the place looks new, bright, clean, and attractive. The food is the worst of any place I've ever eaten. I'm glad the location is now replaced by Basil Cafe.

                              2. this place is now called Ufood

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: David_A

                                  update on my previous post. I've returned (due to the large amount of coupons they gave me prior to renaming), to the Fenway location. Environment is still sterile fast-food style but at least they got rid of that nasty storefront of muscleman protein stuff when you first walked in and replaced it with a juice bar.

                                  The manager was greeting customers, and I talked to him about the bison burgers, doneness of the burger and if they add any seasonings. Good news - they add the seasoning (which is awful, BTW... think fast-food seasoning) during the cooking process, so you can specify NO seasoning. So I got a bison burger, no seasoning, medium-rare. Significantly better than previous time. Taste was a tad salty (due to salt in the patties) but didn't have that fast-food seasoning garbage on it. Cooked medium rare but with a patty so thin it's hard to tell. Air fries are tasty but get two orders (they're cheap).

                                  Overall - fine for a quick bison burger, but ask for no seasoning, medium rare. Don't expect gourmet quality here; it's serviceable for what it is, as long as you specify the way you like things done, otherwise expect well-done tasteless patties.