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Mar 21, 2010 06:48 PM

GOOD Low Sodiun Fare (North of Boston)?

Just diagnosed w/ high bp. The title basically says it all. Thanks.

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  1. Hmm. Let's try this again......

    1. I think this is tricky, since restaurants almost always salt food pretty heavily. That's why restaurant food is so tasty!

      I will say that I've found Victor's Deli to use a very light hand with salt. I usually have to add a bit of salt to my food, though I think it's pretty delicious even without. They're located in Ball Sq., Somerville.

      Victor's Meat & Deli
      710 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

      1 Reply
      1. re: maillard

        Thanks for the tip.

        I know that most restaurants are quite heavy handed with salt. That's why I wondering if anyone has found a satisfactory solution.

      2. Not for any specific restaurant, not sure if these are what you had in mind, and/or if these are anything you don't already know, but here are a few thoughts that come to mind that may help you...

        You have so many great seafood places on the North Shore where you can get wonderful steamed and grilled options! Just be sure to confirm no salt and/or items you can't have are used.

        Many Asian restaurants often have a steamed (or lo-cal or healthy or dieter's) offerings section these days where you can usually get plain steamed chicken (or shrimp or tofu) and vegetables with rice. A bit bland, but can be very tasty too!! Just skip the soy sauce that usually accompanies it on the side. I would just check their menu before hand to be sure they have it.

        Sashimi with rice, if you can enjoy it while skipping the soy sauce. Or just the sashimi if they salt their rice.

        Breakfast places can usually do or substitute poached eggs..

        Order steamed vegetables for sides and or plain baked potatoes, asking them to hold the salt, butter, bacon, cheese, and/or any other goodies. Ask that french fries not be salted. Avoid ketchup. Avoid breaded items.

        I've been pleasantly surprised finding places are getting to be more and more accommodating for dietary restrictions if you talk to them. (It's in Brookline, but Washington Square Tavern is great for that!). I typically will attempt to talk to places or call beforehand, so as not to make a big deal when dining with guests later and/or to make sure they will be able to accommodate me and find out what options might be available. Perhaps checking in with your favorite places and seeing what they can do for you may be all you need?

        Not sure what you eat now, but some of it may unfortunately require adapting to a plainer diet though (requesting items grilled with only olive oil, vegetables to be steamed, etc). Still can be very tasty, but depending on how you eat now, may unfortunately be an adjustment depending on how restrictive you need to be. But you'll hopefully find you can still get plenty of options once you start getting used to it.

        Nutritionists often are a wealth of information on which foods are better than others for certain medical conditions, so consulting one might be able to tell you which dishes to seek out where ever you go if you haven't already done so. They can also probably give you more accurate advice as to what is best for you, no matter what I wrote above. Sometimes health care plans will offer coverage if you have a diagnosis.

        Good luck!!

        Washington Square Tavern
        714 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

        2 Replies
        1. re: volleydolly

          Chris B didn't say if he was looking to reduce his weight, just that he needed to reduce his sodium intake. So as long as his cholesterol is okay, modest amounts of unsalted butter should be okay. In fact, many cookbooks are written to use unsalted butter. This allows the cook to better control the salt in a dish. A recipe cooked with olive oil could have the same, less, or even more sodium than a recipe cooked with butter - it all depends on how much salt the cook adds overall. In fact, a steamed dish could be high in sodium, if the cook adds salt. (OTOH, what's not to love about spinach sauteed in olive oil with garlic, finished with a squeeze of lemon juice?) A breaded item might be okay if there is no salt in the breading mix. (Bread itself usually has a very small amount of salt.) Bottom line, the cooking method is not the culprit, it is the ingredients. Salt does not cook out once it has been put in.

          Chris should do the following:

          1. Learn which ingredients are innately high in sodium. Volleydolly points out a few, such as soy sauce and bacon. Miso paste is a killer, as is ham or any cured meat product, such as corned beef or pastrami. Chris could consult a nutritionist - good advice there - and he could make it a habit to read food labels as he does his grocery shopping.

          2. In a restaurant, do not order dishes that use a significant amount of high sodium ingredients.

          3. When ordering in a restaurant, ask the server to recommend some low-sodium choices. Sad to say, a chain (fast food or casual dining) establishment is less likely to be able to accommodate Chris unless they have some special low-sodium items on the menu; recipes and methods are proscribed by Corporate and the cooks may have very little flexibility to alter a given recipe.

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            I totally agree with you Pinch of Salt! Not sure if your comments were in general or your attempt to correct mine, but to hopefully clear up any confusion....

            I probably should have been more clear, but ALL my comments were written specifically with dining out in mind. (ie: I meant adapting to a plainer diet when dining out). Which is why perhaps my comments came across as much more restrictive than one would need to be at home, where one has greater control when doing their own cooking.

            Unfortunately with so many sauces, added salt, etc in foods for restaurants, it seems it might be easier and safer to order plain. However, that is why I suggested talking to each place beforehand and when not rushed, so you can speak with someone who is educated as to what the available options for that particular restaurant might be. Unfortunately not all servers seem to be as well versed as one would hope and/or may not want to deal.

            And it may not be a calorie adjustment, but it will unfortunately be an adjustment none the less.

            Asian restaurants will sometimes label their totally plain (no msg, no salt, no corn starch, etc) steamed section the dieters corner or something similar.

            Sometimes restaurants use salted butter, which was the reasoning behind that. Would just be a matter of getting that clarified with the restaurant.

            When I say Olive Oil, my assumption is I have ordered it with specific instructions to have ONLY Olive Oil used, and nothing else added (ie: no salt). Although like you, Garlic is always welcome! :) Similar when I order something plain steamed.

            Bread itself I thought can usually be fine, whereas I have heard that as a general rule, restaurant breaded items are often typically high in sodium. But again, if one speaks to the restaurant, they may find that it is not an issue.

            But the gist like we both said, is that one needs to get more familiar with what they themselves can or can not do for their particular needs and should become comfortable talking to places to find out what ingredients are used and that may need to be and/or can be modified. And that a nutritionist is usually the best to help accurately assist and get started for one's specific needs, no matter what we reply.

            Again good luck!

        2. Mentioned this in another post - Christie's in Lynn, at the Nahant circle, right across from the ocean is good. It's has an old time feeling to it, same family-owned for decades. I've only had the fish sandwich - $4.99 - (fried), but it's been unsalted and delicious, very fresh. A squirt of lemon added makes it oh-so-perfect...

          I would always ask, too - plenty of places might be able to adapt their cooking for you. Christie's is def a very casual and friendly place - if you stop in, ask to make sure.

          I found this site, just to show some photos of the place. It's like traveling in a time-machine, back to my childhood!

          3 Replies
            1. re: xiaobao12

              xiao, this thread is from 2010! so many of us have also been fooled when we see old threads mentioned in the right column/gutter, and we don't remember to check their date.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Yah - thanks for replying, chef.

                I definitely got fooled myself!!! Anyhow, just wanted to help out the next person.

          1. I forgot there was a Legal Sea Foods at the North Shore Mall (and Burlington Mall too). Legals seems they have always been accommodating with dietary restrictions, so might be worth checking in with them for low sodium.

            1 Reply
            1. re: volleydolly

              Good advice. Thanks everybody. It is a new world for me. Weight loss isn't an issue, just sodium. Gotta check out Christie's....