Portland on a Diet
My parents are coming from Minnesota to visit me for a week and I would really like to take them out for a meal at a restaurant while they're here. The hard part is that my dad is on a pretty strict pre-dialysis diet so finding something on the menu he can eat is tricky.
No tomatoes, potatoes, or legumes. Low-calorie, low-salt. Neither of my parents are great cooks so he's been living off of boiled eggs, cooked carrots, and the occasional hamburger. With Portland being such a foodie city there has to be something better to eat here, right?
Any recommendations for restaurants serving healthy, diet-friendly, (but still yummy) meals?
Thanks! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
This may be too late for your parents' visit, but I wanted to suggest another option for low calorie, low fat, tasty dining in Portland (which is quite a challenge).
Ned Ludd on MLK does some truly amazing things with fresh, in-season vegetables. Their 'roots and shoots' dish is consistently one of the most delicious vegetarian dishes I've tasted.
Although their chef (like so many in Portland) tosses pork into lots of dishes, there are also some great veggie sides that are healthy. A side bonus is that much of the produce comes from the garden located directly behind the restaurant.
What could be cooler than that?
Renal diets suck. My mom was on a renal/hypertension/diabetes diet and I know how awful that can be. She was on dialysis twice and had two kidney transplants. Food was difficult, but she also wasn't that interested in eating, either. Good luck to your dad. (If he misses potatoes at home: if you peel and soak them overnight, you can then cook with them as most of the potassium leeches into the water - he shouldn't have them everyday, but if they are soaked overnight he can certainly eat them once a week or so.)
Sushi is a great idea (easy on the soy sauce and miso). Asking for fish (and any proteins) to be cooked plainly, sauce on the side helps. Asking for veggie/salad subs for potatoes is usually easy, too. Salads are great choices, especially with protein on 'em. Places where you can order small plates and have more control (no sides to worry about, etc.) might be good.
Also, calling ahead and asking about special needs and what the kitchen can do when making reservations will help to make things go smoothly for your family and the restaurant.
Thanks for the advice!
My dad is too scared to touch anything as "exotic" as sushi but I'm definitely going to look into Meat Cheese Bread and start looking up restaurant menus to find places with lots of good salad options. Or small plates. I never thought of that before, but it sounds excellent for portion control and variety!
Meat Cheese Bread
1406 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214
I've been thinking about this some more...wanted to give you some real suggestions of places to go...
A place like Nostrana has a great misto salad that they bring to the table undressed with salt/pepper/oil/vinegar, as well as other great salads and veggies. They also have a wood fired oven, so their meats (and when they have a whole fish, order it!) are usually done with a minimum of sauces (and again, order them on the side). They also make great pasta, which this time of year should offer lighter sauces and more veggies. It's a great restaurant and Cathy Whims, the chef/owner, takes a rustic and non-fussy approach to Italian food with top-notch local ingredients. I would bet they would be able to tweak anything on the menu for you, if you need that. I think it is one of the top ten places in town, and one of the best values. Make reservations, if you decide you want to go. Easy parking (they have a lot) doesn't suck either, esp. if your dad isn't moving as well as he used to.
Basta's is another place (and also Italian, but also not 'red-sauce') that would probably be a good spot. Good salads, great meat choices, nice seafood/fish dishes. Also has a small lot, so parking can be easier. Make a reservation. On one side of the restaurant they now serve their bar/small plates menu all night, but you can also order off the regular menu too.
Middle Eastern/:Lebanese food might be a good choice (staying away from legumes like chick peas). I think the best in town is at Karam, by far, and if you do go, you can request whole wheat pita (at no extra charge) as opposed to the regular white flour variety. They make it all to order there, and keep bringing it out. Lots of really good food on a way more interesting menu than most others.
I have also been able to piece together lighter meals at Tabla, a place where you can always get a 3-course for $24, and you can also order smaller plates too. Another place that excels at good flavors without necessarily making the plates complicated (though they sometimes do that too, with great results).
I hope this is a bit more helpful for ya...
1401 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214
I've been in this situation--we're always trying to find places that we can take my diabetic father in law. One thing we've tried is Meat Cheese Bread, where you can choose to have most of their sandwiches as salads instead (which if you got the dressing on the side would presumably be healthier). I've been there with a friend with lots of dietary restrictions, and they're pretty good about modifying the things on their menu. I wonder if sushi would work for you (my in laws wouldn't eat raw fish and the rice is pretty bad for diabetics), in which case you might try something like Bamboo Sushi.
Good luck--I have a lot of sympathy for anyone facing this challenge!
Meat Cheese Bread
1406 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214