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Top Ten Healthy Meals Around Town for People That Like Unhealthy Food!

I always see these posts for things like Top Ten Meals, Best Brunches, Best Breakfasts, Top Burgers, etc...and maybe I've missed it...but...I'd like to start a thread with the Top Ten Healthy Meals Around Town for People That Like Unhealthy Food! How about it? Where do you go if you want a great, satisfying dish but are trying to shed pounds or at least maintain? What San Diego restaurants and specific menu items popped in your head just now when you read that? It wasn't a burger from Hodad's.... It wasn't the Cowboy Ribeye from Ruth's Chris. It certainly wasn't the brunch at the 94th Aero Squadron. I doubt Phil's Ribs makes the list. ...and I guarantee it wasn't the Spaghetti Carbonara from Pomodoro's! Mmmmmm However, something that isn't going to tip the scales...and that you actually crave is screaming at you from time to time to come and get it. What is it and where? Let's build a top ten...and, please, don't make a fish dish list - this is for red meat and potato eating carnivores that need some help on their diets when they get out for a cheat night! Remember - salads are for rabbits!

Who wants to start?

1. The__________from the restaurant__________located in the ___________area is healthy and yet to die for! Here's why: _____________.

Hodads Restaurant
5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

94th Aero Squadron Restaurant
8885 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92123

2833 Avenida De Portugal, San Diego, CA 92106

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  1. "1. The__________from the restaurant__________located in the ___________area is healthy and yet to die for! Here's why: _____________."

    Dude, way too complicated for us. But, in answer to your question...

    The Happy Vegan at Tender Greens in Liberty Station is healthy and yet to die for. Here's why: it tastes good.

    Tender Greens
    2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

    3 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      I'm really juiced to see Tender Greens moving in to UTC - hope I'm not let down.

      1. re: DiningDiva

        Ha! Sorry DD - wasn't trying to complicate matters...just giving an example to get the ball rolling. I couldn't think of a single dish last night that isn't high calorie or otherwise not good for my diet that I actually crave! I realize that moderation is key, but if I go to a restaurant on my night off without a plan in place...I am going to order and pay for something that really appeals to me. If I know ahead of time that a certain dish at a certain restaurant is healthy AND to die for...then I won't go crazy ordering the stuff I normally do and set myself back a week! I'd love to have a list of these items to be found around town...and I'd be willing to bet a LOT of other people would as well. It's easy to come up with a list of awesome things that you crave that aren't so good for you...this is going to take a little more work but will be worth it in the long run!

        Thanks for getting things started (i'm not going to count cstr's beer post...hehe). I wondered how long it would take before Tender Greens made an appearance in this thread...it was the first place I thought of, though I've only been a few times and can't name a specific dish. I'm not sure the Happy Vegan would work for the carnivore type of person I described, but it's a start. I know they have a lot of meat dishes as well.

        Ok...what else is out there? What healthy dish at a local restaurant do you wake up thinking about?

        Tender Greens
        2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

        1. re: ChowBaccus

          I am a pretty confirmed meat eater and that's why I listed the Happy Vegan. The first time I ordered it, I also ordered a side of chicken to go with it. Turned out I didn't need the chicken at all, and I actually ended up taking the chicken home in a to-go box. There was something very satisfying about the Happy Vegan, I didn't feel like I was missing the meat at all. The farro salad on the plate is outstanding. If the Happy Vegan doesn't work, try the steak salad instead. It's very good.

          * There is a fairly simple trick you can try when dining out. Ordering a non-cream based soup (cup or bowl) instead of an appetizer will take the edge off your hunger. Tell the server you don't even want to see the bread basket

          * Marisco's Godoy in CV, any of the seafood cocktails will be low-cal and filling.

          * Posole or sopa de albondigas at El Comal in North Park

          * The menu at the Corner Bakery has calorie (and I believe fat) counts on it

          Here's the bottom line...unless you're in the kitchen, you don't really know what's going in your food. It pretty much boils down to what choices you choose to make off a menu. Order what you want and order a to-go box be delivered when your meal is. Immediately put half the meal in the to-go box and eat the other half. You end up with dinner and lunch for the next day, all for the price of dinner.

          A petite filet and plain baked potato or veg side is going to have a lot few calories and satisfy the carnivore than many other menu items including fish and chicken. Order a chicken quesadilla without guac or sour cream and save several hundred calories right off the top. Pico de gallo is fresher, healthier and accents the quesadilla just fine.

          El Comal
          262 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

          Corner Bakery Cafe
          1025 Camino De La Reina Ste 3, San Diego, CA 92108

      2. The TACO PLATE with egg whites or the CUBAN BURRITO from MOZY'S located in the ENCINITAS area is healthy and DELICIOUS!

        The SALAD with fresh SHRIMP and CRAB from BLUE WATER located in MISSION HILLS is also amazing!

        1. The whole menu at Spread

          1. The Sashimi Moriawase (mixed Sashimi plate) from Morita-san in Encinitas is healthy and yet to die for! Here's why: because even with Sashimi it matters who you get it from; ingredients and prep are everything....

            2 Replies
            1. re: cgfan

              Ooops, just heard about the no fish part... Never mind.

              Then perhaps can I suggest almost any Asian dish that features red meat? Though I don't buy into the implied premise of what you consider healthy or not healthy, the Asian use of meat as seasoning comes close to what you might be looking for, no?

              The possible choices abound...

              1. re: cgfan

                Perhaps... I don't have the answers...but I'm interested to explore where the discussion and suggestions take us....

            2. I don't really understand your question. Healthy doesn't necessarily mean low in calories. And low in calories doesn't necessarily mean healthy.

              If you're looking for a healthy meal that feels physically satisfying like meat and potatoes, then you want a lot of bulk, and the only way to get that without a lot of calories is from the very thing you say you don't want to eat: salad.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Josh

                That's the rub, isn't it? So, we are trying to find those rare spectacular dishes out there that don't fall into salad category, and don't fall into a big meat and potatoes dish..that aren't fish. Do they exist? I see a lot of seafood replies... Though I did say not fish...so shrimp, crab, lobster, etc. are all fair game here.

              2. Healthy means far too many things to different people. Between keeping calories and fats down, maintaining acceptable sodium levels, ensuring nutritional balance (i.e. enough protein and vitamins), getting the daily requirements of fruits and veggies, keeping all the harmful chemical stuff away, and minimizing the processed food intake, I think a case can be made for or against just about every restaurant in town.

                That being said, I feel pretty good about myself after the healthy boiled tofu from Tofu House located on convoy. I like it with extra kimchi but that probably skews the 'sodium levels' angle. Still...gotta live a little! (besides, the dish has the word 'healthy' in its name!)

                1. Here you go, this might help - http://fitbie.msn.com/eat-right/tips/...

                  And FNs suggestion for Pho is a good one. Sure it's got a lot of veggies in it, but you can chose whatever protein you want to go with it. I'm with FN on not having an accute palate for Asian flavors (now Mexican, I'll split hairs with anyone on that), but I really enjoy the Pho at Saigon on El Cajon, across the street from Hoover High. Their clay pot cat fish is also killer but you don't want fish, and I'm not sure that's even particularly healthy.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    I'll have to try some Pho in the near future for sure!

                    1. re: ChowBaccus

                      Hi all - we went for Pho at Saigon on Fifth yesterday and I REALLY enjoyed it! I had the combo beef and beef balls Pho. Thanks - this may become a staple for me! I am going to try the <fairly> new Pho place on Midway next time since it is a little closer to me and I hear they are pretty good there. The meal seemed like it would definitely fall into the low calorie range - and I actually brought about half of it home for another meal today. Thanks again for that tip - let's keep this thread going and add ideas to it as we think of them....I will certainly update as I find places that meet the low calorie / healthy criteria I've set.

                      1. re: ChowBaccus

                        To continue with the soups you might also try ramen at Yakitori Yakyudori on Convoy

                        1. re: honkman

                          Add the udon at HInotez Kitchen.

                          1. re: daantaat

                            Ok - I'll check those out sometime, too! Thanks.

                    2. re: DiningDiva

                      ...ditto on the Pho, or VN food for that matter, or more generally Asian food....

                      Not quite sure why the OP didn't appear to pick up on my earlier suggestion - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8109...

                      There's an entire goldmine in the Asian use of protein, including red meat, as seasoning.

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        "And FNs suggestion for [anything] is a good one."

                        Well, of COURSE!

                      2. Folks, we've removed a lot of discussion from this thread debating what is and is not healthy, and have encouraged ChowBaccus to repost a more specific description of what he/she is looking for. If you have chow suggestions you think might fit this topic's criteria, please feel free to suggest them. Even if they aren't specifically what ChowBaccus is looking for, they are likely to help others looking for similar meals. Thanks.