Eating Out on a Diet: Village Inn

Village Inn restaurant may not offer a large choice of “diet menu items,” but it can be a piece of cake – or pie – to stay on a diet while eating out there.

My friend who is on Weight Watchers always orders the same thing at Village Inn. She eats two eggs, two pieces of bacon, toast, coffee and takes the pancakes home to her daughter.

For me, eating out at Village Inn while on a diet is about examining what I’ve eaten the rest of the day – or what I plan to eat. If I do indulge in the pancakes, I go easy on the syrup and butter and don’t eat any more “carbs” the rest of the day other than vegetables and fruit. If I have already had plenty of carbohydrates for the day, I’ll order an omelet.

Here are some tips for staying on a diet while eating out at the Village Inn or other pancake and pie restaurants:

No. 1:

Always order the Hollandaise sauce on the side at Village Inn or other pancake houses. Hollandaise is mostly butter. Eggs benedict and many skillet meals are smothered with Hollandaise. Ask for it on the side and then dip your fork as you would a fattening salad dressing.

No. 2:

Avoid biscuits and gravy with sausage patties. Nothing you do the rest of the day can make up for such an unhealthy and fattening choice in my opinion.

No. 3:

Order the cranberry nut oatmeal with pecans with a dry English muffin (no butter). Take the English muffin home or ask to substitute fruit since you don’t want to eat two starchy carbohydrates in one sitting.

No. 4:

Create your own omelets at Village Inn. Some good choices include red peppers, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, olives, and black beans.

No. 5:

Some of the less fattening sauces at Village Inn include the ranchero sauce. Again, always order Hollandaise sauce on the side.

No. 6:

Whenever possible order the Village Inn Veggie Omelet made with egg substitute and part-skim mozzarella cheese. Fresh fruit is fine but be wary of multigrain pancakes. They still have a lot of calories and should be eaten in moderation. Take at least 2/3 to go.

No. 7:

Crepes do not have to ruin your diet at Village Inn. Crepe Lorraine contains rich Hollandaise sauce, bacon and Swiss. Select the veggie crepes instead with sauce on side.

No. 8:

Skillet meals at the Village Inn come with pancakes. Have either the skillet meal or the pancakes – not both. Avoid obvious gut-busting choices such as the double bacon double cheese or chicken-fried steak with sausage gravy.

No. 9:

If ordering salads at The Village Inn, select grilled chicken. Be care of the Chicken Stir-Fry salad Teriyaki glazed (sugary) crispy (probably fried) chicken, wonton crisps (also probably fried). A better choice is the chicken and fruit salad with strawberries, red grapes, mixed greens, grilled chicken, toasted almonds; poppy seed dressing on side.

No. 10:

Even though it sounds so tempting, avoid the warm grilled pita unless you can control your portion size. Avoid burgers, melts and fried shrimp while on a diet at Village Inn.

No. 11:

Enjoy the half slice of Village Inn pie offered or split a pie with a friend. My friends always enjoy the pie by eating the filling but not the crust which is high in fat. The pumpkin pie at Village Inn is especially good if you are eating only the filling. As always, wherever you go, avoid the carrot cake on a diet unless you plan to share with A LOT of friends or can follow the “three bite rule.”

Eating out on a diet at the Village Inn or other pancake houses and pie joints does not have to be boring. It’s all about pie-power!