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September 02, 2006

THE FATTENING OF AMERICA: So the Insta-Daughter and I went for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. That's not news, as we go there regularly. They had a new menu, which isn't news either, as they get new menus on a near-monthly basis.

What's new is that almost everything on it was fattening to the max.

They used to show the calories on the menu, along with other nutrition information. Not any more, and with good reason. A simple Cheeseburger is 1120 calories -- equal to two Big Macs -- and even the Turkey Burger, which you'd expect would be healthy (and which used to be) is 824 calories, more than a Whopper with cheese. And it's that way across the menu.

I don't mind that they have fattening stuff on the menu, but they seem to have stripped off almost all the old healthy favorites. The steaks are the lowest-calorie offerings left.

We got up and left without ordering; there wasn't anything we wanted. We won't be back until they change the menu again, which is too bad because we've always liked the place.

UPDATE: Reader Robert Crawford emails:

I've been on Weight Watchers for a year and a half, and occasionally go to Ruby Tuesday's with some friends. Until the last time, it was easy enough to find things that fit my diet. The last time, I saw the same menu you did; nothing that could work. I had even planned ahead, using information about the old menu to figure out what I could get, and the menu change blew away my plans. Heck, even the salad bar was about half acceptable.

Now, my choices are as limited as a vegetarian's.

On the other hand, Applebee's has a whole section of diet items, including a couple of desserts.

Which is why I expect that Ruby's will change their tune sooner rather than later. I don't know what they were thinking. I don't ask for tofu and sprouts (in fact, I hate those) but I'd rather not be presented with an array of things that are dripping in grease.