Friday, September 5, 2008
Red Robin Restaurant and a Little Known Sugar Fact
I love gardenburgers. My husband loves Red Robin. It's a treat for him to go, so I found something that I like there, too. In highschool and college I used to go with friends to eat their gigantic mud pie. It has peanut butter and chocolate and an oreo cookie crust. It has been years since I have eaten one of those, and it was years that I had eaten at a Red Robin at all until I met my meat-eating husband. Since, I have found a healthy, sugar-free menu item and I order it every time. I get the gardenburger in a lettuce wrap with tomato, instead of a bun. Who ever enjoys the bun? It is simply a handy delivery system, but is made with white flours and sugars. My husband and I agreed that if people got the "burger" wrapped in lettuce, or just plain, no one would miss the bun or ask for it afterward. It is simply a "refined" (pun intended) way to eat the burger.
Recently, we were eating at a Red Robin in Coeur D'Alene and we ordered our bunless burgers. They of course always come with big fat french fries. I don't care for their fries because they are too big, not greasy enough, and for some reason hard to swallow. If I do eat some, I usually choke a little. This particular afternoon I felt like eating a couple of fries, and so I grabbed the famous Red Robin shaker of spicy salt. I completely covered my fries with it and my husband sat across the table staring at me.
"I need more salt in my diet," I said.
"Have you checked the ingredients?" he said with major emphasis on the word ingredients.
"Why should I? It's salt!" I said, feeling my palms starting to sweat.
"But you check the ingredients of everything!" he said, looking at me surprised.
"Okay, I'll check. It just didn't cross my mind to check this. It's salt..." My palms were sweating and I was fearing the very worst. What if I was eating sugar? How could they add sugar to the spicy salt?
"Please, oh please, oh please..." I said to myself as I grabbed the salt shaker and began reading ingredients.
"Whaaaaat?! No way!!" My palms stopped sweating but I felt my insides sinking. "I can't believe this. Why would they do this?!"
There it was, in black, bold letters, "dextrose", another word for sugar. It is very similar to table sugar, and is absorbed into the bloodstream at the same dangerous speed as table sugar. It is an ingredient on my No-No list, because it is basically the same thing as sugar.
"Bummer...." was all I could say. It's not like I really wanted to eat those chokingly thick fries anyway. They were just sitting there and I was still a little hungry. "Well, now I know," I told myself.