Macaroni Grill, Hold the Macaroni

Meatballs and Caesar!

Meatballs and Caesar!

We hit the Macaroni Grill for a treat lunch, but even in a place with “macaroni” in the title, you don’t need to go carb crazy to get good eats.

First off, when the guy comes over to dish up the olive oil and pepper (or as some servers there call it: “Italian butter”, which makes me crazy [it’s like calling bamboo “nature’s wood”] — I think “Italian butter” is actually butter) we tell him that we don’t want bread. (If it were on the table, it’d be a real ordeal, since that is some very good bread.) (Could I get more parenthetical here?)

Then, I order my weirdness. Side Caesar salad, no croutons, and a side of meatballs with red sauce. (At this point, I always get asked, “…That’s it?”) Why pay for the noodles when they’re really just filler that sits under the good stuff? According to the MG nutritional information, a side of two meatballs is 15 grams of carbohydrate (yeah, I’m sure they’re full of breadcrumbs, but not enough to get me all inflamed or carb-crazed) and 310 calories. The side Caesar comes in at 13g/240 cal, but that’s with croutons included. So let’s call it 20 grams of carb for the meal, and 600 calories (because cheese must be added). Which fits my pre-maintenance methods well.

The best part: the price. A side of 2 meatballs is $1.99. And if someone in your party gets an entrée (or even an entrée-sized salad, as Scott gets) your side salad rings up at $1.99 as well (without an entrée, it’s $3.99). As you can see, I got a third meatball. That’s an extra buck. So I ate all of the best parts of a Macaroni Grill meal, without the starch filler, for under five dollars. Who has two thumbs and is a cheap date? This chick.

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  1. Hi Missy, I’m really enjoying these low carb tips and thoughts. Keep up the good work! I’m going to have to climb back on that horse after the New Year.

  2. Now, I have no problem with cutting out carbs if that floats your boat, but I can not sit idly by while you besmirch the good name of pasta. Pasta is not filler; it’s a delicious delicious food product.

    Vicious noodle libel aside, that looks like a pretty good lunch.

    missy Reply:

    Oh, pasta is tasty. It’s also what made me clinically obese. Certain starches, I’m unable to stop eating once I start, so I have to not eat them in the first place.

    Potatoes are even worse. Especially french fries. KRYPTONITE!

  3. My dangerous comfort starch is mashed potatoes: 5 pounds cleaned and cubed (not peeled), mashed with about a stick of butter, nearly a cup of sour cream and NO MILK. Just salt-n-pepper to taste and mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… HORRORS! But when I’d learned of my mother’s death, the first and only food I wanted was my own homemade mashed potatoes. That and turkey’s all I ever really need at Thanksgiving, either. I can skip pasta any day. Give me real mashed potatoes and I’ll stay fat and happy (well, if comatose is happy)…

  4. Hey theMissy…
    I’m a big fan of food – cooking it myself really – since I’m basically too cheap to eat out often. That and the fact my husband frequently eats an insane amount of food. The only place he fills up is at a buffet. heh.

    Next time I’m out I’m going to follow your lead. I actually stopped eating pasta because it was like slapping 4lbs of noodles straight onto my arse. Love the stuff (Esp with a cream sauce) but sigh. it was doing me no favors.

    Keep up the posting. I sometimes sponser your blog with an Ad because I like it so much. I make fantastic meatballs and now want them for dinner. 😀

    missy Reply:

    I’ve become a lot less shy about ordering things the way I want them in restaurants, whether that means asking for things without parts, or putting together a meal out of side dishes. I figure, why waste food I don’t want, when I can ask for my meal without. I’m also ordering a lot more kids’ meals (and even then, it’s usually more food than I want/need).

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