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.