Who says there is no such thing as a “free lunch”?

ribsdinner

Just split an entrée with your significant other the night before and there most likely will be plenty left over for lunch for two the following day.

And maybe even a bite or two for Bowser too?

What is it about all of this food? When is enough, enough?

Are restaurants overfeeding us?

Why would Almost DailyBrett pose these questions?

Heading into Husky Stadium on Lake Washington for Oregon’s record 10th straight (and counting) win over Washington last October, I was struck by what one can buy with $250 million.

Four years earlier, Husky Stadium was an old, decrepit and crumbling football stadium with small seats and incredibly narrow aisles. Today, the stadium is much more comfortable with larger seats and wider concourses. Does this upgraded level of comfort just reflect the power of millions of dollars of legal tender or does it signal another trend?

huskystadium

The answer is both. The stadium, even though it sits on a beautiful lake spanned by a floating bridge, needed a facelift and that requires cash. The smaller seats and narrower aisles were judged to be more than adequate way back in the 20th Century, but they do not work now. People are bigger and becoming ever larger. Is this what they mean by upgrading our national “infrastructure”?

How many of us are “normal” weight by using the Body Mass Index (BMI). Try it out: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Mimicking the Spaniards and their appetizing Tapas, there was a small-plate movement (10-inch rather than 12-inch plates) in the trendier parts of America less-than-a-decade ago. And like most well-intentioned campaigns, some stick around and some go by the wayside.

tapas

We are way past the point of being overly concerned about the obesity epidemic in the good ole USofA. Are our restaurants in their never-ending quest to provide “value” to discerning customers in this eternal difficult financial climate, contributing to the expanding waist lines of Americans?

Research indicates that we eat what is put before us, and that is contributing to an obesity epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 35.7 percent of Americans are obese including 78 million adults and 12.5 million children. For men in particular, this trend is heading in the wrong direction with 27.5 percent registering as obese in 2000, escalating to 35.5 percent 10 years later. The number of obese women also increased from 33.4 percent in 2000 to 35.8 percent in 2010.

Last month, my relatively new spouse and I visited the Old Town Tortilla Factory in Scottsdale, Arizona, a great place particularly in 87-degree February warmth.

We placed one order of the chipotle baby back ribs with string fries and cole slaw and the waiter was cool enough to waive the divided order charge. Predictably, we could not finish the entrée and had no room for dessert. Alas, there was no Bowser back in our rented condo to devour the remains.

And just this past week, Bates’ Steak House in Eugene, Oregon was the venue for the birthday celebration of the editor in chief of Almost DailyBrett. We ordered one serving John Wayne Cowboy Steak (e.g. marbled 16-ounce rib eye). Fair enough.

The entrée came with soup, salad, potatoes, rice, bacon, blue cheese, tortillas, salsa, beans and the aforementioned 16-ounces of seared steak. For dessert, the choice was either a fancy liquor or a root beer float with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Predictably we needed a Bowser bag. And the left overs, placed in the microwave for two minutes, were more than enough for lunch.

nachos

You may thinking these stories are anecdotal, but they keep on recurring. Walking into a Mexican restaurant, we were told of the grilled chicken nachos appetizer special. We took the plunge. That plate was more than enough for dinner for two…and that turned out to be our dinner.

Admittedly, the vast majority of restaurants fail. The new ones in particular are under tremendous pressure to succeed in this low-margin business. Are they and their entrenched competitors resorting to overfeeding customers in order to stay in business?

And if they are, is this delicious trend contributing to our obesity epidemic?

Writing about food is not for the faint of heart. The editor of Almost DailyBrett still has scars on his back for his commentary about the TMI (Too Much Information) gluten free movement. There are those who care big time about genetically modified food and those who have more important things to do. There are the carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, vegetarians, vegans and countless other (up)-vores.

And regardless of all this attention as to whether coconut oil is actually good for you or not, it all comes down to calories in; calories out. Salad-size plate moderation is a good thing.

Our restaurants should come to this realization as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Plate_Movement

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/739086

http://oldtowntortillafactory.com/

http://www.batessteakhouse.com/

http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Overeating

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/vegan-gluten-free-elitism-with-coconut-oil-2/

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