The Skinny: Going au naturel at Indigo Joe's

By Wynter Holden

First, let me start by saying that if you're counting Weight Watchers points, avoiding carbs or (heaven forbid) taking Alli, just skip this blog. Don't read it. Shoo. Yes, I mean you.

Why? Because sometimes it's just about eating au naturel. No, I don't mean dining in the nude. I'm talking about scouring the menu at local sports bar Indigo Joe's (note: my friend Mr. Y's dining choice, NOT mine) for something remotely unprocessed to eat. No sliders or wings or mozzarella sticks, or any other "fried death" foodstuffs. No trans fats and heavy oils. Just plain ol', well, food.

Given that Indigo Joe has sports-themed chairs, sports memorabilia lining the walls, and more plasma screens then patrons, I figured that would leave me with the choice between parsley garnish or the wilted lettuce and tomatoes off of Y's juicy burger. But I actually lucked out with two appetizers. Yup, you read that right: appetizers (usually the worst menu section for finding healthy eats). We ordered a fruit & cheese platter and the chargrilled teriyaki chicken and steak kebabs -- both of which were surprisingly delicious.

Now ok, if we're splitting hairs, the teriyaki sauce probably has sugar or high fructose corn syrup in it, which isn't great for your body (see Veggie Boy Benjamin Leatherman's funny "debate" with the Corn Refiners Association). But these were cooked 'cue style, so I doubt if much of the gooey sauce was left on the blackened meat.

Oh, and the steak -- well, again, if you're a stickler for calorie counting, you'll want to stick with the chicken. Which I did, and gave the steak to Mr. Y (after sneaking a chewy bite). Despite the crunchy coating, the meats were tender, juicy and flavorful inside. The fruit was ripe and sweet, although the honeydew was cut a bit close to the rind, and there was a variety of store-bought-type cheese cubes to satisfy any taste.

Bottom line: Steak and cheese cubes might not be a dieter's top choice, but when it comes to pub grub, these two appetizers are definitely the lesser of the evils.

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden