Tag Archive | eating out

Surviving the buffet at Na Brasa

Mom and Dad at their 60th Wedding Anniversary Brunch

Mom and Dad at their 60th Wedding Anniversary Brunch

My parents were married sixty years on Friday and to celebrate we all headed to Na’Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse for a fabulous brunch. Determined not to gain this week, I decided that there was no way I would be able to slip little bits of everything on my plate, as I may have done so less than one month ago. Weight Watchers officials encourage people to use their 49 extra points for the week. In fact,  the lecturer at Childrens’ Hospital where I attend meetings tries to hammer this fact into to us all the time. I don’t want to risk it, after all I gained weight last week by taking only six of the extra points, why push it?

According to their website, na’Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse brings a style of dining that began centuries ago in the Pampas region of Brazil. Made-up of Argentina and Brazil’s Southern Region, the Pampas region was populated by early European immigrants adapting spices and culinary techniques. It was there where the “Gauchos,” better recognized as Brazilian Cowboys, began the tradition of slow roasting meats over an open flame, known today as “Churrasco”. This method of preparation sealed in the meat’s natural juices resulting in a more tender, flavorful steak.

The waiter’s, a bevy of Brazilian men (supposedly), bring to the table rotisserie spits of different cuts of beef, they tenderly slice a piece for you and you pull it with a small set of tongs which are part of each and every place setting at the table. Also included is a little cardboard disc; on one side it says “yes, thank you”, and the other side says “no thank you”. You place the disc on either side according to your wishes. If only life could be so easy!!! This eliminates the waiter having to ask you whether you want the meat or not. This was quite helpful since all I had to do was turn my button to the “No Thank You” side and no one would be asking me to stuff myself. Meats brought to the table included a myriad of sausages, lamb, and beef. In addition, there was a full complement of brunch foods served buffet style.  A highlight of the service for any weight watcher had to be the roasted pineapple served at the table. The waiters sliced the cinnamon crusted pineapple as if it were fillet Mignon and it was totally guilt-free and delicious.

“I guess I picked the wrong week to start my diet,” I smiled. I was able to stay within my points range by having the following. I think I had about 10 PP.

  • Egg White Omelet with spinach, peppers, onions, and mushroom.
  • One slice of cheese
  • A generous serving of fruit
  • 1/2 English Muffin
  • a Mimosa
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Pretzel Rod dipped in chocolate

Have a great meal at this factory, just don’t eat the cheesecake!

Strawberries and whipped cream. A lot less points than cheesecake.

Strawberries and whipped cream. A lot less points than cheesecake.

It was my daughter’s 14th birthday recently and she wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory and shop afterwards to celebrate. I smiled at here weakly, thinking to myself, “Oh Crap, the Cheesecake Factory? Every thing to eat there is a bajillion calories, the portions are enormous, and what’s worse everything is delicious.” You know the drill, birthdays come but once a year, and I can’t let my kids down, so off we went. Here are a couple of tried and true tips to get you through the “hungry” spots.

  • Visit the Cheesecake Factory’s website to read their menu’s nutrition facts
  • Order something from the Skinnnylicious menu (I got the veggie burger)
  • Order an unsweetened drink rather than a high calorie beverage, if you must have a drink, have a rum and diet coke or a light beer
  • Don’t eat the bread on the table or just allow yourself a small nibble
  • Don’t even look at the Cheesecake. LOL!! If you must have some, split it with as many people as possible. Did you know the low carb cheesecake is 600 calories a slice and packs a whalloping 28 grams of saturated fat?