Dining: Feeding the Craze
Low-Carb Diets Are Changing How Restaurants Cook
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Of course, one of the joys of the low-carb diet is that you can eat red meat. The New York sirloin comes off the grill nestled between a roasted red pepper puree and a dish that absolutely no one ate before low-carb diets, but looks as though it’s going to become a staple. It’s pureed cauliflower, which looks like and has the approximate mouth feel of mashed potatoes. All the more so in Sheraton’s version, which mixes in white cheddar. The flavors just jump off the plate.
Photo Courtesy Sheraton
Finally, there’s a cheesecake, with a mere 7 grams of carbs. These are net carbs, a kind of nutritional legerdemain that subtracts out fiber and what’s called sugar alcohols, which taste sweet but don’t do dramatic things to your blood sugar levels. Nobody really knows what happens if you eat lots of sugar alcohols; this is uncharted nutritional territory. But the cheesecake at least tastes great, crushed almond crust, no-sugar whipped cream, .75 ounce of berries and all.
I keep going back to the entrees. The Mediterranean chicken on braised artichokes is addictive, and I especially like the red pepper-cauliflower-steak combo. “Good, yes?” says Delbrel. “I am thinking of eliminating our regular steak and just offering this one instead.” He then laughs at the irony: “I guess if someone wants to substitute mashed potatoes, we could let them. Why not? If they want the carbs, they can have them.”
The low-carb entrees are catching on slowly, especially now that they’ve been printed on the hotel’s regular menu, instead of presented as specials. Delbrel plans to roll out a low-carb banquet menu this month. “I like this food,” he says. “It’s not haute cuisine, it’s casual dining, but it’s food with character. It’s a lot better than low-fat food ever was.”