The paleo diet is becoming more and more popular, and those who adhere to it may find that it’s not always easy to find menu items at chain restaurants that also adhere to the diet. Because it’s a dietary choice instead of an allergy or intolerance, chain restaurants aren’t inclined to create paleo menus like they would for gluten free diners, and they’re certainly under no obligation to. So the onus is on the diner to know what types of dishes are paleo, and which aren’t.
The fundamentals of paleo dining are based around eating what we think the earliest humans did, with a diet primarily comprised of nuts, fresh fruits and berries, vegetables, fish, and grass-fed organic meat. Processed foods as well as dairy and grain products are all excluded. So if you’re looking to stay paleo at a restaurant, there are some things to make sure of when you place your order, but keep in mind that you may end up making the server’s and chef’s lives pretty difficult.
First, make sure your meal is cooked in real butter as opposed to oil, and if oil needs to be used, make sure it’s olive oil. Also make sure that no seasoning salt is used, which usually contains MSG. As for individual dishes to order, your best bet is to stick with whole pieces of protein, like steaks, chicken, or simply grilled seafood. Most salads are also acceptable, but make sure that olive oil and vinegar are used as dressing. As for side dishes, a baked potato with butter is a good option, as are vegetables served simply steamed or sautéed in butter.