Breaking Down The ENTIRE AllFit Menu By Roadster

By now, many of you Roadster fans are no doubt familiar with the all-new AllFit menu released in January. Lebanon's famous diner teamed up with diet center Le Gabarit, established in 1997 by dietitian Mireille Corbani, to introduce a slate of 15 dishes spanning appetizers, salads, veggie burgers, platters, a sandwich and desserts.

A distinction here is made between Roadster’s traditional low-cal menu, which has now been absorbed into the main menu, and the AllFit. In fact, the inside tab of the AllFit menu very clearly states that these “great-tasting nutritious meals” are “boosted with natural ingredients and super-foods, offering immense health benefits.”

In other words, don’t be startled by the calories posted beneath each item. One dish, pairing an oat-crusted chicken breast with creamy tagliatelle pasta, runs as high as 990 calories. Two of the three desserts, described as sugar-free, graze 500 calories.


Nutrition

Before we dive into the taste review, let’s dabble with the numbers. This is perhaps the first time I see a local establishment post some semblance of nutrition facts about its food. Roadster presents us with calorie counts in addition to carb and protein content. Calculating fat is then a simple algebraic equation:

 Total calories = 9*grams of fat + 4*grams of protein + 4*grams of carbohydrates


Therefore, if we want to solve for “grams of fat,” we can rearrange the equation thus:

Grams of fat = (Total calories - 4*grams of protein - 4*grams of carbs)/9

Then, it’s just a matter of plug and chug:

Item
Protein (g)
Carbs (g)
Fat (g)
Total kcal
Price (LL)
Chia-Chicken Tenders
28
4
17
280
         10,750
Mushroom Melt
14
23
24
360
           7,500
Goji Caesar
34
29
20
430
         16,500
Tuna'Oa
35
52
29
610
         17,500
Super Quinoa
31
41
42
670
         19,500
Ultimate Quinoa Burger
14
58
22
490
         12,500
All-Fit Mushroom Burger
17
48
16
405
         12,500
Mushroom BBQ Burger
17
48
14
390
         12,500
Chicken Power Up Platter
94
22
41
830
         23,500
Oat-Crusted Chicken Platter
67
108
32
990
         22,500
Double Dip Steak Platter
62
8
54
770
         29,250
Chicken Filler Sandwich
40
46
42
720
         15,250
Light-House Pasta
14
20
46
550
           8,000
Spinach Dip
20
6
13
225
           5,750
O-My Chocolate
15
55
24
495
         12,500
Homey Apple Tart
3
40
3
195
         11,500
Brooklyn Carrot Cake
7
67
21
485
         11,500


Let’s put these numbers in context. According to the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) stemming from the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) used in both the United States and Canada, adults should consume a regular diet consisting of 2,000 calories per day with the following values:


Total fat
65 g
Total carbohydrate
300 g
Protein
50 g

All three main platters proposed by Roadster’s All-Fit exceed the recommended protein portion per day, with the Chicken Power-Up almost doubling it! None of the dishes surpass the carb or fat thresholds, but caution should be paid to the Double Dip Steak, which meets 83% of the suggested daily fat intake.

All right, the educational segment of this blog post is now complete. You have everything you need to prepare for tomorrow’s quiz. Totally joking!


Taste

On to most consumers’ primary concern: how does the healthy stuff stack up taste-wise?

Well, in general, there’s a distinctive wholesomeness to every dish. Everything is low in salt, and there are no hidden ingredients. The dishes are rather straightforward and easy to replicate at home, which is probably why they are so nourishing.

The chicken tenders are your usual grilled chicken breast spears, except they’re lightly dusted with chia seeds and accompanied by a sweet peanut dip largely popularized in Lebanon by sister restaurant Deek Duke.


Chia-Chicken Tenders



For an open-faced baguette pizza, the Mushroom Melt hits the spot, with deliciously garlicky pesto, fresh mushrooms and light mozzarella.


Mushroom Melt


In the salad department, I preferred the Goji Caesar with its creamy dressing and fruity touch to the quinoa offerings, which, though containing a medley of fresh veggies, lack boldness and body. A simple fix would be a sprinkle of herbed sea salt. 


Goji Caesar

Tuna'OA (is this pronounced tuna-wah?)

Super Quinoa


I’m not sure what Le Gabarit endeavored to accomplish with those veggie burgers, whose patties are devoid of any real structure and rather resemble baby feed. They’re bland and off-putting and, weighing in at 390 – 490 calories each, I’d rather have the superior Fit ‘n Burger that thankfully continues to grace the Roadster low-cal menu. Maybe Roadster should also consider bringing back the Ever Slim Burger to replace these veggie burgers gone bad.

If Le Gabarit’s intention was to balance the menu with strictly vegetarian offerings, they could have done a better job with a thickly-cut slice of grilled eggplant topped with semi-crisp lamelles of carrot, potato, zucchini, tomato and mushroom. That inside the signature, soft, seed-studded bun would have been a revelation.


Ultimate Quinoa Burger


All-Fit Mushroom Burger


Mushroom BBQ Burger: the only thing redeeming this burger is its BBQ sauce



The platters incorporate the traditional quality of chicken breast or steak that Roadster’s accustomed us to, with flavorful roasted carrots and grilled countryside potatoes. The two new elements appearing in these balanced meals, namely spinach dip and light house pasta, are outstanding.


Double Dip Steak Platter


A better description of the spinach dip would be creamed spinach, which is more fibrous than it is soupy (woohoo!) and borrows its scrumptiousness from the presence of dairy. Pasta fans will bow their heads in approval at the herby, creamy, garlic-rich tagliatelle. Roadster did well to offer it as a side in case anyone desires seconds.


Chicken Power Up Platter (love those portions of creamed spinach and chicken!)

Oat-Crusted Chicken Platter


The all-star of the new menu is arguably the Chicken Filler, a generous sandwich served inside a multicereal baguette bursting with roasted veggies, grilled chicken breast, pesto spread, and light mozzarella. Props to Le Gabarit and Roadster for not shying away from garlic here and on a fair chunk of AllFit edibles.


Chicken Filler sandwich with side green salad


The Chicken Filler sandwich is generous on the chicken and garlicky pesto


I’m undecided as to the desserts. They go down without a hitch, so it’s not their taste I’m reproaching. But 500 calories is a bit excessive for a slice of carrot cake, and I suspect it’s the cream cheese, which we could have done with less of. The apple tart is guiltless, at a mere 195 calories per portion, and the chocolate fudge cake with Goji berries is indulgent, easily earning its weight in calories.


Brooklyn Carrot Cake

O-My Chocolate Cake


Homey Apple Tart



On the whole, I’m impressed with Roadster’s move to honor an ever-more health-conscious society. Customers are demanding food that’s both good for them and complements a healthy, active lifestyle. This dining-out experience just might fit the bill. 

Comments

  1. The protein count on the platters is very useful for people looking to put on muscle weight I must add. People who don't get how nutrition often see calories as bad but the truth is, it depends on your goals anyhow. More calories than your basal metabolic rate = weight goes up. And the converse is true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Jim. Calories are not necessarily evil, and I tried to draw attention to that in the introductory paragraphs of the post, that this new menu is about super-foods and healthy, sustainable eating.

      Delete
  2. What a thorough job! Thanks for the information--and all the effort it required. I know where I am eating this weekend.

    One little note, however: The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends women consume 1,600 to 2,000 calories if they are sedentary. In some body types, that 400-calorie difference can add up to kilos and pounds with time. (Sorry for being a stickler/spoiler.)

    Also, when writing your column, do you get to taste everything you photograph? If so, how do you stay slim? :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right, Samir. In the interest of being as general as possible, I assumed a 2,000-cal diet for both male and female adults, although I realize this is not a cover-all.

      Yes, I did taste everything. I insist on tasting if I intend to recount it here, otherwise it would be very disingenuous of me. Let's just say the following two days I followed a very austere diet! I try to balance my intake over 2-3 days, and I walk a lot.

      Actually, the long answer to your question can be found here:
      http://www.legymonline.com/an-inside-look-at-how-foodie-beirutista-stays-slim/

      Delete

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