As we’re approaching the half-way mark of our January Whole30, I wanted to share a few more Whole30 friendly dining spots. Along with that, I’m also including my top five tips/strategies for choosing a restaurant and ordering when you’re doing the Whole30. These can be used (almost) anywhere! Some restaurant menus are easier to navigate than others, but hopefully you have some say in where you dine out! (Check out last week’s guides, featuring Origin and Snap Kitchen.)
The Whole30 Dining Guide that’s available FREE (along with other helpful downloads on their site) is a great starting point. If you haven’t already printed these out, do it now! They’re a convenient reference that will come in handy! Mel Joulwan at Well Fed also has a fantastic article on this subject. Read those first, and then check out my tips below…
- If you have friends in your area who have done/are doing the Whole30, ask them for suggestions! This will help narrow your search and they can give you ideas on what to order.
- Check out the menu before you go. It will save you so much time at the table and won’t take away from your conversation! If I’m going to a new restaurant, I’ll view the menu online first and then call or email the restaurant with my questions. Call during non-peak hours so you are more likely to get someone on the phone to help you. Email is great, too, if you know a few days in advance that you’ll be going. I know it seems like a lot of work, but it saves time and allows you to focus on having fun and enjoying the company while dining out!
- When I look at the menu I look for two things; (1) What I can order as-is, and (2) what I can order with minimal modifications. This is just my personal preference, but I find that if you aren’t changing an entire dish, it’s more likely cause less issues for the kitchen and come out correctly. Too many modifications can be complicated for everyone! If there isn’t anything that meets the criteria, then I look at the side items and try to piece together a meal from that. For example, I’ll order a side salad with oil and vinegar, side of grilled or steamed vegetables or a baked potato, and some form of protein. Most places are willing to do this and it makes ordering easier!
- This is included in Whole30’s dining guide, but it’s worth saying again…It’s okay to be “that person” as long as you ask nicely and tip well! Really, most servers want to help you out, so being courteous can go a long way when asking for special requests. And, if you have a wonderful meal with great service, be sure to thank them by tipping well!
- Be sure to be prepared by keeping some emergency food with you at all times, in case you get stuck at a questionable place or eating later than usual. I like to keep an RXBAR or Epic Bar in my handbag and car for times like these!
Here are a few more places to get Whole30 friendly meals in Dallas. (When compiling my lists, I’ve contacted these places to ask questions about ingredients and how the food is prepared. If you see something here and have questions/concerns, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m happy to help you find answers, and of course, want the correct information as well!)
I’ve written about this one before, because it is one of my top three restaurants to dine at in Dallas whether or not I’m doing the Whole30! The food is fantastic! I actually discovered it during my first Whole30 when searching for date night spot. They helped me comb the menu and put together this list. Their menu changes seasonally, so if you see something that is not on this list that sounds like it could work, definitely ask them about the ingredients. Their servers are very helpful and knowledgeable! HG cooks exclusively with coconut oil and pomace oil (a derivative of olive oil), both of which are Whole30 friendly.
- Delmonico Steak: The horseradish shallot coconut butter is Whole30 friendly!
- Cauliflower Steak: Sub out the quinoa pilaf with another Whole30 vegetable side.
- Brick Chicken: Sub out the quinoa pilaf with another Whole30 vegetable side.
Bowls: My personal favorite because you can order one from the menu or create your own, using one”Hunted” protein option, two “Gathered” vegetable base options, and a sauce to top it off. You can also add a fried egg or avocado slices to these.
- Hunted: Grilled TX Chicken Breast, Sauteed Akaushi TX Beef, Salmon, Grilled TX Petite Tender Steak, Grilled Scottish Salmon, Kobe Beef Burger
- Gathered: Sweet Potato Hash, Grilled Zucchini, Brussels Sprouts. (Wanted to note that they have some amazing paleo poblano-cashew cauliflower grits to try when you are not on Whole30, as they have white wine in them.)
- Sauces: Guacamole, Salsa
(Off the Menu) Bowls:
- The Stack: So much goodness in one bowl! Sweet potato hash topped with a Kobe beef burger, lettuce, tomato, fried egg, and avocado.
- The Zucchini “Pasta”: (Order without the hemp oat crumble on top) Zucchini “pasta” sautéed with garlic blistered grape tomatoes, roasted eggplant, rainbow chard, caramelized onions, sweet peppers & green olive.
I love The Gem for their fresh organic juices, smoothies, and great atmosphere. It’s a fun alternative to meeting for coffee, although they do offer a tasty french press if that’s what you’re craving. There’s plenty of space to sit and catch up with a friend and wi-fi if you need to work.
Per official Whole30 recommendations, beware of using juices/smoothies to fill a sugar craving or use as a meal replacement. While they are technically allowed, it’s best to be cautious. In general, (for Whole30) stick to the green juices/smoothies with little or no fruit in them. Check out this previous post for my thoughts on this topic and links to more resources…
- Juices: All, except the Golden Glow and Clarity Lemonade, which have maple syrup
- Smoothies: All except the Jaded Ginger Snap. They also don’t use agave in their smoothies anymore, and have started using dates instead.
- Food: Celery Salad, Jalapeno Pesto, and the Organic Pico are Whole30 friendly.
- Snack: The Gem REMIX- raw 100% organic nut mix that contains cashews, pecans, walnuts, mulberries, brazil nuts, and dried tart cherries (soaked in apple cider vinegar, not sugar). All raw, all organic, no salt or seasoning.
- (My go-to order is the Flawless green juice)
This local chain is great because the salads are a generously sized portion and you can choose from their huge selection of veggies, then add a protein at the end of the line. All of their proteins are cooked on site and dressings are homemade. They have mesquite-grilled chicken, pulled chicken, spicy steak, sockeye salmon, and yellowfin tuna. You can also add avocado. I contacted Snappy to ask about dressings and discovered that the Balsamic Vinaigrette (regular version, not low fat), South Texas Salsa, Greek Vinaigrette, and Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette are all Whole30 friendly. You can also request plain oil and vinegar.
Salad with Carnitas (the only meat that isn’t cooked in vegetable oil), any of the salsas (I get mild pico and medium), and guacamole.
I hope my local listings have been helpful for you while navigating your Whole30! If there’s a restaurant you’d like me to check into, please let me know, and I’m happy to do it. And, if you have any favorites or go-to’s, I would love to hear them. Please leave a comment…I’m always looking for new places to try!
Thanks for stopping by!
Photography: Stephanie Drenka