By: Ross Grant
Those who know what the Ketogenic Diet (keto for short) is and what it consists of, know that if you stick to the rules, you can get serious results. Along with those serious results, come some pretty strict guidelines for what you can and cannot eat. During the week, it’s no problem to prepare meals to get the macronutrient results that you want. The weekend on the other hand can be a total nightmare. Your group message starts blowing up about an hour before work is over with suggestions for dinner and drinks that night. At this point, there are two options: run home as soon as you get off work and eat the same chicken you’ve been eating all week (probably not), or go meet your friends for dinner and drinks. So, we put together this quick guide for a few of our favorite spots around town with keto friendly options for those nights when you just can’t resist the temptation.
Cheers in the Heights - Southwest Chicken Salad
Calories: ~510 Carbs: ~9
Our first stop on the list is a local staple and neighborhood favorite: Cheers in the Heights. Right off Kavanaugh Boulevard in the heart of the Heights, this locally owned gem has one of the best salads in town. While most restaurants offer a salad option on their menu, not many can compete with the southwest chicken salad. This romaine salad has bacon, tomatoes, mozzarella and is topped with a hearty serving of seasoned grilled chicken, a large dollop of sour cream and a scoop of their yummy guac. Pair it with the creamy bell pepper dressing and you have a keto salad that is sure to leave you satisfied.
Cregeen's Irish Pub - Duck Wings
Calories: ~427 Carbs: ~2
When first starting keto, you try to keep some of your favorite foods in your diet however you can, but thankfully wings don’t have to go out the window! Creegans Irish Pub in North Little Rock puts an Arkansas twist on the classic chicken wing and goes for duck. On a recent “Wing Wednesday” tour around Little Rock we came to the conclusion that Creegans falls in the top three for wings in the 501. Its only $10 for a 12 count of bone-in duck wings, and they come in all of the flavors that the chicken wings do, with our favorite being the sweet Thai chili. That price will leave you smiling, happy and still in ketosis on your way out the door.
Brewski's Pub & Grub - Hamburger Steak w/ Salad & Broccoli
Calories: ~520 Carbs: ~7
While somewhat new to Little Rock, Brewski's has quickly become a staple for weekend game days. With tons of TV’s, games to play and a fun atmosphere, it’s nice to know that even a local bar has good options for those sticking to their new year’s resolutions. Their menu offers a few good options, but our favorite by far is the hamburger steak. Smothered in grilled onions and seasoned to perfection, we like to pair it with the Caesar salad and broccoli on the side.
American Pie Pizza - Chicken Bacon Ranch 10" Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Calories: ~400 Carbs: ~7
"I can’t do keto because I can’t give up pizza." - Literally everyone who thought about doing keto. Well friends we are here to tell you that you don’t have to give up pizza, but only change the crust that’s on the bottom of your pizza. Cauliflower crust pizza usually has around 14 carbs in the entire pie, so we recommend sticking to only half (maybe ¾ if you’re really hungry) of the pizza in one sitting. The 10” cauliflower crust pizza at American Pie can be made with any of their signature pies, or even made custom with your favorite toppings, but we recommend the Chicken, Bacon Ranch (what’s not to love?).
Soul Fish Cafe - Blackened Tilapia w/ Zucchini
Calories: ~375 Carbs: ~4
While Soul Fish may be known for their southern style fried catfish, this downtown café also offers several keto friendly dishes. One of our favorites is the blackened tilapia. Fish is a great source for proteins and healthy fats, and Soul Fish clearly knows what they are doing in this realm. You can choose what level of blackened you want and it comes with a side. We always get the sautéed zucchini which is seasoned to perfection. Steer clear of the hush puppies and fries (even though they are delicious) and you’re sure to be satisfied with your keto choice.