Dining out with family, friends and coworkers is fun and in Rapid City there are endless options to choose from.
But for those who have to dine out frequently, or are watching their diet, eating out can be challenging.
Rapid City eateries offer a variety of healthy options for diners looking stay on track. Below are some of the favorites from local restaurants.
Breakfast: Colonial House Restaurant & Bar
Healthy options are abound and customers can be assured they can get a healthy, and filling, start to their day at the Colonial House Restaurant & Bar in Rapid City, according to owner Vicky Beshara.
Diners looking for a more filling breakfast but also a low calorie count should try the Jackrabbit Scrambler, Beshara said. The Jack Rabbit Scrambler includes three scrambled eggs, spinach and a mix of fresh, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese.
Another healthy favorite is the Farmer’s Market Omelet, or veggie omelet. The omelet includes freshly diced onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and sautéed mushrooms and shredded jack cheese for a low calorie — but still tasty —breakfast.
The Jackrabbit Scrambler and Farmer’s Market Omelet are served with American fries and buttered toast. To add extra nutrition to the meal, and fewer calories, Beshara said to choose a different side.
“It’s really the potatoes and the butter that gets most people,” Beshara said. “But we do have a lot of healthy options for diners.”
Beshara said it’s simple to swap out the breakfast potatoes for a healthier side. The Colonial House offers fresh fruit, yogurt, apple sauce or cottage cheese as a substitution for the American fries. She also said to ask for dry toast instead of buttered. Cheese can also be left off the breakfast dishes.
The restaurant also offers the substitution of egg beaters for omelets and scramblers. Egg beaters are all white eggs and contain no egg yolk.
And for diners who want a lighter, healthier breakfast, the Colonial House offers a yogurt sundae, granola cereal and fruit options.
Lunch: Que Pasa
For diners on the go, lunches can often mean fast food and convenience meals that are filled with sodium and calories. But eating out for lunch with friends or coworkers can be fun and healthy.
Que Pasa offers a large lunch menu, in addition to its full-size menu, which general manager Myrie O’Neil said includes items that are light and low in calories.
O’Neil said that all of Que Pasa’s salads are low in calories. He recommended the Gulf Coast Shrimp Salad with grilled shrimp, avocado and tomatoes served on mixed greens and topped with toasted pepitas, queso fresco and crisp tortilla strips.
The Que Pasa lunch menu also includes vegetable chimichangas, vegetable burritos, veggie fajitas, all which are low in calories, but still pack the Mexican flavor, O’Neil said. The lunch burritos and fajitas can be made with grilled chicken, as well, for added protein.
Many diners add on side dishes at Que Pasa, O’Neil said, such as queso cheese and chips and friend jalapenos. O’Neil suggested that instead of ordering cheese, sour cream or fried jalapenos as a side, select guacamole or the de la casa side salad.
And for those customers who can indulge on a margarita, O’Neil added that Que Pasa’s margaritas and other specialty drinks are also low in calories.
“Our drinks are made with natural sugar,” he said. “So no one has to feel guilty about adding extra sugar to their diet with a drink.”
At Murphy’s Pub & Grill in downtown Rapid City, the menu entices its customers with juicy burgers and other comfort food choices. However, manager Daniel Leal-Fernandez said the establishment offers a variety of choices for patrons looking to eat healthy.
Leal-Fernandez suggests a variety of options such as the tomato mozzarella or mango and berry salads, which offer a flavorful and filling option. He also suggests the smoked turkey wrap, filled with avocado, turkey and sundried tomatoes.
Larger meal options include the grilled salmon. Leal-Fernandez said the low-calorie dish comes with asparagus and sautéed veggies.
Burgers are a popular staple at Murphy’s, and Leal-Fernandez said all burgers can be eaten with a grilled chicken breast instead. A healthy favorite is the grilled chicken breast or six-ounce burger with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, served in between two portabella mushroom caps.
And sometimes, a meal can be instantly healthier and lower in calories by substituting sides. Instead of French fries or mashed potatoes, customers can substitute healthier options including cranberry cole slaw or cottage cheese. Sweet potato fries, fresh fruit and sautéed veggies can also be substituted as sides for an additional cost.
But above all, Leal-Fernandez encourages customers to ask questions about their menu items.
“Express to your server what you’re looking for,” Leal-Fernandez said. “They will help lead you in the right direction.”