Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Unprecedented Decadence

I went to Bennigan's the other day for lunch with my mother and my aunt, and though I'm still on my diet [60 days and counting - 13 pounds lost!] I did peruse the dessert menu because, well, I can't help it.

I was both pleased and disappointed to see my favorite dessert back on the menu. Banana Xango is basically a deep fried banana cheesecake that is To. Die. For. But, alas, I'm not ordering it any more. I'm trying so hard to be good.

In addition to BX, Bennigan's is now offering a new dessert called the Triple Dare. They should probably call it Triple Digit Cholesterol instead. That's a picture of it above and here's the description from the menu:

We have taken three of your favorites to the next level. A chewy fudge brownie, a Hostess Twinkie® and a Zinger® are each wrapped in a crispy shell and fried until golden. Served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces.

Are they kidding with this? I mean, yeah, it looks like heaven. Any time you deep fry something chocolate, you're passing into the realm of the angels as far as I'm concerned. It's like nirvana. But really...give people a break.

I'm not one of those activists that's going to go around trying to sue restuarants for making people fat, or bullying everyone into dieting [guess what, that doesn't work.] But I do have a small complaint about this stuff. As good as it looks and as tempting as it is, why can't they offer a healthier dessert choice as well? It wouldn't even have to be that much cheaper - I mean, at IHOP they serve a bowl of fresh fruit for $5.99 which is about the same price as these artery cloggers at Bennigan's. Sure $5.99 is a lot for fruit, but if you're out eating at a restaurant and everyone else is having fried cake, you'd be more likely to drop the six bucks and get yourself some expensive fresh fruit. When there are no healthy alternatives a lot of people will just skip dessert and if you're out to get their money, why not give them something they WANT to buy?

Some places are offering smaller desserts now, which is nice. I have no problem with cake, or ice cream. Hey, you have to live, you know? Food is one of life's great pleasures and I do believe we should enjoy it, but how about if restuarants helped out the populace and all offered lighter alternatives for desserts, like HALF a piece of cake - a SINGLE dare rather than a triple, or a dollop of sorbet and some fresh berries? Most places don't.

So therein lies my rant for today. Is it any wonder obesity effects more than 60% of the US population?


Ms Menozzi said...

You've made so many good points in this post, I've lost count...

But I agree whole-heartedly with your assertion that the restaurants are missing out on a big opportunity by not offering fresh fruit with sorbet - or some similar desserts.

But alas, there is a simple reason: that fried dessert (along with just about everything else they offer in those places) is something kept in a freezer until a short time before you eat it.

If you go long enough without eating that sort of thing, and without eating the ENORMOUS portions doled out in the average US eatery, you find that you don't really WANT it, any more. Hard to believe, I know - but it's true!

Whenever I go back to the US and go out to eat, I'm left with so much food I can't stand it. In the States you have the option of taking it home, of course (that doesn't happen in Europe), but how often do we really finish it then?

That's what I thought...

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

It's true! The portion sizes are outragous and you feel guilty not taking half your dinner home, but the next day, it's never as appetizing, and sometimes it doesn't keep well either. So much waste goes on, but we're all conditioned to think we're getting a 'great deal' by paying double and getting double.

Karen Erickson said...

Ah yeah I first heard about those deep fried Twinkies, etc. from the local fairs years ago. Never tried it, kinda grosses me out. LOL

Applebee's offers those dessert shots, have you heard of them? They're great, just a little glass of ice cream or cheesecake, etc. you get about five bites and you're done. Relatively guilt free dessert. :)

Jen said...

What's a Zinger?

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

The little shot glass desserts are perfect. Why can't there be more of those?

Jen, I believe a Zinger is like a chocolate Twinkie. At least that's what it looks like.