Earls Kitchen & Bar
Calories Fat (g) Sodium (mg)
Worst: Warm Spinach and Feta Dip 942 calories, 49 g, 2,066 mg
Better: Crispy Chicken Tenders 354 calories, 6.5 g, 278 mg
Don't let the word spinach fool you. This creamy triple-cheese dip serves up as many calories, as much sodium and more fat than three McDonald's cheeseburgers. Worse, it has 26 grams of cholesterol-raising saturated fat, more than a day's worth. Even if you share it, you're still getting more than you need, before you even start your main course.
After the side salad made of mixed greens, the next-healthiest starter on the Earls menu is the Crispy Chicken Tenders. They are made with panko breading, which absorbs less oil.
Worst: Fully Loaded Nachos 2,070, calories 117 g, 2,520 mg
Better: Sweet Potato Fries 710 calories, 38 g, 630 mg
These nachos with the works - three types of cheese, beef, sour cream, guacamole - are the calorie equivalent of three McDonald's Double Big Macs. Yes, I realize nachos aren't made for one. If you do share, half an order has more than 1,000 calories and nearly a day's worth of fat and sodium. That's pretty darn hefty
You're better off sharing the sweet potato fries, which have one-third the calories and fat and one-quarter the sodium. And they're an excellent source of beta-carotene.
Kelsey's does offer some low-fat, low-calorie soups to start off your meal. But beware of salt - the Home Style Minestrone manages to squeeze 1,940 milligrams of sodium into one small bowl.
Milestones Grill & Bar
Worst: Bocconcini Garlic Bread 950 calories, 55 g, 1,910 mg
Better: Crispy Honey Phyllo Shrimp w/ Chiptole Dipping Sauce 470 calories, 16 g, 360 mg
If fresh mozzarella cheese layered between French bread and seasoned with olive oil and butter sounds fattening, that's because it is. This starter is dripping with 14 teaspoons of fat and more than a day's worth of sodium.
Your best bet at Milestones is the Crispy Honey Phyllo Shrimp. Even with the dipping sauce, you're getting half the calories and one-quarter of the fat.
The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
Worst: Tempura Snap Peas and Asparagus 640 calories, 45 g, 278 mg
Better: Mushrooms Neptune 188 calories, 11.5 g, 85 mg
Okay, it might not be the worst starter on the menu (the dips have more calories and sodium), but these seemingly healthy snap peas and asparagus come with 11 teaspoons of oil. Order the Mushrooms Neptune if you're looking for veggies with fewer calories and considerably less fat and sodium.
If you're a seafood fan, the Keg's shrimp cocktail is also a good choice at 181 calories, 1 gram of fat and 153 milligrams of sodium.
Worst: Breaded Wings w/ Thai Chili Sauce, small 680 calories, 33 g, 2490 mg
Better: Chicken Fingers 330 calories, 19 g, 570 mg
Most people know that chicken wings are fatty. It's the sodium number that's shocking. Boston Pizza's small order of eight wings serves up all the sodium you need for a day and a half.
If you're craving chicken, you'll save calories, fat and plenty of sodium if you order the chicken fingers.