The Best & Worst Menu Items at Bob Evans
Bob Evans is known for serving up tasty homestyle comfort food around America, but the casual farmhouse restaurant's menu goes far beyond the breakfast staples that are served all day long.
That said, we checked in with Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, of the food tracking app Lose It!, to educate us on some of the best and worst items available at Bob Evans. To our surprise, some of the healthiest and unhealthiest options span far beyond just breakfast, as some of the hearty lunch and dinner items made our handy list. Use this helpful breakdown to help make smart decisions while ordering at the country living-style chain.
Here are the worst and best items you can order from the Bob Evans menu.
Best: Fresh Fit Farmer
McGrane shared that this option "is your best bet with 37 grams of lean protein and a reasonable 63 grams of carbs from mini multigrain hotcakes and fresh fruit." However, the meal is still high in sodium, so "you'll still want to watch your salt intake the rest of the day."
Worst: Double Meat Farmer
While two cracked eggs with three sausage links, bacon, homefries, and hotcakes sounds delicious and filling, it's, unfortunately, your worst option. Between the number of calories and sodium, you're better off skipping this option.
"It packs over 2,000 calories—as much as most of us need in a single day—and half of those are from the hotcakes alone," McGrane noted. "This order also provides 26 grams of saturated fat, which is more than the amount of saturated fat you should have all day."
Hotcakes & More
Best: Belgian Waffle Breakfast with Hickory Smoked Ham
This savory combo may be the lowest in calories, but McGraine pointed out that "it's still high in sodium and overall carbohydrates, so you'll want to eat a little lighter the rest of the day."
Worst: Double Blueberry Hotcakes with 2 Sausage Patties
The Multigrain Hotcakes may be the highest in calories, but McGrane warned that they aren't the only item to worry about.
"The Double Blueberry Pancakes (1,090 calories) packs the most sugar, coming in at 78 grams—that's as much as a small cookie dough blizzard from Dairy Queen," she shared. "The addition of sausage patties will add an extra 320 calories—the same as a small meal—plus as much saturated fat as a McDonald's hamburger."
Turkey & Chicken
Best: Grilled-To-Perfection Chicken with Carrots and Green Beans
Keep this low-carb option as healthy as it is by skipping the dinner rolls that come with it. "This would add 380 calories and 50 grams of carbs (about the same as three slices of bread or one medium bagel)," McGrane said.
Worst: Homestyle Chicken Tenders with Bread & Celery Dressing and Baked Potato
While this crispy chicken sounds comforting and yummy, McGrane said that "one order contains more than half a day's worth of calories and more than the daily sodium recommendation."
Even worse, in addition to having as much saturated fat as one should have in a day, she pointed out "this combination also packs 135 grams of carbs, which is the same as two french toast bagels from Einstein Bros. Bagels."
Best: Bob Evans Meatloaf
The meatloaf may be low in calories, but "it's still relatively high in saturated fat and sodium, so it's not something you'd want to eat on a regular basis," McGrane said. So be sure to make this one a sometimes choice, even though it is the best option in this category.
Worst: USDA Sirloin with Bread & Celery Dressing and Baked Potato
You may think a large piece of red meat is the right choice, but the saturated fat in this dish "is the same as a double bacon cheeseburger from Shake Shack," McGrane says. Yikes!
Best: Grilled Salmon with Green Beans with Ham and Carrots
"Skip the dinner rolls to avoid an extra 380 calories being added to the meal," she said.
Worst: Great Alaskan Cod with Bread & Celery Dressing and Baked Potato
When tacking on dinner rolls, this fried meal contains 1,690 calories, which, according to McGrane, is as much as some of us need in a day. But that's not the only reason why you should stay far away from this meal option.
"But what's most shocking is that this combination contains nearly 200 grams of carbs, which is the same as two orders of Fettuccini Alfredo at Olive Garden," she said.
Burgers & Sandwiches
Best: Handcrafted Deli Turkey Sandwich
This delicious blend of slow-roasted turkey, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, roasted tomato mayo, marble wheat bread, and yes, even with French fries, is the lowest item in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium, McGrane pointed out. You can feel fine enjoying this meal, as long as you're smart about it.
"Still, with almost 1,000 calories for the meal, this is another one where it's best to split with a friend or take half home for tomorrow's lunch," she said.
Worst: Double Steakhouse Burger
With two Angus beef patties, hardwood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, deli pickles, onion, a brioche bun, and French fries, it should come as no surprise that one order will cost you more than half a day's worth of calories and your daily sodium limit.
Best: Green Beans with Ham
Even though the green beans are healthy, the ham in this side dish contains a lot of sodium, so that is something to keep in mind. For a lower sodium option that's still less than 100 calories, McGrane said it's also a good idea to go with the carrots, "which are high in beta carotene and a good source of fiber."
Worst: Bread & Celery Dressing
This comforting and hearty side, unfortunately "contains a meal's worth of calories and nearly half of your daily sodium needs," McGrane said. You're better off skipping this option.
Soups & Salads
Best: Cup of Hearty Beef Vegetable Soup
Loaded with carrots, corn, potatoes, celery, onions, and tomatoes all in a savory tomato broth, this soup is the lowest in saturated fat compared to the other soups on the menu, McGrane says.
Worst: Regular Chicken Cobb Salad
In addition to having twice as much sodium needed in a day, the Chicken Cobb Salad, filled with grilled chicken, bacon, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, blue cheese, fresh greens, and blue cheese dressing "has the same amount of saturated fat as two Whoppers from Burger King," McGrane said.
But that doesn't mean you should order the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad instead!
"It has 39 grams of sugar, which is about the same as a slice of Bob Evans' Strawberry Supreme Pie," she said. Restaurant salads are often not as healthy as you may think…
Best: Two Slices of Banana Nut Bread
While this is one of the better dessert options, McGrane said that "with 420 calories and 31 grams of sugar—the same as three glazed donuts — try to stick with just one slice and either share the other or bring it home for another day."
Worst: Cinnamon Pull Aparts
To our surprise, the pie options are not the unhealthiest on the menu: this soft, buttery bread dessert is.
"One order comes with two pieces and adds up to a shocking 900 calories, the same as the Fork Tender Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy," McGrane said. "In addition to being high in calories, these two cream cheese-frosted bites have 65 grams of sugar (the same as four Lofthouse Frosted Sugar Cookies) and 135 grams of carbs, which is more than most of the pasta dishes at Olive Garden."
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