Food portions in the U.S.

Just eat the salad first. That’s Step One in makeing a few meals out of one. Fill up on salad, and then peck at the entree. Of course this won’t work if the salad is your meal.

I’m pretty damn bold about getting leftovers. I used to work overnight, but still wanted to be able to go out for dinner with my wife, so sometimes I’d end up eating Lamb shank with garlic potatoes after being awake for half an hour.

Since I normally don’t eat a real breakfast until being up for nearly two hours, I’d often eat 4, maybe 5 bites before being full. Then I’d ask for a doggie bag, and take it to work as a great lunch.

Puzzled looks all around, but I was full!

Do restaurants were you folks live serve different portions (and with different prices) depending on the time of day? When my Mom and I go to Olive Garden, for example, we go during “lunch” because we’ll be served less (though still too much) than if we went during “dinner.” And frankly, I prefer going out for a late lunch (3:30-4) before doing something else with friends, so we won’t be stuck carting around 5lbs of leftovers :slight_smile:

I actually eat more at home because the portions are too big when I go out. I don’t understand it. I hate to waste the food and I hate leftovers and my dog won’t eat what I eat.

What can we do?

Don’t even get me started on Chinese restaurants…or Mexican.

I actually eat more at home because the portions are too big when I go out. I don’t understand it. I hate to waste the food and I hate leftovers and my dog won’t eat what I eat.

What can we do?

Don’t even get me started on Chinese restaurants…or Mexican.

The worst offender, here, at least, is the Claim Jumper chain. One evening we went there on prime rib night. Mmm. I love prime rib. But 26 ounces of prime rib is just a teensy bit more than I can eat. And they had no option for a smaller portion. It was 26 ounces or nothing. And the 26 ounces come with two side dishes, plus garnish (which includes an apple). PLUS, my husband INSISTED (he’d never been there before) that he wanted the fried zucchini appetizer, despite my assertions that it would be way too big and that he had no idea what he was getting into with his entree, anyway.

He learned.

Agreed. Claim Jumper is the WORST.

A side salad is enough for a full meal. Especially when you consider that they serve it with your choice of bread (one of the choices being a muffin that itself is pretty large).

Johnny–Futurama had a product called “Bachelor Chow”. It wasn’t anywhere near as tasty as your Kibble.

I’m with the pro-leftovers faction. As a student, I can justify eating out moreif I know I can count it as two meals.

Heck, the Chinese place at the mall food court here gives such gigantic portions that a $4 entree can be two meals if you get it to go.

Well, the whole gimmick of Claim Jumper is that eveerything’s super-duper-sized there. There’s actually a CJ just five minutes from my home, but I’ve only eaten there once. The potatoes alone were enough to scare my parents, who wondered if they were irradiated to make them so large.

As for large portions in general, I just learn to either take it home or toss it out. No need to gorge myself (and risk a bad case of heartburn) just because the restaurant is being overly generous.

I can’t stand the large portions, either. (Well, maybe at 4 in the morning after a night of drinking or recreational soft-drug use, perhaps.) When I go out for dinner, I’m going out for dinner. Not for dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast. I don’t wanna be hauling around a goddamned bag of food, especially since there’s something else I wanna do after dinner.

And I hate wasting food, so I end up eating almost all of it, and feel sick for the next hour or two. I mean, these portion’s aren’t generous; they’re downright gluttonous. And I do not doubt that this contributes to America’s obesity problem.

I never really noticed just how extreme the portions are until I moved to Europe four years ago. Ever time when I come home and make my annual visit stateside, it never ceases to amaze me to think that at one point I was actually able to get through most, if not all, of an American-sized family-establishment meal.

Luckily, in the more chic restaurants, the portions are much, much smaller, and you can actually enjoy every course of your meal, even dessert (which I always skip at the other places.)

As someone who lives by herself, I don’t mind larger portions, as they become at least 1-2 other meals as leftovers. I ordered a large thin crust pizza Monday night, which I will finally finish tonight as the third dinner that one pizza has served. I used to feel more obligated to clean my plate, but I’m actively trying to avoid it now by eating more slowly and less than I think I’m hungry for. If I’m still hungry later, I’ll eat more.

If the server insists that you receive a large portion with all the trimmings rather than a reduced portion, there are other options as well. I’ve found that in cities, the fries that you really didn’t want with your sandwich and felt obligated to take home might be very well received by the homeless that you might have to pass by on the way out/home.

Blue skies…

There is a chain of Italian restaurants in the Boston area called Vinny Testas. Their portions are simply too big to be called absurd and they pride themselves on it. My wife and I once got, literally, 10 meals off of two of their dinner entrees. I was shocked when I ordered a single steamed mussels appetizer and out came this bowl the size of a pizza platter containing 2 - 3 pounds of steamed mussels. That is simply unhealthy and uncalled for IMHO. Did I mention that they also offer “large” sizes of everything :shudder.

God knows I’ve been to enough Weight Watchers meetings to know a few tricks surrounding larger portions. First of all,you could order just an appetizer or a soup or a salad or even a side dish. For a dollar or two upcharge you could split an entree. You could ask for half in a doggy bag before you even start eating, so as to ensure greater freshness and less temptation. Like others who have posted, I agree that smaller portions aren’t going to save you money. I’ve been to diners in Queens that seem to charge you less the more food they give you. The Georgia Diner on Queens Blvd. would have these dinner specials for like $12.00 where you would get like an entree, 4 vegetables, a beverage and dessert, plus a relish tray. A simple burger would only be $5 less.