I don’t know about you, but when I want a quick bite, a nice ambiance, and a high degree of flexibility towards young and messy diners, I suggest one of these restaurants to friends and family for a gathering. This weekend, I had the chance to visit both Earls and Milestones and couldn’t help but notice that the food at one restaurant was significantly saltier in taste than the other.
I was instantly curious to find out whether my impression was in fact substantiated by the actual sodium content of the items I chose. To be fair, I tried to compare dishes that were similar in composition (i.e. salads, burgers, wraps) and representative of what my family and I ordered at each restaurant. Moreover, I am only looking at sodium content here, not fat calories and overall nutrition. Certainly, if you are interested, you can click on the links below to reach the websites for both Earls and Milestones to find out these details.
Here is what I discovered.
Milestones Mediterranean Bruschetta – 2000 mg sodium per serving (1 order)
Earls Fish Tacos – 1000 mg sodium per taco, so 2000 mg sodium per serving (1 order)
Milestones Thai Noodle Salad – 1400 mg sodium per salad, including dressing
Earls Santa Fe Chicken Salad – 2200 mg sodium per salad, including dressing
Milestones Grilled Cheese – 1000 mg sodium per order (1 sandwich)
Earls Vegetarian Quesadilla – 1400 mg sodium per order (1 tortilla)
Milestones Red Curry Chicken Bowl – 1300 mg sodium
Earls Jeera Chicken Curry Bowl – 2000 mg sodium
In total, our table consumed 5700 mg of sodium at Milestones Restaurant and a whopping 7600 mg sodium at Earls Restaurant (remember, per person, our recommended sodium intake is 2300 mg per day). What light has this shed on the matter? Eating at both restaurants is going to break your sodium budget, but on the surface, Earls food tastes saltier, and is likely to have more sodium when compared to similar dishes served at Milestones. Whether the differences between sodium content at Earls and Milestones are significant in terms of health impacts is debatable, and I would not draw any conclusions from this difference other than this: when you are eating in restaurants, you are bound to consume a lot more salt than you would cooking at home. But, we all need to have fun once in a while, so if you are going to go for a casual bite at one of these places, try to the following strategies to cut down on salt:
1) Get the dressing on the side
2) Limit ordering dishes with cheese as restaurants tend to add large amounts of this salty protein to flavour their dishes
3) Skip on the appetizers as most of them score high on sodium content