How a Nutritionist Eats at… Bubby’s

About the author: Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN, is the owner of Real Nutrition NYC, which is based in Chelsea. She lives in Tribeca, however, and she’s the dietitian at Real Pilates, where she provides nutritional consultations and monthly lectures.

What I’m about to admit is almost sacrilegious, but here it goes: For the last four years, I’ve pretty much avoided Bubby’s. Yes, you read that right. Why? Well, as you might imagine, the idea of “comfort food” to a nutritionist is daunting, to say the least—no matter how you spin it, mac and cheese is just not good for you (not to mention biscuits, fries, and gravy). Before you start throwing tomatoes at me, however, read on.

On a recent walk, my son insisted on playing with the large cow in front of the restaurant—smart placement—for a good 20 minutes, so I had time to look at the menu. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bubby’s sources the majority of its food from local farmers—a huge A+ in my book—and that many of the ingredients are organic, including the beef and eggs! Reading a little further, I realized there are a bunch of items on the menu that I could recommend to my clients—and to top it off, I even dig the kid’s menu. (I generally despise kid’s menus.) My son loves the honey carrots (packed with beta carotene) and I don’t have to order him mac and cheese or chicken fingers. I can get him organic meatballs and pasta not smothered in butter but in antioxidant-rich tomato sauce.

But you don’t get a free pass to dig into all the delicious food on the menu—especially if you want to be in shape for bathing suit season. (Gulp…. It’s almost here!)

Breakfast: My faves include the stone-cut organic toasted oatmeal—stick to one fruit topping, though—and the huevos rancheros, which you should ask for with egg whites and light on the cheese. Not into all those toppings? Simply order two organic eggs—listed on the menu as a side—with seven-grain toast, and you’re good to go.

Lunch: The hamburger is made with grass-fed beef, which means more omega 3s—but take off the top bun, skip the cheese, and get a veggie side instead of fries. Another good option is the veggie chili (without all those toppings, which will go straight to your problem area). If you’re looking for a salad, the salmon Niçoise is your best bet—just get the dressing on the side and leave a few potatoes on the plate.

Dinner: I always recommend starting with an appetizer to “spoil” your appetite. The arugula-and-asparagus or mixed-greens salad should do the trick with out adding too many calories. The entrées at Bubby’s are rich, so I say choose the fish, chicken under a brick (no skin), or one of the burgers (beef or turkey—I think the veggie burger is a bit fried). Skip the starchy sides; instead, ask for the broccoli, green beans, or spinach (steamed or sautéed but not creamed). Craving something richer? Split with a friend or take half home to lessen the damage—and be sure to clean up your diet tomorrow.

Specials: Bubby’s offers daily specials on top of its regular menu so make sure to avoid anything with description that includes words like fried, creamy, crispy, cheese, and butter, and you should be fine.

Dessert: Bubby’s is known for its pie, so go ahead and have a bite (or two), then put your fork down and walk away. Yes, you heard me—walk away from the pie! This way you can have your cake pie and eat it, too!

Amy Shapiro’s advice for eating at…


1 Comment

  1. We love Bubby’s, but now my family and I will love it even more.
    Wonderful advice, thank you so much.