It’s Fast Food Fix time again and today I’m reviewing Friendly’s, the famous ice cream restaurant.
I grew up eating at this establishment and with family I used to go on hot summer nights to get one of their signature sundaes. Ignorance is bliss right? Actually, in high school I actually worked in a branch washing dishes and of course ate way too much ice cream.
Friendly’s is probably equally known for its food as well as ice cream, but is any of it healthy? Can you make a smart choice? Let’s see…
Hmm, well this is usually the section of the post where I give you my top 3 picks to eat based on nutrition, calories, sodium and fat. But in an Angry Trainer first – I’m going to recommend that you never eat at Friendly’s and avoid it if you can. One look at the menu nutrition facts and it’s clear to see why – it’s loaded with fattening, ultra high calorie, and high sodium entrees. This is the worst line up I’ve seen to date. And that says a lot.
Most fast food joints have a mix of really terrible food with eye-popping calories and then at least a few choices for the healthy minded person. Well Friendly’s is the exception! Outside of grilled chicken and steak salads, which are always a great choice (if you don’t overdo the dressing), this menu is just pure junk food. Plus it has some truly gut busting, belt popping, heart killers.
Look at These:
1. Clamboat Basket– This meal has 1,710 calories and over 100 grams of fat! So not only is it calorically a time bomb, but it’s more than 50% fat. And it has a whopping 3,340 mg of salt.
2. Grilled Chicken Deluxe Sandwich – Sure, you choose grilled chicken and think it’s a good choice. Not at Friendly’s. This version has 1,000 calories, 45 grams of fat and 1,810 mg of sodium. Now, I’m sure fries are included, but that doesn’t mean you won’t eat them. If they’re on the plate, I’m counting them.
3. Friendly’s Frank - I know hot dogs are popular, but steer clear of this one. It has 750 calories of which 400 are fat. You’d be eating more fat calories than the entire meal itself should have.
4. Crispy Chicken Salad w/Honey Mustard Dressing- This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It has almost 1,000 calories and nearly 70 grams of fat! That makes it about 60% fat. That’s just gross.
This is just a sample of what’s on the menu and there are many more that are very similar to the ones I just called out.
When you see the menu nutrition facts you’ll notice a few things :
1) the number of meals in the near 1,000 calories range make up a good portion of the menu.
2) You’ll struggle to find a meal UNDER 500 calories, unless it’s a milk shake, soda, or dessert!
3) The amount of sodium in many of the foods is absurdly high.
Many of my previous Fast Food Fix postings have shown that popular chains like KFC, McDonalds and Burger King all have some decent choices available to those who care what they put in their mouth. Yes, you could order something in Friendly’s and only eat half, or even less, of the meal, but what fun is that? And truthfully, I don’t hold much faith in people’s willpower to avoid dietary temptations.
I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending anything of this menu, and I personally wouldn’t eat there. So I have to say at least for now, Friendly’s isn’t Fast Food Fixable. After all, it can’t be a good sign when ice cream shakes and sundaes have less calories and fat than the food being served. Wouldn’t you agree?
See the Friendly’s nutrition facts yourself here.
But what do you think of my suggestions? Do you have a different recommendation? And do you eat at Friendly’s?