Welcome to the spring semester San Diego State! Along with The Daily Aztec’s new website comes the introduction of a fresh blog examining this fair city’s restaurant scene.
But many of you aren’t thinking food right now. Winter break just ended, and those four weeks of holiday cheer included not only a side of Christmas cookies, but also a few helpings of stuffing. The 2011 resolutions have fallen to the wayside, but now that school is back in session it seems there is no excuse for skipping your workout at the ARC.
Aztec Appetite is looking out for you, dear Aztecs, and wants you to keep your health in mind. However, there’s nothing wrong with eating out, as long as you stay calorie-conscious. Here’s a list of some of San Diego’s tastiest options that won’t derail your diet.
1. Loving Hut
1905 El Cajon Blvd.
Vegetarians and vegans rejoice, this yummy North Park restaurant offers a plethora of delicious dishes. Nothing on the menu exceeds $12, and the majority of options are priced between $5 and $8. For starters, try the fresh summer rolls dipped in peanut sauce.
Craving meat but swore it off for New Year’s? Then take a bite of the grilled sensation soy chicken or the “Spicy Cha Cha” shrimp. You’ll never notice the difference between the soy and real meat thanks to Loving Hut’s secret sauce.
If you’re going the extra mile for your physique, try the healthful salad or get brown rice instead of white.
2. The Naked Café
3555 Rosecrans Ave.
For those who count calories like they’re dollar bills, this is the restaurant for you. The breakfast menu has a section for mindful eaters listing not only the calories of each item, but also how many grams of fiber, protein and fat are contained in specific dishes.
My personal favorite (which also happens to be the lowest-calorie item on the menu) is the pesto scramble, which contains enough veggies and complex carbohydrates to keep you full for hours. And if you need to take something to go, try the “buff” breakfast burrito for a protein-packed meal.
3. Lean and Green
7825 Fay Ave # 180
La Jolla’s shores aren’t only known for their beauty. San Diego’s city by the shore is also known to have countless natural food restaurants.
Lean and Green is an organic restaurant that serves up wholesome gourmet wraps and salads. This place is perfect for those looking to save the environment and their cholesterol. Salads and wraps cost between $9 and $10, with extra add-ins priced between 50 cents and $3. The restaurant is so devoted to a green lifestyle that it only using compostable and biodegradable paper to serve meals.
What’s truly wonderful about Lean and Green is their smoothies and organic acai bowls. Try the protein shakes to boost metabolism or increase energy with one of the fruit smoothies.
4. Naked Pizza
909 Grand Ave.
This scrumptious Pacific Beach pizzeria recently expanded to Hillcrest to please the masses. With two nearby locations, there’s no excuse not to visit either joint, as it is simply the healthiest pie in town.
There is convenient online ordering for those who don’t want to pick up the phone, and pizzas are available for pick up or delivered to your door.
You can build your own pie or order one of the favorites. Toppings include the usual, but the wonderful thing about Naked Pizza is the gluten-free crust option, which is great for those of us trying to avoid carbs. My recommendation is the greenhouse pizza, with thin crust, or the “superbiotic” pie that costs $13.
6171 Mission Gorge Rd.
A lot of people might scoff at the idea of a buffet during diet season, but Souplantation is anything but a normal, greasy buffet. This restaurant has many options for salads, soups and desserts.
It’s a little tricky not to overindulge since everything here is so good, but thankfully the restaurant lists its calories above each item. Avoiding the macaroni and the brownies might be a challenge, but just remember you’ll feel better with smaller, well-rounded portions.
To keep it lean, have the Asian chicken wonton salad with the split pea soup and a bran roll. There’s even a low-calorie dessert here: a chocolate mousse sweetened with Splenda.
Well that’s all for now Aztecs! Stay healthy, and remember: It’s always swimsuit season in San Diego.