Restaurants lately have jumped on the band wagon of offering lower calorie items on their menus and Daily Grill‘s Simply 600 does just that. There are naturally salads, but included are burgers, sandwiches and entree items as well, hard to believe when you taste some of these 600 calories and below dishes.
We visited the Irvine location where the dining room was hustling and bustling during lunch time. It’s been at least five years since I’ve last visited a Daily Grill and the new menu definitely encompasses a more well-rounded array than I remembered.
We started with Southwest Chicken Taco Salad ($13.50) which is something I highly recommend. Make sure you fish around underneath the mixed field greens for the black beans, grilled corn, brown rice, roasted red bell peppers, avocado and tomato. The chipotle dressing and lime crema are both delicious but frankly I didn’t understand the crispy tortilla on the bottom or the rice in the salad.
I really enjoyed the Pan Seared Salmon Burger ($12.95) with arugula, sliced tomato, and remoulade, The salmon pattie was really flavorful, not at all dry and texturally pleasing. I didn’t like the bun much so I ended up eating the salmon on its own. I also loved how it is served with grilled asparagus and a lemon halve which you can use to squeeze over the asparagus and/or salmon.
Another item which simply blew me away was the Penne Pasta Primavera ($13.95) This will appeal to both vegetarians and carnivores alike. Zucchini, red bell peppers, cremini mushrooms, fennel, broccoli, carrots, kalamata olives, garlic and basil are tossed in a spicy marinara sauce and tasted like spring on a plate.
Moroccan Spiced Chicken ($16.50) comprised a grilled chicken skewer seasoned with tumeric, paprika, garlic and cumin, served with vegetables, herb brown rice and arugula. The price tag was a little too high for the plate and the chicken needed more of the spices to give it truly a Moroccan feel.
If you are a fan of a more Asian flavored salad, Blackened Ahi Tuna Salad ($16.75) will definitely appeal. Sushi-grade ahi tuna is seared rare and served with a delicious mixed field greens dotted with artichoke hearts, carrots, green beans, almonds, red bell peppers and tossed together in a gorgeous Asian-style vinaigrette.
An item from the dinner menu, Crab Stuffed Salmon ($26.95), is offered at lunch time as well. Your server should give you the option, but if he or she doesn’t tell you about it, make sure you ask. I’m not generally a fan of cooked salmon, but this baked salmon was moist and flaky and filled with jumbo lump crab. Served with whole grain mustard sauce, arugula and tomato, it makes for a wonderfully healthy choice whether it be at lunch or dinner.
Of course, if you prefer one of the Simply 600 menu items with a different side, there is an array to choose from ranging from mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, shoestring potatoes, creamed spinach, the list goes on and on. It won’t be under 600 calories, but if you’re not counting them, by all means, switch to a side more to your liking.
We weren’t counting our calories either, so we ended our low-cal meal with Fruit Cobbler of the Day ($7) there is a different one every day and on the day of our visit, it was apple and blueberry. I loved the cinnamon walnut crumble and wanted more of it. The apple and blueberries were nice and tart off-setting the sweetness, just the way I like it. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is optional, but why would you say no?
For those of you who are thinking of stopping by Daily Grill to check out the Simply 600 menu, I have a $50 giftcard, courtesy of the Daily Grill for one of my readers to win. Leave me a comment with your FULL name telling me why a 600 calorie menu works for you! Enter by Sunday and a winner will be announced on Monday. Good Luck!
2636 Dupont Drive
Irvine, CA 92612