Restaurant Challenge: Hearty

Restaurant Challenge: Hearty

“What do you mean he don’t eat no meat?  Oh, that’s okay.  I make lamb.”

– Aunt Voula, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My lamb burger was succulent and juicy.  I made a point of requesting the creamy feta and tzatziki relish on the side.  I removed the top half of the bun.  And I willed myself (no easy feat) to at least not eat all of the thick steak fries served along side.  Nonetheless, I left Hearty in Lakeview unsure whether I just eaten a healthy meal out or unintentionally splurged.  This was an admittedly uncomfortable position for me.  And so I began to research: is a lamb burger a healthy option when eating out?

Not surprisingly, I found that, as with other kinds of meat, the amount of calories and fat in lamb depends on the cut of meat.  The loin, shank, and leg are the leanest cuts, with about 150-170 calories and 2-3 grams of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving.  This is comparable to beef.  However, other cuts of lamb, including the ground lamb typically used in lamb burgers, can be 20-30 calories more per serving than beef, with about 240 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving.  That adds up, particularly considering there was no way the lamb burger I ordered was only 3 ounces – more like 6 ounces (if not more).  Yikes!

That said, lamb is a great source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and niacin.  Particularly if you don’t eat beef, lamb is a great source of red meat.  As always, moderation is key.  Stick to those lean cuts, and if you do go for a lamb burger, make sure to portion control.  My meal at Hearty was more of a splurge, despite the modifications I had made.  Better would have been to also split the burger or take half home for later.  Sigh.  Live and let learn.

Try Hearty at 3819 N. Broadway.




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