|Why can't fast food look more like this?|
I've tried all the chains, and the only one where I can consistently eat what I would like to eat if I were making it myself is Panera Bread Company. The caveat with Panera is that as a side you get a choice of bread, chips or an apple. I would normally choose the apple, but the ones they have are usually gross looking - and besides, when I choose apples I always go organic since it's on that dirty dozen list. So I opt either for whole wheat bread at lunchtime, or nothing. (Choosing nothing is counter-intuitive for me, so it's a tough option, but do-able when I realize I don't need the extra calories from the bread.)
Panera's sister company, Paradise, is another decent option menu-wise. But the default side at Paradise is a cookie - a very delicious cookie I find it hard to say no to. As a result, I avoid Paradise these days.
Here in the Palm Springs area where I live I have found a few local, organic and vegetarian places I like, but I'm looking for chains to step up so eating out isn't like treading through a minefield of unhealthy options every time I'm on the road. If you have had success with chain restaurants serving up healthy options, please let me know! Leave a comment below or contact me through my splash page.