Monday, May 26, 2014

Keto on the Go: Pepperjax

Keto on the Go is my way of showing how a person on the ketogenic low carb diet can eat out at restaurants without sacrificing their hard work by blowing it! The goal is to be able to find something everywhere someone else suggest you meet for dinner, without being a Fickle Finnick. If you have a restaurant you'd like to me to review, let me know in the comments below!

She's a meaty mother. She'll get a hold on you, believe it.
Pepperjax recently opened in our town, and Kent and I had to check it out, since we are always looking for something new and different in our culture-starved town. (Actually that's not true anymore. Waterloo, Iowa has gotten some better restaurants in recent years that represent more cultures.) Unfortunately, we went the week before we started this diet, so I had what they're famous for- a Philly Cheese steak. It was awesome, and I don't regret it, but now I also have the memory of how good the bread was. Sigh. I wanted to try it again, and see how I could get the flavor I craved, but with a drastically lessened carb count.

The next time, I ordered the rice bowl (with no intentions of eating the rice). I got it "Gunner" style, which means double the meat, and it also apparently requires that all of the cooks on the line yell out "Gunner!" Sorry guys. I would hate any job that required me to shout on command. I also requested light seasonings, because the normal amount is pretty salty, so I had half as much as usual. They ask you what else you want cooked with the meat, and I really appreciate that is is customizable, since I HATE green peppers. I got my steak cooked with onions and mushrooms. I had two slices of whatever the mild white cheese is on top.

The awesome thing about Pepperjax is that they have this serve yourself sauce bar over by the drinks. It is nice that if you want something to dip in besides ketchup, it's all available at no extra charge. They've got an Asian au jus sauce, regular au jus, mushroom sauce, and "Kickin' Chili" sauce on the the warm sauce bar. There's ranch, spicy ranch, raspberry vinaigrette, and Dorothy Lynch dressing on the cold sauce bar. The variety of sauces is because you can make any meat a sandwich, rice bowl, burrito, nachos, or salad. I generously ladled on the warm mushroom sauce, and took one ladle of au jus. I probably ingested a few grains of rice that were stuck to my steak, but it was worth it to me to not have to launch into a big explanation to the line cooks about how I really just wanted a bowl of meat. Especially when it was brand new and there was a line out the door waiting behind me.

It was tasty and filling. I paired this meal with a fine vintage of tap water, to counter the (satisfying) saltiness. According to the nutritional info from the Pepperjax website, it looks like this added up to an 8 carb meal. It was $10.18 altogether, so not the cheapest meal, but not the most expensive for a sit down, semi-fast food place either. And when your $10 is all for meat, that seems like a decent deal. I will definitely get this again, particularly in the winter when I am craving comfort food smothered in gravy. Grade: Thumbs up!

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