Eateries manage to make bread off low-carb craze |

Eateries manage to make bread off low-carb craze

Ryan Graff
Special to the Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Consumers around the nation are watching their waistlines. You might think restaurant owners would be quaking in their boots, with fear that dieting customers would come in to eat less, putting less money in the restaurateurs’ pocket.

But for some restaurants, low-carbohydrate diets like Atkins, South Beach and the Zone have helped fill their pockets, not empty them.

Like national chains such as Subway and Burger King, a few local restaurants have figured out that by offering low-carb options they may be able to help draw customers.

The 19th Street Diner in Glenwood Springs started offering low-carb items about a year ago, and they have been popular ever since.

“We had no idea what was going to happen” when the diner started offering low-carb items, said kitchen manager Bruce Imig. “And all of a sudden, bang!”

“We have some guys that come in every day” for the low-carb offerings, said Imig.

The 19th Street Diner has a “Low-Carb Corner” on its menu that features everything from an “Atkins Plate” (a bunless burger, served with vegetables instead of fries) to a low-carb cheesecake.

The menu lists the amount of carbohydrates in each dish, so customers can keep track of how many carbohydrates they are eating.

The Bayou restaurant, also in Glenwood, substitutes high-carbohydrate items on its menu with a low-carb alternative on request, said owner Steve Beham.

The Bayou’s menu is fairly low-carb to begin with, except that it serves rice and corn with many dishes, said Beham. The restaurant can substitute a low-carb vegetable for the rice and corn.

Beham said that some sauces and salad dressings can be made low-carb as well. The Bayou can substitute half-and-half for milk in salad dressing, which increases the fat but cuts the carbs. It can also thicken certain sauces with soy powder instead of flour, increasing protein and cutting carbohydrates.

The low-carb options on The Bayou’s menu are getting more and more popular.

Every week the amount of low-carb meals that customers order at the Bayou doubles, said Beham.

Both the 19th Street Diner and The Bayou started serving low-carb items so they could better serve their customers.

Beham went on the Atkins diet for six weeks.

“It was uncomfortable going out to eat,” said Beham, noting that it was difficult to stick to the diet when he ate out.

“It’s impossible to put French fries on my plate, and me not to eat them.”

After trying the diet himself and losing some weight, Beham spent four or five months developing the low-carb options for The Bayou.

The 19th Street Diner is coming out with a new menu soon and will expand its low-carb options. In addition to its current offerings, it will also offer low-carb pasta and bread. Imig said that the restaurant will have either a separate low-carb menu or a low-carb insert in its regular menu.

Even some of the beer at the 19th Street Diner is low-carb. It serves Michelob Ultra, a low-calorie beer with just 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per bottle.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 534

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