The Best & Worst Menu Items at Bahama Breeze
If you're looking for a Caribbean-inspired meal in a fun, ambient setting, Bahama Breeze is definitely a spot you should head to. They're known for their summery cocktails that transport you to an island vacation, as well as a pretty expansive happy hour menu for those post-work snacks and drinks you're craving. The Bahama Breeze menu is comprised of dishes featuring every type of protein, so there are a ton of options when you're looking for a healthy meal choice and plenty of meals that might not be the healthiest option for you. We consulted Patricia Bannan, RD to weigh in on which menu items are best for you, and which ones to avoid.
Here are the best and worst Bahama Breeze menu items.
Appetizers & Small Plates
Worst: Firecracker Shrimp with Sriracha Aioli
"If you belly up to this starter by yourself, you can expect to take in almost three-quarters of your daily calorie needs," says Bannan. Not only is it super caloric, but the whole thing contains over a full teaspoon of sodium—before you even get to the main course.
Best: Crab & Avocado Stack
At only 320 calories, the crab and avocado stack has less than a quarter of the calories found in the firecracker shrimp. Bannan adds, "It packs in about half a day's worth of muscle-building protein and as much fiber as a cup of blueberries."
Soups & Entree Salads
Worst: Grilled Salmon & Mixed Greens on a Tostada with Island Vinaigrette
Unfortunately, as healthy as a salmon salad may sound, "It isn't the best option when it delivers half your day's worth of calories, more than a teaspoon of sodium, and nearly a day's worth of saturated fat," says Bannan. While grilled salmon and mixed greens are usually okay on their own, the addition of the tostada and vinaigrette clock in this salad at over twice the caloric intake of some of the salad choices on the menu, such as the tropical fruit on mixed greens with island vinaigrette or seared ahi tuna salad with island vinaigrette.
Best: Cuban Black Bean Soup (Cup)
This soup is one of the lowest in saturated fat in the soups and salads portion of the menu while being one of the highest in fiber. "Each cup serving contains as much fiber as 2 cups of brussels sprouts, and as much protein as 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt," says Bannan.
Worst: Taste of Jamaica
"This bounty of a plate comes with a hefty calorie and sodium price. Each order contains nearly a teaspoon and a half of sodium, or as much as three servings of roasted ham," says Bannan. "While you may get your daily dose of protein in this dish, you'll also get a day's worth of saturated fat."
Best: Black Bean Stuffed Plantain Bowl (Vegetarian)
"This meatless entree is one of the lighter options on the Caribbean Favorites menu, with an average of 200 calories less than other offerings," says Bannan. Though you don't want to celebrate just yet. Of the Caribbean Favorites options, this dish is the lowest in saturated fat and contains no trans fats, but it still contains nearly half the daily recommendation for sodium, so that is something to keep in mind.
Steak & Pork
Worst: Baby Back Ribs (no sauce)
Get ready for a pretty terrifying revelation. "Before you even reach for more BBQ sauce, these ribs contain nearly a day's worth of calories, as much saturated fat as 8 large orders of french fries, and almost a teaspoon and a half of sodium," says Bannan. Plus, if you add the BBQ sauce, you'll add a full tablespoon of sugar to your order, too.
Best: Grilled Top Sirloin Steak
This is one of the healthier options of this section since it's one of the lowest in calories and sodium. "That doesn't mean it's a low-sodium dish, though," says Bannan. "This steak still delivers as much sodium as three medium pickles, and a full day's worth of saturated fat."
Seafood & Fresh Catch
Worst: Lobster & Shrimp Linguine
"One plate of this pasta will give you enough saturated fat and sodium for the entire day," says Bannan. "In fact, one order has as much saturated fat and sodium as 22 strips of bacon." And would you ever really eat that much bacon in one sitting? Don't think so!
Best: Fresh Catch Tilapia
This light tasting fish is light on your stomach as well. One fillet only contains 220 calories and 16 times less saturated fat as the lobster and shrimp linguine.
Worst: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast
With as much saturated fat as an entire stick of butter, this fried chicken is something to steer clear of on this menu. Each order also has almost double the amount of sodium as the Light Jerk Chicken Pasta (below).
Best: Jerk Chicken Pasta (Light)
One of the lowest in calories in the chicken section of the menu, this entree also has less than a teaspoon of sugar, and no trans fats. "Much like many dishes [on the menu], this pasta is still relatively high in sodium, with as much sodium as almost four cups of vegetable juice," says Bannan.
Worst: BBQ Bacon & Cheese Burger
Unfortunately for those of you who don't like plain burgers, you'll find a full day's worth of sodium and saturated fat between two buns with this order. Plus, it also has a full two tablespoons of sugar. Who needs all that from one burger?
Best: Grilled Burger
"Simple is best when it comes to burgers," says Bannan. This option is one of the lowest in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, but does still contain over half the amount of saturated fat recommended for a full day.
Worst: Coconut Shrimp Tacos (3)
Shrimp always seems like a "lighter" option, but unfortunately, that's not the case with these tacos. One order will pack in half a day's worth of calories and saturated fat, and well over a teaspoon of sodium.
Best: Key West Fish Tacos (3)
High in protein, these tacos have enough for an entire day, as well as the same amount of fiber as two apples. "Watch your sodium though," says Bannan. "These tacos have a full day's worth of it in one order."
Worst: French Fries
"As you can imagine, these deep-fried potatoes pack in a hefty punch of calories and sodium," says Bannan. One order adds a quarter of your daily calorie needs and half a teaspoon of salt—all before you factor in the meal it goes with.
Best: Vine-Ripened Tomato Salad
A serving of this salad has a mere 70 calories, no trans fats, and 12 times less sodium as an order of french fries. Though it isn't always the case, this salad is actually the better choice here.
Worst: Rum Cake
This dessert (literally) takes the cake when it comes to sugar. "Not only does one serving contain half of your daily calorie needs, but you'll also find a whopping nine tablespoons of sugar, or as much as almost three cans of soda," says Bannan.
Best: Coconut Grande
"While none of the desserts on the menu would be considered 'light,' the Coconut Grande is one of the options lowest in calories, sugar, and sodium," says Bannan. It still contains a full day's worth of saturated fat and six tablespoons of sugar, which could be cut in half if you split this treat with someone else.