The Best & Worst Menu Items at Huddle House
If you're looking to indulge in some delicious comfort food, you may want to consider dining at Huddle House, the popular chain that was founded over 50 years ago. The American casual restaurant, which is located primarily in the southeast U.S. with 339 locations in 23 states, offers up a plethora of tasty breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert items that are served "from the heart," according to the franchise's motto.
In fact, the menu is so packed with options that we just had to check in with nutritionist Amy Tao, MS, of Based Wellness to educate us on some of the best and worst choices available to eat while dining there.
Her picks included burgers, sandwiches, pancakes, eggs, and more, and now, we're hungrier than ever for some tasty homestyle favorites.
Here are the best and worst menu items available at Huddle House.
Starters and Snacks
Best: 6-piece Mozzarella Sticks
Mozzarella sticks are fried and warm, but even though the popular appetizer "has the least amount of calories and the second least amount of sodium in this category, they are still far from a healthy option," Tao says. "As a plus, these have no added sugar and 19 grams of protein."
Worst: Chili Cheese Fries
Loaded with chili and cheese, these crispy white potato fries "contain what would be almost a day's worth of calories and sodium for some, as well as 520 calories from fat," Tao says. "This item is not a starter or snack and if you want to enjoy it, it would definitely be best to share!"
Two Hand Sandwiches
Best: Philly Cheesesteak
This glorious mixture of seasoned beefsteak, grilled onions, green peppers, and melted Swiss cheese on Texas toast may be high in protein, but it is also high in sodium. "The calories in this sandwich are reasonable for a meal, and the sandwich also contains carbohydrates, fat, and protein," she says. "As a bonus, there are even some veggies on it!"
Worst: Crispy Chicken Club
If you're looking to eat this chicken sandwich topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, pickle chips, and chipotle mayo, Tao suggests opting for grilled chicken instead. "This crispy chicken club contains a lot of calories in general, and even more than half of them are from fat," she says. "This sandwich also contains a lot of sodium."
Big House Burgers and Melts
Best: Black Bean Burger
Ordering a black bean burger is a nice switch from a typical meat patty, making it a perfect vegetarian choice. "This burger is a great option because it is a great source of fiber and plant-based proteins," Tao says. "Plus, the amount of calories is reasonable for a meal."
Worst: Double Mushroom Swiss Burger
"Not only is the Double Mushroom Swiss Burger packed with calories and fat, but this burger contains 160 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 grams of sugar, and 2,230 milligrams of sodium," Tao says. "This burger is packed with calories and fat because of the two burger patties and the addition of onion rings on top. Opt for a single patty burger and for fresh sliced onions rather than fried ones."
Best: Grilled Chicken
"Choosing a low fat and high protein option like grilled chicken is a great choice," she says of the standard healthy meal. "For sides, choose a healthier option like their vegetables of the day and pinto beans with garlic, and skip out on the side of bread!"
Worst: 10 oz. Ribeye Steak & Shrimp
According to Tao, this meal is simply too large of a portion.
"Unfortunately in this option, the shrimp is fried, which means there are way more fat and calories," she says. Perhaps ask your server if you could have the shrimp grilled instead, or go with the 6 oz. Ribeye Steak.
Chili and Salads
Best: 5 Star Chili
This meat and bean-based soup "comes in at 290 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of protein, making it the winner in this category," Tao says. "Better yet, it would make for a satisfying meal paired with a side salad and baked potato."
Worst: Crispy Chicken Salad
Don't let the word 'salad' fool you here. In addition to the crispy chicken, this salad is also mixed with mixed greens, carrots, red cabbage, eggs, croutons, tomatoes, chopped bacon, and cheddar cheese.
"Since the crispy chicken salad is topped with fried chicken, it's increased its calorie and fat content," Tao says. "To make this option healthier, opt for a small tossed salad or a salad with grilled chicken instead."
Best: Sundae w/ Strawberry Sauce
This simple cup of vanilla ice cream with a fruit blend may be the "best" choice in this category, but as Tao says, "this sundae contains 460 calories and more than a day's worth of sugar." Yikes!
Worst: Brownie a la Mode
Covered in hot fudge, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream, "this option is loaded with calories, with almost half of them being made up from fat," Tao says. "The dessert also contains 21 grams of saturated fat and over 22 teaspoons of sugar. Share with a friend or two and only have a couple bites of this one!"
Big House Breakfast Platters
Best: Ranch Platter w/ Sugar Cured Ham
Although this is the best option for its category, it's hard to miss the high sodium content in this breakfast dish. Instead of eating the sugar-cured ham with hashbrowns, biscuits and sausage gravy, or toast, "Pair it with grits, fruit, and eggs for a better breakfast choice," Tao says.
Worst: Ranch Platter w/ Country Fried Steak w/ White Pepper Country Gravy
While the Ranch Platter has the potential to be a healthy option as you learned above, it could also be the worst option if you choose the country fried steak with white pepper country gravy due to the high amount of sodium and carbohydrates. "This a poor option due to it being fried and because of the addition of the gravy," Tao says.
Best: Ham and Cheese Stuffed Hashbrowns
While this delicious medley of ham, scrambled eggs, and American cheese stuffed between layers of hashbrowns "has significantly fewer calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium than the bacon sausage stuffed hashbrowns, they are still not the best," she says. Perhaps that's due to the high calories, carbohydrates, and sodium in the breakfast dish.
Worst: Bacon, Sausage & Sausage Gravy Stuffed Hashbrowns
The high amount of calories, fat, sodium, and carbohydrates is what has landed this item as the worst choice in this category. The good part?
"Instead of this meal, you can save calories and taste similar flavors by choosing two eggs with bacon or sausage with hashbrowns on the side instead," Tao says.
Golden Waffles and French Toast
Best: Strawberry French Toast With Whipped Topping
Tao shared that this sweet treat isn't completely unreasonable in terms of calories or fat content. "But be careful when you're thinking about adding syrup to this option, as it already contains 26 grams of sugar," she says.
Worst: French Toast w/ Sausage
"While this sweet and salty delight isn't a light meal and is the 'worst' option in this section, there are far worse options on the menu," Tao says. "This option is a bit high in sodium and it does contain a whopping 8 grams of saturated fat."
Southern Smothered Biscuit Platter
Best: Eggs & Turkey Sausage
Even though this biscuit platter has a high sodium content and is full of calories thanks to the turkey sausage and biscuit itself, Tao says that it's "still the best option" in this category compared to the other higher-calorie and sodium choices.
Worst: Chicken & Bacon
Are you surprised that this fluffy, open-faced biscuit, crispy breaded chicken filet, two strips of Applewood smoked bacon, crispy hashbrowns, white pepper gravy, and cheddar cheese topped with two scrambled eggs is the worst option in this category?
"This option is even more full of sodium, fat, and calories than the eggs & turkey sausage platter," she says. Yuck!
Best: Sugar Cured Ham
Definitely opt for this salty treat with your eggs while dining at Huddle House.
"Despite its name, there are only three grams of sugar in this option," Tao says. "It is a bit high in sodium, but there are only 270 calories in the entire meal."
Worst: Country Fried Steak
Instead of the country fried steak, definitely opt for sugar-cured ham, bacon, country sausage, or just skip the side of meat entirely.
"This fried option is not a good choice as it contains more fat and cholesterol than the other sides available," she says.
Sweet Cakes (Pancakes)
Best: Old Fashioned Buttermilk
These original warm pancakes are the best option in their category, but try to avoid a lot of syrup for added sugar.
"Pair the pancakes with an egg or two and some fresh fruit or tomato slices for a lighter pancake breakfast," Tao says.
Worst: Oreo Cookie Crunch
Since these fluffy delights are stuffed with crushed Oreo cookies and topped with cookie crumbles, rich chocolate syrup, and whipped topping, it's no surprise that they are packed with a shocking 57 grams of sugar and a crazy amount of carbohydrates.
"They contain four times the amount of sugar than the old fashioned buttermilk pancakes," she says.
This fresh fruit blend of cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and grapes is arguably your best bet of the entire menu.
"I think it goes without saying that fresh fruit is one of the freshest and best choices on the menu," Tao says. "Swap out other side options for this healthier choice."
Worst: Cheesy Bacon Hashbrowns
Loaded with melted cheese and bacon, it's no wonder these greasy potatoes are the worst side choice.
"Instead of ordering the cheesy bacon hashbrowns, order a side of regular hashbrowns and a side of bacon or turkey sausage," Tao says. "Even just skipping the cheese can save you some fat, calories, and sodium."