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Maggiano's Little Italy Nutritional Info- Finally!

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Story behind this info below!

So, I just remembered that Philadelphia's law mandating that nutritional information be posted on all menus of all restaurants with more than 15 locations nationwide goes into full effect this year (i.e., they will be fully enforcing it, see here: 184687.html?viewAll=y and here: utrition-Examiner~y2010m2d1-Philadelphia-enfo rces-menu-nutrition-disclosure-law for more info). Starting on February 1st, all restaurants meeting the criteria have to post their nutritional information OR make at least one copy of it available for customers, and starting on April 1st they have to incorporate it into ALL of their menus. I was wondering if any restaurants were taking this seriously, because I think that they should. 

I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about this law, and a lot of people who don't care one way or the other, but I personally was pretty psyched. Maggiano's has long been my delicious enemy. I have looked EXTENSIVELY for their nutritional information all over the internet, I have checked every diet and calorie website, and I email them every year or so on their own website and request that they post their nutritional info, and I always get this response: "We use fresh ingredients at each location, so a nutritional count will not really capture the... blahblahblah." Now that they will have to provide some sort of information, at least in theory, I am happy about that because I like to know what I'm getting, and I love their food!

So tonight I went to Maggiano's on a mission, with a friend, and as we sat down, I very politely asked the maitre'd for some nutritional information to go along with our menus. He looked at me and asked, "What do you mean?" I responded, "Just some basic info- calories, saturated fat, sodium? There's a new law that it has to be disclosed." He rolled his eyes at me and said he'd ask the manager but he was pretty sure they didn't have anything like that. I was like, "Okay! That'd be great!" [internal dialogue: Uhhhh, you have to- it's the law.] My friend chose something off the menu and ordered it, and a while later a cook came by the table. He was pretty polite, he asked what I wanted and I again cheerfully told him what I was after. He said he'd heard of the law but that the new menus weren't in yet. I said, "Oh, no worries, the info doesn't have to be on the menus themselves til April, right now you guys are just required to have SOME sort of printout I can look over, so whatever is fine!" He said, "We don't have anything yet, but let me see what I can do." He went away. I was, at this point, a little surprised (or I would have been if I hadn't know Maggiano's was so cagey in the past about their nutritional info). I mean, this is a national, multi-million dollar corporation, and a LAW, and you are telling me that 5 weeks after it fully went into effect, you are just plain not complying with it? That seems crazy. While my friend ate I considered whether to just give up and just order something. I didn't. (It was a little early for dinner for me anyway, so I have to admit it wasn't a big sacrifice).

The cook came back a while later and said he'd had the nutritional info faxed in from California, and handed me a printout. Major points for effort, but he hurled it at me and left (this actually happened several other times throughout the night, as we were overcharged- twice- and very politely and cheerfully pointed it out to our server and the manager- hey, mistakes happen to us all! and I was in a good mood all night- who could not have been more rude about the entire situation. But that is another story!) Sooooo... I looked at the info and was pretty darn glad I didn't order anything. I am not a "health nut" by any stretch of the imagination, but I am someone who HAS to count calories to maintain my weight, and am currently trying to lose a few pounds, and there is pretty much nothing on that menu for me. Unfortunately, all the menu has is calories, saturated fat (no regular fat- weird, but the sat fat is horrifying enough), carbs, and sodium. But wow was that enough for me. I'm glad I know, because there are maybe a couple of things I could indulge in on a very rare basis, but a lot of it is just off the charts (especially saturated fat-wise- WOW), which is a shame. But still- after years of not having ANY idea what is in the food, it's good to know! And if I ever can't live without the fried cheese, it's good to know how many extra calories I'll need to budget to eat it. ;)

Listen, I like Maggiano's food. That being said... I think we all have the right to know what is in our food before we eat it. So I scanned the menus (see the top of this post), and you can check it out if you're interested. Sorry no desserts- that's a a separate menu and they didn't have it yet.

p.s. I'm new to Photobucket, so I hope the link works. I think if you click on each image, it will enlarge it and make it clearer!

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That was utterly frightening. Thank goodness I hate that place. Shame that my family seems to love it though. OY! As bad as Cheesecake Factory me thinks!

What do they do? Throw a tub of lard in every dish for good measure?

Gosh, I used to love that place...

I know, right? I'm pretty unshockable when it comes to restaurant food, especially "heavy" foods with lots of meat, cream sauce, etc.... and even I was surprised. I think that only Macaroni Grill and Cheesecake Factory can give Maggiano's a run for their money!

oh. my. god.

I'm don't even want to see the counts for their desserts. :-(

Wow, the fat content is so high and the sodium in the meals exceed the limit for one day.

We hosted the youngest son's wedding rehearsal dinner at the Houston location a little over three years ago.  The five courses for dinner were scrumptious!  I would not have been able to enjoy the meal had I been "seriously" counting my calories during that time.  LOL

The maitre'd had no reason to be rude, as you have a right to ask about nutritional information concerning the food being served, especially if it is the law.

Based on what you said, I can see why everyone working there was so annoyed at you. If you were smiling and acting fake, trying to tell them  what they should be doing... yeah, it's rude. 
If the calories are such a concern (and they still have time to get the info out) find another place to eat instead of acting like a child.  It's not like you could have even thought the meals were low cal. 

Fair points if I had been fake or a jerk, certainly! I wasn't being fake though- I'm just naturally pleasant and, as I said, I was in a good mood all night- TGIF! :) I had no vendetta against the servers, host, etc. who were obviously working their tails off! (and have nothing to do with administrative stuff like this, for sure.) I also told the cook a couple of times, "If you can't get the info, don't worry about it- I know you're busy!" It was an enjoyable evening for me overall, and I don't think I made too much of a nuisance of myself. I hate when people are rude and mean to waitresses and hosts- I worked loooong years in the service industry myself and I know how crappy it is when people do that. The restaurant WAS required to provide the info, though- it didn't have to be on the menus, but it did have to be provided in some form. That part of the law went into effect on February 1st. I was surprised by how surprised THEY were- again, it's a big company and you'd think that corporate would have been prepared for it, but apparently they're not, or at least, they didn't tell anyone working there about it yet.

I also did find another place to eat- I should have explained in my earlier post, Maggiano's is a popular bar for the court staff of the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center to go for happy hour, so I was going there for that anyway and my friend was like, "I'm hungry- let's just eat dinner and that way you can get that nutritional info you mentioned a while back?" So it was sort of a side mission to having an evening with co-workers, and I wasn't planning to eat there that night anyway.

The thing is, I dig their food- I just want to know how far in advance I have to plan to eat it! Is cutting my calories for one day enough, or will it have to be more? I don't need their food to be "low cal" as you said- I just need to know the basic stats so I can work it in. Now I do, so I can! There are still a few things on that menu that I would eat. I put the menu online so that my friends (who live in lots of different states, which don't have nutritional disclosure laws) could have access to the info, and figured I'd throw up a link here as well, since I've seen a few requests for Maggiano's nutrition info in the past. It wasn't my intent to be childish!

Wow you really are naturally pleasant. I would've definitely replied differently to someone calling me rude and childish lol. Your reply was not in the least bit "snarky".

I need some of the happy pills you have! Tongue out

And I did notice that I would probably eat the salmon if I had to choose a meal. I'm sure the calories include a piece of meat bigger than the 3 oz serving, so splitting that in half should make for a decent meal. I mean, how can you destroy salmon? Unless you drenched it in butter of course...

By the way, your post inspired me to speak up and ask for nutritional info when I went to California Pizza Kitchen. I didn't plan ahead because the trip there was totally random. They didn't have printouts and I asked if they could get it faxed from headquarters, but they claimed they didn't have internet access for stuff like that...riiiight. But I asked for the manager, and he said it was online, so I had a friend look it up for me, but it took a while before he could return the info, not until after I had been done eating. In the meantime, I chose a thin crust margherita pizza and was reassured by the waiter that it was one of the lower calories, being that there was no meat.

I ate half the pizza and later found that there was about 450 calories in that half. So I didn't do too bad and I was full for the rest of the day on that half. Also didn't go over my calorie count for the day. I guess I'm doing good at guestimating calories!

What do they do to asparagus to make it 280 cals and 8g of sat fat?

Finally is right!  Thanks so much for posting this.  

But I must say, there's no way the eggplant parm is only 650 calories!  It's huge, fried, cheesy, and oily.  1650 maybe.  Makes me worry about trusting anything on there.

Original Post by generator8:

Finally is right!  Thanks so much for posting this.  

But I must say, there's no way the eggplant parm is only 650 calories!  It's huge, fried, cheesy, and oily.  1650 maybe.  Makes me worry about trusting anything on there.

 Maybe it's only for half the serving. It's frustrating because a lot of times they tell you what a serving size is, but what they actually serve is multiple servings.

I agree, there's no way that whole eggplant parmesan is 650, but I wish it were!!! I love eggplant parm.

Original Post by tikiremy:

Original Post by generator8:

Finally is right!  Thanks so much for posting this.  

But I must say, there's no way the eggplant parm is only 650 calories!  It's huge, fried, cheesy, and oily.  1650 maybe.  Makes me worry about trusting anything on there.

 Maybe it's only for half the serving. It's frustrating because a lot of times they tell you what a serving size is, but what they actually serve is multiple servings.

I agree, there's no way that whole eggplant parmesan is 650, but I wish it were!!! I love eggplant parm.

That's a good point.  It's so deceptive not to tell you how many servings are on the plate!  That has to be illegal, and it's definitely NOT following the spirit of the new laws.  I remember a big thing with Denny's doing this a few months ago.

Great work! I am a recent type 2 diabetic, my family and I would eat there about once  month. Now I see what could have drove me over the edge! The carbs, fat & sodium are deadly. WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO THE FOOD? At this rate they will kill there customer base in 8-10 years. Thank you for your persistence.

What in the world do they do to fresh spinach to give it that high of a carb, sodium and fat count? YIKES! Maggiano's used to be my favorite restaurant, but this is so scary. Guess I can't eat there anymore. Please do more great detective work for other restaurants - this was great!

I know, right? Scary! Thanks for the support. :)

I received an email from the Vice President of Operations for Maggiano's back in March, when I sent them an email asking for the nutritional info. The email said that the Philadelphia Maggiano's would be posting the info on the menus when the law had fully gone into effect. I went back to Maggiano's last week for happy hour, and and the menus haven't changed yet, even though it's been two months since the menu law went into effect. Now that the menu law has fully gone into effect, Maggiano's (and all other chain restaurants in Philadelphia that have 15+ locations nationwide) is legally required to put the nutritional information on the menus as well as posting it in one place within the restaurant (or making it available in some format to customers, as they did for me in March). But it was not on the menus, even two months after the law went into effect! Craziness.

I was only there for a few minutes, but next time I am going to ask about it. Mostly because when they gave me the info, they didn't give me any info for the desserts, and I am curious! I love the desserts, but I also like to plan around them, calorie-wise. ;) 

Thank you so much for posting this info! My hubby and I plan on eating here for our anniversary. I already know that eating out means cheating on my diet for the day. This gives me the tools to at least pick the best of the worst! We do need to eat out on occasion but more and more I realize that eating out comes at a definite calorie cost! This info just opens my eyes. Thank God I love to cook!

I've never been to this place (I don't think they have them down in Florida) but looking at that menu I'm glad about that! Are their portions big enough to feed an entire Italian family? Because the calories and sodium are... ick! Judging by that little list there's nothing in the entire restaurant I'd even be able to swallow.

Jun 12 2010 16:08
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My favorite dietary pasta is spaghetti marinara but Yow! 1600 calories for HALF an order at Maggiano's!!!???!!!  That's a whole 12" cheese pizza's worth of calories, or half a small Giordano's stuffed pizza.  I'll stick with the spaghetti m. at Fazolis, which is a third of this.

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Keep in mind that their portions are HUGE...even the half portions.  The only way to eat somewhat safely at Maggiano's is to take  a small portion and eat slowly.  Not an easy task when you're hungry and everything looks and smells delicious.  We're going there tonight for my son's birthday.  Looks like I'll be drinking a large quantity of water before I go to help control the hunger.  We'll see...


Thanks so much for posting this!  It's a tremendous help!!!

Good work..thanks so much!  I learned some great advice on plan ahead when you eat out..look at the menu and know what you're going to order.  It really works in preventing impulse ordering.  Knowing the nuturitional information really makes a difference.  I'm often choose to eat at home after reading a menu like that one.   Yikes!  Long ago..I looked at PF Changs...have not eaten there since.  

  I think cutting down..or out...eating at restaurants would make most anyone lose some weight.

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