Nutritious Small Town Eats

During my quick trip home to Iowa this week, I set out for one dinner at a local haunt to show that you can dine in a place that’s not Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, etc. and still get a healthful meal. It’s not quite as easy, as health food restaurants aren’t in every neighborhood, as they may be in larger cities. But you can find places with nutritious offerings alongside all of the buffets, hearty diners and fried food establishments!

In my 18+ years living in the Quad City area , I had surprisingly never eaten at Arthur’s Garden Deli before yesterday. Arthur’s has five locations in Illinois: Rock Island (about 15 minutes from my house), Galena, Dixon, Rock Falls and Sterling. The deli is a sandwich shop—obviously—that also serves salads (pasta, vegetable and fruit), soups, potatoes, chips, miscellaneous desserts and frozen yogurt. You can easily order a waist-widening dish such as a pastrami, mayo and swiss sub, a “Lots of Cheese” buttered potato or peanut butter cup cheesecake. But you can also make wise choices if you study the menu a bit!

My order? A small fruit cup (strawberries, red grapes, watermelon: thumbs up! canned pineapple: thumbs down!) and a gardenburger on a whole wheat bun. All of the fruit besides the pineapple was fresh and sweet. The bun was nicely soft and I loved the seeds on top. Interestingly, the burger had a bit of rice mixed in. Have you ever had a veggie burger with rice involved? Anyway, it had a nice, hearty flavor. I only wished that I knew it came with melted cheese on top! I prefer my sandwiches without cheese, so that required a little fork lifting :)

To finish off on a sweet note, I returned to the counter to order a medium no sugar added raspberry frozen yogurt! Arthur’s offers candy and fruit toppings for yogurt, as well as shakes and cones, to go along with their traditional cups of the cool treats.

The perfect way to end my meal, plus only 10 calories per ounce. Cool! (Literally… Groan.) ;)

Arthur’s has a pretty nice hometown vibe and is a welcome addition to the area’s restaurant scene. What is your favorite dining establishment in your hometown?

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