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Restaurant Confidential

By November 16, 2015December 3rd, 2020Camping and Travel

Restaurant Confidential

I once adored going to P.F. Chang’s for their Thai Peanut Lettuce Wraps (which is a huge hit in the book Keto Restaurant Favorites). But when Craig lost his job, I started cooking our favorite restaurant meals at home! Not only was it a great way to save money, but we both lost a lot of weight eating healthier versions at home!

Check out our favorite restaurant recipes made keto in my best-selling cookbook Keto Restaurant Favorites! Click HERE to find it on SALE!  

Restaurant Confidential

I was telling a friend how we went to have crab at a local crab restaurant and when the crab arrived I asked for real butter. The young waiter scurried to the back and when he came  back he said, “We don’t have any butter but we do have this vegetable oil blend,” he stated proudly… as if butter was going to kill us.

HUH? A restaurant with no butter? We packed up our crab to go and picked up butter at a market so we could enjoy a picnic outside. Crab just isn’t right without butter!

Restaurant Confidential

This conversation started a whole slew of restaurant secrets!

Want to read something disturbing from a former restaurant chef???

” After having worked in several restaurants as a baker first, and then a chef, I don’t go out to eat very often. Most assume it’s because I have Celiac and other autoimmune diseases. That’s not quite the only reasons. Sure, I’d like a ‘night off’ but not at the expense of feeling sick. Having been ‘behind the scenes’ I can tell you a few things.

1. That ‘Au jus’ that looks like just the meat juices? Well, that came out of a bag.. a bag that has
corn starch and modified food starch (mostly soy derived).

2. That Prime rib meat station? That whole Rib roast came in a bag.. and has been injected with modified food starch, and ‘spices’.. gluten again.

3. That roast chicken? Those spices on the skin not only have sugar (it browns the skin in record time, something that helps profit margins)but also starch and gluten base.. that helps it adhere to the skin.

4. The ‘basted in butter’? Um.. no… it’s basted in an oil that has been colored yellow (food dyes, gluten) and had butter ‘flavor’ added to it.

5. Some seafood places will even add just a little olive oil to the top of your little ‘butter bowl’ to make it look like the ‘real butter separated’.

6. The turkey slices a ‘down home on the farm’ restaurant boasts about being ‘slow roasted in our oven’.. well, their oven must be in a factory far away.. because the slices come in a bag.. and have also been
injected with ‘flavor boosters’.

7. That steak may have been a ‘bag ‘o’ meat’ that was cut from an injected whole ’round’. That ‘Oh, no, that’s just beef juice’ (Au jus).. um.. no, it came from a bag, just add water.

8. One of the most notorious gluten and dye filled products is the Hollandaise sauce. So easy! Straight from a packet, add water and milk.. yet they will call ‘Our own freshly made Hollandaise’.

With the economy being what it is today, you have to know that a restaurant is going to do whatever it can to speed food prep up, use less people to do that, and serve foods that are ‘shortcut’ friendly. Unless you are in a five star restaurant and getting AGED beef steaks. 

Better you should prep and cook your own food at home as much as possible if you want to stick to your ketogenic and low carb plan.”

Restaurant Confidential


Here is another thing you may not be aware of…

Planning on going out for brunch this weekend?

IHOP adds pancake batter to their omelets. That’s right – they add sugar, carbs and WHEAT to their eggs for the omelet base for “fluffiness”… yuck!

A spinach and mushroom omelet is 24 carbs and 7 grams of sugar! That just isn’t right.

Restaurant Confidential



Are you running through McDonald’s for an Iced Coffee, thinking you are just getting coffee, cream and ice… how about that with an extra 45 grams of sugar. This isn’t a mistake, it isn’t a vanilla latte…It is high in sugar because it is a pre-made mix, not brewed coffee.

Restaurant Confidential
Now all this is bad but it doesn’t mean all restaurants are like this.  It does mean that you need to be a detective and you can’t be afraid to ask questions.  Ask if they add flour, gluten or sugar.  With allergies out there they have to take your questions seriously. You have the right to know what you are putting in your body so don’t be afraid to ask.


Phone Client Testimony: “Just started my journey your plan and within 2 weeks I’ve had changes that I can’t explain. I’ve been searching for an alternative to depression medication, thyroid medication and heal my so called perimenapouse symptoms.

These are my results in two weeks:
1. my skin cleared up from acne,
2. my period lasted 3 days, no pms,
3. no yeast infection due to hormones fluctuating.
4. My depression is lifting and I’m started to breathe again.

I’m praying that this is from learning to eat again and these good changes will stay. I don’t believe in the traditional medicine because it had never gotten to the root of the cause. I’m on this journey to heal and take back my body from the pharmaceutical company’s. I’m so happy that I found your website and that I could look at the success of other people and know this is the real deal and to believe that I’m doing the right thing.

I don’t have a before or after picture just right now because I just started but what has changed on the inside is something you can’t see.” – Donna

Click here to get started on your path to health!

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Wenchypoo says:

    Just goes to show you there’s no safer place to eat than home–Maria’s house is THE SAFEST home of all to eat in!

  • Jacci says:

    I’m waiting for her to open a restaurant, of course I will have a long drive from TN to WI to eat there, lol.

  • Julie says:

    I think a “Maria’s Way”–to take the place of Seattle Sutton would be incredibly successful!

  • Amelia says:

    This is exactly why I have easy days at home and am working hard to break the pattern of eating out once or twice a week. Last week I ate eggs and bacon for dinner while the rest of house had Mexican food. Funny enough kids wanted my food more than theirs.

  • I always ask for my burgers without the buns and also to have melted cheese as a side. It may not be perfect but it cuts the carbs!

  • Kelly says:

    I’ve worked in several restaurants over several decades. Not all restaurants are this sneaky. Get to know your waitress or manager at your favorite local eatery and ask them for the truth, they can let you know what’s in your order (especially if the restaurant isn’t a large chain). We don’t have any reason to hide – they don’t pay us enough haha 🙂

  • Jillian M says:

    I just have to comment…McDonalds iced coffee is brewed coffee…I work there and watch them brew it…you can get it with no cream or sugar syrup…it is very strong…I go with the sugar free french vanilla no cream…(I am sure the sf syrup does add a few carbs..) the cream used is light cream…but you do have to specify no liquid sugar syrup…

  • Jean Lynd says:

    This is why I hope sincerely that Mark Sisson’s Primal Kitchen restaurant concept/franchise catches on and spreads nationwide. I wish I had the $$ to start up a paleo restaurant where I live. This is the “groundfloor” moment for a GREAT product. Too bad I have no $$!!

  • Lynn says:

    I learned years ago the hard way that IHOP puts pancake batter into their omelets and rarely go there. The last time I ordered a ‘plain eggs’ omelet, it took them twice as long to prepare it, just nuts! We are so used to cooking at home now and only go out for special occasions, kitchen emergencies (!!!) or when friends invite us, no more than about 1-2 times a month at most! It really is the way to go. Thanks for all your helpful tips, Maria, everyone needs to know this stuff!

  • Darlene says:

    This is good to know, but I think it happens a lot more with chains. I’m sure not all the smaller, local restaurants do these things! Also the world needs to understand there are “good fats” re the butter, etc. Too many myths exist…

  • DonnaZ says:

    What I have found to be a special treat in my coffee ( as I like it strong) is whipped cream with our sugars whipped in. It is such a special treat with everything we can have in it 🙂 It is so satisfying that I only need one.

  • audrey says:

    It’s always safer to not go to the resturaunt at all, rather than hope you’ll find something ‘good’ there…

  • Amanda says:

    Hi Maria,
    Just wondering how the body knows to burn stored fat first then consumed dietary fat when in ketosis. In otherwords, how to you get to an ideal state where you lose all the fat you have to lose and then exist as a fat burner. Appreciate your wisdom!

  • Amanda says:

    If you are keto adapted, but have fat to lose, how do you burn off all the stored fat before just burning the fat you consume daily. How does the body access all the stored body fat first? Just by cutting out all carbs and starch?

  • Amanda says:

    Oh, yeah. Duh! Just figured it out! Fewer calories have to create enough of a deficit to reach maintenance stage.

  • Gladys says:

    When I go out for crab…. I bring my own unsalted butter from home and the restaurant is very pleased to melt it for me! Simple!

    I loved your Keto-Adapted book….it changed my life! It took me over four hard long weeks to get into deep ketosis…and at first I gained twelve pounds…but the inches were falling off, so I was not overly concerned. Then, I began losing 15 points a month for the next six months. I have hit a plateau but the inches keep reducing! I feel fantastic. I know my body will lose more when it is ready! I intermittent fast everyday …it is so simple once in ketosis! I love it!

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Shirley says:

    I made my own steak today. No tummy ache !!!! It was better than any restaurant .

  • Julie Ferrell says:

    Hi Maria, I just bought the Big Package yesterday. I just started reading it since I got back home. I’ve searched the website for helpful hints on eating out. I Love my friends and they aren’t going to change. One always hopes they will! So we go out to eat 2 times a month. This is something I want to keep. Although they know I’ve started eating low carb in September. Any suggestions! Thanks, Julie

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      I would just ask them to confirm what is in the dish if you are not sure. Most of the time they are happy to oblige. 🙂

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