Your Nutrition: What To Try (Or Skip) At 99 Restaurant

Print icon

Making healthy choices when you don’t have time to prepare meals at home is perhaps the most daunting part of following a diet plan.  As a registered dietitian, I am frequently asked which restaurants and food vendors have the healthiest menus. Unfortunately, even menu items that appear to be healthier, such as smoothies and salads, are often full of added sugar and calories.

To feel confident that you have made a healthy choice, review the menu online before you go, ask for a takeout box when you order so that you can divide your entrée in half when it arrives and ask specific questions about the meal you are about to order.

The first installment of  “Try It Or Skip It” takes us to the 99 Restaurant & Pub.  At 99, look for the “Fit For You” menu icon, which identifies meals with 500 calories or less. The restaurant also offers vegetarian and allergy-sensitive choices. Click here  to review the nutrition information and allergens in all menu items at 99.


Try It

  • Baked Stuffed Mushrooms (520 calories, 1370 milligrams sodium).
  • Mediterranean Hummus Platter (550 calories, 1670 mg sodium).

Skip It

  • Boneless Buffalo Wings XL (1370 calories, 7100 mg sodium).
  • Boneless Wings and Skins Sampler (1890 calories, 6510 mg sodium).
Salad: A Dieter’s Friend or Foe?

Try It

  • Fit for You Grilled Balsamic Chicken Salad (460 calories).

Skip It

  • Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Salad (1090 calories, 2100 mg of sodium).
  • Roasted Beet Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad (900 calories, 970 mg sodium).
Better-for-You Entrees and Sandwiches

Try It

  • Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon with Grilled Asparagus (440 calories, 490 mg sodium).
  • Apple BBQ Chicken Sandwich (no sides: 630 calories, 1500 mg sodium).

Skip It

These menu items, with sides, have almost 2,000 calories and more sodium than you should get in an entire day. Take care when selecting sides and ask that dressings, dips and sauces are served on the side because they can add up to 400 calories. Even steamed vegetables could be tossed in a butter sauce.

  • All Star Burger with French Fries and Coleslaw (1880 calories, 3330 mg sodium).
  • Roast Beef Pub Dip (no side- 770 calories, 2800 mg sodium).
The Vegetarian’s Dilemma:
Bean Burger or Veggie Stack?

Try It

  • Black Bean burger topped with pico de gallo and guacamole on a potato roll with bistro salad (550 calories).

Skip It

  • Southwest Veggie Stack. Served with rice, roasted corn, Monterey Jack cheese and smoky BBQ sauce, the Veggie Stack has twice the calories and more than the daily recommendation for sodium (1150 calories, and 2450 mg sodium).
Kids’ Menu

Try It

  • Kids’ Chicken Tips (200 calories, and 380 mg of sodium).
  • Kids’ Junior Sliced Sirloin (110 calories, 290 mg of sodium).

These two items are by far the most wholesome options the kids’ menu. There are also many nutritious sides, including broccoli, butternut squash, corn, apple sauce and mandarin oranges. But beware: the Honey BBQ Sauce has 26 grams (6.5 teaspoons) of added sugar—more than a child should have in an entire day according to the latest guidelines by the American Heart Association.

Skip It

  • Kids’ Macaroni and Cheese with Hot Dog (800 calories, 2450 mg of sodium).
  • Kids’ Macaroni & Cheese (530 calories, 1750 mg sodium).
  • Kids’ Junior Burger w/ American Cheese (720 calories, 1680 mg sodium).

Children ages 4 to 8 also should not consume more than 1,200 mg of sodium per day. The limit is slightly increased to 1,500 mg for children aged 9 to 18. On average, children in the U.S. consume between 3,000 and 4,000 mg of sodium per day and this level of consumption is associated with early onset hypertension — the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.


Try It

  • Share a “petite treat” with your dinner partner such as the Key Lim Petite Treat (320 calories, 38 grams of sugar, and 140 mg of sodium) or the Mocha Bite Petite Treat (380 calories, 31 grams of sugar, and 180 mg of sodium).

Skip It

These desserts have nearly half the calories the average adult should consume daily and double the AHA recommendation for added sugar:

  • Caramel Apple Streusel (900 calories, 74 grams of sugar, 940 mg of sodium).
  • Towering Midnight Fudge Cake (790 calories, 69 grams of sugar, 700 mg sodium).

Brenda Viens is a Community Life Skills Dietitian for Backus Hospital and Thames Valley Council for Community Action. Email her at

What's New

Flu Season

Here’s What’s in Your Flu Vaccine: Will It Work This Season?

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were sunning ourselves at Hammonasset Beach? Actually, yes it was, but now it’s officially fall and we only care about one thing — the coming flu season. Predicting the severity of a flu season isn’t like predicting which team will win more football games, the...

Heart & aspirin.

Baby Aspirin a Day for Your Heart? Not For Everyone

While about 50 percent of older American adults take aspirin regularly to ward off heart disease, a new study reveals that the practice may actually cause more harm than good for healthy people. Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology and physician co-director of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute,...


Study: MitraClip Device a ‘Game-Changer’ for Heart-Failure Patients

Until now, patients with serious heart failure caused by leaky valves were treated so they felt a little better but the disease relentlessly stunted their life expectancy relentlessly. Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, however,  gives hope to these patients, according to Dr. Sabet Hashim, chair...


Report: Up to 75 Percent of Patients Don’t Take Meds as Prescribed

“Devastating” and “staggering (toll)” are adjectives used by officials with the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Medical Director Institute, or MDI, on its recent report showing a grave lack of compliance to medication prescriptions. Noncompliance with medication regimens — when people do not take prescription drugs as prescribed by their...

Kids, Social Media and Body Image

Raising teens to have a positive body image isn’t easy. And it seems to have become more complicated in the age of Snapchat and Instagram, where selfies can be filtered to perfection. Plastic surgeons have even reported that patients are visiting their practices with filtered social media images and asking...

Assessing the Hereditary Risk of Cancer

A new hereditary cancer risk assessment program is helping identify specific cancers in women and men across Connecticut. Hartford HealthCare nurse practitioner Meghan Burgess explains the importance of this program. Q: Why is it so important to have this type of assessment program? A: We’re identifying women at risk for...

What is Precision Medicine in Breast Cancer Treatment?

Precision medicine allows doctors to treat patients based on their individual biology. Dr. Camelia Lawrence is the director of breast surgery at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center. She explains how precision medicine is used in treating breast cancer.  Q: What is precision medicine? A:...