The Cheat Sheet: Garces Trading Company

Dietician-approved lunch choices that won't steal a day's worth of calories.

Yup, a meat and cheese plate is fair game.

There’s lots to love about Garces Trading Company, especially when it comes to the lunch menu. But knowing what to order so you don’t bankrupt your daily calorie count is key. Besides, who wants to deal with a post-lunch food coma and mid-afternoon crash?

I took a look at GTC’s lunch menu and found five tasty dishes that won’t kill you on the scale. Plus, I found a way to enjoy a lighter meat and cheese plate, since those are huge draws at this eatery. Don’t believe me? Read on for my picks.

Psst! Don’t forget to bone up on my healthy dining-out tips before you go.

• Cauliflower with black garlic pesto, spring onion and tarragon >> Go light on the pesto to decrease the overall fat in this dish.

Insalata semplice with organic greens, stone fruit, pistachio and apricot vinaigrette >> A great salad choice packed with antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. The flavor of the stone fruits is deeply satisfying.

• Grilled Spanish octopus with espelette aioli, gala apple and fennel >> Ask the kitchen to go light on the aioli. That way, you’ll see how the flavors of the apple and fennel round out the dish.

• Verde pizza with asparagus, fava beans, ricotta and baby spinach >> Packed with veggies, this is a great dish to share and pair with a salad.

Panini di pollo with grilled chicken, caramelized onions, cana de oveja, pimento oil and baby romaine >> Go easy on the cheese (cana de oveja)–you could even ask for it on the side—and sub chips for fruit or a salad.

Garces Trading Company is known for its cured meats and cheeses, and there is no reason you can’t enjoy them in moderation. I recommend starting the meal with a salad then asking your server to put together a meat and cheese plate with healthier options (they do exsist, we asked!!).

• Meats >> There are a few housemade meats that do not contain nitrates or fillers; these are specified on the menu, or you can ask your server. A good choice is a meat called La Querci prosciutto. It’s an heirloom prosciutto produced in Iowa, cured with sea salt and contains only the natural fat found on the meat.

• Cheeses >> When choosing cheese, goats cheese and firm, aged cheeses tend to be lower in fat.


Have a restaurant you’d like to see featured in the Cheat Sheet? Let us know in the comments!

Restaurant menus are reviewed by Phillies dietitian and owner of Healthy Bites Katie Cavuto Boyle. In most cases, the individual restaurants were contacted for specific ingredient and recipe information. Note: Many restaurants have seasonal menus and some items may not be available.

>> See other Cheat Sheets for Parc and Amis.