Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro & Eat Fit NOLA

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A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by Copeland’s PR Manager to check out Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro’s new Eat Fit NOLA menu. Since I’m a big fan of healthier eating, I was excited about sampling some of their offerings.

Since I’m from Louisiana, I’m used to food that is definitely full of flavor. However, what makes that flavor is usually going to break a diet. Unless of course, you order a side salad and a bland grilled chicken breast. Copeland’s and Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro are restaurants that I’m very familiar with for offering food full of flavor, but whenever my husband and I go, we know it’s going to be a splurge day. I mean, check out this last restaurant review I did for them. (OMG, right?!) You just can’t enjoy Copeland’s without breaking diet….until now.

Molly Kimball, a dietician with Ochsner Health Systems, along with her team, came up with Eat Fit NOLA. This is a partnership where local restaurants offer dishes that comply with certain dietary standards (highlighted below). Because they follow these standards, you know you will be enjoying food that is not only low in calories, but is also lower in sodium, fats and sugar. Copeland’s & Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro are among the first to roll out a new menu, featuring Eat Fit NOLA choices.

Entree Standards:

  • less than 600 calories
  • less than 800 mg sodium
  • less than 10% of calories from animal-based saturated fat
  • 0 grams trans fats
  • no white, refined starches
  • less than 5 grams (1 tsp.) of added sugar (honey, agave, sugar, etc.)

Kids Entree Standards:

  • less than 300 calories
  • less than 400 mg sodium
  • less than 10% of calories from saturated fat
  • less than 10% of calories from animal-based saturated fat
  • 0 grams trans fats
  • no white, refined starches
  • less than 5 grams (1 tsp.) of added sugar (honey, agave, sugar, etc.)

Yes, that’s right. There’s even kid menu options for Eat Fit NOLA…no more fried foods & french fries as your only choices for your kids. They can eat healthier just like the adults. :-)

Now, with these standards, I will admit that I was skeptical. I knew that it wouldn’t be too hard to meet caloric expectations (a ton of restaurants offer calorie friendly choices), but the other standards were much more complicated. I mean, a can of cajun seasoning is mostly salt! We love our salt down here. :-) However, in speaking to the chefs that developed this menu, they mentioned that they had to use multiple techniques to get the most flavor (naturally) out of the ingredients vs. just adding seasoning to the ingredients. They definitely didn’t want to sacrifice flavor in these dishes (since it’s a Louisiana based restaurant), and it’s evident that they put a good bit of research into developing these recipes for the Eat Fit NOLA menu.

Another thing I was skeptical about was portion size. I thought we’d end up with a dessert-sized plate for the entree. They were actually pretty generous, and served on normal sized plates!

One of the first things we tried was their Bistro Tacos (pictured above). The order came with two normal sized tacos on corn tortillas (just wanted to clarify that these are NOT mini tacos). You can choose any two proteins (out of chicken, shrimp, steak & fish), and we had the chicken and steak tacos. I loved the fruity salsa with the tacos…it was such a wonderful combination, and the meats were so flavorful.

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Next, we tried the Seabream with Herbed Lump Crabmeat. The fish filet on this was HUGE. I was shocked that all of this met the standards. The fish was so flavorful, and the vegetables below complimented the dish perfectly.

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I was excited about this dish, because I’m such a pasta gal. This is their Seared Salmon & Shiitake, which was served over a decent portion of whole wheat pasta. I usually don’t go for fish with pasta, but this was a wonderful dish!

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This is their Salmon Cobb Salad. This salad was HUGE. I was constantly surprised by the portions of fish. These were large pieces of fish, and it was a normal Cobb salad with hard boiled egg and bacon. It was delicious!

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Here was the huge shocker of the evening….a margarita made the Eat Fit NOLA menu. This is a Ginger Margarita, and I absolutely loved it. It had a hint of heat from the ginger, and tasted just like your typical margarita (you would never know this is a diet-friendly drink!). I was honestly shocked that this met the standards…I could have sipped on these all day. :-)

If you’d like to give this menu a try, this special menu is in every Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro nation-wide. Copeland’s (a different restaurant) also has their own Eat Fit NOLA menu, which features entrees like Garlic Shrimp Seabream, Tuscan Chicken Pasta, Fresh Fish & Crab Claws (over pasta) & they also have the Salmon Cobb Salad (pictured above)..to name a few. :-)

Also, every Wednesday in February is “Heart Healthy Hump Day”, which means 10% of the proceeds from those who order off of the Eat Fit NOLA menu goes to the American Heart Association!

If you’d like to try any of these great menu items, now is the time to go. This full menu is only available for a limited time. In May, the most popular dishes from the Eat Fit NOLA menu will become a part of the PERMANENT menu for Copeland’s and Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro, though. So, the Eat Fit NOLA movement is here to stay! :-)

Another thing I wanted to mention is the new Lagniappe card that both Copeland’s & Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro offers. If you’re a fan of these restaurants, this is something worth looking into. You pay $10 for a Lagniappe card & you automatically get $15 loaded on the card once you register it. Then, along with receiving information about deals/offers, you will also accumulate points for every dollar that you spend. 300 points = $25 reward. More information is available here.

FTC disclosure: My meal was covered by the restaurant, in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Review: Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro

A while back, I was contacted by a representative from a local franchise, Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro, about sampling their new menu. I was actually really hesitant, because this blog is mainly about recipes. What do I know about reviewing a restaurant on a blog? Not much, y’all. However, I decided that this might be pretty fun to do. I mean, I get to take pictures of already prepped food, which is spectacular and heck, this was something different. Why not give it a shot?

My husband and I met Jenny, their PR manager, at the restaurant, and I could tell that this wasn’t going to be the average dining experience. She told the water that we’d need a large table, because we would be sampling quite a few of their dishes. Whoa…

After talking for a few minutes, Jenny informed us of something that reminded me how small the world is. Jenny attended high school at my high school’s rivalry. Oh, and so did the waiter. That made for some fun jabs throughout the evening. :-P

We were offered something to drink, and I did say water at first, but was convinced to try a sweet wine beverage. I’m not a wine drinker, but Jenny insisted that this drink was fab…oh and it was. I also had a glass of moscato that night, and it wasn’t that bad either. Could I possibly LIKE wine? Hrm…

When it came time for appetizers, we let Jenny order for us, since she knew what was best there.
Appetizers Collage

From left: Spicy Bacon Tomato Flatbread, Seared Tuna tasting plate and Crab & Crawfish Bake.

These appetizers were so tasty. This was actually my first time ever having seared tuna, and I was surprised that the texture of the rare fish wasn’t off-putting. The seared tuna had almost a smoky teriyaki flavor, and it was just delightful. The flatbread was pretty simple, but the flavor in their marinara sauce was definitely there. And of course, last but NOT last was the crab and crawfish bake. Do you love cheese? Do you love seafood? Then, you will absolutely love the bake.

Entree Collage

From top left, going clockwise: Creole Shrimp & Grits, BBQ Shrimp Linguine, Cajun Crawfish Skillet Mac & Cheese and Stuffed Redfish.

It was really hard to say which dish I liked best. Every single entree here was just delicious. My husband absolutely loved the shrimp and grits, and I have to agree. The grits were the perfect texture. Just perfect. The crawfish mac and cheese definitely brought a smile to my face. If I lift a fork and it’s full of cheese strands, I know my day is officially made. :-) The stuffed redfish and BBQ Shrimp Linguine were also deilicious dishes…don’t get me wrong!

It was crazy how much leftovers we got to bring home…lunch the next day was absolutely awesome. I’m pretty sure my husband and I made a couple of coworkers jealous in the break room. :-)

Dessert Collage

From left: Waffle Hot Cake with strawberry topping, White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

The waffle hot cake is something I’ve never seen in a restaurant before. They basically put cake batter in a waffle iron and allow it to bake. Genius! This was pretty tasty, and after talking to the chef about how they make these, I’m totally trying this some time in the near future. The cheesecake was definitely delicious too.. Their cheesecake is unique since it has a pecan crust, which usually freaks me out (pecans are yucky to me), but it’s ground so finely that it’s almost like graham cracker crust. Just not as crispy, though, but still very tasty.

All in all, I would highly recommend Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro if you ever find yourself in Baton Rouge. There’s a wonderful variety available, and the atmosphere is pretty awesome. I know my husband and I will be doing a date night there in the very near future. Thanks so much to Jenny and the staff at Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro for inviting us out there to sample the new menu.

FTC disclosure: Our meal was covered by the restaurant, in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions expressed are my own.