Muscle Maker Grill - Tulsa, OK
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 - 08:46 pm
Having worked for Pizza Hut, Dominos and Incredible Pizza, Don Potvin admits, as he watched his waistline expand, he might have been too enthusiastic about consuming too much of his own products.
"I've already lost 35 pounds from my pizza body,” he said. "I still have 135 to go, but now I feel good about what I’m eating, and I’m confident I will get there."
Potvin said his shrinking act began when he put together a group to develop Muscle Maker Grill restaurants in Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Their first store opened a couple of weeks ago in Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, 7464 S. Olympia Ave.
"An old friend of mine, a former president of Pizza Hut, had me take a look at Muscle Maker Grill, and I fell in love with the food,” Potvin said.
As the story goes, a bodybuilder named Rod Silva opened a smoothie and sports supplement store in Colonia, N.J., in 1995.
He cooked his own lunches and dinners, customers took notice, and before you knew it Silva was selling meals out of the back of his store. That impetus and a $15,000 loan on his 1990 Nissan Maxima created Muscle Maker Grill.
The menu, as expected, is tilted toward sandwiches, wraps and salads, although it does have a few appetizers, pasta dishes and "guiltless" entrees.
The menu shows the calorie count of each dish, and a flier is available to every customer who would like to see a more detailed nutrition guide.
We had a college coed and a high school baseball player in our group. Neither needs to count calories, but we thought they might enjoy this place, and they did.
She got the honey barbecue chicken nuggets ($4.99), featuring six sizable nuggets covered in a mildly sweet barbecue sauce and served with fat-free sour cream and celery.
He had the steak barbecue wrap with a side of Western potatoes ($9.99) and a tangy cucumber salad ($2.99). The wrap had a generous portion of sliced beef, and the potatoes, dotted with jalapenos, were a spicy side show. The salad had sliced cucumber and red onion in a vinegar dressing.
Their dishes accounted for the lowest calorie count (nuggets, 229) to the highest (barbecue wrap, 674) at our table.
We also had the Arizona with chicken ($9.99), turkey chili ($9.99), a chicken Caesar salad ($9.29) and a Texas ($9.99) low-carb entree.
The Arizona included turkey bacon and chicken over brown rice with tomatoes, scallions and gluten-free, zero-carb sauce that had a bit of a Southwest flavor to it. I washed it down with a cool mango smoothie ($3.99).
The Texas started with a spicy barbecue chicken breast and was topped with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and fat-free sour cream.
The chili was a spicy concoction of lean ground turkey, red beans, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, salsa, fat-free sour cream, tomatoes and scallions over brown rice. For me, this would be more appealing in cooler weather.
The restaurant, which seats 35, is decorated with photos of its dishes on red walls.
Josh Hays and Zane Kelly, who trained with the founder, are co-managers and cooks.