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Beef O’Brady’s – A Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

Beef O’Brady’s bills itself as a “family sports pub”.  I know this is going to be a little off topic for those of you who are only interested in the gastric bypass friendliness of this restaurant, but I want to go a little into the restaurant itself.  First of all, “family” and “sports pub” are diametrically opposed terms.  I am pretty sure that sports pubs were invented by men who wanted to get the hell away from their families and enjoy the football game over a pint or two.  And I don’t know too many women and children who relish the thought of being dragged out to the local bar to sit at a table, eat pub grub, and be ignored by a husband who is risking whiplash by trying to watch the soccer game, the football game, ESPN Sports Center, and a college basketball game all at the same time.  Also, this particular Beef O’Brady’s (on West Irlo Bronson Highway in Kissimmee) provided an obstacle course to get in and out of the ladies room – hardly kid or handicapped person friendly, so if your family includes any of these types of people, you might want to go to a different family sports pub.

Okay, off of that soapbox and onto how food friendly it is for Gastric bypass patients.  Um, this is a sports bar.  ‘Nuff said?  You’re going to find the menu here heavy on the fried, greasy, carb loaded types of food.  Feeling like a burger with your baseball game?  It’s here.  Feeling like fries with your football game?  You got it.  Nachos with your NASCAR?  You get the picture.  This is food that’s not really “good” for anyone, but it all tastes good and your sports crazy family will want to eat here, so what options are there for you, my gastrically challenged compadres?  I’ll tell you.

The soup of the day on the day I was here was chicken noodle, and while the noodles were a little bigger than what I usually like in my soup (pasta is not my friend), there was plenty of chicken and a nicely flavored broth.  My biggest complaint is the horse carrots that sank to the bottom of my cup of soup.  They were huge and not cooked all the way, and huge, and too crunchy to be suitable for my digestive system, and huge.  Oh, and they were huge. 

Beyond the soup, the menu options were limited in terms of saving yourself the unpleasant experience of dumping.  Nearly everything is deep fat fried, covered in breading of some sort, heavily decorated with some sort of cheese, and dipped in bleu cheese dressing.  There is a small selection of salads, but if you look at it, it’s all basically a chicken caesar salad – except one is true caesar, one is southwestern, one is chicken with mushrooms, one is chicken with buffalo sauce – and you know, sometimes I just don’t feel like chicken on a salad.  They do offer a chef’s salad, but I didn’t think I’d want that much food with the bowl of soup.

The salad I did get was a small garden variety salad, topped with a little shredded cheese.  It was pretty average – a little onion, a little tomato – nothing out of the ordinary.

As for the other diners at my table – those who are gastrically intact – well, it seemed the food was hit or miss.  My oldest daughter ordered the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, and nibbled her way around the outside of it.  The enormous burger (1/2 pound burgers here at Beef O’Brady’s) had a pretty good sized slice of cheese, a generous slathering of BBQ sauce, and then was topped with a mountain of french fried onions.  It proved to be too much food and too ooey gooey for her liking, and as the BBQ sauce mixed with the french fried onions, she had soggy slivers of BBQ sauce coated onion that she scraped off of the burger and left on her plate.  The burger – and all the sandwich platters – come with a choice of fries, cole slaw, potato salad or a bag of chips.  Since we decided to order a large side of curly fries for everyone to share, everyone ordered chips with their platters.  My mother-in-law had what she called a GREAT sandwich.  The sandwich, called a Watterson, after one of the early Beef O’Brady customers, was roast beef on grilled rye bread, topped with swiss cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle.  It sounds good to me!  But, I can’t do bread, and I’m sure the amount of fat between the mayo and the cheese would have sent me running.  The comments from the rest of the table were that the food was “alright” – nothing to write home about (so what the heck am I doing writing home about it???)

There are definitely better restaurant choices out there for those of you who are stapled.  My advice would be to drink a protein shake before you go or nosh on a protein bar after you leave.  You won’t find many ways to get protein here without dumping.  And let me tell you, dumping all over the guy at the bar with the Guinness in his hand while he’s screaming at the rugby game won’t go over too well.  No, I didn’t try it.  I’m assuming.