Talk to a Zone Specialist: 800-404-8171

Skip the ribs at Tony Roma's

When friends asked our intrepid food detective, Sherlock Zone, to go with them to Tony Roma's, all he could think of was the restaurant's signature dish, ribs. Ribs aren't the best choice of protein. Add the sauces, and you have a ticket out of the Zone.

As usual, Sherlock had to skip over the ribs and steak selections to study other offerings. He sadly realized he was going to have to do a lot of sleuthing to find a meal to keep him in the Zone.

The restaurant, for one thing, should have chosen breading as its middle name. All of the starters were out of the picture, breaded and/or fried.

Perhaps the best choice is a Grilled Chicken and Fire-Roasted Vegetable Salad, which includes grilled chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, red peppers and chives blended with chopped greens. Ask for the tomato pesto vinaigrette dressing on the side and decline the toasted cheddar flatbread.

Under seafood entrees, diners can choose the Shrimp Scampi Pasta but skip the pasta and order a side of fresh vegetables instead.

People who order the Tuscan Peso Mahi Mahi should note its rich sauce – "a hearty mix of balsamic-glazed roasted artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and fresh basil." Ask your server to go easy on the sauce or have it on the side so that you can enjoy the vegetables.

The best bet is the Fish Grill, which allows diners to choose either mahi mahi or Norwegian Salmon, either grilled or blackened. Four toppings are offered. Again have them on the side. The dinners come with fresh vegetables and rice pilaf. Skip the rice and ask for extra vegetables.

People who order the one-half chicken should remember portion sizes and eliminate the French fries, asking for extra cole slaw instead.

It took a bit of detective work, but when Sherlock left the restaurant, he was in the Zone.