Apr 18 2012

Las Olas Taqueria- Healthiest Choices

In my neighborhood Las Olas Taqueria is a popular and delicious destination for homemade Mexican food made with vegetarian beans and rice, homemade sauces and salsa, and locally-raised meats. I am often asked about these foods so I decided to estimate the calories and food groups they carry using a kitchen scale, calorie book and common sense. I ordered a  chicken bowl, chicken burrito, chicken taco, and chicken salad,  brought them  home, and came up with the estimations below .

Los Olas taco burrito and bowl

Chicken Burrito:  832 calories

Chicken Bowl:   748 calories

Chicken Taco:   266 calories

Las Olas Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad:  476 calories (dressing on the side)

In all of theses I skipped the cheese, guacamole and sour cream and saved 370 calories. Cheese will add 100 calories, sour cream 120 and guacamole about 150 calories. To increase vegetables ask for plenty of lettuce  and salsa . Chicken is probably the leanest of all the meats but I have ordered the beef and pork and found them to be lean too. Chorizo sausage ( which I have never tried) contains 135 calories per ounce compared to 50 calories for one ounce of roasted chicken and I estimate you get about 4 ounces in each item.

All four of these meals were terrific but if you are watching calories or carbs I recommend the salad or the taco, and hold the cheese, sour cream and guacamole. The flavors are so good in these foods you really do not need these extras.


Here are the details on my calculations:

The Chicken Burrito without cheese, sour cream or guacamole weighed 20 ounces and I estimate it  has about 832 calories, contains 2 servings of vegetables ( 1/2 cup from salsa and pico de gallo sauce combined, plus 1 cup of shredded romaine) it a good source of protein (4 oz chicken plus the beans), between the rice and tortilla it carries the equivalent of 6 slices of bread ( 4 in the tortillas, one in the 1/2 cup of rice, one in the 1/2 cup of beans).


Measuring a Las Olas Burrito

The chicken bowl consists of a bed of rice with beans, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa, fresh cilantro and lime. I ordered mine without cheese, or sour cream.  Basically it is a burrito without the tortilla, and more rice. It weighed 18 ounces and  using the calorie information  from the burrito, I estimate about 41 calories per ounce, or 748 calories all together. A chicken bowl with 1 1/2 cups of rice and 1/2 cup beans carries the equivalent of four slices of bread .


The Chicken Taco is made with 1/2 of the soft flour taco and it included lettuce, salsa, fresh cilantro and chicken, it   weighed 6.5 oz and  I estimate it has  about 266 calories, contains one serving of vegetables, a good source of protein and the equivalent of 2 slices of bread.


The Chicken Salad  is made from a bed of romaine lettuce with chicken, beans, rice, salsa,  pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and the delicious citrus lime dressing was served on the side. It  weighed  20 ounces ( minus the dish) and I estimate it has about 476 calories. Each 1/2 cup beans and 1/2 cup of rice counts as a serving of bread. Again I ordered it without cheese, sour cream or guacamole.



To calculate calories I used Bowes and Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used and  compared it to the  Chipotle Nutriton Calculator data

Chipotle Chicken Burrito

A Chipotle Chicken Burrito without cheese, sour cream or guacamole weighed 18 3/4 ounces and according to their nutrition data it contains 770 calories and the equivalent of five slices of bread from the tortilla, rice and beans.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Las Olas Taqueria- Healthiest Choices”

  1. Desiree Crossleyon 03 May 2016 at 4:56 pm

    This is so helpful. It’s so hard to get reliable numbers for local businesses. I came up with estimates very close to yours using Bo Loco’s varying burrito sizes and ingredients, and comparing/contrasting with Chipotle’s offerings, too. I also really appreciated your Moe’s sandwich breakdown. I would LOVE to see more local-food breakdowns. Thank you so much.

  2. eileenBon 04 May 2016 at 8:52 pm

    I am glad this is helpful. The Chipotle web page is very helpful when calculating Mexican food. Making good choices when eating out can be tricky.

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