Surprise! 3 unusual healthy dishes at metro Atlanta restaurants

Credit: Contributed by The Counter: Custom Built Burgers

Credit: Contributed by The Counter: Custom Built Burgers

While some restaurant dishes may seem unhealthy upon first glance, a few are actually quite nutritious and delicious. Here are three surprsingly healthy meals from metro Atlanta eateries.

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Serpas True Food

659 Auburn Ave. NE. 404-688-0040.

Try the Grilled ctopus at this popular restaurant. While some spots smother the seafood in butter and other heavy sauces, Serpas True Food uses olive oil and spices before grilling the meat to order to add a char and heat. There are just 70 calories in three ounces of octopus, which is 11 percent fat and 78 percent protein. Add a lemon garlic aioli, arugula, yucca chips and charred tomato vinaigrette, and it's no wonder this is one of the restaurant's top sellers.

The Counter: Custom Built Burgers

850 Mansell Road, Roswell. 678-461-9661.

There are lots of options at this build-your-own-burger pioneer, many of them highly responsible and adhering to every diet imaginable, from paleo to vegan to gluten-free. But the surprising bit is the Bison Burger. It's around 270 calories and has 13 grams of fat for a one-third pounder with 38 grams of protein. One healthy combination is organic mixed greens with kale, grilled pineapple, grilled red onion, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes and a not-too-sweet (or caloric) apricot sauce.

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Cakes and Ale

155 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404 377 7994.

Bread may be the starring ingredient in the Summer Tartine, but chef and owner Billy Allin gives it a lighter twist. He uses whole grain sourdough with spiced yogurt. "It's full fat Greek yogurt," said Allin, "but unlike mayo, you're getting all the goodness of the milk fat, including the probiotics and the calcium." The creamy dip is topped with a mixture of shaved vegetables, including tomatoes, a little radicchio for the bite and raw zucchini, which are all packed with carbs to help digestion. The tartine has a complex flavor, but is finished simply with cilantro, almonds and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.