Dining out paleo: Ten dishes to satisfy your inner caveman

Shine's house-smoked trout.
Shine's house-smoked trout.
Kate Gibbons

The "caveman diet" is getting a real workout across Colorado. The creation of Loren Cordain, a Colorado State University professor who wrote The Paleo Diet and numerous follow-up books, the diet has been picked up by the Crossfit community and many other fans of healthy eating. But while it promises weight loss, lower blood pressure, less risk of cardiovascular disease and increased athletic performance, the diet doesn't promise that it's easy to follow outside of your own kitchen. The high-protein diet focuses on consuming foods that could be hunted and gathered during the Paleolithic era: grass-fed meat, fish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables and fruit. Since dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, potatoes and processed oils are no-nos, dining out can be challenging even if a chef is willing to accommodate a gluten-free, veggies-instead-of-rice and no-cheese, please, order.

Because there is a little caveman in all of us, here's a list of list of ten perfectly paleo dishes that don't require any substitutes or swaps.

See also: - Comedian/restaurateur Will White on his paleo-diet truck, Kickstarter and standup - Paleo diet study wins a Centennial teen $2,000 - A food critic cuts out the trash in her diet to right junk in the trunk

10. House-Smoked Trout Shine One of the more popular items on Shine's brunch menu, house-smoked trout (pictured above) is the work of executive chef Jessica Emich, a paleo eater herself. A filet of Idaho trout joins a crispy yam mash, seared greens and housemade avocado Hollandaise: Emich swaps out eggs and butter for lemon juice and olive oil with a touch of Tabasco sauce. And Shine has more than one paleo dish to offer: 75 percent of the menu is hunter- and gatherer-friendly.

Dining out paleo: Ten dishes to satisfy your inner caveman
Photo courtesy of Slotted Spoon.

9. Wicked Salad Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery Pork meatballs top a bed of mixed greens, peppers, pesto sauce and slaw. The meatballs are made fresh daily with ground pork, gluten-free breadcrumbs, onion, fennel, basil and salt and pepper. The homemade slaw combines cabbage, cucumber, lemon juice and ranch seasoning for a tangy kick. The Wicked is also available with salmon meatballs.

Dining out paleo: Ten dishes to satisfy your inner caveman
Photo courtesy of Colt & Gray.

8. Hudson Valley Foie Gras Colt & Gray Colt & Gray flies in its duck foie gras from the Hudson Valley, sears it with an XO sauce of smoked oysters and ginger, watercress and almonds, and serves it with sliced rhubarb. While foie gras is always on the menu here, this version was updated a few weeks ago with a menu revamp.

Dining out paleo: Ten dishes to satisfy your inner caveman
Photo courtesy of Old Major's Facebook page.

7. Nose to Tail Plate Old Major The Butcher section of the Old Major menu includes the nose to tail plate, a caveman's delight with confit pork rib, pork chop, crispy belly, city ham and a crispy ear marinated in guanciale vinaigrette and rhubarb jus. This is the full animal experience.

Dining out paleo: Ten dishes to satisfy your inner caveman
Photo courtesy of Choppers Custom Salad's Facebook page.

6. The Big Shrimp Choppers Custom Salad Choppers its known for it custom salads, and has a plethora of paleo ingredients that you can mix and match. But the chef's choice Big Shrimp works with the diet, too. A bed of romaine lettuce is topped with shrimp, cucumber, tomatoes and avocado, then chopped and tossed with housemade cilantro-lime vinaigrette.


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