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Customers at the new Maepole restaraunt on Friday, August 31, 2018 on Chase Street in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Christina R. Matacotta, crmatacotta@gmail.com).

As 2019 comes to a close, the keto trend is still keeping up and many Athens locals have looked to their favorite restaurants to supply their keto needs. In a simplistic view, the keto diet cuts carbohydrates from the diet and replaces them with healthy proteins and fats, such as chicken, eggs and salmon. While these changes may be easy to incorporate into a dish, making them the star of the dish is where chefs are presented with their challenge. But Athens chefs are proving to step up to the plate. 

The Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad at The Table Bistro 

Coming in at $15, this salad is a zesty dish that features seared tuna, tomatoes, onions, roasted potatoes, green beans, olives and egg on a bed of romaine lettuce. Customers can add more bacon and cheese to secure the proteins and fats that make for an ideal keto dish. 

The Shish Kabob Plate at the Mediterranean Grill 

For $12 you can get a whole plate of finely cut, marinated beef with salad and a substitute of feta and olives instead of rice. As a lunch item, get a free drink as well. This easily scores your daily protein and fat without breaking the budget. 

The home.made Grilled Ribeye 

For a more sophisticated date night, head to home.made for a large portion of grilled ribeye with seared green beans and butter braised button mushrooms. Customers can skip out on the apple puree and bordelaise sauce to save on carbs, but keep all of the flavor with a generous helping of dry rub seasoning.

“This one is such a good dish, it hits my macros and it’s so delicious,” said Connie French, a sophomore public relations major from Alexandria, Virginia. 

Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market’s Cobb Salad and Pimento Cheese Plate

Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market in Athens has a pimento cheese plate and a cobb salad featuring local lettuces, grilled chicken, bacon (ask not candied), hard boiled egg, Asher Blue cheese, oven dried tomatoes and an herb buttermilk dressing. High fat, low carb and a two course option. 

The Twin Pig Omelette at South Kitchen + Bar 

It couldn’t be a list of places to eat in Athens without a brunch staple. For all the keto-friendly dieters out there, South Kitchen + Bar has something southern, and macro-safe with its dish, the Twin Pig Omelette. For $9.50, the dish is stuffed with smoked sausage, thick cut bacon and topped with white cheddar cheese. 

Build Your Own at Maepole

Start with a supergreens base and top it with any of the four proteins available as well as cauliflower, beets, tomatoes or shaved brussel sprouts to a bowl. For an extra charge, add half an avocado or hard boiled eggs for more fat and protein. Top your bowl with Maepole’s house-made buttermilk sauce and enjoy for $11.95 or less. 

“I really like the beets for a low carb option, so flavorful and roasted with rosemary. They are pretty clean and won’t screw you over diet wise,”  Zac Crook, manager at Maepole said.  screw you over diet wise,”  Zac Crook, manager at Maepole said.

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