Eat smart at a steakhouse

Often thought of as a splurge dinner, a meal at your favorite steakhouse can actually be the perfect place to fill up on protein and important vitamins like B12, which serves to form red blood cells, crucial for energy.

The ideal order just takes a little bit of finessing.

Consider the cut.

Some places will let you get a good look at the raw steak via a cooler up front or a server carrying the available cuts on a tray. If that’s an option, take it. When raw, the portion of beef should be an even, light red color. Dark red or purple indicates it’s from an old animal, says New York City butcher Pat LaFrieda. Opt “Choice” or “Select” rather than “Prime,” as the former tend to be leaner. Round and sirloin cuts usually have the least amount of fat.

Choose vegetables.

More steakhouses are embracing vegetable entrees, popularizing the cauliflower steak. The massive slice of cauliflower is usually spiced and grilled and offers a stellar source of vitamin C and fiber.

Otherwise, fill up on vegetable side dishes just as NFL pros do. Tom Brady orders a steak alongside a double order of vegetables, says Steve DiFillippo of Davio’s in Boston. When Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan visits Kevin Rathbun Steak, he orders sautéed spinach and garlic, staying away from creamed corn and twice-baked potatoes, notes Rathbun.

Go Pescatarian.

If you order salmon, always go for wild, which has a more favorable fat profile. Halibut, high in protein and low in fat, is a good choice, too. And consider a seafood tower to share, with steamed and chilled shrimp, lobster, oysters, and more. These crustaceans and mollusks are nutrient-rich. Oysters, for instance, have B12, while a 3.5-ounce serving of shrimp contains 24 grams of protein.