How many calories in a Porto’s potato ball?

Porto’s Bakery is a popular bakery chain known for its tasty potato balls, a fried potato side dish filled with seasoned ground beef. Potato balls are a customer favorite at Porto’s, but many people wonder just how many calories are in one of these irresistible snacks. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the calorie count and other nutrition information for Porto’s potato balls to help you make informed decisions about this menu item.

The Origins and Background of Porto’s Potato Balls

Porto’s Bakery was founded in 1976 in Glendale, California by Raul Porto and his family after they immigrated from Cuba. The bakery quickly became known for its wide array of baked goods and sandwiches inspired by Raul’s Cuban heritage. One of the most legendary items on the menu was Raul’s grandmother’s recipe for potato balls, made from mashed potatoes stuffed with spicy ground beef and deep fried to perfection.

This hearty snack became an instant hit with customers visiting Porto’s original bakery on Brand Boulevard in Glendale. As Porto’s expanded to multiple locations across Southern California, the potato balls remained a staple menu item. Each Porto’s bakery goes through thousands of potato balls per day to satisfy customer demand. The potato balls are made fresh in each bakery’s kitchen throughout the day.

Nutritional Information for Porto’s Potato Balls

Many people understandably want to know the calorie count and other nutrition facts when enjoying indulgent menu items like Porto’s potato balls. Here is the latest nutritional information for a single potato ball from Porto’s:

Nutrition Facts Per 1 potato ball (85g)
Calories 230
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 3.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 25mg
Sodium 380mg
Total Carbohydrates 24g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g

As you can see, one potato ball contains approximately 230 calories. It also provides 12g of total fat, 380mg of sodium, 24g of carbs, and 5g of protein. The high calorie and fat content comes from the fried exterior of mashed potato combined with the fatty ground beef filling.

How Potato Ball Calories Compare to Other Fried Side Dishes

To understand how many calories are in a Porto’s potato ball, it helps to compare it to similar fried side dish options from other restaurants. Here’s how the 230 calories in one Porto’s potato ball stacks up:

  • Arby’s Potato Cakes – 190 calories per cake
  • KFC Famous Bowl – 290 calories per bowl
  • McDonald’s Hash Brown – 150 calories per hash brown patty
  • Taco Bell Potato Soft Taco – 170 calories per taco

As you can see, the Porto’s potato ball sits right in the middle calorie-wise compared to other popular fried potato products. It has slightly more calories than options like a McDonald’s hash brown or Taco Bell potato taco. But it’s lower in calories than heavier fare like KFC’s Famous Bowl.

How Potato Ball Portion Size Affects Calories

It’s important to note that the calorie count listed above is for one potato ball. If you order multiple potato balls as a snack or side dish, the calories will scale up quickly.

For example, a typical order of 3 potato balls at Porto’s would contain about 690 calories total. Meanwhile, a larger order of 5 potato balls would rack up around 1,150 calories. So ordering double or triple the potato balls can more than double or triple the calorie intake from this menu item.

Here is a breakdown of the total calories based on common potato ball portion sizes at Porto’s:

Portion Size Total Calories
1 potato ball 230 calories
3 potato balls 690 calories
5 potato balls 1,150 calories

Tips for Enjoying Potato Balls While Managing Calories

Porto’s potato balls are a delicious treat, but the calories can add up fast if you overindulge. Here are some tips to enjoy potato balls as part of a balanced diet:

  • Order a single potato ball instead of multiple as a side dish.
  • Split a larger order of 3 or 5 potato balls with a friend.
  • Pair potato balls with lower calorie side dishes like Porto’s rice and beans or salad.
  • Watch your portion sizes of other bakery items if ordering potato balls.
  • Skip high-calorie bakery extras like dipping sauces or sugary dressings.
  • Drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Balance out potato balls by choosing lower calorie meals for the rest of the day.

Healthier Alternatives to Enjoy at Porto’s

If watching your calorie intake, there are many delicious and healthier options to order at Porto’s besides potato balls, such as:

  • Cuban sandwiches – Try the Media Noche sandwich made with less fatty ham on egg bread for around 400 calories.
  • Salads – The Ensalada del Porto with grilled chicken, black beans, and mango vinaigrette has about 300 calories.
  • Vegetarian dishes – The vegetarian plate with rice, black beans, sautéed veggies, and plantains packs around 200 calories.
  • Fruit – Fresh fruit cups and fruit salads give you nutrition and fiber without a lot of calories.

You can also request nutrition-focused meal modifications, like grilled chicken instead of fried chicken in entrees. This allows you to enjoy Porto’s flavors while making healthier choices.

Should You Avoid Potato Balls If Watching Calories?

With one potato ball clocking in at 230 calories, should you avoid this menu item altogether if limiting calories? Not necessarily.

Potato balls can absolutely be part of a healthy diet when enjoyed in moderation. The key is balancing out higher calorie indulgences wisely across your meals and days. Saving up calories for a few potato balls as a special treat is perfectly reasonable.

Just be mindful of your portion sizes and how often you indulge in potato balls. You certainly don’t need to deprive yourself of their signature flavor – just practice moderation and balance.

The Bottom Line

Porto’s legendary potato balls have a well-deserved place in the hearts and stomachs of loyal patrons. With approximately 230 calories in each potato ball, this fried snack packs a caloric punch. But you can enjoy potato balls occasionally as part of a healthy lifestyle by using portion control, choosing alternative menu items, and balancing out your overall diet.

Rather than avoiding potato balls completely, learn how to incorporate this special treat into your diet in a moderate way. With a little mindfulness and planning, you can satisfy your potato ball cravings without sabotaging your nutrition goals.

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