As much as we love going out to eat – and indulging on apps like jalapeño poppers and Bloomin’ Onions – there comes a time where we have to face facts and realize just how terrible most dishes at chain restaurants really are. That time is called the Xtreme Eating Awards, a tongue-in-cheek set of “honors” created by the Center for Science in Public Interest that reveals the shockingly terrible nutritional information of meals at fast-casual favorites like Chili’s and the Cheesecake Factory. (Seriously – some of these bad boys contain more than an entire day’s worth of calories!)
Before we get started, it’s helpful to note, as the CSPI did, that typical daily values include 2,000 calories 2,300 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of saturated fat, and 50 grams of added sugar. Without any further ado, here are the worst offenders:
1. Chili’s Ultimate Smokehouse Combo
This enormous tray – yes, it’s too much for a plate – features smoked bone-in BBQ chicken breast, jalapeño-cheddar smoked sausage, hand-battered Chicken Crispers or a half rack of house-smoked baby back ribs (except the ribs will set you back an extra $2). Plus, there’s an overload of sides: roasted corn, fries, chile-garlic toast, and pickles. If you absolutely need to order this gut-busting meal, you’re better off splitting it with a friend – or, better yet, two.
Calories: 2,400; saturated fat: 41 grams; sodium: 7,610 milligrams
2. IHOP‘s Cheeseburger Omelette With Pancakes
This thing is quite beefy. Loaded with cheeseburger patty pieces, hash browns, tomatoes, onions, American cheese ketchup, mustard, and pickles – plus the side of pancakes with butter and syrup – it’s worse than eating four McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffins.
Calories: 1,990; saturated fat: 45 grams; sodium 4,580 milligrams; added sugar 44 grams; cholesterol: 1,005 milligrams
3. The Cheesecake Factory‘s Pasta Napoletana
While a heaping plate of pasta is already questionable, The Cheesecake Factory has dialed up its spaghetti about 20 notches by incorporating all the elements of meat lover’s pizza. That means the restaurant piles on Italian sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, and bacon that’s all been greased with butter and cream. Not to mention the generous shower of Parmesan cheese you’re no doubt going to add on top when it arrives at your table.
Calories: 2,310; saturated fat: 79 grams; sodium: 4,370 milligrams
4. Buffalo Wild Wings‘ Cheese Curd Bacon Burger
The name alone should tell you that this burger is doing too much. But what you…