How would you like some baby back ribs as a side dish for your steak? Or a bacon cheeseburger inside your quesadilla? These are everyday platters served at your local chain restaurants.
The trend makes already bad foods even worse, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). And some of these "best of the worst for you" meals are pretty outrageous.
CSPI’s Xtreme Eating Awards in 2007 debuted in 2007 with nutrition disasters like Uno Chicago Grill’s 2, 000 calorie pizza skins. Most people should limit themselves to about 2,000 calories per day. Keep in mind that you should also cap fat and sodium at 20 grams of saturated fat and 1,500 mg of sodium daily.
We bet you’re dying to know who made the list this year. And the 2009 awards go to:
Chili's Big Mouth Bites
At Chili's you can share these four mini-bacon cheeseburgers or shove them down all by yourself. Order Chili’s Big Mouth Bites as an entrée and you'll end up consuming 1,580 calories and 28 grams of saturated fat, plus 2, 930 milligrams of sodium.
Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy
Not sure what to order for your main course? Well, you can order not one, not two, but three main dishes. Olive Garden's Tour of Italy includes homemade lasagna, chicken parmigiana and creamy fettuccini alfredo with a total caloric intake of -- drum roll please -- 1,450 calories, 33 grams of saturated fat and a whopping 3,830 mg of sodium.
Hungry for more?
Cheesecake Factory’s Fried Macaroni and Cheese
Fried mac and cheese. Are they for real? Yes, they are. The platter comes with four coated cheese-and-white-flour balls over a marinara cream sauce. The dish is 1,570 calories and 1,860 mg of sodium. But these numbers aren’t the only ones that set this platter apart. It’s the 69 grams of saturated fat. Mmm.
Chili’s Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs
“Add a half rack of ribs to any entrée,” reads a Chili’s menu. When did people start adding an entrée as a side dish? This adds 490 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat plus 2,050 mg of sodium to the dish.
The Cheesecake Factory Chicken and Biscuits
For $14.95 you get a breast of chicken over mashed potatoes with shortcake biscuits, mushrooms, peas and carrots and covered with country gravy. Not a bad deal, huh? This meal baby runs roughly 2,400 calories.
Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger
Put together two popular dishes and you get the quesadilla burger. Add frieds and you'll be eating 1,820 calories, 46 grams of saturated fat and 4,410 mg of sodium.
Red Lobster Ultimate Fondue
Fondue is making a comeback. At least at Red Lobster. The ultimate fondue has 1,490 calories and 40 grams of saturated fat and 3,580 mg of sodium. A more appropriate name for this dish would be fonDON'T.
The Cheesecake Factory Philly-Style Flat Iron Steak
Most sandwiches, salads and soups these days come with cheese. At The Cheesecake Factory, the flat iron steak with fries delivers 1,760 calories, 30 grams of saturated fat and 3,840 mg of sodium. If you’re still hungry, you can order an 800 to 1,200 calorie slice of cheesecake.
Uno’s Mega-Sized Deep Dish Sundae
“Hot cookie, sweet fun" is how Uno’s Chicago Grill describes its mega sundae. It starts with a monster chocolate chip cookie -- the size of a pizza -- in the middle. On top of the cookie, ice cream is piled high and covered with whipped cream and a chocolate sauce drizzle. We won't even break down the numbers.