XTreme Eating Awards: Put Down The Fork, And Back Away

I have a confession. I am a food monster. When left to my own devices, I’ve been known to fry up pancetta and pour it (and the resulting bacon-y grease) over popcorn. I put MSG on everything. My favorite food group is “cheese” and “vehicles for cheese.” Sometimes my roommate walks in and asks, “What are you eating that goat cheese with?” And my answer is, “A spoon.” But none of that prepared me for the Xtreme Eating Awards that the Center of Science compiled to show the public just how unhealthy some meals are at popular chain restaurants. After the jump, some of the scariest. [USAToday]

  • The Cheesecake Factory’s Fried Macaroni and Cheese: Macaroni and cheese balls rolled in crumbs and fried up to crispy gooey perfection with creamy marinara sauce. 1,570 calories and 69 grams of saturated fat. (Reference point: a stick of butter has 800 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat.) Because whenever I’m eating mac n’ cheese, I’m always like, “How can these be more hand-held?”
  • Uno Chicago Grill Mega-Sized Deep Dish Sundae: A giant chocolate chip cookie smothered in ice cream and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. 2,800 calories and 72 grams of saturated fat. Sounds like a disassembled ice cream cookie cake—where’s my spoon and Lactaid? Oh yeah, but that’s more than a day’s worth of calories.
  • Olive Garden Tour of Italy: Chicken Parmigiana, lasagna, and creamy chicken alfredo on one plate. 1,450 calories and 33 grams of saturated fat. Bah. Is anything at Olive Garden worth a day’s worth of calories? On the bright side, this would be perfect if you ate each of the dishes as a day’s meal.
  • Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger: A hamburger with cheddar and pepper-jack cheese, bacon, Mexi-ranch sauce, and pico de gallo in two flour tortillas, served with french fries with an option to make those into chili cheese fries.1,820 calories and 46 grams of saturated fat. Honestly, you might as well make it chili cheese fries.
  • Chili’s Big Mouth Bites: Four mini bacon cheeseburgers with fries, onion strings, and jalapeno ranch dipping sauce. 2,350 calories and 38 grams of saturated fat. Because one bacon cheeseburger is never enough, why not increase the surface area four times and dip it in ranch? Duh!