Most American chain restaurants are not fun places to count calories. On menus that feature all-you-can-eat breadsticks and sandwiches the size of an infant, the "light" section is usually an afterthought. Of course, there's no shame in eating an over-the-top meal surrounded by mismatched memorabilia, but if you'd like to keep your calorie intake in the triple digits, there are some items you should avoid.
As The Takeout reports, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has announced the winners of its annual Xtreme Eating Awards. Each year, the CSPI highlights a handful of particularly gut-busting menu items offered at various chain restaurants. Each entry on the 2019 list boasts 1500 to 2300 calories and at least one daily recommended serving of sugar, salt, or saturated fat.
Several desserts made the list: Sonic’s Oreo Peanut Butter Master Shake, The Cheesecake Factory Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, and Topgolf's Injectable Donut Holes (which come with syringes of chocolate, jelly, and Bavarian cream) all come out to about a day's worth of recommended calories. At Maggiano's, you can order the Today & Tomorrow Pastas special, which includes one meal to eat at the restaurant and one to go. Even if you can resist eating both in one sitting, the Braised Beef al Forno alone contains 1760 calories, 41 grams of saturated fat, and 2990 milligrams of sodium.
Sandwiches account for some of the worst offenders on the list. If you finish a Giant Gargantuan sandwich from Jimmy John's, you'll have consumed 7720 milligrams of sodium—more than three times the daily maximum sodium intake recommended by the American Heart Association. The Boss Burger from Chili's, which contains five different types of meat, is only slightly better with 3900 milligrams of sodium. In terms of calories, the Chicken & Waffle Sliders from Dave & Buster's maxes out the list at 2340. It includes fried chicken and bacon on a Belgian waffle bun with a side of maple syrup and tater tots.
If that list of winners made you more hungry than queasy, read up on the origin stories of your favorite chain restaurants.
[h/t The Takeout]