Once again, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has released its essential Xtreme Food Awards list -- a comic take on the serious and not-that-fun problem facing so many of America's chain restaurants: their offerings are wildly, staggeringly unhealthy.
The awards this year were designed to ape the style of the Oscars, with fun categories like "Worst Adapted Pasta" and "Most Damage from a Supporting Vegetable" gracing dishes made by spots like the Cheesecake Factory and Texas Roadhouse, respectively. They fill out a list of pithy jokes that otherwise includes numbers, nutrition info, some history, and -- most importantly -- a lineup of the most calorie-stacked meals in the land.
Take The Cheesecake Factory for instance. It's a repeat offender that made the list last year and the year before, and its ignominious return this year is heralded by two imposing meals that could drive some people into a diabetic coma: the Pasta Napoletana entrée, weighing in at 2,310 calories and a whopping 79 grams of saturated fat in one corner; and the chain's Flying Gorilla cocktail, weighing in at 950 calories and 26 grams of saturated fat per glass.
Because we are all adults equipped with a healthy sense of humor about the crap we stuff in our bodies, the good folks at CSPI put the latter into context like this: "It’s like kicking off your meal by pouring a 20 oz. Budweiser over five scoops of Breyers Chocolate ice cream. Cheers!"
The full report with all the numbers is worth a read, but if you just want to gape at these dishes and their calorie counts and wonder how the hell they even exist, peruse the entries and their accompanying photos in the list below alongside CSPI's official names for their awards. (My favorite is the one bestowed upon Uno Pizzeria and Grill's selection.)