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Jun 23, 2008 03:31 PM

Biggest "Guilty Pleasure"

As we all know our favorite chain restaurants tend to have some what of a problem with revealing their nutritional facts. However, we also know what tends to be good for us and what tends not to be good for us at these restaurants. On any given time you go to a chain what is the one thing you know is just horrible for you but order anyway?

For me the following apply:

Cheesecake Factory - Thai Chicken Pasta (at last check 1,298 calories) I eat the whole thing!
Ruby Tuesday - Buffalo Burger (86 grams of fat)

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  1. The bacon and cheese covered fries at Islands...and yes, I dip them in the Ranch dressing that they serve with it.....don't go often but man I love those.

    1. When I go to Ruth Chris, I know the butter soaked steak must be BAD, because they won't even release their nutrition information to the public!

      Is the Ruby Tuesday's buffalo burger made with buffalo? It tends to be much leaner than regular beef burgers so I wouldn't see why it would be so much worse fat gram wise it should be a little less? Burgers are normally what 80-100 grams? Will have to check out my package of ground buffalo meat at home, I know it about cuts calories in half. Maybe it is stuff they put on the burger?

      4 Replies
      1. re: ktmoomau

        I know that Buffalo is leaner. However the cheaper the buffalo the more fat content it has. My guess is that Ruby's obviously uses a little cheaper version of buffalo meat then what you get at your market. I buy buffalo which is 97% however, I know Target has started selling it and its 90/10. I got the information on the burger from the book "Eat this, Not that!" its amazing how bad some of the food out there is for you. I work out so I don't feel bad about going out for this once or twice a month.

        As for Ruth Chris I have yet to find any facts on their entrees. Either they dont literally have them, or simply are afraid to disclose kind of like most of Cheesecake Factory. I was able to get that information from an inside source.

        1. re: flyerfan182

          There was an article about Ruth Chris as one place that refused to disclose its nutrition information when asked let me see if google can find it. No I can't seem to get it as easy as I did last time. I think it was in an article with the NY label thing. I assume because of the butter it has to be out of this world and all the veggies have sauces and etc.

          I also love a cheeburger cheeburger burger with lots of toppings and onion rings, which I am sure is horrible for me.

          I heard that Eat This, Not That was a really good book from my best friend and forgot to go buy it... I am glad you mentioned that. I think it would be really good for fiance who doesn't mean to eat bad, he just sometimes doesn't realize the calories in stuff. I am a label and website nutrition addict.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            "I am a label and website nutrition addict." Me too!

            Thanks for mentioning that book. I've never heard of it and would like to flip through it the next time I'm at a bookstore.

            1. re: livetocook

              Some stuff isn't much of a surprise like the outback blooming onion or chili cheese fries, but some stuff is. I really appreciate restaurants having nutrition online because some stuff that looks like it could be healthy really isn't. And vice-versa. I liked the section on alcoholic drinks too, because some of those are just off the charts and are hard to get info on.

      2. I don't eat meat, but I sure can find some really guilty pleasures at chains these days.

        1 - I order the Quesadilla explosion salad at Chili's with extra Ranch dressing, of course. But the key is that my husband always orders the steak fajitas, and hates vegetables of all kinds. So I not only get his grilled onions and peppers, but also end up devouring all of his salsa, guacamole and sour cream by the time the night is done.

        2 - Cheesecake Factory - I always get the Quesadillas with extra Guac, and completely devour the rest of the sour cream, salsa and extra cheese they serve with it.

        3 - Onion Rings, especially when served with Ranch/Jalapeno Ranch dressing. I just can't resist them.

        4 - In general I put a ton of condiments on virtually anything I eat. My fridge is stocked with everything from Mayo, Tartar Sauce, Ranch dressing (three kinds) Honey Mustard Dressing, and plenty of other spicy sauce/creamy side items. My family calls me the "Condiment Queen" and it's well deserved.


        1 Reply
        1. re: careyanned

          I like that you didn't state you were a vegetarian. Just that you don't eat meat.
          My daughter is a vegetarian. She always battles the "just take out the meat" places. That doesn't count.
          Over the years I've really learned to respect her values, just haven't been able to adopt them.

        2. okay..the Bloomin Onion from Outback...and I'll take any grilled chicken salad and drown it in ranch dressing..

          4 Replies
          1. re: burlgurl

            Oh, goodness yes! That bloomin' onion has about 2200 calories, but I only order it if I can get a couple others to eat it with me, otherwise it's two hours on the exercise bike the next day. I too wil pretty much eat any salad, sans meat, if I can drown it in Ranch!!!

            1. re: careyanned

              Ha! I know so many people that put ranch on their pizza. Not for me. However, when I DO go to Quiznos very very rarely I will drown my sandwich in their honey mustard sauce. It is simply amazing, until, I found out that one tablespoon has 16 grams of fat! Ha, I guess I'll just stay away from there.

              As for Eat This, Not That, here is a great link for you to check out some of the worst foods at chain restaurants:


              Cant even believe Macaroni Grill's Spaghetti and Meatballs has 2,430 calories, sheesh! I prefer to cook myself now that the economy sucks anyhow.

              Another restaurant I am guessing that doesn't release their info would be Ihop. Hmmmmmmm

              1. re: flyerfan182

                Flyerfan -

                I, too, just LOVE the honey mustard at Quiznos, I guess I justify dipping my tuna sub in the stuff b/c I order it sans cheese and mayo, but still, that stuff IS pretty bad for you...they just put in a Quiznos about a 1/4 mile from my apartment, so I have to be careful not to indulge too much.


                1. re: careyanned

                  Oh man. I too love the honey mustard at Quiznos. I used to work just 2 doors down from one downtown..... and they have that sauce in a pump jar on the condiment bar. I guiltily admit to filling up a couple of the little "to go" cups with the sauce, taking it back to my desk at the office and dipping the baked chips in it. Really really good in a really really bad way. Thankfully I now don't even work in the same town with one because that was addictive stuff.

          2. A couple of times a year I have to feed the craving for White Castle cheeseburgers. Gotta have em. I know they are really bad for me, but when I go I have to eat at least 3 or 4.
            I figure it is a guilty pleasure and not a every day thing so I am not going to worry. Every thing in moderation, right?