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The unhealthiest restaurant chain in America

This company's most extreme dish has 2,500 calories and 85 grams of fat -- and it's not who you think it is...


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  1. You were right, it wasn't who I thought it was... I guessed Macaroni Grill.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jujuthomas

      I didn't guess it, but really... is it a surprise? A chain that is based on incredibly caloric, fatty, sugar laden desserts? How could they possibly not have healthy entree's. (sorry meant to reply to original post) not a comment on juju's posting.

      1. re: KaimukiMan

        Not at all- huge portion sizes, fatty sauces, lots of fried items- not surprised at all. That said, with a menu that gigantic, you'd think there would be at least a few healthful options on there.

    2. My guess was P.F. Chang's but there's no real surprise at the "Winner."


      1. I'm not surprised by the "winner," but not sure if one dish makes it the unhealthiest. Put together a meal at Outback and you well surpass the 2,500cal & 85 grams of fat!

        1. They're all pretty much the same. Outback, Cheesecake Factory, Ruby Tuesday, TGI Friday, PF Chang, etc etc.. Super fatty super salty garbage. Better off saving some money and eating McDonalds or Five guys. Tastes better too.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ratbuddy

            Here in Cairo, there is a TGI Friday's that is considered a big celebration restaurant. It is unbelievably expensive (for here in particular), and as bad as you think it might be. Even a burger was unpalatable.

              1. re: steakman55

                Who would have guessed there was 4 TGI Friday's in Cairo Egypt?

          2. Horrible, horrible place. God help me, I guessed correctly. Was dragged there once and was truly shocked at the prepackaged, formerly frozen, overpriced items I was served. Not entirely surprisingly, dessert was relatively inoffensive.

            1. I'm holding off until I can get a buy one, get one free deal on bloomin' onions.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                those are tasty but really filling.

                1. re: Veggo

                  I was also guessing that some fried onion bloom would garner the award, but I wasn't reckoning with the prospect of collosal proportions of creme-sauced pasta, with bacon, no less.

                  The portions are the biggest culprit. They're scandalously large at so many places.

                2. This was actually my first guess. I went to Cheesecake Factory once a few months ago, and ended up eating my entree the next day for lunch and dinner, too. Three whole meals' worth of food. Crazy! Oh and when I was at the restaurant, my parents both picked large amounts of food off of my plate as well.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: operagirl

                    The first place that came to mind was McDonald's... But a couple Big Macs and an order of fries wouldn't be much healthier than Cheesecake Factory!

                    1. re: operagirl

                      me too, I made about 3 servings out of my Cheesecake factory leftovers.

                      I wonder if you parceled it out into sane portion sizes how the food compares to a big mac

                    2. Definitely not surprised. Lots of places offer up calorie/fat/sugar bombs, but it most places have at least a few reasonable options. There is absolutely nothing on the menu Cheesecake Factory that can fit into reasonable diet, even as a splurge.

                      1. Not surprised but wasn't thinking about it either.

                        1. I'm only surprised that anyone would be surprised that a monstrous cream-and-cheese laden pasta dish at a chain was anything but a calorie bomb.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sockii

                            That was my feeling. Why does "pesto cream penne" sound "innocuous" unless you don't know what pesto—or for that matter cream—is? Mind you both have their place in perfectly healthy meals...but not at CPK. Duh. Ditto "pan-fried noodles." "Fried" mean anything to you, Salon? Especially in the context of PF Chang?

                            What a straw man.


                          2. I am not defending Cheesecake Factory, but your headline is not correct. The article says they have the unhealthiest dish in America; it does not say that they are the unhealthiest restaurant chain in America.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: monkuboy

                              Fair enough, but CF also earned all kinds of dubious distinctions in The End of Overeating (along with Chili's) for dishes entirely composed of fat, salt, and sugar. Since it's a sitdown place, as others have pointed out, it's no surprise that the portions are even bigger than they are at fast-food joints. I imagine, to the extent that unhealthiness can be measured based purely on the nutritional stats of each and every menu item (of course almost any place can be healthy or unhealthy depending on how one eats), it's one of the worst offenders.

                              1. re: tatamagouche

                                The sweet and sour suet is rather delicious there.