We know that fast food isn’t good for us. But some restaurants have simply gone overboard with the amount of fat, salt, calories, and carbs they’ve managed to pack into a meal. Below are the worst of the worst.
Breakfast of Caloric Champions: Denny’s Smoked Sausage Slam
This is the meal to eat if you like pig products: two eggs scrambled with chopped bacon, diced ham, and crumbled sausage, then topped with cheddar cheese. All rounded out with two strips of bacon, two sausage links, hash browns, and two fluffy buttermilk pancakes. The amount of sodium in this pile of pig garbage is enough to last you two days … if you don’t die of a heart attack first.
A better bet: Two eggs, bacon, and toast. It ain’t health food, but it won’t be a day’s worth of calories either.
Worst Thing You Can Eat with a Spoon: KFC Mashed Potato Bowl
The KFC bowl is for those who can’t be bothered with a plate. It’s a tub filled with mashed potatoes, layered with sweet corn, and “loaded” with pieces of fried chicken. To add insult to injury, they dump “home-style” gravy and cheese on top. I have a feeling this thing comes out in your toilet bowl looking the exact same way it went in.
A better bet: avoid KFC altogether.
Worst Meal in Tin Foil: Chipotle Barbacoa Super Burrito
The other day my coworkers and I went to Chipotle. It was all shits and giggles while we were eating—“hey, pass the guac!” “want some more chips?!”—but then about an hour later, things went terribly wrong. Our stomachs hurt. Our mouths puckered. I drank about a gallon of water but couldn’t seem to quench my thirst. The bathroom stunk.
I think it’s ironic that Chipotle sponsors a biking team. No athlete would ever eat there.
A better bet: Cut the monster in half and share it.
Money Well Spent: Carl’s Jr. Bacon Cheese Six Dollar Burger
A day’s worth of fat in one meal—not bad for six bucks. Of course, if you eat this, you probably shouldn’t eat anything for the rest of the day.
A better bet: A regular Carl’s hamburger.
Worst Italian Offense: Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s Personal Pan Pizza
The “personal” in this title makes one assume you’re supposed to eat the whole thing yourself. And then you do. And people wonder why we have an obesity epidemic.
A better bet: Veggie Lover’s—it’s “only” 560 calories.
Just Wrong, Mate: Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries
Are the Aussies trying to mock us by giving us something they know we could never possibly work off in one day? Even if you split this monster of a fat bomb with three friends—it’s still just a side dish, and you’d still be packing away almost one thousand calories each. That’d take about two hours of kangaroo chasing in the outback just to burn off. Problem is, we ain’t got no outback in the US of A.
A better bet: Share the cheese fries with ten people instead.
Worst Dessert: Outback’s Chocolate Thunder from Down Under
I don’t mean to pick on Outback (who now no longer posts their nutritional information), but what were they thinking with this name? It reminds me of what happens after you’ve eaten there, not something you’d like to end a meal with. To burn this off you’d have to run for over two hours. Hmm … an apple isn’t sounding so bad after all.
A better bet: I would never feed this to a child, but you could order the Spotted Dog Sundae off the kid’s menu, and split it with another adult. It has 730 calories and 27 grams of saturated fat; diet food compared to the Thunder.
Worst Mash-Up: Sonic Drive-in Fritos Chili Pie
940 calories for chili? Well, I guess if you make it with Fritos chips and throw in a piecrust, anything is possible.
A better bet: A bowl of chili—without the Fritos.
Worst Appetizer: Chili’s Awesome Blossom
Chili’s is all sorts of wrong. The one and only time I ate there, I almost dove over the table and made the waitress give me my money back, it was so bad. It’s clear now I was just in a salt and sugar-induced rage. Even with their crappy food laden with sodium, fat, and emulsifiers, you’ve got to admire them. How they turned a simple onion into a day’s worth of calories and three days worth of fat is a miracle of food science.
A better bet: Skip the appetizer. Your meal will most certainly contain more calories, fat, and carbs than you’ll need for a week or so.
Smallest Slice of Sin: Baker’s Square Chocolate Caramel Peanut Crunch Pie
A day’s worth of saturated fat in a slice of pie. Yowsers.
A better bet: Apple pie. At least there’s fruit in it.
Worst Hot Dog: Wienershnitzel Pastrami Dog
It’s scary to top a hot dog with pastrami; it’s even scarier to think there is someone in this world that eats it. (Though it has been years since I’ve seen a Wienershnitzel.)
A better bet: Turkey Mustard Dog—only has 240 calories, and no weird red meat hanging off the sides.
Worst Onion Ring: White Castle Home-Style Onion Rings
Rings are supposed to accompany a main meal, but this snack has enough calories and fat to hold its own. Though some major fast food chains have made the move to rid their food of trans fats, the type of fat that really has it in for your heart, White Castle apparently hasn’t—30 grams of the bad stuff.
A better bet: Take a white castle slider and throw it across a room. Those things fly!
Truly, this is the short list of bad items at America’s popular restaurants; the long list would encompass most of their menus. Eating at a Chili’s, Outback, or any big fast food or chain restaurant should come with some sort of warning sign, a prescription for high blood pressure medication, a membership at a gym, or at the very least, prominently displayed nutritional information. Now that would be hard to stomach.