|Don Pablo’s advertising promises a “bodacious and audacious” approach to Tex-Mex, and their combo plates are indeed an over-the-top tour of Texan tastes, and then some. According to its nutritional information, the steak fajita nachos (99g) and taco beef nachos (113g) actually have more grams of fat than The Conquistador, but it's not far behind in fat and has more calories than either of those dishes. |
|The Conquistador |
A pile of beef taquitos, chicken flautas, "Mama’s Skinny Enchilada," and a mini beef burrito topped with crispy beef and soft chicken tacso, and served with a side of queso. That's 1,893 cal and 87g of fat.
Chicken tamale or "Mama’s Skinny Enchilada."
(Photo Credit: Meandtheblueskies.com/Preston and Flickr/Carl Jordan)
|Uno Chicago Grill’s You may be surprised by this one. Turns out you're better off with one of the deep-dish pizzas than one of the restaurant’s apps. The "Snack Hour" Buffalo Wings (990 cal and 84g) and Macaroni and Cheese (1,000 cal and 67g of fat) top the list as far as calories and fat go, but Uno's Snack Hour "Pizza Skins" get the award considering its components and that it's just a starter. |
|Snack Hours Pizza Skins |
Deep dish pizza crust filled with red bliss mashed potatoes, topped with bacon, Cheddar, and sour cream. A single “Snack Hours” serving totals 980 cal and 66g of fat. That kind of snack doesn't leave much room for dinner.
Dishes such as Herb-Rubbed Breast of Chicken and Lemon Basil Salmon are both under 500 calories, but most of the pizzas actually have several hundred calories and at least 20g of fat less than the starters above.
(Photo Credit: Flickr/BerntRostad)
|Hard to believe a dish with broccoli can be this unhealthy, but it can and is at Ruby Tuesday. |
Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
This dish has more calories than anything on the dinner menu. That includes the burgers, even the Smokehouse Triple Prime Burger's 1,402 cal (though to be fair, that dish has a whopping four more grams of fat). It's a safe bet to guess the Chicken
|and Broccoli pasta’s 1,564 calories and 96g of fat hide out in the Parmesan cream sauce. |
For healthier pastas, try the Shrimp Scampi or Petite Spaghetti Squash Marinara — both part of the chain’s “Fit and Trim” choices.
(Photo Credit: Flickr/perry_marco)
|Sorry, Nacho of the Week. If there’s a blanket statement you could make about the health of chain restaurant meals it’s this: steer clear of the nachos. That's certainly true at Houlihan's. |
Chicken Chipotle Nachos
Go ahead, get Houlihan’s nachos. According to their nutritional information they're just worth 2,316 cal and 147g of fat.
|Healthy Alternative |
Don't be greedy, share those nachos! If you are going to pass, Houlihan’s does some small plates. Some of the options sound tasty if not terribly exciting: Grilled Asparagus Salad and the Vietnamese Spring Eggrolls.
(Photo Credit: Flickr/Sister72, Yelp/Katherine C)
|Want some meat with your meat? Sure you do! If you find that Applebee’s heaping platter of Double-Glazed Baby Back Ribs isn’t enough, go with the Riblets and Chicken Tenders Platter. |
Riblets and Chicken Tenders Platter
That means "riblets" topped off with some fried chicken tenders, coleslaw, and fries. Applebee's nutritional information puts the platter at about 1,800 cal and 102g of fat.
|Healthy Alternative |
Applebee’s offers below-550-cal, Weight Watchers-approved options, like the Steak and Potato Salad.
(Photo Credit: Flickr/NNECAPA, cscjanni)
|Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin' Burger isn't the most high-calorie dish — there's the full rack of Baby-Back Ribs with Aussie Fries (1,936 cal), the Bloomin' Onion (1,552 cal), and Aussie Cheese Fries (2,134 cal) to contend with. But it's nothing to scoff at — you're getting more calories with this than you would from a 20 oz "Melbourne" steak (1,009 cal). |
|The Bloomin’ Burger |
This hefty burger is a patty piled high with Outback Steakhouse’s infamous Bloomin’ Onion petals, American cheese, Bloomin’ sauce, and it comes with "Aussie" fries. Just 1,574 cal and almost 100g of fat.
You’d be better off with The Outback Burger with fries, which comes in at 1,164 cal and 70g of fat. Then again, you wouldn't be able to paraphrase Crocodile Dundee: "That's not a burger. That's a burger."
(Photo Credit: Burger Beast)
|You don't need to visit Italy to tour the country's culinary delights — just hit Olive Garden at the local stripmall. According to their nutritional information, the Herb Cheese Soffatelli with Chicken (1,530 cal and 107g of fat) and Pork Milanese (1,510 cal and 87g of fat) are its two dishes with the highest calories and fat. The Tour of Italy comes close with three components and a ridiculous name. |
|Tour of Italy |
At 1,450 calories and 74g of fat, this is one of the most fattening tours of the peninsula you can take in one dish. It includes lasagna, chicken parm, and fettuccine Alfredo.
The Venetian Apricot Chicken may be one of the healthiest items on Olive Garden's menu. Grilled chicken breasts in apricot citrus sauce served with vegetables (380 cal and 4 g of fat) or the Seafood Brodetto — scallops, shrimp, and tilapia in a white wine saffron broth with spinach and mushrooms — which totals 480 cal and 16 g of fat.
(Photo Credit: Flickr/hattiesburg memory, Casey Florig)
|According to its nutritional information this combo plate from Red Lobster is outdone calorie and fat wise only by the Crispy Calamari and Vegetables (1,520 cal and 97g fat). It once again demonstrates that it’s often healthier to just narrow your choice. |
The 1,280-calorie dish is an ocean of shrimp, scallops, clam strips, and flounder — all deep-fried and golden brown (73g of fat).
|Healthy Alternative |
Red Lobster has gone a step beyond some other chains by creating a healthier “Lighthouse Menu” with dishes like their Rock Lobster and Broiled Sole. They also provide extensive information on seafood and health on their website.
(Photo Credit: Flickr –Bitman)
|Chili's takes the calorie and fat count to a higher level than many of the other chains noted here. According to the chain's nutritional information there are several dishes that contain more than 2,000 cal and 100g of fat. The highest calorie dish? The Shiner Bock BBQ Ribs (2,310 cal and 123g of fat). There's even a dessert, the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie that contains 1,250 cal and 64g of fat by itself. |
|Southern Smokehouse Burger |
Eat this burger and you’ll have more than a day’s worth of calories. It’s topped with bacon, Cheddar, mayonnaise, onion strings, and Anchochile BBQ sauce. It weighs in at 2,290 cal and 139g of fat.
Try the restaurant’s namesake chili. A bowl of Terilingua slow-cooked chili with beef, onions, chilies, and cheese is only 360 cal.
(Photo Credit: Flickr/enviziondotnet)
|Friendly's motto is "Where Ice Cream Makes the Meal," but before you even get to the ice cream there's a starter that contains more fat and calories than almost anything else on the menu. That is except for one entrée, the Kickin' Buffalo Chicken Strips (1,640 cal and 115g of fat). |
Loaded Waffle Fries
According to the chain's nutritional information, these cheese, sour cream
|and bacon-loaded fries settle in at 1,650 cal and more than 112g of fat. |
At one point Friendly’s offered an under 550-calorie menu, but kept it around for only the months of January and February. Maybe they predicted that with enough time after New Year’s Eve, customers would forget their resolutions? Try the Asian Chicken Salad or Apple Walnut Chicken Salad with dressing on the side.
(Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino)