Coincidentally, Cheesecake Factory is celebrating National
Cheesecake Day (July 30), with two days of half-price cheesecake on
July 30 and 31. It also just released a Celebration Cheesecake.
"With more than 250 menu items, The Cheesecake Factory has
always been about choices. Many of our guests come in and want to
celebrate and not be concerned with calories," Alethea Rowe, senior
director of PR at The Cheesecake Factory, said in a statement,
adding that patrons sharing dishes is a "great sign that our
portions are generous." Cheesecake also has its SkinnyLicious
lineup of dishes that are 590 calories or less.
But shareholders haven't been celebrating. The chain's streak of
29 consecutive quarters of comparable sales growth is set to end
when second quarter results are released Aug. 2. Cheesecake Factory
warned in June that its comparable sales were likely to be down
about 1% in the quarter.
Texas Roadhouse's 770-calorie sweet potato side was given the
"most damage from a supporting vegetable award" by CSPI, which said
it normally aporoves of sweet potatoes, but not when they're
sweetened further with mini marshmallows and caramel sauce.
Buffalo Wild Wings' Cheese Curd Bacon Burger and a side of fries
landed CSPI's Worst Cheese in a Leading Role award. It said the
meal has 1,950 calories, 53 grams of saturated fat and 4,700
milligrams of sodium. And IHOP's Cheeseburger Omelette made the
list -- CSPI said the dish, along with three buttermilk pancakes,
butter, and syrup, contains 1,990 calories, 45 grams of saturated
fat, 4,580 mg of sodium and an estimated 44 grams of added
"These meals are extreme, but even the typical dishes served at
restaurants are a threat to Americans' health because they increase
the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more," CSPI
Senior Nutritionist Lindsay Moyer said in a statement.
General nutrition guidelines advocate for people who consume
2,000 calories per day to take in at most 2,300 milligrams of
sodium, 20 grams of saturated fat and 50 grams of added sugar.
IHOP, which shares nutritional information on its website, said
that while it applauds CSPI's "efforts to educate Americans on
making healthier food choices, it's misleading to single out the
highest meal combinations without informing people of the wide
range of choices offered at IHOP restaurants, including the ability
to customize any item to meet a variety of dietary needs."
A number of restaurants have started to include calorie counts
on menus, which was set to be a requirement for chain restaurants
this year until the FDA delayed its rollout.
CSPI also named Domino's to this year's naughty list, saying
chains and others have been pushing the government to delay and
modify how calorie counts will have to be displayed.
Other items in the Xtreme Eating awards include:
Dave & Buster's Carnivore Pizzadilla, described on its menu
as a shareable "super-cheesy 12" quesadilla served pizza-style in
eight slices, stuffed with Manchego and cheddar cheeses, pepperoni,
and Italian sausage, then topped with even more pepperoni and
Italian sausage, plus bacon, marinara, and mozzarella and Parmesan
cheeses. 1971 cals." (Yes, Dave & Buster's includes calorie
Uno Pizzeria & Grill: It's Ridiculously Awesome, Insanely
Large Chocolate Cake took CSPI honors.
Chili's Ultimate Smokehouse Combo: Patrons choose three meats
from smoked BBQ chicken breast, jalapeño-cheddar smoked
sausage, chicken crispers or a half rack of baby back ribs, served
with "new roasted street corn, homestyle fries, chile-garlic toast
and garlic dill pickles."