Check out the “winners” of this year’s Xtreme Eating Awards

Each of these restaurant items manages to cram in close to a day’s calories, often accompanied by at least a day’s saturated fat, sodium, or added sugar.

That’s not easy. After all, a typical restaurant entrée has “only” about 1,000 calories. That’s one reason why “only” two out of three adults and one out of three children or teens are overweight or obese.

But these dishes go the extra mile…or two. Hold on to your arteries!

The award for Worst Special Effects goes to Yard House’s Vampire Taco Combo

At Yard House, a Vampire Taco Combo comes with two 440-calorie tacos—each stuffed with pork, “bacon chorizo,” cream sauce, and guacamole—plus 610 calories’ worth of spicy rice and pinto beans. A coating of grilled-to-a-crisp cheese gives the tortillas their ooh-so-spooky, bat-wing-like look.

And some people can’t leave Yard House without its signature 32 oz. Half Yard of IPA. Now we’re measuring alcohol by the yard? And drinking beer by the quart?

Grand total: 2,040 calories. Now that’s scary.

IT’S LIKE EATING: Nine Taco Bell beef tacos plus three cans of Budweiser. 


The award for Worst Revival goes to Shake Shack’s Double SmokeShack, Fries, and Peanut Butter Shake

“This modern day ‘roadside’ burger stand serves up the most delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more,” says Shake Shack’s website. “Fresh, simple, high-quality versions of the classics….”

Just gaze at the quality of our sample order:

Double SmokeShack: “Double cheeseburger topped with all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper, ShackSauce.”

Fries: “Crispy, crunchy, salty potato-y goodness!”

Peanut Butter Shake: “Make it malted, why don’t you?”

What a meal! You get 930 high-quality calories in the burger, plus 420 in the fries. And you get to wash it all down with another 890 from the shake. (Why add a shake? Well, it’s not called the Shakeless Shack.)

And many of those calories come from red meat, a white-flour bun, white potatoes, and the simple, high-quality sugar in the shake. How quaint.

IT’S LIKE EATING: Three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese plus three
McDonald’s Vanilla Cones.


The award for Least Creative Mashup goes to Chili’s Honey-Chipotle Crispers & Waffles

Oh to be a fly on the wall when Chili’s execs dreamed up the latest addition to the chain’s Crispers menu.

“We need a new shtick to sell our battered fried chicken. I’m thinking add some white flour to stay on budget.”

“Buns?” “Pasta?” “Pancakes?” “Tacos?” “Quesadillas?”

And voilà! Honey-Chipotle Crispers & Waffles (“Crispers on top of Belgian waffles. Topped with bacon, jalapeños, ancho-chile ranch. Served with fries & honey-chipotle sauce”).

Overheard on the way out: “Next year, Crisper Cupcakes.”

IT’S LIKE EATING: Five Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts smothered in 30 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and five packets of barbecue sauce.


Want to see all the winners?

Click here to see which other chains took home a 2018 Xtreme Eating Award.

Photos: Jen Urban/CSPI

The information in this post first appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter

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