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Red Robin gourmet burger tops list of unhealthiest meals

Dining and DrinkingLifestyle and LeisureRestaurant and Catering IndustryRestaurantsCheesecake FactoryKraft Foods Group Inc.
Red Robin gourmet burger is named the nation's highest-calorie meal
Health groups name restaurant meals with the biggest calorie counts

What happens when you marry French toast with crème brulee and a side of bacon or ham?

You get named to this year’s Xtreme Eating Awards, an annual public shaming of the restaurant industry’s biggest caloric offenders.

Held by the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, this year’s artery-clogging competition was headlined by the Cheesecake Factory’s Bruleed French Toast.

The buttery brunch item packs a whopping 2,780 calories, 93 grams of saturated fat, 2,230 milligrams of sodium and 24 teaspoons of sugar. 

“Don’t just blame the 200-calorie side of bacon or ham. It’s that largely invisible custard-like filling in the bread, plus the quarter cup of butter-infused syrup. To neutralize the calories in your brunch, you’d have to swim laps for seven hours,” the nonprofit health and consumer advocacy group said.

Downing the dish is equivalent to eating 14 slices of Aunt Jemima frozen Homestyle French Toast stuffed with 2½ tubs of Kraft Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese Spread, the center said.

Cheesecake Factory said its restaurants offer a range of options, from low- to high-calorie dishes.

"Many of our guests come in and want to celebrate and not be concerned with calories," Alethea Rowe, a spokesperson for the chain, said in an emailed statement. "Others want to share their dish – and we love it when guests share – that’s a great sign that our portions are generous – and a large percentage of our guests take home leftovers for lunch the next day."

Another award recipient was Red Robin’s burgers, which come with an all-you-can-eat side of French fries and an option for an extra beef patty. Say you want to wash that down with a Monster Salted Caramel Milkshake -- you’d have almost double your recommended daily caloric intake at 3,540.

“It’s like eating seven McDonald’s Double Cheeseburgers washed down with a quart of Coke,” the center said.

The Xtreme Eating Awards have been held since 2007 and have put pressure on some of the nation’s biggest restaurant chains to tone down their menus. Long John Silver’s dumped hydrogenated trans fat oil not long after its Big Catch platter took the dubious honor of worst restaurant meal in America by the center.

Follow @dhpierson for more food and agriculture news.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Dining and DrinkingLifestyle and LeisureRestaurant and Catering IndustryRestaurantsCheesecake FactoryKraft Foods Group Inc.
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