The Cheesecake Factory’s Crispy Chicken Costoletta sounds like a reasonable dinner option: a lightly breaded and sauteed chicken breast served with mashed potatoes (no french fries) and asparagus. But according to the Center For Science in The Public Interest, this innocuous-sounding dish is anything but:
“The meal packs 2,610 calories (more than a day’s worth), 89 grams of saturated fat (enough for almost a full work week), and 2,720 milligrams of sodium (your limit for today and most of tomorrow). In fact, the dish has more calories than any steak, chop, or burger meal on The Cheesecake Factory’s menu.
How do they do it? It’s partly the lemon (read: butter) sauce, the chicken’s oil-soaked breading, and the butter and cream in the three-quarter-pound serving of mashed potatoes. And it’s partly the sheer quantity of chicken (each of the three pieces could serve as an entrée at most other restaurants).
Think of the Crispy Chicken Costoletta as an entire KFC 12-piece Original Recipe bucket (2,550 calories), except that the KFC has less than half the sat fat.”
Dr. Atul Gawande, one of the most respected and artful writers on health policy around, recently wrote a widely-cited article in The New Yorker suggesting that the U.S. health care system might be wise to model itself, in some aspects, after The Cheesecake Factory chain of restaurants.
Gawande might want to reconsider his proposition in light of the Crispy Chicken Costoletta.
But the Costoletta is only one over-the-top dish cited by CSPI as part of its Xtreme Eating Awards 2013. The top offenders include “a milkshake with a slice of apple pie blended right in. A 3,000-calorie plate of pasta. A breakfast that includes deep-fried steak and pancakes (and hash browns and eggs and gravy and syrup,” according to a news release. (Read the full list here.) Continue reading