The Cheesecake Factory Racked Up Awards For 2017’s Unhealthiest Foods


Listen, let’s have a talk. You know that The Cheesecake Factory like cookies, is a “sometimes food,” right? Like maybe twice a year, tops. Three times if it’s someone’s birthday or you’re in a really strange new town and want to feel like you’re at home. That’s fine, but you know it’s bad for you, right? It’s really bad. And you never roll in thinking you’re going to ruin your entire metabolism, but suddenly the salad you were going to eat turns into a deep-fried appetizer, alcoholic milkshake, an entree the size of a small principality in Europe, and a dessert, which will have Wilford Brimley cantering over to talk to you about diabeetus.

So, listen: It’s really good. It’s my favorite restaurant. But it’s not healthy. And the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Xtreme Eating Awards, which “honor” dishes at chain restaurants that will make you fatter (at best) and send you to the ER (at worst) has named two of The Cheesecake Factory’s offerings as top culprits in taking your heart, if not your money (prices are very reasonable, TBH).

What should you absolutely avoid if you do decide to stop by The Factory after a long day of shopping at your favorite galleria? In the entree category, we’ve got the Pasta Napoletana, which sounds classy and refined but is really a meat-lovers pizza masquerading as a pasta because why not take something that’s already perfectly good and turn it into something embarrassing to eat on a date?

From Xtreme Eating:

“How can we turn a meat lover’s pizza into a pasta?” asked Donald Moore, Chief Culinary Officer at The Cheesecake Factory, in a Facebook Live video in March.

That head-scratching challenge inspired the chain’s new Pasta Napoletana, which piles Italian sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, and bacon on pasta that’s been greased with butter and cream.

As it turns out, it is like eating a Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s Personal Pan Pizza…as long as you top the pizza with three cups of pasta and a cup of heavy cream.

The pasta’s only got one day’s worth of calories packed inside (2,310), but it’s loaded with enough saturated fat to last you four days (79 grams) and enough sodium to last you for two (4,370 mg).

Sadly, even the beverages are a minefield. The Flying Gorilla, a delicious alcoholic milkshake that I have had two of on several occasions, roars in at 950 calories. And that’s not the only problem, the shake has so much saturated fat and sugar that you’ll have to watch your intake for the next several days. Huge Bummer.

The Cheesecake Factory is not alone in the bulging wasteland that high-calorie meals wrought. It’s joined on the list by IHOP, which packs nearly 2,000 calories into its cheeseburger omelette breakfast (yes, that’s enough for an entire day; more than enough for some people), and other major players including Buffalo Wild Wings (stay away from the cheese curds!) and Dave & Buster’s, which I’ve eaten at only once, where I quickly decided that maybe I never needed to eat a salad called “The Lawnmower” again. Especially when the dish it was served in spanned, the entire length of a table I was sharing with three others. That menu item didn’t make the list, but if you’re real hungry after a few hours of (fairly expensive) gaming, you should absolutely avoid the Carnivore Pizadilla, which is the unholy union of a pizza and a quesadilla and features four days worth of fat. If you were a bear getting ready for hibernation, this might be a good option. But you are not, so you should just stay away.

Congrats (we guess) to all the winners!