This Center for Science in the Public Interest document fingering some especially unhealthy options on popular restaurant chains has been making the rounds a bit. It’s a pretty funny read, and the offerings are universally almost so hilarious as to defy any effort to mock them.
What’s the easiest way to create a brand new dish with whatever’s on hand in the kitchen? Blend twopopular dishes into one. Take Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger.
Heaven knows, it’s tough to put a new spin on burgers. And quesadillas—two large tortillas stuffed with cheese—have made it big on appetizer menus. Mix them together and you’ve got the Quesadilla Burger—a beef patty plus cheddar cheese, pepper-Jack cheese, bacon, Mexi-ranch sauce, pico de gallo, and shredded lettuce tucked into two white-flour tortillas. With fries (440 calories), your platter comes to 1,820 calories and 46 grams of saturated fat. (“Add chili & cheese to your fries for $1.49,” says the menu. Let’s not even go there.)
I’m actually pretty surprised that the Quesadilla Burger with fries only comes to 1,820 calories (just over half a pound’s worth!). Anyway, if you’re not the kind of person who feels like running 10 miles to mitigate the dread Quesadilla Burger, WebMD has a few helpful tips:
- Check online for nutritional information before dining out. If your restaurant doesn’t disclose information, look for similar dishes at other restaurants that do provide that data.
- Downsize the portion. Order a lunch portion or half-portion. Split a dish with a friend. Or take half home to eat later.
- Try customizing. Ask if a food can be baked or grilled instead of fried. Substitute a vegetable for a side dish that may be high in calories and fat, such as a biscuit or mashed potatoes. If a food is laden with fatty additions, such as bacon, mayonnaise, and cheese, ask for it to be prepared without at least one of those high-fat foods.
All of these things would be pretty useful if for some reason you weren’t aware that a bacon cheeseburger inside of a quesadilla wasn’t such a healthy choice, but these would be pretty clearly obviated if Congress were to pass Reps. Harkin and DeLauro’s bill calling for fast-food and chain restaurants to provide calorie information on menus. It’s really a pretty common sense measure.