The nutrition watchdogs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 Xtreme Eating Awards Wednesday morning. A Red Robin meal consisting of a “Monster” double burger, “bottomless” fries, and a “Monster” milkshake earned the top prize.
Meals and combos that are especially high in calories, fat, sugar and salt received the highest rankings from the center. After reviewing over 200 chain restaurant menus, the group dubbed Red Robin’s “Monster” meal the “single unhealthiest” meal.
Beware, American customers: indulging in the “Monster” meal will set one back about 3,540 calories.
“In the past, our winners have usually had about 1,500 calories,” said the center’s Paige Einstein, a registered dietitian.
“Most of these dishes have at least 2,000,” Einstein remarked about this year’s diet offenders.
Indeed, Red Robin wasn’t the only restaurant chain to earn a rebuke from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The Cheesecake Factory received the most awards of all restaurant chains. Its Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic (2,410 calories), Bruléed French Toast (2,780 calories) and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake (1,500 calories) all appeared on the “Xtreme” list.
Executives at Red Robin also defended its menu in the wake of the “Xtreme” rankings. Denny Marie Post, Red Robin’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, complained that the burger combo criticized by the Center “combines some of our most indulgent items into one meal.” Post also highlighted some of the chain’s healthier menu items, including a lettuce-wrapped turkey burger.
As ordered by the federal government, calorie counts will soon appear on menus at 250,000 chain restaurant locations nationwide. Perhaps seeing those numbers will dissuade customers from ordering meals like the “Monster” combo.