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Chain restaurant belly busters

While a Five Guys cheeseburger with bacon is

While a Five Guys cheeseburger with bacon is delicious, your waistline will pay the price.
(May 26, 2010) Credit: Rebecca Cooney

Sink your teeth into a bacon cheeseburger at Five Guys Burgers & Fries and you’ve got yourself an award-winning dish — just not the kind of award to boast about. At a whopping 920 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat, that belt-busting burger just received a “2010 Xtreme Eating Award” from the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, the group that coined the phrase “heart attack on a plate.” Six other chains with dishes as bad or worse also made the roster of honorees.

Here’s the beef for chains on Long Island with multiple locations:

* High on CSPI’s baddie list was California Pizza Kitchen’s tostada pizza with grilled steak, which  rings up 1,680 calories and 32 grams of saturated fat. Its pesto cream penne has 1,350 calories and 49 grams of saturated fat.

* Then there’s Outback Steakhouse’s New Zealand rack of lamb, which weighs in at 1,300 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat.

* P.F. Chang’s China Bistro’s double pan-fried noodles combo earns a place on the list with its 7,690 milligrams of sodium.

*Cheesecake Factory may be the baddest of the bad, according to CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley, who cites pasta carbonara with chicken (2,500 calories and 85 grams saturated fat) and chocolate tower truffle cake, 6 inches high and three-quarts of a pound, weighing in at 1,670 calories and 48 grams of fat. “There’s no place on a menu for a twenty-five hundred calorie entree,” she said.

Mark Mears, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for The Cheesecake Factory, says that there are plenty of alternatives, including a “weight management” roster, on its menus.

* Not on Long Island but also on the CSPI’s list is the Bob Evans chain, which dishes out cinnamon cream stacked and stuffed pancakes that will add 1,380 calories and 27 grams of saturated fat to the day.

* Also, there’s Chevy’s Fresh Mex (with branches in Manhattan and New Jersey), serving a crab and shrimp quesadilla that brings 1,790 calories, 63 grams of saturated fat and 3,440 milligrams of sodium to the party.

Not everything served at the aforementioned chains will clog your arteries and widen your hips. “Of course, we picked the worst things,” Hurley said, “That’s what this [awards list] was about.”

The cheeseburger with bacon at Five Guys.

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