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December 18, 2008

The worst food in America



This is such a good Funtastic Thursday from Owl Meat that I'm going to let him get away with shilling his blog not once but twice in one entry AND publish another weird photo that looks like he created it while on crack cocaine. Not to mention that my heart stopped when he linked to Porn Flakes. EL

It's been a busy week.  While I have been collecting unusual and sometimes frightening food poetry over at the Owl Meat Apocrypha, I have been slacking on my funstasmic duties.  Not too worry, I found a list that purports to name the very worst foods in America.  None of them has murderous intentions or inspires sleeplessness, so how bad could they be?  Killjoy rag Men's Health has come out with their list of "The 20 Worst Foods in America."  Oh really? ...

20. Worst Fast-Food Chicken Meal - Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald's (5 pieces) with creamy ranch sauce

That's not as bad as Popeye's Beaks n' Gizzards Supreme with Lard Poppers and White Gravy.  

19. Worst Drink - Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie (30 fl oz)

Not even close.  The vodka and Ranch dressing shooters at the Dew Drop Inn are much worse.

18. Worst Supermarket Meal - Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie (whole pie)

No, the worst supermarket meal is always from the salad bar.  You know which one.  He or she puts a thin later of lettuce at the bottom and then ladles on flagons of creamy dressing, piles of hard-boiled eggs and bacon bacon bacon.  

17. Worst "Healthy" Burger - Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger

Healthy burger?  Get real.

16. Worst Mexican Entree - Chipotle Mexican Grilled Chicken Burrito

The worst Mexican entree that I've had was the Burrito Surprise at El Gato Loco in Oaxaca.  ¡Sorpresa!  It's a burrito, an actual little donkey.  ¡Sabroso!

15. Worst Kids' Meal - Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni 'n' Cheese

They suggest the plain grilled chicken and steamed broccoli instead.  And cue screaming child.  I still say that Porn Flakes are worse, in a moral sense.

14. Worst Sandwich - Quizno's Classic Italian (large)

When your food is measured by the foot, you pretty much know what you're getting.  Compared to a footlong Monte Cristo?  I think not.

13. Worst Salad - On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef (Taco Bell)

Still better than their Spicy Goat Nugget Salad (discontinued).

12. Worst Burger - Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger

Not even close.  I worked briefly as a cook some time ago and some drunk jerk complained that the burger was too expensive.  Since I was quitting anyway, I did the only logical thing -- I made the biggest burger possible.  My guess is that that bad boy weighed in at about two pounds and had eight pieces of American cheese and twelve pieces of bacon.  And that was the first time I killed a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

11. Worst Steak - Lonestar 20 oz T-bone

The worst steak is no steak or overcooked steak.  They say that you should never eat a T-bone steak no matter what size.  I say make mine rare.

10. Worst Breakfast - Bob Evans Caramel Banana Pecan Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes

Or the best breakfast ever.  Can you melt some butter on that?  Thanks.

9. Worst Dessert - Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Compared to a cheese cake milkshake with Bailey's?  No chance.  Don't laugh, a bartender made that once.  Ice cream, a slice of cheese cake and lots of Bailey's in a blender.  It was exactly as good as you would expect.  

8. Worst Chinese Entree - P.F. Chang's Pork Lo Mein

Not as bad as Golden Palace's Angry Crow Lo Mein that also haunts your dreams.

7. Worst Chicken Entree - Chili's Honey Chipotle Crispers with Chipotle Sauce

Not nearly as bad as Hillbilly Pete's Weasels in Grease (well it tastes like chicken).

6. Worst Fish Entree - On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos with Rice and Beans

I'm starting to think that they have something against Taco Bell.

5. Worst Pizza - Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza

Yeah, if you eat the whole thing.

4. Worst Pasta - Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Meat Sauce

Now that's just straight-up pasta hating.  I think the Alfredo Council™ must have paid them off.

3. Worst Nachos - On the Border Stacked Border Nachos

Come on, does anybody expect healthy nachos?  The worst nachos are the ones where all the cheese comes off in one lump.  Worse than that?  When your friend gets that keystone tortilla chip.

2. Worst Starter - Chili's Awesome Blossom

You are in the United States, chowderheads.  You shouldn't borrow food words or ideas from the English, anymore than you should take romance tips from, well, the English.  They are appetizers!  Besides, it has the word "awesome" right in the name.  They couldn't lie.

1. The Worst Food in America - Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing

2,900 calories, 182 g fat, 240 g carbs

What, no bacon?  They aren't even trying.
Good job, Men's Health.  You are one step closer to convincing every man in America to wax his chest, draw in "six-pack" lines on his abdomen with an eyebrow pencil, and develop an eating disorder.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:09 AM | | Comments (30)


Well, since about half of the worst foods are Mexican, I'm safe and healthy.

the Aussie cheese fries are of course topped with delicious bacon!

Bravo Owl- you have outdone yourself!!
Men's Health should give it up. I suppose that the editors all eat nothing but tofuburgers and sprouts, but guess what, they are all going to die someday anyway.
If God didn't want us to eat meat, he wouldn't have made cows.

(on a bacon kick today apparently)

I think the Outback Cheese Fries do have bacon on them, but I wouldn't know because I have a complex about eating them thanks to every health article I've ever read pointing out those 182 delicious grams of fat.

Crack? Oh, you are becoming more despotic all the time Dear Leader. Readers may compare my non-crack-inspired evocative transformation with the original photo here.

What do you care CantonKate? You look awesome today. Have you been working out?

Cosmo Girl, the editors? I'm sure their diets consist of Red Bull, cigarettes and whatever they serve on the buffet at strip clubs.

Don't you love how "Aussie" can be added to anything since it has no meaning at all in the culinary world? I think I'll get me some of them Aussie penguin burgers.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely
in an attractive and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in one hand,
martini in the other,
body thoroughly used up,
totally worn out and screaming
"WOO HOO what a ride!"

Again props to Rosebud!

Great job, as usual, Owlie.

My own personal philosophy: Don't decide where to eat by reading health magazines and don't do ab crunches in a fast food restaurant.

Actually, Cosmo, Men's Health doesn't even like tofu burgers.

what about Paula Dean's Lady's Brunch burger? you know, the one that has two donuts in place of a bun along with bacon and a fried egg to boot. Does that count?

Bucky, I avoid ab crunches no matter what kind of building I'm in. Or not in.

Cosmo Girl,
Or Charcoal

Cosmo Girl,
Or Charcoal

Kind of hacky today Owl because if lists are a lame device, then making fun of a list is doubly lame, plus I prefer the original photo to your artsy crapola version because it's racist because the guy is Asian and it's fattist and those are clearly not Wendy's burgers, as everyone knows Wendy's are square, so it's time to up your game Mr. Meat.

When you start to make fun of yourself it gets really confusing. EL

Hmmm, my links aren't working, so... try these two:

You have got to love Owlie in all his manifestations.

When you start to make fun of yourself it gets really confusing. EL

For you? You should see what it's like inside my head.

We should email this list to NY Governor David Paterson. Why should he stop at Mountain Dew when there are Awesome Blossoms to tax? He may not even know such a lucrative revenue source exists.

Geez ... I feel so excluded -- I'm getting depressed. I haven't tasted any of those. How can I claim to have a decent palate without sufficient contrast?

Thanks, OMG ... a challenge awaits.

Has Owl coined a new word?

Seriously though, Owl's post brought plenty a chuckle, thanks!

Weasels in Grease?
Goat Nugget Salad?


I've heard fattist before, although weightist is more common.

You don't want to hear where. Northampton, MA in the late 80's was the place that gave PC a bad name.

Worst food ever...Soylent Green!

Why, thank you for noticing, Owl. I think it's all the extra trips from my desk to the kitchen for Christmas goodies.

"3. Worst Nachos - On the Border Stacked Border Nachos"

No, the worst nachos I ever had was a few years ago at TGI Fridays: about a dozen perfectly formed "tortilla" chips, each topped with a perfectly formed thin layer of cheese (?), sitting separately on a plate with a little cup of bland tomatoish dipping sauce. No chili, no beans, no jalapeños, no nothing.

Ab crunches? I think the thing to do is eat Dunkin Munchkins while watching other's do ab crunches on tv. Nachos or any other snack food works just as well. Remember, transfats and lots of carbs!

a dozen perfectly formed "tortilla" chips, each topped with a perfectly formed thin layer of cheese (?), sitting separately on a plate

That's a hate crime

"That's a hate crime"

I know. They had to tell me that was my nachos 'cause I thought it was something else. Actually, it was something else.

I mean, isn't just PF Chang's horrible by default?

I think Dat Phan has an idea on what's going on with PF Chang's.

But damn, all that elitist negativity.

Screw hand drawn abs too. I think we have 300 to thank for that.

Skip PF Chang's and head directly to Golden Palace for the haunted crow appetizer. Does anyone else think that there food might be haunting them? Just me? Okay.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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