The Most Unhealthy Dishes At 12 National Steakhouse Chains

We can all agree that going out to a nice steakhouse should be an enjoyable experience. Adulting is hard, after all, and enjoying a great meal on a Friday night that doesn't require prep work, cooking, or doing dishes afterward is exactly the sort of thing that makes the end of the week pass just a little bit easier. Unfortunately, it's easy for that steak dinner to end poorly thanks to some uber-unhealthy meal choices.

You know the feeling, the one of walking out of a restaurant, knowing that you ate way too much food, that you're so thirsty that no amount of water can help alleviate that thirst ... and in fact, it's just going to make you feel worse. That's no way to end a delicious meal you've been looking forward to, and it's entirely possible that you feel so bad because you made some poor decisions.

And it's easy to do, especially at a steakhouse. We did a deep dive into the nutritional information listed by 12 national steakhouse chains to see what the unhealthiest options on their menus are. We looked at not only calories but other factors like fat and sodium. What we found was pretty shocking, especially considering some of these options might seem like the better choices. Let's talk about what you should avoid to make more health-conscious choices at your next steakhouse dinner.

Signature Cheeseburger, The Capital Grille

When we took a look at customers' favorite places for great surf & turf, The Capital Grille was an almost overwhelming favorite. That's a great reason to opt for this decadent delight, but let's say the idea of lobster tails soaked in butter is enough to give you pause. Looking for something a little less ... well, buttery? If you think the Signature Cheeseburger might sound like a better option, it absolutely isn't, instead, it is one of the worst things on their menu. 

The calorie count isn't great, but at 940, it's not insanely outrageous for a cheeseburger. However, it also contains 58 grams of fat, and 30 of those are saturated fat. While nutritional guidelines vary based on things like health, age, and activity level, the general wisdom issued from organizations like the American Heart Association says that you should aim for no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day, and 67 grams of total fat.

As if that isn't bad enough, this burger also comes with a whopping 1,750 milligrams of salt, which is well over the ideal limit of 1,500 mg. There's something sneaky at work here, too. While you might expect high fat and calories in a burger, it also contains 20 grams of sugar — more than half of the recommended daily sugar intake.

Fall-off-the-bone rack of ribs, Logan's Roadhouse

First thing to address: Who's ordering just a plate of ribs and nothing else? Ribs are best enjoyed with sides — whether that is cornbread or coleslaw — and even if you're getting a full rack, it is unlikely that will be all you're eating. As you might expect, Logan's Roadhouse ribs are bad enough on their own, and that's without taking any sides into consideration. 

That full rack of ribs comes with 1,800 calories and 99 grams of fat, with 35 grams of saturated fat. Now, let's talk sodium, as it includes a mind-numbing 7,040 mg. As a reminder, the American Heart Association says that you should ideally be aiming for no more than 1,500 milligrams per day, and warns against, what they say, is a dangerous average of 3,500 milligrams per day. Not bad enough, you say? Let's move on to sugar, because we all know those delicious barbeque sauces are full of it. Logan's is no different, and that rack of ribs also comes with 103 grams of sugar. That's more than three times the recommended daily intake. 

There's an honorable (or perhaps that should be dishonorable) mention here as well. As tempting as it might be to pick up a six-pack of cinnamon rolls for breakfast from Logan's, keep in mind that it contains almost 5,000 calories and 370 grams of sugar. Maybe give them a miss and try this easy cinnamon roll recipe instead — they aren't nearly as guilty, but they are just as good.

Tomahawk ribeye, Morton's

Morton's only posts a limited amount of nutritional information publicly, but based on the calorie count alone, there are plenty of pretty good options. A Wagu filet for 770 calories ... where do we sign up? That's not to say that all their cuts of steak are a great idea, however, because their tomahawk ribeye comes with a pretty shocking 2,370 calories. 

That's more than the typical daily recommendation for calorie intake, and that's just the steak itself. There are other ways to make really bad choices at Morton's, too. Thinking of adding bearnaise sauce to your order? That's also going to add an extra 520 calories.

What about sides? Let's take the lobster mac & cheese because if you're going out to a nice steakhouse, you're going to want a classy side, right? This side alone comes with calories that would be much more respectable if they belonged to the full meal: 1,360. In other words, Morton's is a great place to do dinner right, but it can also go very, very wrong if you're trying to be mindful of calorie intake. 

Cactus Blossom, Texas Roadhouse

Sure, the Cactus Blossom is an appetizer that's supposed to be shared between a table full of people, but let's be honest here: We've all had those weeks that are only going to be made a little less awful by going to Texas Roadhouse, ordering a Cactus Blossom and a beer, and then not sharing either one. That's a really bad idea, however, and it only starts with the fact that it has more calories than most people should be eating in a day, with 2,250. Add in the 135 grams of fat (with 26 grams of saturated fat) and 5,000 milligrams of salt, and the nutritional information for this one reads like a cardiologist's worst nightmare.

As if all that isn't bad enough, there's also a sneaky amount of sugar in here, too: 36 grams, which is about what most people should be getting in their entire day. 

Texas Roadhouse gets an honorable mention here, too, and that's for the 12-ounce Ft. Worth Ribeye & Ribs. With 1,510 calories, 111 grams of fat (46 grams of saturated fat), and a whopping 2,040 milligrams of salt. Now, imagine even splitting that Cactus Blossom across a table of four people, and then finishing this off as a main? It's no wonder you might walk out feeling much worse than when you walked in.

Ribs, Sizzler

There's a reason that ribs are so popular, and that's because they're absolutely delicious. However, if you love Sizzler's ribs, boy do we have some shockingly bad news for you.

First, let's put things in perspective. Ideally, the American Heart Association says that you should try to keep your daily salt intake down to around 1,500 milligrams a day, but 2,300 milligrams is still pretty acceptable as a one-off. For a visual, 2,300 milligrams of salt is about the equivalent of a teaspoon... now, keep that in mind. 

Sizzler's six-bone BBQ ribs dish has a mind-boggling 20,500 milligrams of sodium, and we're not even sure how that's possible. It gets worse: Opt for the three-bone ribs with a 7-ounce piece of BBQ chicken, and that jumps up to 29,820 milligrams of sodium. That's around 12 teaspoons of salt. This is one case where you're better off opting for a homemade version that's much lower in salt — like our Korean BBQ sauce that'll up your homemade ribs so much that you won't miss Sizzler's.

Bloomin' Onion, Outback Steakhouse

Look, we all know how this one's going to play out, but here's the thing: It's much worse than you might expect. Much like Texas Roadhouse's Cactus Blossom, Outback Steakhouse's Bloomin' Onion is so unhealthy that it should probably be on your no-go list ... at least, without about six or seven friends to share it with. Of the 1,620 calories in this fried behemoth, 1,130 of them come from fat. There's also 126 grams of fat in the entire thing — with 44 grams of saturated fat — and twice the daily recommended intake of sodium. 

Just thinking about that is enough to make your arteries clog, and it gets worse. Outback famously offers alternatives to the Bloomin' Onion, including the Loaded Bloomin' Onion, and the 3-Point Bloomin' Onion. It's like someone saw the nutritional information on the original and thought, "We can top that. Hold my beer."

The first comes with cheese-and-bacon fries as well as two sauces, and it has 2,960 calories and 221 grams of fat. The latter, meanwhile, comes topped with chunks of sirloin steak as well as cheese fries, and it's a shocking 3,080 calories. It's easy to see why that monstrosity was a limited-time offer, as consuming that much on a regular basis certainly isn't advisable. 

Tomahawk, Fogo de Chão

It makes sense that when you go out to eat at a nice restaurant, you want to be hungry when you walk in the door. But should you be so hungry that a 32-ounce Tomahawk Steak at Fogo de Chão sounds like a great idea? Maybe not.

That steak comes with a gut-busting 1,620 calories, 108 grams of fat (with 41 grams of saturated fat), and a not-so-great 702 milligrams of sodium. While that's not as bad as some of the options on our list, it's still not great — especially considering that one of the great things about this restaurant is how easy it is to mix and match your meal to sample things that you might not get all the time. Why waste that on one massive cut of meat?

It's also worth mentioning dessert options here, too. Looking for something that's not going to leave you wondering what the heck you were thinking? Skip the chocolate cakes: The Chocolate Brigadero Cake has 1,270 calories, and the Chocolate Molten Cake is a hefty 970 per slice. Think the New York Cheesecake is going to be lighter? With strawberries, that's 990 calories per slice.

Cowboy Ribeye, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

There are some pretty great ways to eat healthy at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, from appetizers like the 130-calorie Seared Ahi Tuna to the 340-calorie Petite Filet, or the 380-calorie Salmon Fillet. There are ways to go wrong here, too, and some of them are pretty unexpected. The Brussels sprouts veg dish, for example, clocks in with more calories than the tuna and salmon combined. It does, however, come with bacon and honey butter, which is one of the many recipes that will turn Brussels sprouts into something everyone loves.

Still, the worst menu items by far are the ribeye steaks. The 22-ounce. Cowboy Ribeye comes with a helping of 1,690 calories, and that's made worse when you factor in the inevitable sides and veg. Can you do worse? Unfortunately, yes, and if you go armed with an appetite you can take on the 40-ounce Porterhouse for 2,260 calories, or the equally hefty Tomahawk Ribeye for a whopping 3,160 calories. While it makes sense that a piece of steak that big is going to come with some serious calories, it's easy to overlook just how many there really are.

Longhorn Porterhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse

Going out to your favorite steakhouse is an event, and what's better than splurging on something like a porterhouse? A porterhouse steak is the best of both worlds, a filet mignon and a strip steak, served together on one bone for a juicy, delectable, delicious dining experience. If you happen to go to Longhorn Steakhouse and order their version, it's also one of the unhealthiest dishes on the menu. 

How can a simple steak go so wrong? For starters, that strip steak is a very fatty cut of meat, which is probably why it tastes so good as well. You're looking at around 67 grams of fat (with 27 grams saturated), and a whopping 1,280 calories. Looking at sodium, there's more than a full day's worth there, too, with around 2,450 milligrams. When you order the porterhouse, there's a good chance that you're going to eat more than just the steak — and no judgment, because we would too.

There's an honorable mention here, too. Chicken always seems like a great option if you're trying to make a healthier choice, but that's not the case with their Parmesan Crusted Chicken, which not only has almost as many calories as the Porterhouse (with 1,120), but also has 69 grams of fat and 3,160 milligrams of sodium, making it technically worse than the porterhouse depending on your perspective.

Chili cheese fries, Ponderosa/Bonanza Steakhouse

Steak and fries? A natural combination, right? Head out to Ponderosa or Bonanza, and you might want to give the fries a miss ... or at least, skip the chili cheese fries if you're trying to make a more health-conscious decision. Exact numbers depend on the topping, but even going for the "healthier" sour cream means 2,400 calories, 137 grams of fat, and 5,040 milligrams of sodium.

You can order them with ranch instead, however, those numbers then rise to 2,490 calories, 146 grams of fat, and 5,480 milligrams of sodium. And seriously ... they're just fries.

Let's talk about an honorable mention here, too. If there's a restaurant and there's nachos, we're at least going to give them a try. Unless that's Ponderosa or Bonanza (who use the same nutritional information for their restaurants). Their nachos come with a whopping 2,400 calories, 140 grams of fat, and 2,030 milligrams of sodium. No one expects nachos to be super healthy, they're a pile of crunchy goodness on a platter. But still, these take the cake when it comes to unhealthy, especially considering most people assume they're just the appetizer.

Chicken pot pie, Claim Jumper

First things first: We're ignoring Claim Jumper's platters for the sake of this list, simply because they're meant to be shared — and even the healthiest foods piled on a sharing platter are going to have numbers that add up pretty quickly. With that in mind, let's move on to this chain's unhealthiest dish, and it might surprise you: It's the chicken pot pie.

The creaminess of a chicken pot pie might be the first hint that it's not going to be super healthy, but if made right, it's not super terrible, either. Unless it's this one, with 2,120 calories — more than half of which comes from fat — and 140 grams of fat. Sodium levels are pretty dismal too, and with 3,550 milligrams of sodium, that's more than what the American Heart Association says is ideal for two days.

Think you'll make a smarter choice by opting for a seafood-based dinner instead? Maybe, but stay away from our honorable mention, the Shrimp Fresca Pasta. That's got your daily recommended calorie count — coming in at 2,000 — with 143 grams of fat and 2,674 milligrams of sodium. Maybe just go for the steak next time you're at Claim Jumper. 

House Burger, Hoss's Family Steak & Sea

There's always someone at the table who goes to a steakhouse, yet prefers a burger. While that's a legitimate life choice, it's also one that should probably get a second thought at Hoss's Family Steak & Sea, as their House Burger is one of the worst things on their menu. This burger will add 1,320 calories, 95 grams of fat, and 3,180 milligrams of sodium to your daily intake, and if you're going to be putting that much on a plate for one meal, it better be something that Zeus himself would order ... not just a burger. 

Honestly, this one was hard to judge, because there are a number of sandwiches that hover right around those same numbers. The Mushroom Swiss Burger with fries has fewer calories and lower sodium but more fat, and also up there is the Fried Whitefish Sandwich and the Crispy Chicken Sandwich — which, despite having "crispy" in the name, is a little healthier all-around. It turns out that sometimes when you go to a steakhouse, it really is worth just getting the steak. 

Wondering what you should order? We have you covered: Check out what you should always order when you see it on a steakhouse menu