Omnivore - 4,310 calories, not counting entrees

Here it is, in all its greasy beauty, the most calorific starter in America, according to Men’s Health magazine. Our food editor, Besha Rodell, blogged about this last week. Reading the article on the Men’s Health site was like passing a 10-car pile-up on the freeway. In the way I don’t want to look but can’t help looking, I was grossed out by Chili’s Awesome Blossom, a batter-fried onion with 2,710 calories, but I absolutely had to taste its 203 grams of fat, 194 grams of carbs and 6,360 mg of sodium.

So I dragged Wayne to Chili’s (2440 Piedmont Road, 404-848-7979) Sunday night. The restaurant also received Men’s Health’s award for the worst dessert in America, the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with vanilla ice cream. It supplies 1,600 calories. Its 79 grams of fat are paltry compared to the onion’s, but it provides more carbs, 215 grams of them.

The bad news is that eating this crap with entrees will basically supply enough calories to keep the average famine victim alive for several weeks. The good news — or maybe it’s bad news, too — is that it doesn’t taste half bad and it’s cheap! The onion is like eating six or seven fistfuls of Varsity onion rings and, hey, it’s safe for vegetarians! The pie is gooey chocolate, pecans and a mountain of ice cream. What’s not to like?

I’ll have more to say in the paper in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, if you need to put on a few pounds — it is the holiday season, after all — hurry to Chili’s now.

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