Tip

Maggiano’s Little Italy and Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Watch out for these heart-stoppers on their menus.

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There’s nothing like a romantic dinner with your sweetie at a nice Italian restaurant.

Take Marco’s Meal For Two at Maggiano’s Little Italy, which has 51 locations in the United States.

After the complimentary white-flour rolls, with the Meal for Two you choose an appetizer or flatbread or two side salads, move on to two “Classic” pasta dishes, and end with a dessert…plus two more classic pastas to take home.

More like a Meal for Six!

Let’s say you and your date skip the rolls and go with the 1,530-calorie Mozzarella Marinara appetizer, the 1,400-calorie Taylor Street Baked Ziti (with Italian sausage) and 1,560-calorie Fettuccini Alfredo as your pasta dishes, and the 1,180-calorie Warm Apple Crostada for dessert.

There’ll be more of you shuffling out of the restaurant afterwards, with each of you having put away roughly 2,840 calories plus a four-day supply of saturated fat (79 grams) and sodium (6,390 mg).  And don’t forget the 11 teaspoons of sugar from the Crostada.

Of course, you could put some in a doggie bag to take home…except you’re already taking home two more pasta dishes for tomorrow (or maybe that’ll be next week, when you get hungry again).

If you pick the 1,020-calorie Mom’s Lasagna and the 1,250-calorie Spaghetti & Meatball with Meat Sauce (yes, just one meatball…because it’s about the size of a baseball), you’ve got another load of white flour seasoned with about 3,300 mg of sodium waiting for you tomorrow. And Mom’s Lasagna comes with a bonus 31 grams of sat fat. (Gee, thanks Mom.)

No matter. There’s now more of you to love!

Or, how about going out instead to Romano’s Macaroni Grill, which has 136 locations?

Its Cremini Pork Shank is a “Romano’s House Favorite.” And no wonder.

“Braised pork shank, marsala wine sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted parmesan potatoes,” says the menu.

Who can resist two pounds of pork, potatoes, and more that supply 1,800 calories, 43 grams of sat fat, and 3,700 mg of sodium?

It’s like eating two Outback Steakhouse 10 oz. Ribeye Steaks, each with a side of seasoned french fries.

Add the complimentary 480-calorie (white-flour) Rosemary Peasant Bread, and that’s like eating two Chipotle Carnitas Burritos (with pork, rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, and salsa).

Romano’s is proud of serving “unforgettable meals that leave a lasting impression,” says the chain’s website.

Look for that impression on your bathroom scale.


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