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Meltdown.

Applebee's, the largest sit-down restaurant chain in the country, is adding a new twist to its steak menu. For patrons who aren't satisfied with the half-day's saturated fat in the 11-ounce sirloin, the restaurant offers a whole day's worth in its Southwest Steak Skillet, which crowns the meat with one slice each of melted cheddar and Monterey lack.

Mating beef with cheese is nothing new. Cheesesteak sandwiches (and cheeseburgers) have been around forever. But it's only recently that mid-priced restaurants have started adding extra saturated fat to their steaks--10 grams' worth (our estimate) in the case of Applebee's Southwest Steak Skillet. Who knows how much for Bennigan's Bleu Cheese Filet or T.G.I. Friday's Sizzling NY Strip with Bleu Cheese?

The cheese industry has been trying to convince restaurants to sprinkle its curds over their menus for years. Whether the chains yielded to that gentle persuasion or came up with the brilliant cheese-over-steak concept on their own isn't clear.

Sirloin is leaner than most steaks. Applebee's has turned it into a one-pound rack of baby back ribs.

Applebee's: (888) 592-7753. Bennigan's: (800) 727-8355. T.G.I. Friday's: (800) 374-3297.
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Title Annotation:Food Porn; Applebee International Inc. introduces Southwest Steak Skillet with cheese
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Words:190
Previous Article:Good fit.
Next Article:Food illusions: why we eat more than we think.
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