January 5th, 2013

If you think you need to gain weight…

…and or if you’re feeling suicidal, Chili’s Onion String and Crispy Jalapeno Stack would be a good place to start:


No, I’m not really recommending it (don’t want to be sued). I was just astounded at the calorie count. Even though I knew it had to be high, I wouldn’t have estimated it would be this high: 2,130 calories; 213g fat, 31g saturated. If I’m not mistaken (and I’m not), a gram of fat equals 9 calories. So this little treat would derive 1917 of its calories from fat, which would be 90%.

And I don’t even like fried jalapenos.

I’ve long been astounded at the astronomical calorie content of certain foods (often the most yummy ones, although cantaloupe is a big exception, being both extraordinarily delicious and awfully good for you, as well as fairly low in calories). A wee bag of potato chips packs an enormous wallop, for example. Even seemingly innocuous treats such as this are surprisingly dense in calories and fat:


I must stay completely away from the little buggers, because once I taste one they release the beast in me and I must finish them. Must.

I see from the Amazon comments that I am not alone in this surprising vice. The first review there, by someone called “CleffedUP,” is entitled “Evil” and reads as follows:

These pretzels are evil. When my snacking comes to an end, I see flashes of myself laying on the unkempt wooden floor of an abandoned house. Scant beams of light burn between the cracks in the boards on the lone window frame, illuminating my tattered and orange-stained clothes. The sound of my body writhing over a pool of empty yellow aluminum bags, a half foot high up the empty broken walls, is quieted only by the echo of my cries of longing and despair.

And the second, by “T. Yoder,” is not far behind:

These little pretzel pieces are totally addictive, which is probably not a good thing because they’re a lot worse for you than you’d think pretzels should be. They have around 60 fat calories and 3 grams of saturated fat in ONE ounce, which equals out to be 15% of your daily sat fat intake per serving (one ounce).
The reason they’re so good AND so fatty is that the mustard/onion seasoning is in an oil that permeates through the shell of the pretzel, making them extra flavorful and not dry at all. They’re a little sweet, have good mustard flavor, and the onion flavor even comes through a little (they taste like they’re supposed to). I try to just grab a handful at snack time and quit while I’m ahead, but I usually end up going back for more later.

I see that, contrary to my intent—which was to warn you off these vile (anagram for “evil”) concoctions, that I may have only succeeded in whetting your appetite. Apologies.

28 Responses to “If you think you need to gain weight…”

  1. rickl Says:

    About a year ago I discovered Gibble’s potato chips, which are cooked in lard instead of vegetable oil. I bought a bag out of curiosity one day and was immediately hooked. Believe it or not, they are lighter, more delicate, and less greasy than normal chips.

    Unfortunately, the supermarket chain where I bought them stopped carrying them, and I haven’t yet found any other place that sells them. I’ve been eating Grandma Utz’s Handcooked chips, which are also cooked in lard, but I don’t like them as much.

  2. George Pal Says:

    One could make this an argument for the ‘decline of the West’ making Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West seem like carrot sticks with a peanut butter dip (aarrghhh). Ooooh, it’s afternoon, time for a martini.

  3. rickl Says:

    That reminds me. I love Fritos dipped in peanut butter. Hmm, I haven’t had that in a while.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    I fear that I’m contributing to the delinquency of several non-minors.

  5. RandomThoughts Says:

    Zapp’s Cajun Dill Chips. http://www.zapps.com/zapps-cajun-dill-potato-chips-1-5.html Best. Snack. Ever. It’s partly due to the peanut oil they use. Don’t even go there, you’ll be lost forever.

    Now I’m going to sit here eating my pomegranate arils and feel all righteous (for the moment at least). It probably takes more calories to get them out of a pomegranate than they produce.

  6. vanderleun Says:

    Cantaloupe, schmantelope! With you it’s always cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupe cantaloupecantaloupe…. day after day, bite after bite. Enough with this nowhere melon. If God meant you to eat a lot of cantaloupe it would be red with a bunch of black seeds you could spit!

  7. vanderleun Says:


  8. neo-neocon Says:

    RandomThoughts: beware pomegranate arils. I will not explain why in any detail, but take my word for it: do not eat a whole bunch of them at once.

  9. vanderleun Says:

    Doth the regret come quickly or the following day?

  10. davisbr Says:

    Only 2,130 calories? – Piker!

    We had a sit-down at Outback Steakhouse last night (we just didn’t feel like cooking lol), and started with the Bloomin’ Onion.

    2,210 calories.


    …uh, no, we didn’t eat the whole thing. Maybe half? Between us? (Oh, alright: I confess. Probably more like 2/3’s me.)

    It’s been years, really, since the last time we even went to Outback (the steaks, I’m happy to report, are still rather good …oddly though, my “special” medium-rare was rather better than my wife’s filet).

    So it’s not like we “do” the Bloomin’ Onion on a regular basis.

    And the fat content is less, at “only” 132 grams.

    Still: guilty pleasure.

    My particular “I-don’t-buy-’em-cuz-I’ll-eat-’em-all” personal food demon is Sunshine Cheez-Its. Totally addicted. So I limit myself to a box about every five years or so. Just to check, y’know? The box don’t last. At all. Sigh.

  11. vanderleun Says:

    How to get the seeds out of a pomegranate


  12. davisbr Says:

    @rickl: Uh. Where can I find me some Gibble’s Chips? Please.

  13. expat Says:


    Go to southern PA or western MD. Every gas station stocks them. And while you are there, travel down to Boonsboro, MD (in summer), for a cantaloupe to send to vanderleun. These are two foods I really miss, along with freshly picked sweet corn.

  14. turfmann Says:

    A very dry Bombay Saphirre martini, three olives, washed down with a bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper flavor.

    I tell my wife that if she finds me dead on the floor soon thereafter not to despair, it was worth it.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    turfmann: Cape Cod chips are the best (sigh).

    I like the plain variety.

    I even like the low-fat variety. They are that good.

  16. parker Says:

    Chicken breaded with cornmeal fried in bacon grease served with a side of mustard greens and garlic swimming in butter and a couple of biscuits drenched with red eye gravy. Does a body good.

  17. CV Says:


    Gibbles chips can indeed be found in southern PA, however not the western part near Pittsburgh. I know, I’ve looked.
    We were thrilled to get Utz chips here just a few years ago.

    And I’ve never tried those demonic Snyders pretzel nuggets before, and now I must.

    Thanks a lot, Neo!

  18. OlderandWheezier Says:

    A tip: if you buy the pretzel pieces, turn the bag upside down and shake lightly before opening. Some of the goodness will have settled to the bottom of the bag.

  19. southpaw Says:

    Those pretzel thingys are addictive, but I discovered they also give you ( well, my wife and I do ) the most unbelievably bad breath. Don’t indulge if you plan to kiss your spouse, or get 3 feet from anyone for about 24 hours….otherwise, they are amazing.

  20. Gary Rosen Says:

    “Ooooh, it’s afternoon, time for a martini.”

    That’s perfect after the Bloody Mary for breakfast.

  21. davisbr Says:

    …why, what a rather sybaritic congregation has assembled in the vicinity of this post.

    I do so approve.

    …and Cape Cod Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper? Hear, hear!

  22. nolanimrod Says:

    Make ’em with habaneros instead of jalapenos and I guarantee you can eat just one.

  23. RigelDog Says:

    Most irresistible snack food I’ve found is Middleswarth Barbeque Potato Chips. Everywhere I travel I give different barbeque chips a try, and Middleswarth is incomparable. Can only get them in central PA, although they are available via internet. But I try to forget that.

  24. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    which I found on route to linking these:
    a full back of dark (over-cooked) chips.

  25. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    “a full back of dark” = “a full bag of dark”

  26. davisbr Says:

    You’re an evil man Ed Bonderenka.

    Chocolate covered potato chips.

    Life is good.

    …and yes, I saved the link. Well no, I guess I saved the links, actually.

  27. holmes Says:

    Chili’s has the fattiest/highest caloric food in every category- it’s why their food tastes amazing. Seriously, have one of their margaritas, they’re probably close to 1000 calories.

  28. MollyNH Says:

    Right here in NH we have been growing our very own Cantaloupes (sp) a type called Sara’s Choice from Johnny’s Seeds in Maine. It weighs about 1
    1/2 to 3lbs when mature. They are WONDERFUL
    so sweet, only draw back they do not mature until the end of the season (they must be started ahead like tomatoes) & they take miles of room in the garden & you need to develop some skill at figuring when to pick them for maximum sweetness. Al Gore I love global warming, my dad would have never dreamed of growing a cantaloupe in NH !

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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