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The Unhealthiest Things On The Ruth's Chris Steak House Menu

Ruth's Chris steak plated
Ruth's Chris steak plated - Chung-Hao Lee/Shutterstock

A meal at Ruth's Chris Steak House, one of the most elegant and expensive chain restaurants out there, is expectedly a lavish affair. Customers will drop at least a moderate amount of money on a full dinner there, but they get what they pay for. The menu offers luxurious treats like giant steaks, dressed potatoes, and memorable desserts, all of which have been prepared with little regard for cutting corners on price or taste. A meal built around a Prime-grade steak, with traditional steakhouse appetizers, sides, and desserts thrown in is probably going to bust most diets. Such an experience entails the consumption of hundreds if not thousands of calories all at once — probably not the healthiest endeavor.

The USDA and CDC both publish guidelines regarding what Americans should eat each day to stay healthy, broken down into reasonable calorie counts as well as amounts of fat (saturated and total), carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. Those rules make any use of the word "unhealthy" a little less subjective, and it informs our rubric for determining which menu items aren't the best for the human body. What follows are the appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts at Ruth's Chris Steak House that contain too many of those elements, or at least too much for one meal.

Read more: The Best Steakhouse In Every State

Calamari

Ruth's chris calamari
Ruth's chris calamari - ly.eats / Instagram

As far as the calamari goes at Ruth's Chris Steak House, there are no surprises in terms of preparation or presentation. The appetizer is made from tubes and bits of squid lightly breaded in flour and then deep-fried to make for a crispy, not-too-fishy starter, topped with a sweet, spicy, and tangy chili sauce. But while the Ruth's Chris Steak House Calamari may taste light, it's not light on the nutritional elements. It's supposed to be a starter for a larger meal to come, but this dish packs 990 calories — about half of the total daily caloric intake recommended by the USDA.

Since squid is light in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, the big numbers on the nutrition sheet come from the breading, cooking oil, and chili sauce used to transform the raw seafood into a composed dish. Altogether, this appetizer contains 71 grams of carbohydrate (24% of the daily recommendation), 1,840 milligrams of sodium (80% of what an adult should have in a day), 62 grams of fat (just shy of the 65 grams per day total), and 715 milligrams of cholesterol — well over twice what a full-grown person should take in over a day.

Tomahawk Ribeye

Ruth's Chris tomahawk ribeye
Ruth's Chris tomahawk ribeye - Darren Mcdonald Jr / Facebook

A tomahawk steak is essentially two steaks in one, and it's sure to dazzle and delight a high-end steakhouse diner when it arrives hot and fresh out of the kitchen. It's a ribeye with a little something extra — around half a foot of rib bone and meat. With a tomahawk, diners get a massive, well-marbled ribeye along with a significant portion of ribs. It's akin to having a holiday-worthy rib roast all to one's self. Ruth's Chris Steak House offers its Tomahawk Ribeye, one of the chain's best and most beloved menu items, on its standard dinner menu as a 40-ounce cut.

Both ribeyes and ribs involve a significant fat count, and thus a high-calorie count too. Put that together and it makes the Tomahawk Ribeye the singular most calorically dense (and astronomical) item on the entire Ruth's Chris Steak House menu. If a diner eats this glorious monstrosity of a Frankenstein steak all by themselves in one sitting, they'll consume 3,160 calories. As an adult needs just 2,000 calories a day on average, this would theoretically keep the Ruth's Chris patron with enough food in their stomach to last them for about a day and a half.

Porterhouse

Ruth's Chris porterhouse
Ruth's Chris porterhouse - fooddudeusa / Instagram

If someone is going out for a nice meal at a pricey place like Ruth's Chris Steak House, they might as well go all in, and order the most show-stopping entree possible. The Porterhouse fits the bill for diners looking to drop some cash and provide themselves with a memorable dining experience. One of the largest and priciest single cuts readily available, the Ruth's Chris Porterhouse weighs in at a whopping 40 ounces of the chain's top-quality Prime-graded beef. It's so big that menus at some locations recommend that customers split it with their dinner companion.

But whether a steak-lover chooses to team up on the storied Porterhouse or go at it alone, they're likely going to get enough to eat — and then some. Ruth's Chris's Porterhouse weighs in with 2,260 calories — surpassing the USDA's recommended mark of 2,000 calories to be consumed in a whole day. It's essentially pure beef, and beef is naturally fatty, meaning the Porterhouse adds 169 grams of fat and 560 milligrams of cholesterol to the diner's system — 260% and 187% of the total daily needs for those nutritional categories, respectively. Even if a customer eats half of it, they'll still eat more than 1,100 calories along with nearly a day's worth of cholesterol and more than a day's worth of fat.

Ribeye (And New York Strip)

Ruth's Chris new york strip
Ruth's Chris new york strip - Eve Ma / Facebook

It's right there in the name — Ruth's Chris Steak House is an establishment that puts elite cuts of beef at the forefront. Its permanent dinner menu only ever offers a scant selection of exceptional steaks, and two that stand out from the rest are both hearty, 16-ounce choices: the Ribeye and the New York Strip. Both are USDA-certified Prime cuts; the New York is naturally a bit dense and thick, while the Ribeye is softer and offers more fat marbling.

Despite the cosmetic and biological differences, the two steaks possess nearly identical nutritional stats, as prepared in the signature Ruth's Chris Steak House style; neither is a particularly healthy choice. The Ribeye has 1,370 calories — about two-thirds of an adult's daily requirement — along with 113 grams of fat, of which 50 is saturated and more concerning for heart health. The New York Strip adds 1,390 calories and 122 grams of fat, of which 54 is saturated. The health tiebreaker with these two steaks is protein. The Ribeye gets the edge, with 88 grams compared to the New York Strip's 75 grams.

Cowboy Ribeye

Ruth's Chris cowboy ribeye
Ruth's Chris cowboy ribeye - Justin Bennett / Facebook

In addition to its popular (and sizable) take on the ribeye steak, Ruth's Chris Steak House sells a variant known as the Cowboy Ribeye. Whereas Ruth's Chris' Classic Ribeye is served without bones, the Cowboy Ribeye isn't quite so trimmed and dressed. The chain's butchers leave a long rib bone intact, which also brings with it an additional six ounces of marbled, corn-fed beef. While the flavor is slightly more succulent, it's really an extra-large version of the Ruth's Chris Ribeye and a veritable feast of 22 ounces of meat, as opposed to the 16-ounce portion of the Ribeye.

Just as the Classic Ribeye packs a wallop of calories, fat, and cholesterol, so too does the Cowboy Ribeye. One serving registers 1,690 calories, almost the full daily requirement. The 147 grams of fat is twice the recommended limit, and of that total, 67 grams are saturated — 335% of the USDA's suggested allowance for one day. It's also packing 345 milligrams of cholesterol, well over the one-day boundary.

Baked Potato

Ruth's Chris baked potato
Ruth's Chris baked potato - OneBite / Facebook

Sides aren't generally included in the meal plans, price, or calorie counts at Ruth's Chris Steak House. That offers some power of choice to diners while also inspiring sharing — the sides at Ruth's Chris tend to be large, and diners may want to split these entree accompaniments. That being said, it's tough to split a baked potato, even one that's as overflowing and abundant as the stuffed and fully loaded variety that jumps off the menu at Ruth's Chris Steak House. The Baked Potato, as it's simply known, comes with generous portions of bacon chunks, cheddar, butter, and sour cream. When the kitchen is done with this focus-stealing side dish, it should weigh about a pound.

All those carbohydrates from the humongous potato base, not to mention the fat from the greasy toppings, make for a side that's bursting with more nutrition than most home-cooked meals. The Ruth's Chris Baked Potato contains 800 calories and 82 grams of carbohydrates, slightly more than a quarter of the amount an adult should consume in a day. The garnishes provide the item with 100 milligrams of cholesterol, a third of the recommended daily allowance, along with 45 grams of fat — 69% of what a healthy adult should take in over a day.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ruth's Chris sweet potato casserole
Ruth's Chris sweet potato casserole - Caleb_Poston / X, formerly known as Twitter

It's listed among the sides, but Ruth Chris Steak House's Sweet Potato Casserole is so sweet that it could fare just as well on the dessert menu. Reminiscent of candied yam dishes found on Thanksgiving dinner tables, Ruth's Chris's take is a smooth and buttery blend of sweet potatoes and brown sugar, among other ingredients. It's then topped with a sweet blend of more brown sugar and pecans, which forms a crunchy, almost caramelized crust on top.

Ruth's Chris provides such a large portion of the casserole that it can easily be shared among two or more guests, but it's so tempting and tantalizing that it can be gulped down by just one customer ... but it comes with a nutritional punch. The Sweet Potato Casserole boasts 880 calories, along with 43 grams of fat, half of which is the artery-clogging saturated variety. The dish also contains 113 grams of carbohydrate in total, and while 10 grams of that is healthy fiber (from the sweet potatoes), good enough for slightly more than a third of the average person's daily need, it's got a whopping 90 grams of sugar — which is a lot, considering that this is really a dinner casserole, not a dessert.

Lobster Mac And Cheese

Ruth's Chris lobster mac and cheese
Ruth's Chris lobster mac and cheese - Jay Jay / Facebook

An ample bowl of homestyle macaroni and cheese with a thick, creamy sauce is going to bust almost any calorie-conscious plan. It's already a meal unto itself, and then Ruth's Chris Steak House went and turned that simple dish into something classy and even more indulgent, combining elbow macaroni with a white cheddar cheese gravy and a generous portion of rich, melt-in-your-mouth lobster. The chain then took this carefully crafted monument of comfort food and made it a side dish to go with what's likely an even more calorically bountiful steak.

For the sake of comparison, the Ruth's Chris Steak House Bone-In Filet, a 16-ounce cut of beef, has a listed calorie count of 470. The restaurant's Lobster Mac and Cheese contains double that, with carbohydrates and fat doing the heavy lifting here. The pasta concoction contains 92 grams of carbohydrates (31% of the recommended daily limit) and 40 grams of fat, including 26 grams of saturated fat — 130% of what the USDA says an adult should process during an entire day.

Warm Apple Crumb Tart

Ruth's Chris warm apple crumb tart
Ruth's Chris warm apple crumb tart - MoheganPA / X, formerly known as Twitter

The average Ruth's Chris Steak House offers a limited but well-honed selection of desserts, all of them promising an abundance of flavor and sugar. The Warm Apple Crumb Tart is easily the worst offender of the bunch, nutritionally speaking. This is basically an apple pie for one that's hiding enough calories to feed a small family. Ruth's Chris's dessert team starts with a homestyle apple pie blend of fruit, sugar, and cinnamon, and then bakes it in a pie shell topped with a sweet and crunchy streusel mix. After it comes out of the oven, it's topped with a large scoop of ice cream that melts over the whole thing.

Those ingredients add up, and the apple crumb tart holds 1,510 calories. The single element of your meal satisfies about 75% of an adult's calorie needs for one whole day. It's no slouch in other categories, either. It has 62 grams of fat, just shy of the 65-gram daily limit, and 40 grams of that is saturated — double the daily USDA recommendation. The personal pie with its filling, crust, streusel, and ice cream, combine to add 127 grams of sugar to the diner's tally. That's more than double what the CDC thinks Americans should consume daily, and just part of the 220 grams of carbohydrates contained in the dessert.

Chocolate Duo

Ruth's Chris chocolate duo
Ruth's Chris chocolate duo - Essem_Jay / X, formerly known as Twitter

By its very nature, any dessert worth putting on the short list of options at a steakhouse is going to be an extremely decadent treat, full of refined sugar, and probably fat and cholesterol, too. Now, take all those theoretical concerns and double them, because Ruth's Chris Steak House's dessert menu features one item that's two entire treats. And with a price tag of around $10 as of March 2024, it's all the more attractive after what was likely a very expensive dining experience. The Chocolate Duo is made up of one serving of delicate chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream, alongside a molten chocolate lava cake filled with rich and creamy liquid chocolate.

There's a lot of chocolate here, and chocolate is rarely low in calories, fat, or sugar. The Chocolate Duo contains 1,150 calories, more than half of the USDA recommendation. It also adds 107 grams of carbohydrates (of which 75 grams is sugar, well over twice the CDC-recommended limit) and 74 grams of fat to the nutritional tally, the latter of which is more than enough for the day.

Classic Cheesecake

Ruth's Chris classic cheesecake
Ruth's Chris classic cheesecake - Amandakelsa / X, formerly known as Twitter

At Ruth's Chris Steak House, the Classic Cheesecake gets its spot on the menu as a familiar sweet ending to a robust steak dinner. Like most everything else at Ruth's Chris, the Classic Cheesecake arrives at the table in a hefty portion, as an individually-prepared, self-contained round of soft and creamy cheese filling in a graham cracker crust. The only real additions Ruth's Chris makes to the standard preparation are a mint sprig garnish and some berries. Those add a bit of flavor and panache, but little to the dessert's staggering nutritional counts.

Few people would think a serving of cheesecake, let alone a large one, is low in anything, and Ruth's Chris Classic Cheesecake abides by that train of thought. One serving contains 1,280 calories, accounting for more than half of the USDA's advised daily calorie needs for an American adult. As it's made with cheese, which is mostly fat, and lots of carbohydrates in the form of sugar, it also delivers much in those categories — 89 grams and 103 grams, respectively. Surprisingly, this sweet treat contains 1,090 milligrams of sodium, which is about half of what a person should theoretically consume in a day.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ruth's Chris white chocolate bread pudding
Ruth's Chris white chocolate bread pudding - Teddymishka2015 / X, formerly known as Twitter

It's common knowledge that some foods are especially caloric or fattening. Among those filling and potentially unhealthy items are bread, sugar, cream, and alcohol. The White Chocolate Bread Pudding at Ruth's Chris Steak House employs all of those ingredients and more. The result is a rich, layered, and elevated version of a rustic favorite, but one that will add a lot of empty calories to a diner's nutritional totals for the day.

All told this meal-capping dessert contains nearly 100 grams of sugar and 19 grams of saturated fat. That's more than double the CDC-advised level of sugar and almost an entire day's worth of USDA-recommended fat grams. All the fat-laden dairy in the white chocolate and creme anglaise adds cholesterol to the mix too, to the tune of 365 milligrams, or 122% of the recommended daily limit. This dessert also has more calories than a lot of meals, with a grand total of 930.

Methodology

Ruth's Chris steak house exterior
Ruth's Chris steak house exterior - Jet City Image/Getty Images

For the sake of this compilation, "unhealthiest" is defined by how much, and how severely, each menu item at Ruth's Chris Steak House exceeds the USDA's recommended nutritional guidelines for the average adult. The government agency suggests that each day, the typical American needs 2,000 calories and no more than 65 grams of fat (of which 20 grams maximum should be saturated fat), 300 grams of carbohydrates, 2,400 milligrams of sodium, and 300 milligrams of cholesterol. The CDC advises that health-minded individuals ought to limit their sugar calories to 10% of their overall intake, which, in a 2,000-calorie diet, works out to 200 calories or about 12 teaspoons of sugar. We assessed the menu items within these parameters.

Read the original article on Mashed.