Restaurant portions are out of control. We measured 11 supersized ones.

McDonald’s no longer asks patrons if they want to “supersize” their orders. But the foods at major chains...and many independent eateries...are already supersized.

In each pair below, what you’re served (left) makes the “typical” serving size you’d see on the label if it were a packaged food (right) look like it came from the kids’ menu.

What’s a diner to do? Until restaurants stop overfeeding us, take home half or share.

Note: In each pair, the serving size on the left is from the chain’s website or is based on an average of samples we purchased.

The Cheesecake Factory Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken

Cheesecake Factory pasta
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

The official serving size for any “mixed dish measurable with a cup” is, well, a cup, says the USDA. By that measure, The Cheesecake Factory’s Fettuccini is large enough to feed a family of four.

Corner Bakery Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Corner Bakery sandwich
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

If an entrée isn’t “measurable with a cup,” its serving size is 5 oz., says the USDA. That’s about half a sandwich at Corner Bakery. The good news: You can swap half your sandwich for a salad on the chain’s “Choose Two” menu. Greens beat more white bread!

Chipotle Chicken Burrito

Chipotle burrito
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

A typical Chipotle burrito stuffs enough meat, rice, beans, cheese, and sour cream into a 320-calorie tortilla to tip the scales at over a pound. To slash the 1,090 calories in half, try a burrito bowl with a half-rice, half-lettuce either cheese or sour cream.

Auntie Anne’s Original Soft Pretzel

Auntie Anne's pretzel
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

Most Americans eat more refined grain than health authorities recommend. Why? Oversized white-flour buns, bagels, pasta, pizza, pancakes, doughnuts, muffins, and more.

Five Guys Fries

Five Guys fries
Stephen Schmidt - CSPI.

A “serving” of packaged frozen fries is just 3 oz., says the FDA. That’s roughly 200 calories—about what you’d get in a McDonald’s small (230 calories). Tell that to Five Guys, where a 950-calorie “regular” comes close to a pound and a 1,310-calorie “large” hits 20 oz.—enough for...umm...five guys.

Starbucks Iced Caffè Mocha

Starbucks mocha
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

At Starbucks, a large (“venti”) iced drink holds 3 cups. Even a small (“tall”) is 1½ cups. You can downsize hot drinks to a 1-cup (8 oz.) “short.”

Outback Steakhouse Ribeye Steak

Outback Steakhouse ribeye
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

The USDA says that a typical serving of meat is 4 oz. raw. (That’s 3 oz. cooked—about the size of a Quarter Pounder patty.) But at Outback and other restaurants, many steaks weigh in at anywhere from 6 to 16 oz. raw. Sheesh.

California Pizza Kitchen Margherita Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen margherita pizza
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

CPK’s menu lists pizzas alongside pastas, salads, and other entrées that are meant to serve one. But the pie weighs nearly a pound. Want to save a few bucks...and more than a few calories? Split it.

Panera Bread Chocolate Chipper Cookie

Panera Bread chocolate chip cookie
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

Panera doesn’t stop at a 3 oz. chocolate chip cookie. Its 6 oz. chocolate-caramel-pretzel Kitchen Sink Cookie (820 calories) is “big enough to share,” says the website. Got five friends?

McDonald’s Strawberry Shake

McDonald's strawberry milkshake
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

Even a small shake supplies 470 calories...20 more than McD’s Double Cheeseburger. And a large tops a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese (740). Tip: A vanilla cone has just 200 calories.

IHOP Protein Power Pancakes

IHOP pancakes
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

IHOP’s power cakes may be “made with whole grain rolled oats, barley, rye, chia, flax & 37 grams of protein,” but the leading ingredient is...drumroll...refined flour. And the 590 calories don’t include the butter (70 calories) or syrup (60 per tablespoon). 

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