If macaroni sounds good to you, and macaroni and cheese sounds better, then the notion of fried macaroni and cheese could well be your idea of a perfect meal.
Just be sure not to glance at the nutritional impact of this offering. A plate of four of the crispy fried balls of mac and cheese, served with marinara sauce, will set you back 1,570 calories and 1,860 mg of sodium.
You can also expect to ingest 69 grams of saturated fat if you eat the whole thing yourself.
"OK, anything fried is a red flag; proceed with caution," Ayoob said.
The fact that the Fried Macaroni and Cheese is more likely to be enjoyed as an appetizer than as an entrée is potentially even more problematic, nutrition experts say.
"Even if you eat half this and take the rest home for tomorrow's dinner, you're still overdoing the sat fat," Ayoob said. "This is a once-a-year experience."
Once considered a memory from neighborhood parties of the 1970s, fondue is mounting a comeback in many restaurants. Red Lobster's version, the Ultimate Fondue, serves up "shrimp and crabmeat in a creamy lobster cheese sauce served in a warm, crispy sourdough bowl."
Wootan said that fondue, in general, may not be the wisest choice for any diner.
"A big pot of melted cheese just can't be a healthy option," she noted.
But with its extra ingredients, the nutritional impact of the Ultimate Fondue may surpass its cheesy counterparts. Expect this offering to set you back 1,490 calories, 40 grams of saturated fat and 3,580 mg of sodium.
And because it is difficult to transport what remains of this dish in a doggie bag, some diners may be influenced by the knowledge that what is in front of them is either going to get eaten or thrown away.
"This one's hard to take home, so unless a couple of people are going to split this for an entree, I'd advise skipping it," Ayoob said. Alternatively, you can still choose to eat half, and send the rest back, but that's wasteful and it's still about 750 calories."
Gotta slake your cheese cravings? Ayoob suggests trying a healthier version at home instead.
"If you're a real cheese lover, you could have a better meal at home with a quarter of a pound of Brie, some whole grain crackers and fresh fruit -- and come in under 750 calories," he said. "And you won't have to leave a tip."
Want ribs with that? Chili's lets its customers add a half rack of ribs to their entrée for about seven bucks more. But tacking this extra on will add 490 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat, plus an extra 2,050 mg of sodium to your meal.
The CSPI report lambastes the restaurant chain for this option. "Since when did people start adding an entrée to their entrée?" the report reads. "Adding a salad or vegetable, okay. But another main dish?"
If you really can't avoid ordering those ribs, Ayoob said, the best option may be to treat this add-on as a meal in and of itself.
"This is actually a nice-sized entrée," he said. "Pair it with an ear of corn and a salad and you're doing OK. Just watch the salad dressing."
But even this approach may not solve the sodium equation, as diners will get nearly all of their recommended maximum sodium intake from the ribs alone.