he Heart Attack Grill first opened up in Arizona in 2005, and since then has held true to its concept. The restaurant is famous for its controversial marketing and the promotion of unhealthy foods. The patrons of the Heart Attack Grill know one thing; they can expect the most delicious and unhealthy burger and fries!
But does it just stop at unhealthy food? Or are diners really at risk when they eat here?
The Restaurant’s Setup
Although there are two more locations in Nevada and Dallas, the most popular Heart Attack Grill is in Las Vegas. Building its indulgent brand in Sin City seemed like a deliberate attempt to draw more attention. And it worked!
The downtown restaurant has a giant neon sign over its top that reads “Over 350 Lbs. Eat Free.” Beyond its bold entrance, Heart Attack Grill has other inviting features. If you walked into the restaurant, you would have to wear a hospital gown upon entering. You will be attended to by waitresses in skimpy nursing outfits with stethoscopes. To perfect the illusion, they will even mock-measure your pulse before you start eating. Since the restaurant’s motto is “Taste Worth Dying For,” they need to be sure you can take it. After all, the cooks wear white doctors’ coats while they prepare artery-clogging meals.
Heart Attack On A Menu
Now that you are wearing the appropriate attire and your pulse has been checked, let’s move on to the extremely unhealthy food Heart Attack Grill has for you.
Once you get past the gimmicky costumes and ironic clinical setup, you’d quickly realize that the claims are not in any way a joke. Here’s a list of the main features of their menu.
Cheeseburgers – The famous cheeseburgers come with different amounts of patties, from one to as many as eight! They are named Single, Double, Triple, Quadruple, Quintuple, Sextuple, Septuple and Octuple Bypass Burgers respectively. You’d also find substantial amounts of lard-covered buns, onions, bacon, tomatoes and cheese. The Guinness Book of World Records has since awarded the Quadruple Bypass Burger as “most calorific burger,” with 9,982 calories in it. Note that it takes about 20 hours of jogging to lose 8000 calories! But the restaurant has advanced from a mere 9000 calories to as much as 20,000!
French Fries – The chips are deep-fried in pure lard, which makes them tender, moist, and just right for your calorie-loaded burgers.
ButterFat Shake – According to Heart Attack Grill’s website, its butterfat shake holds the record for the highest butterfat content in the world.
Why the Audacity?
According to Heart Attack Grill creator, Jon Basso, burgers and fries are the most consumed foods in the world. He believes that he needs an edge if he’s going to compete in that market. So he decided to go the honesty route by telling customers how bad these foods are for you.
“I’M PROBABLY THE ONLY RESTAURANTEUR IN THE WORLD UNAPOLOGETICALLY TELLING YOU THAT MY FOOD IS BAD FOR YOU, IT WILL KILL YOU, AND YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM IT”. Jon Basso, Founder of Heart Attack Grill
The restaurant audaciously points out that its food is not for people craving a healthy diet. It also tells you that unhealthy diets, high in fried foods, can cause high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, heart attack and other heart-related problems. It provides this information just in case you weren’t aware of the dangers you were facing by patronizing them!
“I’M HERE WITH THE CREMATED REMAINS OF A PERSON WHO DIED OF A HEART ATTACK AT MY RESTAURANT. AND I’M PUTTING THE BAG CLEARLY ON THE TABLE. I WISH THAT BURGER KING, MCDONALDS AND EVERYONE ELSE WILL DO THE SAME THING”Jon Basso, Founder of Heart Attack Grill
Controversial Burger and Fries
Different critics think varying things about the restaurant. Some consider it extremely offensive, while others think it’s perfect for Las Vegas. Several still wonder, questioning whether the branding is really serious or it’s all just some cheeky publicity.
It’s harder to believe that the food won’t really kill you after frequenters of the Heart Attack Grill have started to die! John Alleman was a 52-year-old unofficial spokesman for the restaurant until he died from what was on the menu – a heart attack. Alleman was known to eat at the restaurant nearly every day. But he isn’t the only one who has gotten his fair share of what he ordered.
Multiple near-death incidents have been connected to the Heart Attack Grill. In February 2012, a customer in his 40s went into cardiac arrest while finishing the Triple Bypass Burger. He had to be wheeled out of the clinical-themed restaurant to a real hospital!
This and several other incidents show that the Heart Attack Grill might just be what it claims. Even Jon Basso warns that you should stay away from his food. Moreover, he stresses he can’t in good conscience recommend a Triple or Quadruple Bypass burger for daily meals. So we can’t help but wonder why customers are still thronging in.