Be Careful What You Wish For

Today's guest post is by Peppercommer and RepChatter Co-host, Deb Brown.


We all know that restaurants live or die by their reputation.  Yet, one restaurant, which RepMan wrote about in the past, called the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, is proud of its insane theme and 6,000 calorie Triple Bypass Burger.  Last Wednesday, a man in his 40’s suffered an apparent heart attack while munching on the pound-and-a-half burger and, before the paramedics were called, people thought it was part of the ambiance. After all, when your waitresses and cooks are dressed as nurses and doctors, respectively, you’d think that a guy having a heart attack was probably part of the act, right?  Finally, someone realized at some point that he wasn’t part of the act and was actually dying.  I’m not sure if it was when his eyes rolled back in his head, his lips turned purple, or he just looked too motionless for too long.  Luckily, he’s reportedly recovering in a hospital. 

Now, you would think that might be a loud wake-up call to the owner of this bizarre establishment. Think again.  An anti-meat advocacy group wants to shut down the restaurant.  So does the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. But the owner, Jon Basso, is keeping the killer restaurant open by saying it was built on values our “Founding Fathers intended us to live”…or in this case, die by.

So what does this pound-and-a-half Triple Bypass Burger include besides way too much meat?  How about buns dripped in lard, half an onion cooked in lard, a whole tomato (the only healthy item on the burger), 15 pieces of bacon, cheese and special sauce (which probably contains lard, lard and more lard).  I’m not sure if the man who suffered the heart attack also had the Heart Attack Grill’s side of fries cooked in lard and/or one of the butterfat shakes – as if pure milkshakes weren’t fattening enough.

Apparently, the fact that we have a serious obesity problem in the United States somehow bypassed Las Vegas. 

12 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Wish For

  1. Really, a crazy hamburger place there. I think companies should take more responsibility. Thanks god, that the guy came out alive at all!

  2. With these types of waivers, consumers can sign their life away, literally. But, seriously, going back to the Heart Attack Grill, a waiver is a good idea since it will hopefully give consumers a moment to think about what they are consuming before they consume it. While some will still indulge, others may think twice before biting into a lard-laden meal.

  3. Ouchy – but bang on points Deb. There’s a similar restaurant in Toronto with a hot sauce wavier. Of course the good news if you have a heart attack there, it’s free – assuming you survive the three year wait for treatment.

  4. Good points Steve. I especially like the idea of a waiver. There’s a hot sauce store in Key West, Florida that makes you sign a waiver if you try certain super hot sauce. I think the Heart Attack Grill can go a step further and develop a partnership with a law firm that can provide both the waivers and wills, just in case the consumer hasn’t filled out a will yet. They can also partner with a nearby cemetery and let people pick out their plots while ordering. One-stop shopping.

  5. Okay Deb, no doughnuts. I do remember the MacDonald’s case and also remember shaking my head at the time.
    I agree with Juile but, we have a long and litigious history in America of wanting what we want and then wanting someone else to pay for the negative consequences.
    The thing attached to any “right” is a responsibility.
    If folks we’re willing to “pay” for their own follies I certainly wouldn’t object. But the truth is, even with our private health care system, many of us wind up paying for someone’s right to eat that burger. Through increased insurance fees to lost productivity to having to pull extra time in the office to cover for the consequences of someone’s rights.
    I’m more than willing to pay for another’s right to free speech, or to worship as they see fit or not at all, or for our right to vote and many others. In fact I’ve served time in uniform to help pay for these rights.
    But somethings need to be paid for by the consumer. I know first hand, I used to smoke and quit, was grossly overweight and lost nearly 100 pounds – and the simple fact is, my right or not, I cannot smoke or overeat – because my family, friends, clients, business and even my Country pays for my bad behavior.
    It’s not right and it certainly isn’t my right to force others to pay for my excesses. It’s the same reason I oppose government programs to buy meth for children.
    Perhaps the restaurant should introduce a medical wavier form all patrons must sign prior to putting another nail in their coffins. Or as you mentioned, as we have here in NY, at least display the calorie and nutritional data of what we’re about to exercise our rights upon.
    Right and responsibilities are complicated and it can be difficult to see where a right becomes a personal indulgence.

  6. I completely agree,Julie. That’s part of the problem. And, then the question is “what, if anything, should be done?” I still believe that people need to know how “dangerous” the food is even if they choose to ignore it. And, while I do agree with you that people have the right to eat what they want, part of me still struggles with this type of gluttony since it doesn’t differ from other things that are considered dangeous to one’s health. Do we ignore it because it’s food or do we treat it like other products that are dangerous (e.g. smoking, medications with serious side effects or addictive qualities)?

  7. Even if they were told the calorie/fat content of the food, it wouldn’t matter. They would still eat it. The same way that smokers have ignored the Surgeon General’s warnings on cigarette packets for years. You can’t save people from their own nasty habits.

  8. While I agree, Julie, that all establishments have a right to exist, the problem I have with this one is that they refuse to tell consumers the calorie, fat content, etc. Now, by law, they don’t have to, but this type of food is dangerous to one’s health. On one hand, I blame the consumers for walking into such an establishment in the first place, but if people are so blind as to what is in that food (if you can call it food), then they should at least be told calorie and fat content before they order.

  9. No matter how disgusting and unhealthy the food in this establishment is, it has the right to exist, and patrons have the right to buy and consume this artery-clogging food if they choose to do so. I don’t want the government deciding what food I can and cannot eat.

  10. Interesting point, Steve. Remember when McDonald’s was sued for hot coffee when a customer spilled it on herself…all by herself? Even Seinfeld couldn’t resist that one. The question is whether it’s the Heart Attack Grill’s fault for serving obscene food or the customer’s fault for ordering the obscene food. Or, quite honestly, both. Definitely something to keep an eye on. And, by the way, keep your eye off the doughnuts…they may not be fried in lard, but they’re still fried.

  11. Yikes. I wonder what will happen if or perhaps when folks start suing fast-food and other purveyors of nasty hot death.
    If there’s one thing we Americans seen to like more than willfully destroying ourselves in the name of pleasure, it surely has to be our love of suing one another for problems we generally create ourselves.
    Nice article, Deb. Except now I want a doughnut.