Is it more surprising that this restaurant lives up to its name (a woman died at the Las Vegas eatery this past Saturday), or that people actually go there and pay money to risk their lives for a taste of the grease-riddled goodness they serve? The Heart Attack Grill (which obviously thrives on bad publicity such as this) is a Freemont Street favorite for people who want a thrill ride that could land them in the ICU. The menu specializes in only a few things: “flat liner” fries, hefty burgers (the bun is coated with real lard), beer, milkshakes (made with real milk fat), soda and, for dessert, no-filter cigarettes.
But it’s not the menu or the place that shocks me–it’s the fact that people are attracted to the novelty and actually eat there. It’s like a drunk dare that someone actually made a reality. “Hey, let’s create a restaurant where people might actually have a heart attack and call it just that.” People flock to their doors. After the recent death of one of their customers, I’m sure the wait in line will be as long as the VIP clubs on the Vegas strip. Maybe they should put red velvet ropes outside for crowd control. Better yet, they could put up links of sausages and serve chocolate coated pigs in a blanket as hors d’oeuvres. I guess I’d better trademark that now, because the owner of the joint, “Dr. Jon,” might just use that crazy idea and run with it.
I do yoga, but I’m not a vegetarian. I like vegetables (when they are covered in some sort of sauce, blended up into a smoothie, or cooked in garlic and oil–although I do enjoy a raw carrot from time-to-time when I am feeling guilty), but I couldn’t turn down a good steak. And I eat hamburgers, but I prefer the kind you get at places like B.Good or turkey burgers from Whole Foods. I suppose Dr. Jon thinks he is doing his civic duty by allowing people to eat what they truly desire (but might otherwise be embarrassed to say they want to ingest) without any false pretenses. But risking your life with a meal? I just don’t see the fun in that.
I like to consider myself a risk-taker. I’ve gone hang-gliding in Brazil. I lived in NYC for 7 years. I even got married in Las Vegas. But trying a burger that is sure to block an artery one bite in? I just don’t see the point of paying someone to press fast forward on my life expectancy. I’ll stick to riding the Freemont Street zipline and just enjoy my commute with the thrill off taking the off-ramp from Route 95 to Route 93.
I wonder what Dr. Jon’s insurance policy looks like? I bet it weighs a few more pounds than that 2-lb. quadruple bypass burger he hocks on the menu. Be sure to read the fine print, though. You have to be weighed in at over 350 lbs. before you can eat for free. I guess even Dr. Jon draws the line somewhere.