On the front door of the 100-seat, retro-themed establishment, a "warning" from the Surgeon General urges: "Go away. If you come in this place, it's going to kill you." Patrons (referred to as "patients") must don hospital gowns and medical bracelets. "Prescriptions" (not orders) are written by women dressed in tight, short nurse uniforms. At the grill, owner Jon Basso flips burgers bedecked in doctor's scrubs as a stethoscope hangs from his neck and a cigarette dangles from his mouth.Remember that. It makes fun of the modern obsession with health. It's satire.
The menu: "Flatliner" fries, full-sugar colas, unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes, and four sizes of meat towers ranging from the "single" to the "quadruple bypass burger." If you finish the biggest meal, a nurse will push you to your car in a wheelchair.
Want more? There’s always more at the Heart Attack Grill.
People who weigh more than 350 pounds eat for free. The restaurant's spokesmodel is a 600-pound former college football player. The diner's website shows an enlarged, pulsing heart while bragging that the food is "worth dying for."
...one word the menu doesn’t contain is the single most important ingredient in Basso’s diet plan: satire.
Now, here's a story I missed a couple of months ago.
Blair River, the 575-pound spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill, an Arizona restaurant that serves shamelessly high-calorie burgers and fries, died Tuesday at the age of 29, following a bout of the flu... River came down with the flu last week, and after four days in the hospital, he succumbed to pneumonia...And that's the difference between "satire" and "irony."
"Obesity increases your risk for just about every condition, and it can make nearly every acute health problem worse," says Keith Ayoob, director of the nutrition clinic at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.