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Vegetarians in Paradise
Vegetarianism in the News

February 1, 2007 -- Vegparadise News Bureau

Heart Attack Grill:
You Get What You Pay For

Editors' Note: As vegetarians we are quite aware of the unhealthy, destructive eating habits of the general population that has led to a national health crisis. The following story details how people are being lured into eating in a restaurant that boasts about the unhealthfulness of its menu.

"Are You Man Enough…For the Triple Bypass Burger Challenge?"
The question should be, " Are you stupid enough to take the Triple Bypass Burger challenge?" The challenge is being flaunted by Heart Attack Grill, a restaurant in Tempe, Arizona that has plans to become a national phenomenon or as they say, "Coming Soon To An Artery Near You!"

The Triple Bypass Burger comes with three half-pound beef patties, accompanied by three layers of gourmet red onion, three slices of cheddar cheese, three layers of "juicy" bacon, three slices of beefsteak tomato, a gourmet sauce, and a freshly baked bun.

The restaurant proudly announces that wheelchair service is included with the purchase of a Triple Bypass Burger. An attractive "nurse" in a skimpy uniform wheels the patron to his car after he has completed his "procedure." Instead of being wheeled to his car, the patron might be better served if the "nurse" called 911 for an emergency ambulance to rush him to the hospital for an angioplasty. With the restaurant's motto, "Taste…Worth Dying For!" it might be appropriate to have a few ambulances warmed up and ready to race to the restaurant.

Order Me a Bypass
For those who don't find the triple is enough, the restaurant touts its obscene sandwich, The Quadruple Bypass Burger with 2 pounds of beef and four layers (12 slices) of bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and onion. This sandwich also entitles the eater to wheeelchair service. Customer Joey "Jaws" Chestnut has been inducted into the Grill Hall of Fame for downing a Quadruple Bypass Burger in one minute and 47 seconds. Those who are not as intrepid may settle for the Single Bypass and Double Bypass Burgers, but because these sandwiches are not as life threatening, no wheelchair service is provided.

To accompany any of the Bypass Burgers, customers can scarf down Flatliner Fries that are deep-fried in pure lard and then topped with melted mozzarella cheese and beef gravy. For thirst quenchers the restaurant offers beer and soda. Anyone asking to see nutritional data for items on the menu is obviously in the wrong restaurant.

Customers seeking their own demise from lung cancer can dine under a cloud of smoke as they puff on Marlboro, Camel, and Lucky Strike cigarettes that are on the menu. As the sign boldly announces, "When you're in the mood to be bad, add cigs to your meal." Unfortunely, there are no oxygen tanks available for those suffering from emphysema and other respiratory problems.

Health professionals challenging the Heart Attack Grill are professional nurses objecting to the restaurant's labeling its waitresses as "nurses." The Arizona Assistant Attorney General wrote to Jon Basso, the owner, telling him not to use "nurse" in his advertising or in his restaurant unless the person holds a valid license to practice nursing in the state.

Sexy Nurses Handle Bypasses
On the company's website, Basso says, "The use of the word "Nurse" above is only intended as a parody. None of the women pictured on our website actually have any medical training, nor do they attempt to provide any real medical services. It should be made clear that the Heart Attack Grill and its employees do NOT offer any therapeutic treatments (aside from laughter) whatsoever."

Following Basso's theme, the cooks wear surgical scrub outfits while the "nurses" are decked out in sexy attire that includes fishnet stockings, mini-mini skirts, and plunging necklines to create a naughty look. As Fox News reports, "The burgers are stacked and, apparently, so are the waitresses." When Basso is at the restaurant, he wears a white doctor's coat and hangs a stethoscope around his neck.

Fans of the restaurant can receive a free ringtone for their cellphones, have photos turned into wallpaper for their computer screens, or listen to the "Heart Attack Grill Song."

The Heart Attack Grill concept, developed as his master's thesis, presents the idea "that we are bad for you and proud of it." Basso says, "Enjoy, because you shouldn't eat here every day of the week. It's not good for you, but if you eat here once or twice a week it's not going to kill you and you'll have a good time." Women Are Too Smart
To Basso's surprise there are some regulars who return quite often and even one customer who has come twice a day. In an interview with Fox News, Basso admitted that 90% of his patrons were men.

"Women in America are too smart for us," he said. He describes the menu as "puposely high cholesterol and purposely high caloric." What he doesn't say is that anyone indulging in this simple menu featuring beef, fries, cigarettes, and beer is a candidate for lung cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease.

The restaurant's philosophy is spelled out in this key message on their website: "Taste Worth Dying For! is more than just a slogan, it's a core of philosophy which understands that life is short so one should 'Eat, Drink, an be Merry!'"

Fortunately for this country, Heart Attack Grill has not expanded beyond its one location. Perhaps, most people realize that you get what you pay for and that eating this way is a stupid idea. Yet, various versions of double and triple bypass burgers flourish under other names and are available around the world.

  • Burger King has its Triple Whopper with Cheese.
  • McDonald's sells a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
  • Carl's Jr. boasts its Double Six Dollar Burger.
  • Hardee's offers the Monster Thickburger.

The barrage of recent media headlines tells the story:

Obesity epidemic rages across nation
Health care crisis reaches critical stage

Is there any wonder why?

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