The Heart Attack Grill is Open, and It's Even More Terrible Than We Imagined

Categories: Whimsy
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All photos by Jenny Block
The 1 pound Double Bypass burger...for $9.24. For $1.85: 8 more bacon slices!
A neon sign hangs in the window of a new Dallas burger shop. "Taste worth dying for," it reads. The neon in the window confirms your suspicion that some less-than-subtle gimmickry is at play: "Over 350 pounds eat free."

It's the Heart Attack Grill. The first one, in Phoenix, opened its doors in 2005, and they've somehow stuck around long enough to expand to Dallas' West End. It opened today. I stopped by around 1 p.m. today and a "nurse" met me at the door.

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"I'm sorry," she said. "We're closed. We're having grill problems. But we'll be open tomorrow."

I told her I was a reporter and she asked me to hold on. She came back out with owner Jon Basso -- "Dr. Jon," as he likes to call himself.

"Tomorrow's our real opening. We're just having a few media today. But come in and I'll get you a Coke, full sugar, and we can talk."

"Oh, wait," he said. "She can't come in without a gown." Guests are referred to as patients and a "uniform" is required. A smiling nurse in an outfit two sizes too small and three sizes too short held one out for me and turned me around to tie the strings around my neck.

Basso told me he couldn't let me order any food. "We have to close down the grill and have a meeting about operations," he said. I did get to see a few burgers going out to customers though.

One I saw was the Double Bypass Burger. It's a pound of meat, two slices of cheese, bacon, and gobs of sauce. It's $9.24, but you can add eight bacon slices for $1.85.

I wandered around taking pictures. Folks, big folks, sat at the counter eating. Classic paintings redone with diner and hamburger and overeating motifs hung on the walls. The scantily clad "nurses" fawned over the guests. The fatter the better, praising their choice to come in and delighting at bringing them whatever they ask. It's like Hooters in Hell.

"How is it?" I asked one of the guys halfway through a Double Bypass Burger. He was a really big man.

"Good. Really good," he answered. Honestly? I wanted to slap that burger out of his hands and take him with me to my next Weight Watchers meeting. And I wanted to punch the good doctor in the face.

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"Take this shot," he told me as he got in place between two women, pretending to listen to one of their hearts with a stethoscope.

I didn't get to see the Flatliner Fries. But on the menu, they boast that they are deep fried in pure lard. And their Butterfat Milkshakes? They advertise them as being pure cream. But the worst of the worst is their Quadruple Bypass Burger. It has 8,000 calories. Eight fucking thousand. There are "only" 704 in a Big Mac with cheese. Makes Mickey D's sounds like NutriSystem.

"By tomorrow we still won't be a well-oiled machine. But we'll be a machine," I overheard him say to a girl with a notepad and pen.

A well-greased machine, maybe.

The chain's own spokesperson died at the age of 29. He died from pneumonia, but Basso says that the guy would have likely survived if he hadn't been morbidly obese. From his burgers.

A massive blood pressure machine sits outside of the bathroom. A wheelchair sits by the door. A scale looms behind the counter. Rumor has it that patients who survive the Triple or Quadruple Bypass Burgers get wheeled to their cars by their own "private nurse."

Protestors were expected, apparently, giving out fresh fruit. I didn't see any. But I did see a number of signs posted on the fence across the street. "Healthy Kids Live Longer." "Don't be Tempted by Fat." (That one's adorned with a pitchfork.) "Slimming World gives you Health and Hope today.")

On the heels of last night's report of two obese women being told they couldn't fly on a Southwest flight, it seems all the more hideous. We're so fat we can't fit in an airline seat. We use scooters at the mall. We're getting fused to our chairs, and we're literally dying of fat-assedness.

And the Heart Attack Grill is happily along for the ride.

An earlier version of this story referred to the restaurant as the Heartache Grill. That is not the restaurant's name, and would probably be a different restaurant altogether.

Location Info

Heart Attack Grill - CLOSED

1718 N. Market St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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54 comments
Davidthompson28
Davidthompson28

well the Vegas one has certainly lived up to its name  lets open over here tell me more 

Itseveryoneelsesfaultimfat
Itseveryoneelsesfaultimfat

If you want to whine about something real, watch a few documentaries on Youtube about Monsanto GMO's.

ADOLPHUS
ADOLPHUS

This place is totally ridiculous. Encouraging people to kill or hurt themselves is crazy because that is really what is happen there.I doubt that it will make it in BIG D.

annette
annette

This is disgusting as are people who go there.

Christy Morgan
Christy Morgan

If anyone is actually considering this place as a dining option, please run to the theater and see the movie Forks Over Knives. The concept of this place takes fast food to an all-time low, if it couldn't get any lower. Sick. The owners of this business should be put in jail for killing people. If you take your children here you are committing child abuse. Eat plants people!! Having your chest cut open is not fun.

Lolita
Lolita

We ate there yesterday, the burgers were great!  The service fantastic.  The gimick was hysterical.  Great fun.  Come on!  It's only a burger and fries people!  You don't have to go if you don't want to!!!!  

Ashley Johnston
Ashley Johnston

Texas has 3 of the 10 fattest cities in America. this is insulting and not helping. for the people who claim they will just go a few times a year and they are younger and fit, good for you.. not so bad.. but for the majority of the population, this is completely not needed and not helping where society should be.  this one is a no go for me.

Chris
Chris

Interesting article, but I still think its a persons choice. Clearly this isn't a place you should eat everyday, but people shouldn't smoke or drink everyday but they do. Being fit is a personal choice, so is wearing a seatbelt or a helmet. I don't think you can blame them for what they sell. I think its cleaver marketing 

Califrutandnut
Califrutandnut

Wow. What a fucked up, Kafta-esque food porn fantasy that is.

Jon
Jon

Ugh! So gross and culturally retarted! 

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

 obviously this isnt somewhere you'd want to eat every day. but people who know how to practice moderation can find that eating there perhaps a few times a year isn't going to kill you. the only thing this place does that 1000 other places dont do is go out of their way to point out how unhealthy their food is

W
W

This is supposed to be for fun kinda like going to a strip club.  If people want to eat this stuff and die early more power to them.  Why do other people care?  I don't remember seeing protesters. I did have to stand in line for 45 minutes then it took another hour to get my food.  It was a fun thing to do beautiful day as well.  Why is it everyone wants to stop fun?  We should be able to do whatever we want without whiners bothering us preaching diet theology. 

Kevin John Gilhooly
Kevin John Gilhooly

Hmm. Photos of burgers make me hungry. Listing to skinny people whine does not make me want to diet. Discuss.

Do they at least yell "Clear!!" when they serve the food?

jake22
jake22

I love it. I haven't tried this place but I plan on it...i think if people just follow the "Dr"s intructions. He said no more than once a week. I prob will only go a couple times a year and I eat healthy most times. i'm 5'11 165. But It feels good to "pig out" every now and again. 

Rlove
Rlove

First off, get the name right - in the first sentence you call it the Heartache Grill. You go downhill from there. The Quadruple Bypass burger is NOT 8,000 calories, but a concoction they offer with way more than four patties comes in at that. Are you a REAL writer?

In-N-Out opens and everyone is all happy and excited, but Heart Attack opens and it's the ruin of us all - in your opinion. Do you truly think it's that evil or are you just jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else? It's a BURGER, get over it. If you want to live forever and wish that you could die of boredom, eat healthy all the time. If you want to have fun and enjoy some flavor now and then, branch out and have a good, fatty, flavorful burger. Everything in moderation.

Oh, and Jenny...the nurses dressed in "too small" uniforms are not exactly something new, ie Hooters, Bone Daddy's, Twin Peaks, get over that too.

Get back to the salad beat if you can't handle this stuff.

Darrylrs
Darrylrs

The whole concept is stupid. Like titty bars having food. The west end sucked when it was happening for all of  ten minutes. Every time you go to this place, your weight goes up but your IQ goes down. 

Robert
Robert

The hamburger bun in the photo looks like it's from a Mrs Baird's day-old store.

And the Heart Attack grill should advertise with the radio stations who sell hair plug and sleep apnea surgeries.

I got nothing. I was going to white knight for the reviewer, but I have a case of the Mondays.

BadDalek
BadDalek

 Oh my god. Cry some more for us, will you?

You're OBVIOUSLY not supposed to eat there everyday. It's a 'fun' type place to go, just to say  "Dudes, no, I've got you beat. I stuffed an 8000 calorie burger down my throat. NO REALLY, I DID."

I'm 5"2' and 120 pounds. I got a single bypass yesterday and I ate all but the last TWO bites. Not because I was full, but because it was a wee bit too salty (Then again, I'm really sensitive to salt) and I had HALF a butterfat milkshake. It was the best damn Milkshake I've ever had (despite the ACTUAL chunks of butterfat floating around in there. I had to throw them out. It was a texture thing. D:) You know how many calories were in that? Probably a metric shit-ton. But you know what? Me eating there every now and then isn't going to make me bloat up like a balloon. The burger was good, again, a little salty but the seasoning was pleasantly mild. I would definitely eat there again if I'm taking a fun-loving friend or family member who understands this place is purely for entertainment of eating something deliciously horrible for you.

People will get fat with or without Heart Attack Grill. If they get fat SOLELY from H.A.G. then that's their problem, the restaurant had nothing to do with it other than serve the food the person had ordered; it's not like they're not screaming at you "THIS PLACE ISN'T HEALTHY". It has warning signs all over the place.I recommend everyone break their diet for a day and go try this place. It's really a pleasant little treat. 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Me likey the blond nurse...and I'd wager that a big ass 4 meat, 8 pieces of cheese and stitload of bacon burger anywhere would probably be pretty high in calories.  It's their schtick, wish I had of thought of it first..but the wifey probably wouldn't let me "screen" the nurses.  

Pot2kettle
Pot2kettle

The crispy calamari and vegetables at Red lobster is 1520 claories, The texas cheese fries with chilli at chillis is 2120 calories, The Big Jacks PB&J at Potbelly is 1307 calories, The Italian Hunters club at Jimmy Johns is 948 calories, The Power Strawberry Surf Rider at Jamba Juice is 540calories a Granda Peppermint white Choclate Mocha will set you back 470 calories at Starbucks....The point is, on every menu there is something fattening (even at these so called healthy places), but most places try to hide it at least HAG does not

Jay
Jay

I wish there was free fruit outside, I'd stop by :) ...but seriously what's the difference between ordering one burger here and ordering two or three somewhere else and eating it by yourself? Don't target the adults, target the children if you really want change.

Sherylnorquay
Sherylnorquay

This is just a.... cheap horror movie of the ultimate outcome of the Fast Food Culture of the USA.... except its true :S

Mszmom
Mszmom

I have to agree with Justin that 8000 is a bit high, I just cant see what could possibly add up to that.  I thinks it's mostly gimmick myself and to be quite honest I bet the food taste amazing...

Guest
Guest

Taco Casa, which is a chain in North Texas, has a Super Nachos that their own website lists as 300+ fat grams and over 2000 calories.  And enough sodium to kill a horse.  And they sell those like hotcakes. 

Guest
Guest

 The hot nurses are not discouraging me from going

CHECK YOU OUT GUY
CHECK YOU OUT GUY

you libe to liberal obama loving assholes in dallas who are raising hell over this are a bunch of fing idiots,i would hate to live yalls sad ass lives.. i bet ever one of ya live off credit cards,have cat and dog hair all over the house.. all yall do is bitch.. damn i  am glad i dont have live with all you miserable wannabes...

Christopher
Christopher

 We are all gonna die anyway... why not enjoy the greasy delight of a cheeseburger!  

Terri
Terri

Why don't they hire waitstaff who weigh over 350??  They'd look great in those nurse's uniforms. 

seb
seb

So should be go there or not? The writing says no, but the pictures say maybe. Nice one.

Venezia609
Venezia609

 Looks like your changing your writing style to be more like Alice Laussade's.  There is only one James Beard nominated Alice and you aren't her.

bobby
bobby

 Really?  What's the big deal?   You've reviewed places just as fattening as this place, they didn't have this gimmick. I don't believe any food is bad for you....with moderation.  I love junk food, I just control how often I eat it.  I've been "good" all week, so I'll probably hit this place up tomorrow.

marc
marc

 Great article.Very funny. How anyone can defend this place is beyond me. Yes anyone is free to go, this being a capitalistic society , but really. i lost my appetite just looking at it

Heperd
Heperd

 how was the food you idiot

Ardy
Ardy

The subtlety of vegans is dazzling.

Moebottoms
Moebottoms

DID YOU MEAN CLEAVAGE MARKETING :)

Coleman
Coleman

 what hot nurses? I see no hot nurses

BadDalek
BadDalek

OH MAH JESUS. YOU REPUB BUSH HUMPIN ASSHOLES IN DALLAS WHO R RAISIN' HELL OVER THIS ARE A BUNCH OF FING UNEDUCATED CAINT SPELL WURTH A SHIT HIELLBILLEHS. I WULD HAET TO LIVE YALLS SAD IG'NANT LIVES.. I BET EVURY WUN OF YA LIVE OFF EXHAUST FUMES FROM YER OIL BURNIN', SQUEAKY BRAKED, BROKEN DOWN TRAILER TRUCK, HAVE A DAWG CHAINED UP IN THE BACKYARD. ALL YA'LL DO IS COMPLAIN 'BOUT OBAMA CUZ YOU AINT GOT THE SENSE TO UNDERSTAND HOW GUVERNMENT RLY WURKS. DAMN. I AM GLAD I DONT HAVE TO LIVE WITH ALL YALL ILLITERATE, IGNORANT REDNECKS.

(I couldn't resist.) 

Downtowner
Downtowner

What a fucking illiterate bitch-bag.

CheckYouOut2
CheckYouOut2

You show your ignorance, because Obama would love the Lucky Strikes this place sells  

Ardy
Ardy

...and out come the barely literate morons.

BadDalek
BadDalek

 Go. It's yummy.

But it's not worth the hour wait that they've been having since they opened. Give it a few weeks. <3

Dorky E
Dorky E

Well played, Venezia609. Well played, indeed.

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