Never eat at a restaurant named Mom’s? How about one named Heart Attack Grill?
Mid-20th century novelist Nelson Algren had a couple of rules for life, one of which was “never eat at a restaurant named Mom’s.”
Personally, I would have no problem eating at Mom’s.
I wouldn’t say my mother was a great cook – my father was way too meat and potatoes for that to happen – but she had some dishes that were pretty darned good. Her soups were fantastic. For a German girl, she made a very tasty spaghetti sauce. And I wouldn’t mind opening the fridge door and finding a vat of her beef stew sitting there. She was also an excellent baker. If I found one of her apple pies next to that vat of beef stew, I would be completely delighted.
So I would happily eat at a restaurant named Mom’s.
But a restaurant named Heart Attack Grill?
Come now. Isn’t that just asking for trouble.
As it was for one hapless nosher who, having been foolish enough to sup at a joint that displays a warning sign reading "Caution! This establishment is bad for your health," almost died.
“It was no joke," said Jon Basso, who promotes himself "Doctor Jon," his scantily-clad waitresses as nurses and customers as patients.
Basso said he could tell right away the man in his 40s eating a Triple Bypass burger was having trouble. He was sweating, shaking and could barely talk. (Source: AP article, here from The Washington Post, but initially spotted by my brother-in-law Rick on Bloomberg. That terminal is worth every penny you pay for it!)
Apparently, he was having a heart attack that his fellow patrons thought was part of the act. Some of them were shooting videos as he was being hauled out be EMT’s.
An intrepid reporter for Bloomberg Business Week had dined there a few months back, and his description was enough to make me seriously consider signing up for a water and tofu diet. It’s not just that the waitresses – ho-ho (ho-HO?) - wear naughty nurse uniforms, and are referred to as nurses. It’s not just Dr. Jon, wears a doctor’s gown and sports a stethoscope. It’s not just that diners wear hospital gowns, too. It’s that:
Wheelchairs are on hand to assist those who have become immobilized by a triple- or 8,000-calorie, two-pounds-of-beef, $12.94 quadruple-bypass burger (three or four patties, plus American cheese and optional bacon—15 or 20 slices of the latter).
8,000 Calories! That’s 4 to 5 times what the average sedentary middle aged American requires. (And why am I guessing that the average diner there is not a four-sport male high school athlete who would have a hard time mowing down 8,000 calories. Let alone your average sedentary middle aged American.)
There are many other nice touches at Heart Attack. Like letting those who weigh in at 350 pounds (plus or minus) gorge themselves for free. Like pictures of Colt 45 that pose the question “Feeling Ghetto?” (Why am I guessing that they don’t put out the welcome mat for certain segments of our populace, even those of the obese persuasion?)
The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas is a re-lo of some now-closed outlets in Arizona. This after their local AZ spokesmodel died last year at the age of 29. And the weight of 570 pounds.
I suppose that everyone in Arizona who was going to give the Heart Attack a one-shot try, just for the novelty, has done so. And the repeat customers may have all died off. So Las Vegas must seem like the perfect venue: Lots of tourists who will try anything once. No such thing as moral suasion not to behave like a self-indulgent jerk. A big fat fatwa on prudery and moderation of all kinds.
Apparently the man with the Heart Attack heart attack is doing okay.
If he’s got any sense, he’ll keep his name withheld and regret that he gave in to such a gluttonous impulse. If he’s one of those 15-minutes-of-fame guys, he’ll no doubt be back for another pass the Triple Bypass burger, hoping for a cut of the “I survived a triple bypass” tee-shirts that are no doubt in the making. And posing with a “nurse” waitress feeding him some lard-ass inducing fries.
Hey, people are welcome to pick their poison. But is it any wonder that we have an obesity epidemic in this country?
Me? I’ll take a moderate serving of stew and apple pie at Mom’s, thank you.