The Heart Attack Grill

Kate CP - posted on 05/13/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )




Recently opened in Dallas. Here's the article:

​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 Heartache 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.

​"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.

"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.

Seriously? We're so fat now that we reward the morbidly obese with free food? Really? REALLY?!


Sharon - posted on 05/14/2011




Its no better & no worse than any other fast food or over indulgent food.

I've heard their food is bland, despite the fat load.

You aren't meant to eat that shit day in & day out. But when you're craving that silly burger, then have it.

If you're not smart enough to figure out your self indulgence is killing you an ounce at a time, then you should be flushed out of the gene pool via the death tunnel.

Stop being lazy, get up off your fat ass and MOVE. Eat right. Indulge once in a while. Not day in & day out.

We eat more veggies & fruits in this house than we do chips. But we do eat chips. We eat a lot of fish and baked skinless chicken. But we go out and scarf down, artichoke dip with fried tortilla chips and a giant multilevel burger + fries and a milkshake meal. About once every other month.

If you're morbidly obese and eating that kind of food, I have no sympathy for you.


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Lacye - posted on 05/15/2011




That was just shit nasty. I may be a big person but I would never allow something like that into my body. At least I do have some standards.

[deleted account]

Just to add, I range from 270-285 depending on the month. I don't eat fast food except maybe once a month because I simply don't like it. I've never liked McDonalds. If I want a good cheeseburger, I don't go to a place like that. The only fast food place that gets my business is Mighty Taco, especially at BBQ Burrito time of year. I eat only good, homemade food that's good for me. I just eat a lot of it and I eat for comfort. No lies there. I think if people however want to go to a place like this, it's no one's business. And before anyone brings up health care costs, I don't disagree on that aspect but if we're going to do that, then I want to be allowed to interfere in other people's health too. For example, I want to stop people from having more than 2 children, I would like to force all people to have vaccines - no exceptions, I would like to require all sorts of things that aren't my business but drive up health care costs too. But that's just me.

I don't worry about what people eat or don't eat because it's not my business. I have enough of my own troubles without worrying about Joe Smith's 400lb frame going to eat an 8000 calorie burger that probably doesn't taste very good to begin with. (too much fat in any food item ruins masks the flavor of other ingredients in my never humble opinion.)

[deleted account]

Natually it's shocking. But just to point out - lard is not the horrid thing to deepfry in. Transfats are the bad 'uns.

Could we get one of those 8000 calorie burgers for my ex husband though?

Sneaky - posted on 05/15/2011




Only if you pay for the physio to fix my back after I drag your fat arse outside Joanna!

Firebird - posted on 05/14/2011




Just reading about the food in that article made me feel nauseous. If I ever make it 350 lbs, promise me guys, that you'll just drag me out and shoot me!

Alexis - posted on 05/14/2011




They are a business that has tapped into a market, I feel that they have every right to be there and function. If there was no demand for it they wouldnt survive. People have choices and these obese people who choose to eat there would choose to eat horribly anywhere else if Heart Attack Grill didn't exist, obviously they are already obese. I have no problems with it, especially when there are so many healthy options out there that are just as easy to access. If you want to kill your self by being obese go ahead, you know the risks.

Tah - posted on 05/14/2011




I want to barf just reading this..8000 calories..this is why the patients I see after heart surgery, knee replacements etc are getting younger and bigger...I'll be upstairs in my gym...

Jayce - posted on 05/14/2011




Someone wants to eat there - then go ahead. Who am I to stop them? They warm you before you go in what the deal is. I wouldn't eat there though.

Katie - posted on 05/14/2011




I hate to say it but I don't think that the person who opened it is stupid...Lacking in the morals department but not stupid. It's just like any other industry, you cater to a demographic and try to make a profit. With the US having the obesity rates they do I bet the place will make a killing (lol no pun intended.) Like someone else said, at least they are being honest about what they are selling, theres no throwing a green salad on the plate in a sad attempt to make the meal seem healthier. If you are eating there you are getting what you've paid for and if your stupid enough to eat there then....Kinda serves you right.

[deleted account]

I haven't eaten breakfast yet..... Now i don't think i could stomach it. It's not even the food it's that some stupid person actually opened a place that sells this crap.

Jodi - posted on 05/14/2011




LOL Laura, truth in advertising. Probably a first.

I actually just figure if people want to go there and kill themselves, then who am I to say they shouldn't? They KNOW if they eat that stuff all the time it's going to kill them. Call it natural selection........

Isobel - posted on 05/14/2011




at least they're not lying about their'll kill you, you should know that before you walk in the door

Sneaky - posted on 05/14/2011




I am so hungry right now . . . . . .

But yes, it's always confronting to meet a person/corporation happy to let people kill themselves as long as they get a share of the profits (reminds me of cigarette manufacturers actually).

I also think that people that are that morbidly obese and eat at places like that are actively trying to kill themselves. Closing the shop will not help them - intensive psycho-therapy might.

Nikki - posted on 05/14/2011




There was a tv program about this place on a while ago. It is disgusting I can't believe that people are so stupid they eat this crap. A milkshake made with cream? blah that makes me want to throw up.

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