Monday, March 25, 2013

Vegas Still Surprises Me!

Even after decades of visiting, 
frenetic Las Vegas still surprises me!
I was just toddling along Fremont Street
in the heart of downtown 
when I stumbled across this 
earlier this month!

Heart Attack Grill
Fremont Street
Las Vegas

May I never qualify for a free meal here!

 Over 350 lb or 160 kg Eats for Free!

A Menu to Die For

This must be 
the ultimate American
hamburger restaurant!

How about a
Double Bypass Burger
and Flatliner Fries?

Now this establishment scared the hell out of me!
Like, seriously, 
do you think I was going to get on a scale
and weigh myself publicly?

Not Likely!

Terry assured me that the scale 
was at least 30 or 40 pounds off!

Fascination and Temptation

I know this establishment has garnered 
a little criticism and controversy;
but, it takes very good care of its patients.

Yes, patients!
When you go inside,
a "nurse" takes your "prescription"
and wraps a tag around your wrist 
to show what you have ordered.
Even better!
A "doctor" will examine you with a stethoscope!

How can you miss?
With a menu like this?
(Pat and Orlin have been catching!
Too many rhymes I have been matching!)

Heart Attack Grill's Menu

Let's order!
What's your pleasure?

Single, double, triple, 
or quadruple Bypass Burger
with bacon, cheese, and, oh good,
veggies (onion and tomato)!
With all the pure lard-fried
Flatliner Fries you can eat!

Make mine a quadruple!
Count them:
9,982 calories!
4 half-pound patties
20 strips of bacon        
8 slices of American cheese,
1 tomato,
1/2 red onion
1 bun coated with lard
 Slathered with HAG's unique sauce!

And to drink?
Beer? Tequila?
Butter-fat Shake:
vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry?
Definitely chocolate ~
No ~ wait!

Make mine a Fat Bastard wine
delivered in my own novelty syringe!

And Terry will have a shot of J├Ągermeister
in his own novelty syringe!
(Just kidding, Honey!)

Self-Portrait of Me (Lower Right)

And for dessert?
Absolutely a candy cigarette!
I haven't had one of those in forever!

Remember These?

Whew ~ I'm glad they don't allow real smoking
when I'm trying to chow down all that grub!

This hospital-themed breastaurant delivers what it promises.
It's motto is Taste Worth Dying For.

The first HAG was built in 2005 
in Chandler, Arizona. 
Founder Jon Basso's focus for HAG was
"nutritional pornography" ~
food "so bad for you it's shocking."

It's unofficial spokesman and frequent customer,
Blair River, died at 29 of flu-related pneumonia in 2011.
This "Gentle Giant" was extremely obese. 
The Vegas Heart Attack Grill opened October 2011.
Since then some unsettling events have happened (Wikipedia):

* 2/2012 ~ A customer suffered an apparent heart attack 
                   while eating a Triple Bypass Burger and was taken 
                   to the hospital.

* 4/2012 ~ A woman drinking, smoking, and eating a Double  
                  Bypass Burger fell unconscious.

* 2/2013 ~ A second unofficial spokesman and daily customer,
                  John Alleman, died of an apparent heart attack 
                  in front of the restaurant while waiting for a bus.  
                  He was 52, but not obese.

Promises!  Promises!

I've heard that you can eat anything in moderation,
so I'm tempted to eat there 
when I return to Fremont Street in two months.

But the problem is 
that the Heart Attack Grill has promised 
a ride in a wheelchair to your car,  
pushed by your "personal nurse," 
if you eat a Triple or Quadruple Bypass Burger 
by yourself.

That would be halfway down Fremont Street
to my car in the Four Queen's Valet Lot.

Fremont Street
Four Queens on the Left

If they gave me a cute "personal doctor"
for that wheelchair ride,
I just might do it!

You've gotta love Las Vegas!


  1. Catching you say
    Fun to see at your bay haha
    And wow that is sad
    The things they do to get money at ones pad
    But creative I suppose
    Even though they want to cause woes
    And blah to the heart attacks actually happening too
    Would not eat at such a zoo
    Nurses you say
    Hmmm Pat can have those at his bay
    That cat is snip snip
    So he wouldn't want such a trip
    One day I may get to Vegas I suppose
    Be fun to see and now my rhyme comes to a close

    1. Good day, Mate!
      Thanks for entering the debate.
      Owner John Basso says vehemently "No!"
      to letting his contentious breastaurant go.
      But just such a thing many others propose;
      I doubt they'll succeed in making it close.
      Because, as John surely knows,
      in Las Vegas anything goes!
      Have a good one
      with some fun!

  2. Breakfast of champions! Smokes and a martini - the swimmers friend! I used to jog, but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass... Amazing pics! I'll be smiling tomorrow too. :)

    1. Hi Mark! You're going to have me chuckling all through my treadmill session later today at the thought of better things to have in my paper cup! I'm glad that you enjoyed the post! Have a great day!

  3. I love the photos...but the food portions scare the heck out of me! I lose my appetite simply by being served a plate that is overloaded with food. All this fatty stuff would have me running away screaming!!!

    1. Hi Martha! I'm with you! Any time Terry and I go somewhere where large portions are served, we split our entree. Parkway Grill, our Friday night place, automatically brings us a second plate. When I get a hamburger (which is rare), I have it bunless and with nothing on it except blue cheese crumbles. No way could I eat at HAG, despite my joke about the doctor! I hope that you are enjoying your day!

  4. Yeah, I think maybe I will skip that spot next month.

    Can you imagine... "1 bun coated with lard." Honestly, that line alone took my appetite away.

    But I'm looking forward to seeing Fremont Street, among other things!


    1. Hi Ken!
      It's so good to hear from you! Skip going into HAG and eating ~ but if you walk toward the eastern end of Fremont street you can't miss seeing it. It's actually funny in an outrageous way! But that's Vegas ~ so in your face.

      Fremont Street is very different from the Strip ~ much more real! You can be offended in every direction you look! But I love it.

      When you see the zipliners flying by overhead just think: Louise actually did that! I'm waiting for Slotzilla to open. It should give new meaning to ziplining on Fremont! I can't wait to hear about your trip to Vegas!

      Have a good day!

  5. Creat photos, always bigger in the USA.

    1. Hi GT! Thanks for commenting! My husband was worried about what people in other countries might think about this post. He thought it would reflect badly on America ~ duh! Heart Attack Grill is probably the most egregious example of unhealthy fast food served in gigantic portions. America's fascination with bigness entertains me all the time. Have a lovely day!

  6. almost-10,000 calorie burger??? That's insane. I'm not sure how I feel about this place to be honest. I know it's a free country and all so I don't mean to seem a prude, but I suppose it's the health nut in me :)

  7. Hi Keith! I'd have to walk about 125 miles to burn that burger off! I would never eat at HAG, but it's so outrageous that I can't help but laugh at the delicious, defiant humor of it all! It's hard to be a health nut on Fremont Street! You can have a breakfast of fresh strawberries (hold the whip cream) at the Four Queens, do laps up and down Fremont in the morning sunshine, and stretch out on the garbage bins at the crosswalks; but that's about as healthy as it gets! Have a healthy day! :)

  8. I'm trying to think of what to say but all I can really think is how sad the HAG is. So sad. And embarrassing!

    1. Hi Audrey! Thank you for your thoughtful comment!
      I agree with you; the thought that such a place can thrive is very sad ~ and so embarrassingly American!

      I had to photograph HAG because it blew me away on so many levels. I can see it from a number of perspectives; and yes, I admit it, one of them was in-your-face, anti-PC humor. My intent was to record what I saw (without photographing customers or employees) and to let people draw their own inclusions.

      In Vegas, under all the neon and glitter, there is much that is sad. I find it an utterly fascinating city because of all its over-the-top contradictions. I called my blog "Standing Into Danger" because I knew I would record life as I see it, and my subjects might be uncomfortable at times.

      Thanks for the honest feedback!
      Have a happy day!

  9. Jeesh. I don't know what to say. I guess I agree with Audrey. It is embarrassing. It is like something from the 'Capital' in the Hunger Games, or from the Weimer Republic - so decadent you just know the world as we know it is going to end soon. Can't believe people actually go there. Thanks for sharing though Fundy as I've heard of it but didn't know what it was!

    1. Hi Francie!
      Thank you, also, for your thoughtful comment, Francie. It is decadent (and I've got to read "The Hunger Games!"). Terry and I haven't set foot in HAG, but we have stared at it in fascinated disbelief.

      One of the amazing things to me about Las Vegas is how real it is ~ a raw, no-punches-pulled reality. The first time I went there in 1973, I half expected a lightning bolt from the sky to zap me out of existence because I was in Sin City. I've stopped expecting the lightning bolt, but Vegas endlessly challenges my thinking with its breathtaking sweep of the human experience.

      I've been in a sweat over the flowers in Grammie's field! The photo is blurred so the only clear one was the daisy. Yet I so remember QAL, and Grammie's field was always full of it. Not all QAL heads are big. I need one of those special high tech defense computers to make the image 1,000 times sharper (like the characters used in the wild novel I'm reading right now) then I could be comfortably sure again. Grammie did carry the egg basket back from Tatum's Farm! She'd come through the Depression and wouldn't risk losing an egg!

      When we had Grammie's memorial service, each of her granddaughters made a basket of the wildflowers she loved for the church; and everyone's had QAL in it. We managed to get some QAL for Mom's memorial service in Calgary too.

      Have a great day!

  10. Aaaarrrgghh!
    Not my kind of place at all!
    Now look what you've done... I don't feel like having dinner tonight!!! LOL!!!!! Only joking!!
    Good grief, these people are for real!!
    With my 47 kgs, I feel like a mouse!!
    Quite an impressive reportage but I'll choose the Wild!!
    At least you had fun on this trip! ;-)
    Cheerio, Fundy!

  11. HAHA!
    We were both on each other's blog at the same time LOL!!
    Keep well my friend!

    1. Thanks Noushka! I think I forgot to say that I love your new header with the closeup of the hawk! I like the wild better too, but the HAG did fascinate me! And yes, those people are for real! Humanity is endless in its variation. Have a good one!

  12. Hello Louise,
    I saw this restaurant on a TV program on the Food Network. I imagine it's all about the marketing and it works! I have to say I wasn't that hungry after seeing so much food!
    I would still like to visit Las Vagas one day!

  13. Hi Ivan!
    Thanks for your kind comment!

    I had never heard of this place before I saw it. There were two others before this HAG, one in Chandler, Arizona and the other in Dallas, Texas. Both closed with some controversy, Chandler for alleged leasing disagreements and renovation violations and the Dallas one for alleged non-payment of rent. The Vegas one appears to be making it. The founder John Basso has been very successful in the marketing of his restaurant and using controversy to spread the word. Las Vegas is a perfect location to have HAG, because it's a place for breaking the rules!

    I love Vegas! I've been there countless times over the years because I've always had fun. It's so in-the-moment that you have a hard time thinking about work or anything else ~ complete escape! Not everyone likes it, though; and if you are not a disciplined person, there are many ways to get into trouble ~ poor Prince Harry! I hope you get a chance to go and see it ~ one way or another, you won't be indifferent to it! Now it has many upscale restaurants and clubs ~ and the entertainment is phenomenal! I'm a sucker for the spas, but I can't go too often because they are expensive. There is even spectacular hiking
    close to the city. I'll go back again and again.

    Have an awesome evening!

  14. Have been to Vegas a few times and it sure is a happening place! I think you would need to do a lot of walking / fitness before and after visiting any of those establishments. What terrible messages they are sending out under the umbrella of humour! Its no joking matter or should that be choking matter. Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog. Look forward to future posts!

    1. Hi Paul! Thank you for visiting my blog! You managed to land on my most controversial post of the 75 or so I've published! I calculated that it would take me about 125 miles to work off just the hamburger, and that doesn't take in the fries or drinks! It's pretty scary! I'm looking forward to exploring your blog! Take care. Heal well!

  15. Replies
    1. Hi Terry! I understand! I was floored when I first saw the Heart Attack Grill! I couldn't believe my eyes! I had to photograph it, but certainly not customers or employees ~ just the signs. The food was scarier than Aunt Nan's jellied beef tongue! But, adult people make their choices. I hope you have a good evening ~ hope I didn't spoil your dinner.

  16. On PBS recently there was a show re: Diners in America. At first I thougth 'oh this is going to be so good'...I LOVE BREAKFAST food. Well, after the hour was up, I felt so nauseated. The diners were so cool but the AMOUNT of food being served scared me. I guess I'm having the same reaction to HAG! Just looking at those signs wards me off. What a wimp I am!
    Now ziplining on Fremont....tell us about that in a post! Please!


    1. Hi Ron! Well,
      I certainly stirred up a hornet's nest with this post! I, who have been going to Las Vegas 40 years come August 1973, wrote the post to show that despite all I have experienced there, Vegas can still surprise me! I was floored by HAG and its concept! Perhaps I should have made that clearer.

      Then I tried to document what I saw, deliberately not including any customers or employees. Terry is recognizable, but only if you know what he looks like from behind. Perhaps I should have injected more about how astounded I was at the concept and been more critical of the theme of HAG. Instead I chose to show/expose it and let people react to it and draw their own conclusions.

      Of course, then came the reactions: sad, embarrassing, speechless, decadent, no laughing matter ~ Even my E-P Terry was shocked at my post and critical of me for glorifying HAG ~ especially the cigarettes! Woah! I even lost a follower over the post, a Christian group. Fair enough! I didn't call my blog Standing Into Danger for nothing!

      But I stand by what I photographed and wrote. I was trying to adopt an ironic, OMG, humorous voice to accompany the photos ~ but I don't think most people appreciated that! I see HAG from a lot of perspectives, and I understand where people are coming from.

      But also see it from an outrageously funny perspective ~ in the sense that I live in a hypersensitive, polarized, politically correct society that venerates moral righteousness and capitalism while denying its darker underbelly. So when I see someone or something that blatantly puts that underbelly out there and exposes it, I relish that in-you-face, non-PC, provocative humor. And, oh, do I love hypocrites exposed, especially political ones.

      John Basso developed his concept for HAG while writing a marketing thesis about fitness training studios. The stories he was hearing about how clients cheated on their diets inspired him. He is blatantly unapologetic about what he has done and the money he is making from his restaurant ~ sites failed in Chandler and Dallas, but thrived in Las Vegas. His is such an American success story on so many levels. I am not a fan of Basso, but I do think he's one smart and creative entrepreneur. And besides sports figures like basketball player Denis Rodman, who is more venerated right now in America than entrepreneurs?

      Maybe what happened in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas ~ but this whole, multifaceted story was impossible for me to resist. Should I have taken a less what-I-thought-was-humorous approach? Maybe? NOT! I am who I am. And I had to share this unbelievable place in an unbelievable city. Las Vegas is not everyone's cup of tea, and I recognize that many people find LV offensive and sinful. But you dig a little anywhere, and you're going to find offense and sin (how about sexual abuse in certain religious institutions?). LV is just more honest about it. And going to Vegas is a choice for adults. And patronizing HAG is also a choice for adults. I chose to do one and not the other.

      I was going to do a reaction post on HAG today, but I decided to let it rest. Sorry if I've over-commented you, Ron, but it is what it is!

      I hope you are having a super, non-controversial day! Belly rubs to Sophie! I address ziplining in my reply to Jim's comment.

    2. Gees Louise ~~~ you don't have to justify anythin' to me gurlfriend. I was laughing/intrigued/grossed out/wide-eyed and bushy tailed with this educational moment. I thought seeing half-clad males going into a strip joint in P'Town was over the top for me, but seeing your LV side of life just tells me there IS more to life.
      Don't worry about followers ~~~ de-following you because there are just too many peeps out there with their own agendas. Sometimes I see my followers list number go up and down ~~~ when it goes down I think oh oh someone has unfollowed me. That's nice, but I haven't a friggin' clue as to who it was ~~~ no way am I going to spend time figuring it out either.
      Your interpretation of your world is what draws people in. I guess you are learning about yourself in this new blogosphere. You'll find that those who enjoy your manner of writing will stay with you and the "riff raff' will be blown away like chaff!
      PS Tell Terry that he seems to be lingering a little too long in front of that poster...LOL!


    3. Thanks, Ron! You're the best! And I'm just getting started! Take care!

  17. There was a time that I probably would have tried this place out....many years ago. I am trying so hard not to be judgemental here but these kind of places show how far our civilization will go just before it has a devastating fall. This reminds me of the 1979 movie 'Caligula'.
    However the zipline sounds appealing Louise. Maybe you should invest in a GoPro camera strapped to your forehead to record this experience!! That would be cool!

    1. Hi Jim!
      Thank you for your comment ~ Oops! Forgot to thank Ron. And thank you for trying not to be judgemental! HAG does have more than a touch of "Bread and Circuses" to it. I reacted to the reactions in my comments to Ron, so I won't repeat them here.

      I did lose one follower over the post, but it was a Christian site which I haven't spent much time on. I'm having issues with the intolerance of fundamentalist "Christian" groups in this country right now ~ and I am not suggesting that the group that un-followed me belongs in this intolerant group! I am not! I haven't investigated it. But I hate intolerance, hypocrisy, and moral righteousness ~ not to mention closed-mindedness ~ so I'm having a hard time identifying with "Christian" right now. Maybe I'm destined for hellfire below, but I tend to think not!

      Now, I want to investigate the GoPro camera you mentioned. I have no clue what it is, but it sounds like something I'd love! I guess I'll be googling!

      I have ziplined down Fremont Street. The attendant at the top had to push me off because I do have a fear of heights I've been struggling with all of my life. I sort of adopted an "Oh well, if I die, it's a good day to die, and I'd rather go out facing my fears than asleep in bed!" attitude.

      My first zipline experience was exhilarating! And, of course, I'm one of a small minority that got to do it in the POURING RAIN in the DESERT! I stood in line for an hour in the daytime to take the ride while Terry waited below. There is no picture of this memorable event because it was raining and I was moving fast. Terry is not used to trying to photograph flying objects with my point, zoom, and shoot camera! Professional pictures were available to buy, but I had spent more than enough on the ride (according to Terry). Because of my vanity, I agreed (I looked like a plump, drowned rat!).

      But I have given notice to Terry that when Slotzilla opens and I ride it, I'm going to buy the photo regardless of how unflattering it might be! Guaranteed there will be a post! Probably with the unflattering photo ~ because I am more than happy to poke fun at myself! My school kids laughed at me all the time, and I busted up with them!

      I hope you are having a great day. Again, I am spending way to much time on-line and ignoring Important Things. I. Have. To. Do! Now that the giant thumb has been removed from my tired, stressed body, I will not get under it again!

    2. Louise. You are a much needed breath of fresh air and I am so happy to have met you. As Ron said, there is no need for any apology. I love your energy and enthusiasm. I could never keep up with you but I am learning!! lol Hope your having a terrific day!

  18. Thanks, Jim! I appreciate the vote of confidence! And I appreciate having you as a friend! My day has been really good, particularly since I've goofed off! I stayed up way too late last night finishing a wild read ~ couldn't stop because it was a thriller connected to the super volcano under Yellowstone. Have a good evening!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.