John Alleman, the unofficial spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill, died of a heart attack yesterday. If you’re not familiar, the Las Vegas restaurant’s whole schtick is serving horrendously unhealthy food–like the “quadruple bypass burger,” which contains nearly 10,000 calories alone–with a staff dressed up as nurses and doctors. Because who wouldn’t want to visualize a trip to the E.R. while consuming food that’s literally closing their arteries?!
Last year, the restaurant’s customers were dropping left and right: It was like they hired people who could have heart attacks on command to come keel over while eating in their restaurant, as some kind of sick publicity stunt. One guy had a heart attack while eating the tripe bypass burger; shortly after that, a woman collapsed and nearly died in the restaurant while eating a similarly-named dish. Both survived, leaving own Jon Basso to wax poetic about how his restaurant attracts “an avant-garde clientele — thrill-seekers, risk-takers,” and pushed the “bad for you, but fun” ethos of the restaurant.
But contrary to Basso’s attitude, eating gross food isn’t like skydiving. Even if you get a great thrill out of flipping the bird at your health and over-the-top gluttony, the risk of death by burger doesn’t come with a single visit to the Heart Attack Grill. It comes with a long history of eating bad-for-you food instead of good-for-you meals, and Alleman’s death is sad proof of that there’s nothing glamorous about eating yourself to death.
From Eater’s summary of the story:
Alleman was taken the Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas last week, and his brother decided to remove him from life support yesterday at age 52.
The restaurant’s tagline is “Taste…worth dying for.” But is it worth forcing your family to take you off life support at the young age of 52? Because I actually really like burgers, but I don’t think I’ve ever tasted one that good.