No, I'm not trying to be satirical here, nor am I trying to use a clever burst of reverse psychology to enact protest against what could possibly be one of the most ingenious ideas in the restaurant industry, ever. I'm trying to instead silence the critics of Las Vegas' most calorie-laden establishment, including those who have been protesting its existence, claiming it carries a lackadaisical attitude toward some of the most serious health issues of our time, is morally irresponsible and is even taunting America's obesity crisis. To them I say, "Get over yourselves and take a bite."
Las Vegas has long been known as the sin capital of the United States, and for those who don't indulge in the types of heavy drinking, gambling and otherwise "legal" prostitution which is ubiquitously flaunted on every street, the Heart Attack Grill offers a solution in the form of dozens of satiating sandwiches sure to fulfill the promises implied by their names: Double-Bypass, Heart Attack, Emergency Room, et al. The restaurant fits perfectly with the themes and idealism of Las Vegas and will never, unlike so many other failed restaurants, find its appeal fleeting.
When people go on vacation, they indulge in luxuries and extravagances, so gorging oneself on a juggernaut of a burger is only fitting. America's motto has always been to live a little and, when the Heart Attack Grill opened in 2005, it had temporarily shifted to "live a lot, even in excess." So, in a way, the Heart Attack Grill is a surviving piece of the Great Recession, a remnant depicting the bodily excesses of the time period that has somehow survived the test of the antithetical "belt-tightening."
But there are the naysayers, and this article is directed at them as much as it is toward the food enthusiast or skeptic. There are some who have been protesting its existence since its opening, heralding things like "it's unsafe," that it "sets a bad example," that it's "irresponsible," and that it is responsible for the health of its patrons, including one who just recently collapsed while smoking, drinking a double margarita and eating a double-bypass burger. But these critics don't "get" the premise of the entire restaurant.
The Heart Attack Grill is providing service for a desire; a deep-seeded literal and figurative hunger to enjoy life to its fullest despite any kind of hardship one might be enduring. For some, that's eating to the point of collapse, but that is their right as Americans; and moreover, it is their choice and solely their own, and in truth the restaurant is serving them something which they are requesting, not forcing and certainly not advocating. It's undeniable that gorging on fatty and caloric foods has a negative impact on your health, which is why the restaurant is adorned with warning signs and cautionary posters, warning eaters just how dangerous their ingesting can be. "So?" say some of the protestors, "this doesn't excuse them much the way it doesn't excuse the tobacco industry from fault when their customers die." But, oh, it does.
There is no alternative to tobacco usage. There isn't an organic tobacco, nor is there a "safe" and an unsafe tobacco. There isn't a version designed for small children, nor one safer for the elderly, or one more easily digestible for those with strong nicotine allergies. But there are options for food. If one is addicted to nicotine, then one must satisfy their craving somehow. We are, naturally, "addicted" to food, but there are plenty of Subways around every corner offering heart-healthy options, and more restaurants in any large metropolitan area than one can visit in the average length of vacation time.
Therefore, eat and be merry. For at the Heart Attack Grill, tomorrow you may die.