On our cross-country trip last March for the Ring of Honor events in Phoenix, we ate at many restaurants, both fine dining and dive, but without doubt the Holy Grail of Burger Joints, the Heart Attack Grill, was my favorite pigout.
The Heart Attack Grill is located in Chandler, Arizona, right outside Phoenix. It's a monument to gluttony, the Mecca of the All-American fascination with greasy cheeseburgers, and it's medical-theme gimmick is a stroke of brilliance. The Grill is set up as a medical clinic, but promoting BAD health instead of GOOD health, and it's something every burger lover should see before they die (which, with each visit, will happen sooner and sooner). Their motto is "Taste worth dying for!", and their food has been called "Nutritional Pornography". Given my affinity for both, the prospect of joining food and porn TOGETHER was nirvana!
There is a huge counter surrounding the middle of the restaurant, as well as small tables lining the walls, but if you go with a group larger than 4 at a busy time as we did, it will be hard to find seats together without sitting outside on the patio at the larger tables. The scenery, however, is worth splitting up for. Besides numerous signs, slogans and gimmicks decorating the place, you will immediately notice the nursing staff. All the servers are dressed as slutty nurses and are obviously NOT hired for their medical degrees. As a matter of fact, the place has come under fire from local nursing and medical groups in the past for "objectifying" nurses, being detrimental to their "images with the public" and bad for the medical profession in general. The outfits, as a result, are skimpy, but not nearly as skimpy as they used to be (Damn these meddlers), and there is a crotch-high strip of mirror around the inside of the counter area so you can see the other side of, and even up under, the nurses' short skirts without putting a crimp in your neck (very thoughtful of them).
(Note to all people who have complained--get a freakin' hobby, a life, a clue, or a sense of humor. It's not the Grill's fault you picked a profession that a bunch of horny guys fantasize about, nobody in their right mind is going to confuse any of these girls for real nurses, and you obviously need to get laid a little more often yourselves. As for the nutritionists who bash the Grill's menu as being "bad for you", THAT'S THE POINT!! IT'S NOT HEALTH FOOD, IT'S GREASY GOODNESS! Go be a vegetarian and leave normal folks to their fun!)
Now that that's out of the way, when you take your seat, your naughty nurse arrives to give you a hospital gown and a wristband. No customers are allowed in the "clinic" without them. The customers are called "patients", and their orders are "prescriptions". Then, you look over the placemat, which serves as the menu. It's very simple--four burgers, fries, bottled water, Coca-Cola, two kinds of beer, and a Margarita. It's what they do with them that is so special.
The burgers contain half pound patties, fried on an old-fashioned flattop grill as diner burgers should be, each patty being topped with 2 slices of American Cheese, so between the grease and the melting cheese you are in for the ultimate gooey, dripping burgergasm. The buns are even spread with a little lard before being toasted! Your choices are the half-pound single bypass burger, the one-pound double bypass, the one and a half pound triple bypass, and the champion of them all, the two pound quadruple bypass. Each burger is delivered to your table in a paper basket, and plain--just meat, cheese and bun--then you take it to the dressing bar where you apply pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, condiments and seasonings to your heart's content (and torment).
The only side is the Flatliner Fries, which are genuine Idaho potatoes cut into fries, and deep fried in real lard, then salted generously. The Flatliner Fry bar is all you can eat for one price. The Coca-Colas come in the old-style 12 ounce bottles, and imported from Mexico where Coke is still made with real sugar, not whatever healthy chemicals are forced on us here in the St ates. Corona and Pabst Blue Ribbon in bottles, a Margarita in a large glass or bottled water are your only other choices. They also sell unfiltered Lucky Strikes at the counter for your convenience.
Our naughty nurse took our order (as well as checking our pulse and blood pressure). Anyone who orders (and FINISHES) a Quadruple Bypass Burger gets a free wheelchair ride out to their car when they're done. Never one to pass up a challenge or a photo op, and being two months into a low carb diet (no bread, no potatoes, no pasta, no sugar, no reason to live), I was ready to fall off the wagon and went for the gold, along with the a la carte fry bar and a bottle of water. My o nly disappointment was no Sprite on the menu, and since I can't drink caffeine, I had to go H2O. Hoping water didn't spoil the damage I was trying to do to my arteries, I headed to the fry bar.
Not wanting to be a hero before the burger arrived, I stuck with one basket of fries, which were just as they should be--salty, greasy and crispy. While munching them, I noticed another attraction of the Grill--anyone over 350 pounds eats free all day, every day with no limit. After weighing in with a nurse, they will feed you single bypasses one after another until you quit or drop. Kenny Bolin heard about this and immediately began checking real estate prices in Arizona. Besides the nurses, the grill cooks are dressed in hospital scrubs, and the owner, Dr. Jon, is outfitted in lab coat and stethoscope, prowling the kitchen/grill/operating room.
Before too long, my massive Quadruple Bypass arrived--four patties equalling two full pounds of fried cow, topped with 8 slices of gooey cheese, by the Grill's own estimate a whopping 8,000 CALORIES of burger bonanza. With tears of happiness in my eyes, I took it to the dressing bar, and loaded up on pickles and onions, then stopped short of lettuce and tomato because I realized if the thing was a millimeter taller I couldn't get my hands around it to pick it up. As it was, my mouth wouldn't open wide enough, so I had to take alternating bites from top down and bottom up to eat it without taking it apart, but it was worth every second as it was the ultimate greasy burger experience. The meat was tasty and perfectly done, and the hospital gown came in handy as I would have had to throw away my clothes without it. Applying myself with vigor, I finished this bad boy in just under 10 minutes, then turned to Stacey and quietly asked if it would be bad manners to order at least another single, since these things were just TOO good. She had ordered a Double Bypass and still had about half of it left, so she slid it over to me and I downed the rest of it as well. Since there was no dessert on the menu, I decided to go for one more basket of fries, but there came the Grill's only mistake--in trying to keep up with the sold-out houses' demand, the orderly had not left the recent batch of fries in the lard-filled fryer long enough, so they were still limp and soggy. Not wanting to eat anything bad for my health, I called it a day.
The nurse came by to present our medical bill, and even THAT is a gimmick. The Grill only takes cash, and each item is priced an odd price, so when the sales tax is figured it comes out to an even dollar amount (i.e., Quad Bypass is $12.87, or $14.00 with tax, and so on.) The Fries ($1.84 with tax is $2.00 for all you can eat) and drinks are done the same way. After paying, our blonde Florence Nightingale went to work, as she had to transport 4 members of our party out to their cars in the aforementioned free wheelchair ride. Coming in at about 115 pounds with a rock in her pocket, it was a struggle for her, but she performed her duties with a good bedside manner, and got a hefty gratuity for it.
If you like greasy burgers and slutty women, like every red-blooded American boy (and some girls) should, you HAVE to get to the Heart Attack Grill!
Heart Attack Grill
6185 West Chandler RoadChandler, Arizona 85226.
They're open Monday-Saturday 11Am-8:30PM, and Sundays 11-3:30.
They have no phone--"If you have a Medical Emergency, dial 911" or go their website
www.heartattackgrill.com --but don't call, just GO!!