The food police are at it again.
This time they are calling for the closure of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas calling owner Joe Basso “ethically bankrupt.”
All the fuss is over a customer who had a heart attack last weekend while chowing down on a Triple Bypass Burger. It is the wimp version of the Quadruple Bypass Burger that horrified critics have labeled “the world’s worst junk food.”
The Quadruple Bypass Burger consists of 8,000 calories made with four quarter-pound hamburger patties, eight slices of American cheese, a tomato, half an onion and two buns smeared with lard. Order that with Flatliner Fries cooked in 100 percent lard and toss in a butterfat shake topped with four ounces of Vodka-flavored whipped cream with a Jolt cola chaser and your cardiologist will book a world cruise for his family after you get his bill.
This isn’t an issue folks should be raising their blood pressure over.
It’s a restaurant in Sin City of all places. The entire city is designed as an adult version of the old MTV standard “Jack Ass” where participants do dangerous, stupid stunts for fun.
Just because I - or you - would never step into the equivalent of a foodie’s den of inequity doesn’t mean we should lecture others not to do so.
It is an aberration which is what makes it fun for those who partake in the Heart Attack Grill’s offer that includes waitresses dressed as nurses, order forms placed on customer’s wrists like body tags, the cook decked out as a doctor with a stethoscope, and those who finish their Triple Bypass Burger or Quadruple Bypass Burger get wheeled out of the restaurant in a wheelchair courtesy of a “nurse.”
And - as an added bonus - those over 350 pounds get to eat free.
Basso has a delightful sense of humor and a marketing strategy that works.
He is also brutally honest.
He doesn’t sugar-coat a single thing on his menus. There are no misleading statements about an item being “low sodium” when it really isn’t nor does he push salads as being light fare when often they can have more calories than a steak and potato once dressing and everything else is tossed in like avocados.
He lets you know the bottled Coca-Cola imported from Mexico he sells has real sugar in it since the food police have yet to hammer societies south of the border into submission.
Basso even makes it clear he’s collecting an “8.1 percent sales tax for a wasteful government to spend.”
There is absolutely nothing on the Heart Attack Grill’s menu that I would eat.
That said the food police need to be countered on this one only because they are assaulting everything they deem evil relentlessly until they can convince the government to outlaw or ban it.
The same folks that want to tax junk food - and won’t give up until they do - are quite capable of pushing to sic the government on businesses that don’t toe the line with their demands.
They won’t stop until everyone eats tofu, white rice, and oat meal at every meal.
And - with a little luck - Basso will be around then to offer tofu, white rice and oat meal to the public in unhealthy deep-fried versions.
He could call such a joint “Freedom Food” with the crazy idea that individual freedom is on the menu for everyone including people who opt to eat unhealthy.
This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-249-3519.