A popular Las Vegas diner boasts meals that would make any dietician gasp. The Heart Attack Grill boasts burgers like the ‘Quadruple Bypass’ and ‘Flat Liner Fries.’ The restaurant offers a whole menu will similar monikers. And if you weigh over 350 pounds, you don’t have to pay. That’s right. If you are extremely overweight, you get to eat at The Heart Attack Grill for free.
It is all a joke, right? Earlier this week, a man was eating the ‘triple bypass burger’ when he began to sweat and shake. He was having a heart attack. Tourists thought the ambulance and stretcher was all a part of a publicity push for the restaurant. But nope, he was having a heart attack right at The Heart Attack Grill.
That made me think, would I really risk my life to eat a burger? The restaurant says it right in the name of the establishment and in all of the menu items that a heart attack is imminent.
I know that eating one double or triple pounder at the grill will not give me a heart attack if I only ate one. But after years of eating poorly, noshing on Flat Liner Fries is kind of a dangerous sport. And if free food is offered to those who are already extremely overweight, it just ups the ante on dangerous eating.
Eating dangerously can be exciting for many people. Fugu, a poisonous puffer fish, is considered a delicacy in Japan. The fish contains a deadly toxin. Chefs have to undergo many trainings to learn how to successful remove the toxins making it safe to eat. To culminate fugu preparation training, the chef must prepare fugu for himself and eat it.
I’m all about some element of danger, but is the fish meat really so good that I would risk my life to eat it? Essentially, I am putting my life in the hands of a chef, hoping and praying that he successfully prepared my fish.
The fish is not boasted to be the best tasting fish ever, so I have to wonder if it is the forbidden nature of the food that really draws people in. In that deadly fish, the liver is considered to be the tastiest and most deadly part. So deadly that selling it is illegal in Japan. And many ambitious amateur chefs have made the liver sampling their last. Eating fugu is also exclusive; a single dish can cost up to $200 per plate.
Dangerous eating is often unintentional, and certain foods can be deadly from a mistaken identity. Death Cap mushrooms are often mistaken for Paddy Straw mushrooms. One bite can be fatal. Potatoes also have high levels of toxins in them. Regular potatoes tend to be fine if cooked, but wild potatoes can still have toxins even if it is cooked through all of the way.
So how adventurous are you? Would you favor a slow death (fatty burgers over time) or a quick, instant death from a ill-prepared fugu? I’m going to pass on both.