When I told The Beast last night that I was going to Heart Attack Grill here in Arizona and would be happy to do a review for BurgerBeast.com, he said, “I’ve been dying to check it out!” Hahaha! Dying, heart attack – get it? Ha! Heh, heh… whatever.
My husband had a friend in from out of town, and had also been dying to go there. So we went. Five of us. I wasn’t too excited because I’ve read a lot of discouraging reviews, but hey… it’s a place you go to for the experience, not the food. Right? Riiiight. I’ll get to that in a second. First the food.
We all ordered the Single Bypass Burger. It’s a 1/2-pound of greasy goodness (70/30 beef) cooked with pork fat, topped with a 1/4-inch thick slice of yellow cheese which I’m hard-pressed to believe was real cheese. It’s brought to you on a burger roll glistening with pork fat as well. Unlimited “Flatliner Fries” (no sharing) accompany your order. You go up to the kitchen counter, and serve yourself.
Your other menu choices include a Double, Triple or Quadruple Bypass Burger (2, 3 and 4 patties respectively), but come on. Really? F.Y.I. – If you can eat a Quadruple Bypass Burger (4 patties, 4 slices of cheese), in less than 2 hours or something like that, they make a caricature drawing of you and put it on the wall.
Near the fries, you’ll find a toppings bar with sparse offerings: pickles,tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, onions. That’s it. Lettuce is considered “healthy” so they don’t offer it. This is probably music to The Beast’s ears since he doesn’t put lettuce on his burgers! HA! They also have mustard, mayo and ketchup, of course.
I took the “cheese” out of the burger. You can sort of see it underneath. I couldn’t get past the gummy, waxy appearance of it.
So how was the burger? None of us was that impressed. The burger was a decent, greasy burger that tasted like the kind you might make at a backyard cookout, but bigger. The Flatliner Fries were alright, but kinda soft and soggy. They’re fresh cut at the restaurant daily, and fried in lard. I admit I really liked the way they taste, but I couldn’t get past the limp, soggy texture. I like my fries crisp and standing at attention. Overall there was so much grease that I felt like the inside of my mouth had a waterproof coating. And my puny bottle of water was not enough to overcome that.
Ah, the drinks… No diet soda, in case anyone was wondering. Just bottled water, Coke in glass bottles, Budweiser and Corona, and no refills, obviously. I think I also heard our “nurse” say something about margaritas or a mixed drink of some kind. Huh?! I stopped listening when she said they didn’t have Diet Coke, so you’ll have to forgive me.
Speaking of the waitresses/nurses – They were all pretty – and pretty slutty-looking. But don’t believe they hype. They were actually very nice, not naughty as advertised. In fact, they were kind of boring.
The guy cooking the burgers was dressed like a doctor – white coat, stethoscope around his neck, the whole deal. Dr. Jon – you’ve seen him on TV on their Travel Channel appearance. I meant to take pictures of all of us with the nurses, or in a wheel chair, but we were all so disappointed that we left without really even remembering to take photos. I forgot to mention, when we walked in, we were each handed a hospital gown and were told to sit wherever we liked. I was left waiting for our hospital bracelets, which I had read from various reviews is part of the experience. The bracelets say, “I Ate at Heart Attack Grill” – we got shafted.
For a place to which people go “for the experience” this place had NO energy. As I mentioned, the nurses were kinda boring, and it was almost painful being there. It was a communal feeling of “what now?” They had no interaction with the customers/patients beyond taking their orders or explaining the menu. I wouldn’t say I expected them to play “doctor” with someone, or break out in a choreographed number to Miami Sound Machine’s “Dr. Beat” but we all certainly expected something and got nothing. So here we were just a bunch of people eating greasy burgers and fries, hoping something exciting happens soon. You could tell almost everyone was a first-timer, going there to satisfy their curiosity and then being monumentally let down. The place doesn’t have cable or satellite TV, so we couldn’t even distract ourselves from the blandness of it all by watching sports, or the UFC or anything. Just a muted video of their appearance on the Travel Channel playing on a loop, and some canned music videos on another screen: Tom Jones, Pat Benatar, Harry Connick Jr., U2. The reason I remember this detail is because there really wasn’t much else to experience.
Price: The grand total for 1 beer, 4 bottled waters and 5 single-patty burgers and 5 orders of unlimited fries: $64.00 even. By the way, if you weigh more than 350 pounds, your meal is free.
Rating: A solid 2.5. Honestly, I think we all agreed we’d just as well have gone to Wendy’s. Will people continue to go there? Likely – it’s not a bad tasting burger and fries, but they’ll go for the schtick. For future diners’ sake, I hope we just went on an “off” night because for us, this place was D.O.A. (uh… that’s dead on arrival for those of you who have never watched ER, House or Grey’s Anatomy).