Jon Basso, founder of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, has made a career of serving unhealthy food, and he wants to make sure everyone knows his food will kill you. And to prove it, he brought in a bag of the cremated remains of a customer who died at his restaurant.
Basso's restaurant is known for its sexy nurse server outfits, "doublebypass burgers" and free meals for customers weighing 350 pounds or more. Some of its menu items include a vodka butterfat shake made with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, marshmallow bacon, cookie dough, pumpkin pie, cake and espresso; an "octuple-bypass burger" with 40 slices of bacon; and a massive half-pound chili "coronary" dog with bacon.
The unofficial spokesman for the restaurant died of a heart attack in February, and a woman collapsed in the restaurant a month later while drinking a margarita and smoking one of the cigarettes the restaurant sells.
"I am here with the cremated remains of a person who died at my restaurant," Basso told Bloomberg Television, dressed in a white doctor's coat. "I will tell you something: He died of a heart attack at my restaurant and I am putting that bag clearly on the table. I wish that Burger King and everyone else will do the same thing.”
Most fast-food companies are doing all they can to run toward a healthier image. Burger King just released its new lower-calorie Satisfries and McDonald's has vowed to stop promoting soda to kids. Basso waved around the bag of cremated remains and accused big corporate fast-food chains of not being honest about their products.
"...I am probably the only restaurateur in the world unapologetically telling you my food is bad for you and will kill you and stay away from it," Basso said. "Do I want others to die at my restaurant? NO. Actually I want to wake up one morning and open the door and have no one ever come in again, because maybe the world would have learned the truth."
When Basso's interviewer asked if he ate his own food, he replied that he liked burgers and beer, but wouldn't explicitly say he ate at his own restaurant.
"I say it boldly, don’t come to my restaurant. It is bad for you and will kill you," Basso said.
Do you think Basso is somehow justified by admitting his food is bad for you? Or is it just another marketing ploy?
Want more quirky food news? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris
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