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Fast food as subversive social commentary

There are times when I really love America. Yesterday, when I came across the Heart Attack Grill, was one of those times.

What is the Heart Attack Grill? It’s exactly what it sounds like - a fast-food restaurant in Chandler, Arizona that specializes in horribly, horribly unhealthy food. Its menu consists of seven items: the Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Bypass burger (add a patty for each), Flatliner Fries, no-filter Lucky Strike cigarettes and Jolt Cola. The Quadruple Bypass burger weighs in at an awesome 8,000 calories!

The restaurant, which uses a medical motif - its chefs are “doctors” and customers are “patients” - has rolled out a new promotion where people over 350 pounds eat free. Here’s the promo video, which you just have to watch. Apparently, a Heart Attack Grill can lead to a variety of health problems, including “mild death:”

What I love about this is that it’s so over the top and in your face - just like America. While the bleeding hearts there and in Canada complain about how unhealthy KFC’s Double Down is, the Heart Attack Grill is basically spitting in their faces. The whole tongue-in-cheek motif is almost subversive - who knew that a fast-food joint could provide subtle social commentary?

Of course, there are some tree-hugging, fish-kissing sticks-in-the-mud that just don’t get any of it. The folks at Change.org have started a petition protesting the restaurant and its gimmicky marketing campaign. It’s another typically American thing to do, although one that I don’t love nearly quite as much.

Categories: burgers, food, kfc
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