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Welcome to the Heart Attack Grill

Settembre 2010
Jon Basso ha creato questo fast food ‘da infarto’ in Arizona e il successo è stato immediato. Chi pesa più di 160 kg mangia gratis. Il vero mestiere di Basso? Il dietologo!

di John Rigg

File audio:

Nurses and 'killer' burgers at the Heart Attack Grill
Nurses and 'killer' burgers at the Heart Attack Grill
Jon Basso
Jon Basso

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

Nutrition experts tell us constantly what to eat. Magazines sponsor diets and tell us we are too fat. It’s time to rebel! It’s time to visit the Heart Attack Grill, where the owner “Doctor” Jon Basso and his “nurses” serve the most dangerous food on the planet. The restaurant motto is “Taste worth dying for!”


The Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Arizona offers a simple menu: single, double, triple and quadruple Bypass Burgers and Flatliner Fries. Do you have a problem with high cholesterol? This is not the right restaurant for you: the burgers and fries are cooked in pure lard.


Customers are called “patients.” The waitresses are “nurses” dressed in sexy uniforms. “Dr. Jon” checks patients’ hearts with his stethoscope before prescribing treatment. A nurse writes out the patient’s order on a tag and puts it on the patient’s wrist. If you weigh over 160 kilos, you eat free of charge. And if you finish a quadruple Bypass Burger, a nurse will transport you out to your car in a wheelchair. Finally, if the burgers don’t give the (male) patients high blood pressure, the beautiful nurses will.


How did a small Arizona fast food restaurant become famous around the world? Its owner, “Dr.” Jon Basso, is a marketing genius. He hasn’t spent a dollar on publicity. Controversy gets the restaurant in newspapers and on the world’s television channels. First, it was the menu with its 8,000-calorie burgers and chips – both cooked in that demonic substance known as unsaturated fat (or simply lard). He also sells unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes and full-sugar Coke. Second, the Arizona Board of Nursing sued the restaurant for damaging the image of the nursing profession. The restaurant survived and prospered from the media attention.


Incredibly, Jon Basso is a qualified nutritionist! In the past he owned seven weight-loss centres in Oklahoma. He realised people wanted to cheat on their diets. So he created the perfect restaurant for them. “People don’t want salad,” he says. “They want to have fun!” But Dr Jon warns his patients, “Don’t come here every day of the week. It will kill you!”


Pure lard. Il lardo in questo caso non è il prelibato affettato di Colonnata, bensì lo strutto. Quindi potete immaginare le calorie e il colesterolo coinvolti!
Fries. le patatine fritte si chiamano French fries negli USA e chips in Inghilterra. Al contrario, le patatine croccanti nel sacchetto si chiamano chips negli USA e crisps in Inghilterra.


Jon Basso is an ambitious man. He is opening a second Heart Attack Grill in Phoenix, Arizona. He has plans to open restaurants in major cities around the world, including Amsterdam, New Orleans, Hollywood, Honolulu and Rio de Janeiro. He also wants to create a reality TV show based on the restaurant. Visit the restaurant’s entertaining website www.heartattackgrill.com for more information.


Bypass comes from the open-heart surgery for patients with blocked arteries. This is exactly the type of health problem the restaurant’s burgers can cause. Flatliner, on the other hand, refers to the monitor that registers a patient’s heartbeat. When the patient dies, the monitor shows a flat line. Incidentally, chips are usually called French Fries in America. So, at the Heart Attack Grill, chips are called Flatliner Fries.

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Taste worth dying for: lett. gusto per cui vale la pena morire 

Flatliner Fries: lett. patatine da encefalogramma piatto. 

waitresses: cameriere.

writes ... and puts it on the patient’s wrist: scrive l’ordine su un cartellino e lo applica al polso del paziente.

free of charge: gratis.

wheelchair: sedia a rotelle.

sued: ha citato in causa.

weight-loss centres: centri per il dimagrimento.

wanted to cheat on their diets: volevano ‘sgarrare’ la dieta.

open-heart surgery: chirurgia a cuore aperto.

heartbeat: battito cardiaco.