Saturday, June 20, 2009

Heart Attack Grill 'a taste worth dying for'

Here's what the health freaks do not want you to know: Cardiovascular disease is RARE in Eskimos who continue to eat their 'traditional' diet of seal meat, fat and blubber and who eat almost no greens, fruits and vegetables. Someone who ate regularly at the place below could well be PROTECTING his heart. The owner should rename his place "The Eskimo Grill"

A HOSPITAL-themed restaurant in the US is being criticised for serving up an extremely unhealthy menu, including massive burgers, and having waitresses dressed in sexy nurses outfits. Even before entering the Heart Attack Grill in Arizona, US, customers are warned of the unhealthy treats waiting inside by a large sign reading “Caution: This place is bad for your health”.

On the menu are burgers named after open-heart surgical procedures including Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Bypass Burgers, which range from half a pound (226 grams) to two pounds (900 grams) of beef. Also included is unlimited Flatliner Fries, which are cooked in lard, along will full sugar cola, cigarettes without filters, hard liquor and beer.

The Quadruple Bypass Burger contains around 8000 calories (33,600 kilojoules), fitting for a restaurant whose motto is “a taste worth dying for”. Those who are watching what they eat need not bother visiting – there are no diet options available.

At the restaurant customers are called “patients” and are banded for identification. Wheelchair service is provided to customers who finish the Quadruple Bypass Burger, where the "nurse" of their choice takes them back to their car.

The restaurant was founded in 2005 by "Dr Jon", who isn’t a real doctor but who has worked for years as a nutritionist. Dr Jon admits that eating at the restaurant can end up sending you to the emergency room, and thought it appropriate to give the restaurant the feel of a hospital. “I founded the Heart Attack Grill as a simple place where a guy can get a good burger, a cold beer, and not worry about being on a restrictive diet,” Dr Jon said. “I run perhaps the only honest restaurant in America: hey this is bad for you and it’s going to kill you.”

The restaurant has come under attack from activist groups and the government over the waitresses’ nurses outfits, including a threatened shut-down from the Arizona Attorney General in 2006. “Since I thought that it would be funny for a 'bad for you' place to have a hospital theme, it only seemed natural to me to put the waitresses into Nurse outfits,” ‘Dr Jon’ said. “I thought to myself, 'sex does sell, this could be a good idea'. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was about to set off a debate of epic proportions.”

Professional nurses took offence to what they saw as the “degradation” of nurses by the restaurant, igniting a battle which saw Dr Jon being arrested for attempting to open a live fire hose on a group of picketing nurses.

A compromise was reached when Dr Jon put a disclaimer on his website stating: "The use of the word 'nurse' above is only intended as a parody. None of the women pictured on our website actually have any medical training, nor do they attempt to provide any real medical services. It should be made clear that the Heart Attack Grill and all its employees do not offer any therapeutic treatments".

The future of the restaurant, according to Dr Jon, lies in its ability to successfully transition into a diet centre, competing with established weight loss giants such as Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, and Weight Watchers. "The new Heart Attack Grill Diet Centers will offer the American public something that no other program has ever been able to do... a diet program that you actually enjoy and can stick with for a lifetime," Dr Jon said.

The restaurant remains extremely popular with people looking for unhealthy meals, and is never out of the spotlight for long. “Not a single week has gone by without me having given an interview with some radio, magazine, or television station somewhere in the world,” ‘Dr Jon’ said.


British taste choices are defined by region, Nottingham food scientists find

In the Midlands they like the spicy flavour that triggers taste buds on the front of the tongue, while in Scotland it is rich, creamy flavours that linger on the palate

Research has indicated that people’s culinary preferences depend on where they were born. Scientists from the University of Nottingham found that taste preferences could be broken down like regional accents and were highly dependent on an area’s history. In the North East, for example, foods are enjoyed by taste buds on the tip of the tongue — which pick up sour flavours — because, claim the researchers, the region has a history of hungry industrial workers demanding meals that offer immediate sustenance.

The researchers, who surveyed 13,000 people on behalf of Costa Coffee, said that in contrast, across the Pennines in Manchester and Liverpool, foods with soft, rounded flavours that linger on the palate were popular, perhaps because of the region’s soft water.

Greg Tucker, a food psychologist, and Andy Taylor, Professor of Flavour Technology at the University of Nottingham and an adviser to Heston Blumenthal, the chef, said that the research was based on the fact that different parts of the tongue tend to pick up varying flavours. The front of the tongue is sensitive to sweet flavours and the back picks up the taste of bitter foods. The sides of the front of the tongue usually detect sour flavours, while the middle tastes salty foods and a little-known taste called umami, best represented by soy sauce.

Professor Taylor said: “Taste is determined by our genetic make-up and influenced by our upbringing and experience with flavours. “Just as with spoken dialects, where accent is placed on different syllables and vowel formations, people from different regions have developed enhanced sensitivities to certain taste sensations and seek foods that trigger these.” Mr Tucker, managing director of the Marketing Clinic, based in Cambridge, said: “I suspected that there might be some minor differences from region to region but I was quite surprised that the variations were so pronounced. “Taste preferences are predetermined by a combinations of economics, culture and genetics. ‘Taste dialect’ is a good phrase because just as you get dialects in any other countries, so you get taste dialects that are driven by different factors.”

The researchers found that those living in the South had the least defined taste dialect of all the regions. The Scots are the slowest eaters.

South West: Sweet flavours. Apples are a favourite and often used in Cornish pasties, as the region is rural and fruit-growing. Sage is often used in dishes from the region

South East: The region has perhaps lost its distinctive palate owing to the number of different ethnic groups that have moved here. People tend to be the most adventurous about food

Wales: An industrial past, so strong-tasting foods that have cut through the dirt and grime down mines have always proved popular. Onions and leeks are a hit, as is Worcestershire sauce

The Midlands: Curry is a favourite, but not necessarily because of the large Asian communities

North West: People here like to eat comforting food. Lancashire hotpot contains many of the flavours enjoyed in the region

North East: Food that provides an instant hit of satisfaction is appreciated most. Fish and chip shops serve scrapings of overcooked chips from the corner of the deep fat fryer to customers who use their incisors to crunch food and taste chips at the front of their tongues

Scotland: Scots like rich, creamy foods that are comforting and linger on the palate. A rich fudge known as tablet is a delicacy, perhaps replaced by deep-fried Mars bars


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