The Heart Attack Grill is often in the headlines, not only for its macabre theme and dangerous dining options, but also due to the propensity of diners to actually experience heart attacks from time to time while visiting the restaurant.
One may think that despite the Heart Attack Grill’s unabashed distaste for healthfulness that they might not want all the sensational press, but indeed the company seems to revel even in the negative connotations of the style of eating it espouses when those stories pop up.
So much so, in fact, that a lawsuit ensued when another establishment — the also famed Second Avenue Deli in New York City, clear across the country and a joint with a totally different vibe (and real, original automat!) — dared use the “heart attack” nomenclature in its menu.
The Second Avenue Deli is not some upstart, either overall or in the “heart attack” genre. The staple Jewish deli has been dishing up massive pastrami sandwiches and overall simple and delicious home cooking since before my parents were born, and is a must-visit if you like sandwiches and are in the New York area.
But the Heart Attack Grill had the chutzpah to go after the Second Avenue Deli, apparently asking the half-century old establishment to change the name of two of their menu options — the Instant Heart Attack Sandwich and Triple Bypass Sandwich.
However, while the Heart Attack Grill may be establishing a brand identify, a New York judge ruled that the sandwiches — one of which consists of pastrami sandwiched between two delicious, crispy latkes — can stay on the menu at Second Avenue Deli.
The Village Voice explains:
“Unfortunately for the Grill, the suit was brought here to New York, where we take our food very, very seriously. For that reason, a Manhattan judge decided yesterday to let the Second Avenue Deli continue to sell the calories, handing owner Jack Lebewohl a victory over his Vegas rivals… A trademark infringement case over a sandwich called the ‘Instant Heart Attack’… God bless America.”
A heart attack sandwich at the Second Avenue Deli doesn’t come cheap, though — the deluxe version ranges up to $35. (Or fairly reasonable in New York prices.)