Lisa and I took what will probably be our last trip to Las Vegas this past Wednesday. Vegas is only around one hundred miles to the northwest from Kingman and the drive through Black Canyon and over Hoover Dam is worth every drop of diesel fuel. Our trip on this occasion was for me to play golf with JC and allow Lisa to do some shopping. It was a treat being able to play the Las Vegas Country Club – one of (if not the oldest) golf courses in Las Vegas. Our day ended with JC and his wife, Carol, driving us to downtown Vegas for supper.
Admittedly Lisa and I have limited knowledge of all there is to see in Las Vegas. From what JC and Carol have said – the locals stay away from the famous “strip” and if shopping or gambling are your interests – it is advised to head toward the outlying casinos or to the old downtown “Fremont Street” area. Downtown Vegas is where you will see the classic neon lights and famous places such as “The Gold Nugget” and “Binions”. The overhead canopy of lights is worth the trip and light and music shows entertain every half hour. But it is not just lights that you will see on Fremont Street. While walking through we spotted a man in a thong wearing angel’s wings, a scantily clad showgirl offering discount tickets to one of the shows, street musicians, pan-handlers, drunks, parents with their small children, human statues and street performers pretending to be everything from ‘Spiderman’ to ‘Woody’ of ‘Toy Story’ – and that was just in the first one-hundred feet. What a place!
But the highlight of our evening took place in a restaurant called “The Heart Attack Grill”. Where all restaurants in the world are offering health conscious menu items, we found at least one that not only does not offer lighter fare – they paddle customers for not finishing their fat-laden meals. When I say fat-laden we are talking fries cooked in pure lard and milk shakes that come with a pad of real butter floating on the top. The ‘Heart Attack Grill’ offers only two meals: Cheeseburgers with chili, bacon and all the fixin’s or a hot-dog with the same. But these are not just cheeseburgers. Here you can order the Single, Double, Triple, Quadruple, Quintuple, Sextuple, Septuple or for $21.28 an Octuplet “Bypass” burger. You can add bacon to any of the burgers and for $7.40 you can have forty slices of bacon added to your ‘Octuplet’ burger. The name indicates the number of half pound hamburger patties on each burger – meaning the “Octuplet “Bypass” has four pounds of hamburger along with the chili, cheese, onions and – you get the idea. Lisa and Carol split a single burger and JC and I managed a single “Bypass” on our own. I asked if they had salad and I thought the waitress (dressed as a nurse) was going to slap me. The menu also includes “Flatliner Fries”, “Butterfat Shakes”, Candy Cigarettes, and non-filter (real) cigarettes. Here you can also drink wine from an IV bag hanging on a pole and take Vodka shots from a syringe. Alcoholic beverages are served in prescription bottles. But that is not all –
Upon arriving at the place you are given a hospital wrist band and a hospital gown to wear during your meal. Where the female waitresses are dressed as nurses – all the male staff are dressed as orderlies or doctors. But the real kicker is that if you do not finish all your food – the nurses will paddle you. I’m not talking little love pats here. They lay the wood to you. As we ate our meal – several college aged guys were lined up in the center of the restaurant and assumed the position. As a camera captured their facial expressions, they were asked to lean against a rail while a “nurse” proceeded to swat them three times – hard. Hard enough, in fact, that these tough guys were hopping, rubbing, wincing and standing for most of the night. Carol was so concerned about getting that treatment that she had JC wrap up what part of the burger she could not finish and put it in his pocket. I had nightmares about the paddles from my younger school days and – trust me, I left nothing on my plate.
Here the weight challenged folks are actually celebrated. With scales both inside and out – people who weigh 350 lbs. or more are allowed to eat free. Before you even ask – all of us had to pay. We laughed at the absurdity of the place. If one word could capture the essence of Las Vegas – I would go with “absurd”.
There is no place quite like Las Vegas. Without question there is nothing here that you cannot do or see. People love it or hate it or tolerate it. Vegas has the finest restaurants in the world and the most dazzling floor shows and entertainers. They also have a place where it is not how little you eat but how much. The “Heart Attack Grill” is like nothing you have ever experienced before. If you are ever in Vegas – head to Fremont Street and stop by for a good ol “Bypass”.
Just make sure you clean your plate.
Viva Las Vegas!