Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Heart Stoppers Sports Grill in Delray – Paramedic Anyone?

January 5th, 2010 · 10 Comments

Have no fear if the 3-pound burger at the new Heart Stoppers Sports Grill takes your breath – or your pulse – away.

Iggy Lena, owner, is a licensed paramedic and can revive you on the spot.

Lena, a long-timer in the restaurant biz (“I was spinning pizzas for my dad when I was 7 years old”) says he wanted to have fun with this eatery. So he blended his two careers, the medical field and the food world, and came up with Heart Stoppers.

He served as a paramedic in Delray and Broward trauma centers, then went on to teach emergency life support and CPR classes to doctors and nurses. That career left him with time on his hands.

“I got bored just teaching, so decided to open a restaurant. Families and fun are our priorities. I think people will get  a kick out of the place once they come in and see it all,” he said.

Tongue (depressor) in cheek decor

The table have wheelchair fittings on them – they look like rows of wheelchairs from a certain angle. An eye chart is in the bathroom; X-ray light boxes are on the walls and salt and pepper shakers are prescription bottles. “It’s a bunch of little stuff like that,” he says. Servers show up in cutsey lab coats with stethoscopes around their necks.

Kids have a “pediatric menu” that includes PB&J sandwiches and little plates.

Food could potentially stop a heart

Photo from the Wall of Fame

The menu’s tongue-wagging item is the big burger – a 3-pounder. The mega sandwich stands “almost 13 inches high,” Lena said. If you can eat one with all the trimmings and a side of fries in less than 40 minutes and 16 seconds – the record as of this writing – it’s free (regularly $21.99). You get your picture on the wall and your next meal is free, too.

Why burgers? “I wanted the Five Guys burger franchise, but it was taken, so I just built my own menu around a good burger,” he said. He offers more than 30 toppings for the burgers that diners can get in much  smaller sizes: quarter-, half-, one- and two-pound versions.

Salads, wraps and vegetarian choices

While it is a sports-bar menu, “Not all our food is extreme or bad for you,” Lena said. Along with wings, dogs, meatball subs and sandwiches, he points out the vegetarian menu that includes veggie wraps, salads and a special vegetarian burger brought in from New York.

Lena, originally from the Big Apple, wants to get in the Schickhaus hot dogs famous in New Jersey, but is still working that out. “Freight charges are really expensive on these,” he says. For now, it’s Sabrettes.

Hot wings, meatball sub and hot dog challenges

Plenty of contests are being cooked up by Lena – including the Rule of Nines Hot Wings challenge. Eat nine super hot wings in 9 minutes, and win. There are provisions – call and get the details, which include signing a waiver and sitting in the chair 5 minutes after finishing the wings – staring at a cold glass of milk and a cold towel that you are forbidden to touch.

TVs for sports fans

The sports comes into this place via the seven 50-inch TV sets. “Anywhere you sit, you’ve got a great view of the TVs,” he said. Games, of course, are shown, though if you request CSI, you’ll probably get it.

Beer will come in appropriately large sizes, too – a gallon-sized pitcher, available for special prices at happy hour.

Menu disclaimers

“We’re all about fun. I even have a warning label on the menu: Overconsumption of our food can lead to obesity — consult your doctor or get an exercise routine.”

And for those over 350 pounds already: Your meal is free. See Lena: “I’m the biggest guy in the house.”

Heart Stoppers Sports Grill

  • 1100 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach
  • 561-276-5554; web site in the works
  • Open Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Heart Attack Grill inspired restaurant opens in South Florida | EatFeats // Jan 7, 2010 at 7:37 am

    […] 7, 2010 at 7:36 am by ojrifkin · More posts about:Heart Attack Grill, Palm BeachJan Norris has a report on a trip to Heart Stoppers Sports Grill in Delray Beach, a medical themed restaurant where […]

  • 2 LM // Jan 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Heart Attack Grill inspired! Is it OK to take another persons idea and use it for your own! Same logo, Same uniforms, Same theme, Same 350 pounds and over eat for FREE, same wheel chair rides, same big burgers. So if they have this huge menu why is the media mainly talking about their burgers. The Heart Attack Grill has a loyal fan base all over the world. This is going to get ugly!

  • 3 Jan Norris // Jan 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Can’t speak to the legality of it. I’m just the messenger…

  • 4 Victor Knight // Jan 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    This place will be shut down quickly. It’s an obvious imitation (and a bad one at that) click on the link and see for yourself

  • 5 H Felter // Jan 24, 2010 at 1:48 am

    I think I will go purchase a bunch of “George Foreman” grills, “Rip OFF” the name plate and put my name on it and sell it as an original idea. This place should be embarrassed to open their doors. They are clearing trying to ride on the coattails of the Heart Attack Grill which has been on TV repeatedly all over the world for the past 2 years. I think 311 said it best “Come Original”, this place surely didn’t! Boo, I want my money back, I’ve already seen this movie!

  • 6 William // Dec 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    That is really uncool! And just what we all need in a society of overweight people.

  • 7 Jan Norris // Dec 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    It comes down to a personal choice and responsibility, which we all seem to have forgotten. Nobody’s forcing anyone to eat here.

  • 8 Opichka // Jan 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips for inexperienced blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  • 9 Suddep // Jan 27, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Hey cool weblog, just wondering what anti-spam software you use for comments because i get lots on my blog. Anyway, in my language, there should not much good supply like this.

  • 10 Backyardavore // Mar 4, 2011 at 11:13 am

    The spokesman for a competing restaurant, Heart Attack Grill, is dead…


    Blair River was 29 years old and 575 pounds. The cause of death is unknown.


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