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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners too.

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March 14, 2009 4:15 PM

Cheeseburger in paradise

Posted by Larry Stone

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Those of you who read Ryan Divish's blog in the News-Tribune today already know that I lost a hamburger-eating contest with him yesterday at a completely decadent place in Chandler, Ariz., called The Heart Attack Grill.

It's politically incorrect, and certainly nutritionally incorrect, but I had read about it and been told it's a hoot, so Ryan and I decided to check it out after covering the Mariners against the Cubs in Mesa on Friday. Chandler is a lot closer to Mesa than Peoria, so it seemed the perfect opportunity.

Both of us ordered "Triple Bypass Burgers,'' which come with a free wheelchair ride around the restaurant if you finish. He did, I didn't -- but I had loaded up on Flatliner Fries (fried in lard). Yeah, it's that kind of place. They flaunt their unhealthiness, to the point of having the waitresses wear nurse's uniforms, and a "doctor" wandering the premises. That's my whopping whopper picture above. The big-ticket item is the Quadruple Bypass -- four thick patties, eight pieces of cheese, and whatever fixings you want. Professional eater Joey Chestnut supposedly downed one in one minute and 47 seconds, which is a truly mind-boggling feat. Having struggled to down the triple, and only getting halfway, I'm in awe.

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Don't go if you have high cholesterol, or high standards. But if you promise to eat healthy for a week before and a week afterwards, it's probably no worse than a night out at Dick's (not to imply in any way that Dick's is unhealthy, or doesn't have high standards. I'm a big fan). Whatever you do, don't ask the waitress for a Diet Coke, like I did. She laughed at me and said, "I'm walking away.''

At any rate, here's some baseball to justify this post. WIth the Mariners playing in Tucson today, and Geoff ably handling things there, it was a relaxed atmosphere in Peoria for the players that stayed back. That included a pretty good representation of position players -- Ken Griffey Jr., Adrian Beltre, Russ Branyon, Yuniesky Betancourt and Mike Sweeney among them.

They participated in a spirited (fixed, Bomberspawn) batting-practice competition in which they formed two teams and played nine "innings". Each player got a swing off BP pitcher Alonzo Powell in which the group judged the outcome -- an out or hit, and if a hit, a single, double or triple, and then how far the runners would have advanced. There were a few disputes, and that was part of the fun, both for the players and the small group of fans that witnessed the competition. Once a team got three outs, the other squad would bat. This went on for nine innings,with much good-natured bantering, and some interaction between an upbeat Griffey and the onlookers.

The squad captained by Griffey ended up beating the squad captained by Sweeney, 27-23. Apparently, that meant Sweeney had to serve Griffey Kool-Aid. But no Quadruple Bypass Burgers.

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