« Snyder's chomps Utz | Main | Who knew Detroit was a food mecca? »

October 23, 2009

The heart attack on a plate

HeartAttack2.jpgEditor Amanda and I were discussing Top 10 lists yesterday and the balance between ones that generate a lot of interest but have been overdone (crab cakes) and ones that have limited appeal (best places to get foie gras).

So she suggested "the heart attack on a plate."

This seems to me to fall into a third category. I'm just not sure what that category is. It has elements of horror -- the heart attack part -- but at the same time, there's a fascination. You just feel that whatever the food is, it might taste really good. ...

To make it interesting, I think these should be dishes you can get in restaurants.

Editor Amanda suggested the obvious one: the beer-battered burger stuffed with cheddar and deep fried at Mother's Federal Hill Grille, which is actually called the Heart Attack on a Plate.

OK, I actually don't think that would taste good, but it might be a matter of my brain getting in the way of my tastebuds. Other people love it.

I would go with the 48-ounce porterhouse at Shula's. It seems, I don't know, more refined somehow.

I don't think we'll be able to come up with eight more quite so ostentatious examples. But there must be other incredibly rich entrees, side dishes (the ultimate mac and cheese, perhaps?) and desserts worthy of inclusion.

(Photo by Mike Buscher/ Special to the Baltimore Sun. When I put in the key words "heart attack on a plate" to find this photo in our archives, it also brought up a photo of a Major League baseball umpire who died.)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:44 AM | | Comments (36)


Alonso's burger. Also, Vaccarro's all-you-can-eat Monday.

Excellent. I didn't know about that. EL

A former boss of mine has eaten the 48 oz porterhouse a couple of times. People who eat it all get their name put on a big plaque that hangs in the restaurant.

Didn't Bill Bateman's once have a 24 oz burger? That could be a heart attack on a plate.

The one-eyed Gus burger at the White Spot in Charlottesville comes to mind - burger, cheese, egg. Sure, throw some bacon on it! Bacon improves everything! Mmmm...chloresterol!

Come to think of it, I'm not sure how I survived my college days with my arteries intact...

The former Pigwich at Parkside was a banger. It's been rotated off the menu for the Dagwood recently. The Dag is massive, but it has chicken, so it's at least quasi-healthy.

The Pigwich had scrapple, Bacon, house ham, american cheese with tomato & onions on a hoagie roll with a side of fries.

If you asked nicely Colleen would add whatever pork product they had in the kitchen on there for you. Oh my, I did not feel healthy after that one.

The Dizz's Fat Ass Crab Skins: Baked potatoes hollowed out filled with cheese, bacon, crab and served with a side of sour cream.. i love them and can't finish more then two ( six on plate, i think last time i was there)

Whatever it is, it has to have crisp, mouthwatering bacon as part of it...

Not sure why beef automatically gets the bad rap of being cardio-unhealthy...

I would imagine that a huge honking platter of spaghetti carbona or fettucini alfredo would more easily qualify, but since we've collectively drop-kicked Italian restaurants as a genre, maybe it's some other local or ethnic dish like cream of crab soup of Egg Foo Yung.

Am I wrong to admit that I would actually like to try a beer battered burger? I mean seriously, break it down...Beer, batter, and burger. How could it be bad?

What about Olive Garden's never-ending pasta? That cannot be good for you, or your heart.

Also, shouldn't Fogo de Chao be number 1 on this list (and yes, I realize these are not actually ranked)?

never ending pasta at Olive Garden is exactly what I was thinking of too matt!

Worst ever must be The Big Texan. I think that's a 72 oz steak with baked potato and salad. But, I guess you mean locally.

The pigs in a blanket at paper Moon. Sausage wrapped in pancakes, lots of butter, lots of syrup.

Also, the double bacon cheeseburger at Double T in catonsville.

Lastly, the potato and cheese taco at Mari Luna. It's basically deep fried potatoey cheesy goodness.

Nino Taco's Tostada Grande. The half is a nice sized meal, the full is a beast to be reckoned with.

Beef and beans sandwiched between fried tortilla shells, topped with shredded cheese, nacho cheese, salsa, and sour cream. It is sooooo good, in fact, I'm going there tomorrow I just decided.

Chick & Ruth's in Annapolis has something they refer to as "The Colossal Challenge." From what I remember, it consists of either a 6 lb. milkshake or a 3 lb. burger or sandwich. I think you get either a free t-shirt or a cardiology referral if you win

Big Bad Wolf's Big Bad Wolf!

The Crab Cristo at Miss Shirleys...

Jumbo Lump Crabmeat, Smoked Ham & Swiss Cheese, sandwiched in Savory French Toast, Deep-Fried until Crispy, drizzled with Creamy Honey Mustard & Citrus Aioli, Dusted with Powdered Sugar & Old Bay


The all you can eat brunch at Ryan's Daughter. Ridiculous.


The third category you are searching for is "car wreck". Your definition -"It has elements of horror... but at the same time, there's a fascination. " - fits perfectly

You are absolutely right. EL

I know that this isn't local, but I can't pass up the opportunity to mention it. While on vacation with my wife in Atlanta recently, we stopped into a local place called Vortex. They had a burger on there called the Coronary Bypass (I think) that was two big patties, cheese, four slices of bacon, two eggs, and the bun was actually two grilled cheese sandwiches. Unbelievable. I was very tempted to order just to see what a monstrosity it was.

Ale Mary's brunch Saints and Sinners Sandwich - fried egg, sausage, bacon, cheese between 2 krispy kreame honey glazed doughnuts.

I've always though the thought of the The Roethlis-Burger was enough to put me into surgery, let alone eating one.

And that's before I even attempt to lower myself into something Steelers related.

There is a Burger that Japanese Burger King's are selling right now that has 7 Whopper patties on it. It is called the Windows 7 Burger. It comes in at 2100 calories and it doesn't even have cheese on it (who would want it). for proof of this burger.

Wendy's years ago had the single, double, and triple, and in Ohio they had the option to double or triple the beef on those sandwiches.

I was not there, but this was documented on video.
My old high school friend Joe got the triple. Tripled.
It took him more than an hour to eat, and he went into a food coma in the car.

The rub is, this kid was, at the time, smaller than the recently profiled competitive eater.

The look on his face the whole tape was enough to convince me to never eat anything over "double." Although I will drink a "triple" without fail.

Man vs Food guy just did the chick & ruth's challenge. he's going to be in baltimore next, and the big challenge is in Steak & Main Oyster Bar-Steak House in North East, Md.

I wish M&S grill would bring back their BLT - 1 lb of bacon. someone else HAS to do that, no?

PS- Have you heard of the new Windows 7 Whopper Burger at Burger King? In tandem with the Windows 7 launch, the Burger King in Japan is advertising a 7 patty whopper. Here's a video of some Americans taking on the challenge.

Someone I work with had heard of a Cheddar Bacon burger on 2 halves of a crispy creme doughnut, grilled. Naturally, we had to try it, and it was delicious. There are some Man v Food incidents that come to mind, like the stuffed habanero and salsa appetizer.

The late Gordon's crab house used to have a French Fried Crab Cake - crab cake in between two slices of white bread which are sealed together with Cheez Whiz. The whole thing is dipped in batter and deep fried. Mmm, mmm, good.

How about something quirky like best place to eat on Halloween?

When we go to Bill Bateman's Bistro, my husband's favorite order is a plate of wings and the Shakin' Bacon Fries - a plate of fries, smothered in melted cheese and bacon and served with ranch dressing. I hate to tell him no, but I can feel his arteries hardening every time he insists on ordering it. Neither of these could possibly be good for you.

Bill Batemans did indeed have a 22 oz. burger on their menu, at least at their original location in Cub Hill. It was called the Steer-Buster. I can remember about 18 years ago, a roomate of mine ordered it. It took him about an hour and a half, but he did finish it, and they comped his check. I don't remember him eating anything else for about 10 days after that!

You could include anything-and they do anything--deep-fried at the Texas State Fair.

Michael's on Eastern Avenue? Every special in there is a heart attack on a plate. Oversized prime rib, 2 lb. crab cake...

There is no way I'm ordering anything that includes the words "Fat Ass"--sorry!

You made me laugh right out loud!

Thanks Bill, I thought Bateman's once had a huge burger. The guy I knew did work at the Cub Hill location. Can't remember exactly, but he could have been one of the cooks. I just remember seeing it, about the size of a softball on a big bun.

PCB Rob, I recall that Bill Bateman's Cub Hill location (wasn't that the original place, by the way?) had a Garbage Burger, but I can't recall if it was just a burger with dozens of toppings on it, or a larger than usual burger (probably with dozens of toppings on it, to boot).

Bateman's in Towson did have a huge (1-1/2 pounds?) burger. Several years ago our choir went there as an "end of the year" celebration, and one of the men ordered it, ate about half, and took the other half home to his wife. I think he swore off beef after that ... at least he doesn't eat beef any more.

Della Rose's on the Avenue at White Marsh has "loaded French fries" on the menu. It's a platter of fries smothered in cheese and bacon bits, then slathered in a garlicky Ranch dressing. Inordinately good!

having a heart attack?... to learn more about that please enter her

If only

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected