2nd Ave Deli wins court battle with Vegas restaurant over ‘Instant Heart Attack’ sandwich
Two sandwich-serving eateries duked it out in court to fight for the naming rights of high-calorie menu items, but in the end, the Big Apple beat out Sin City.
Famous Las Vegas diner Heart Attack Grill was embroiled in a law suit with New York City’s 2nd Avenue Deli over its $24.95 “Instant Heart Attack” sandwich — a culinary creation piled high with pastrami, corned beef, salami or turkey, and nestled between two fried potato cakes. The deli also plans to begin selling a $34.95 “Triple Bypass” sandwich.
The Heart Attack Grill sells similar bypass-themed monstrosities, which have made headlines more than once after customers were rushed to the hospital after collapsing in the restaurant. Heart Attack Grill accused 2nd Avenue Deli of copyright infringement last year.
“We believe you copied Heart Attack Grill’s family of medically themed food items, including its ‘BYPASS’ trademarks,” Heart Attack Grill said in a cease and desist letter to 2nd Avenue Deli, according to the Daily News.
Deli owner Jack Lebewohl, who runs the eatery’s two locations with his family, decided to sue Heart Attack Grill, claiming he was serving the sandwich even before the Vegas restaurant opened in 2005. A Manhattan federal judge ruled Friday in favor of 2nd Avenue Deli, but also restricted the deli from advertising the sandwich outside of Manhattan.
“We feel very vindicated,” Josh Lebewohl, Jack’s son, told Metro. “We are just happy that we will be able to continue doing what we do best. The true victors really are our customers.”
Lebewohl said the deli has been serving the “Instant Heart Attack” for 10 years, ever since his father realized you “can’t go wrong with fried potatoes and meat.” He’s seen many patrons devour the calorie-laden staple, but the newly-named addition to the restaurant’s menu could serve as NYC’s next great food challenge:
“I haven’t seen anyone finish the ‘Triple Bypass’ sandwich,” Lebewohl said.