2nd Avenue Deli Sues To Protect ‘Instant Heart Attack’ Sandwich

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — There’s a cross-country food fight brewing, waged between two restaurants, about whether a sandwich can be called a “heart attack” or a “triple bypass.”

The 2nd Avenue Deli said a potential legal challenge to its Instant Heart Attack sandwich isn’t kosher.

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A lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court says the Heart Attack Grill restaurant chain has accused the Manhattan deli of stealing its idea to spoof healthy eating with calorie-bomb entrees like the three-patty Triple Bypass Burger. It asks the court to block the Arizona-based restaurant chain from pursuing a trademark infringement case.

“They are basically serving hamburgers, or really cheeseburgers, with a ton of lard. And of course, they’re not kosher,” Jack Lebewohl, co-owner of the 2nd Avenue Deli, told 1010 WINS. “So we’re really not competing with each other, we don’t deal with the same customers or anything like that.”

The deli’s Instant Heart Attack sandwich is a mountain of two potato pancakes and a piled-high choice of corned beef, pastrami, turkey or salami. The price: $23.95.

“They didn’t exist when we started serving the Instant Heart Attack,” Lebewohl told CBS 2’s Magee Hickey.

The deli also has plans for a new Triple Bypass sandwich.

“The Triple Bypass is three potato pancakes making a triple decker,” Jack Lebewohl, the father of the co-owner of the 2nd Avenue Deli, told 1010 WINS.

The lawyer for Heart Attack Grill wouldn’t talk specifics when asked for comment.

“Although Second Avenue Deli’s restaurant may be kosher, the unexpected filing of this lawsuit during settlement discussions is certainly not,” the owner said.

A 575-pound man who served as the Heart Attack Grill’s spokesman died in March.

“I’m very confident that we will prevail in court, I’m also hopeful that people on the other side will sit down and talk with us and we work it out,” Lebewohl said. “I don’t think it’s necessary to litigate this matter. I’m really a lover, not a fighter.”

Do you think the Heart Attack Grill has a case? Sound off below

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Andy

    Absurd – the Heart Attack Grill didn’t even exist when the 2nd Ave Deli started serving its sandwich…how could they POSSIBLY be trying to spoof the Grill or it’s sandwich in any way??

  • Fred Baker

    First of all Jeremy Lebewohl’s Uncle Abie was not the founder of the Second Avenue Deli and not the creator of any of it’s famous yiddish specialties. That honor goes to Freida Baker and her husband Harry who originally opened the Deli on Second Avenue and Tenth Street in 1956, and it was her delicious recipes for chopped liver, stuffed cabbage and Matsoh Balls that made the Deli the talk of New York. It wasn’t until years later that Abie bought it out and he and his family have since falsely claimed all credit for it’s culinary fame. That’s a “shanda” (a shame!), and shame on The Lebewohl family for consistently repeating that lie!

    Fred Baker
    Son of Harry & Freida Baker

    • Love the 2 ave. deli

      Sorry to say it but the current owner Lebewohl family is the lawful owner of all of those recipes of its culinary fame. Your parent was lucky that Mr. Abe Lebewohl bought them out so they don’t have to go into bankruptcy. I am very-very sure that the Lebewohl family is the true creator, one who promote and push his business so hard to become one of the finest New York institution. By the way your parent is not even famous as Lebewohl family is. They are the gifted family who always have kindly and loving heart to everybody. Keep the good work Mr. Lebewohl, God is always on your side no matter what other people say. I am sure your business will be multiplying rapidly in the near future.

  • Truth

    Not sure…. Need both places to send my a couple of sandwiches each so that I can make a ruling.

    • Bob Newell

      2nd Avenue Deli needs to come up with another “Promo” for its ‘Kosher’ sandwiches. The “Heart Attack Grill” owns the rights to its restaurant chain’s menu. Sorry 2nd Ave Deli!!

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