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You want CPR with that? Bypass-burger joint sends another diner to hospital

LOS ANGELES: The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas would appear to have lived up to its reputation for the second time in as many months. On Saturday, a woman collapsed at the restaurant known for gleefully serving up artery-clogging meals.

The owner, Jon Basso, said on Monday that he wishes the customer a swift and full recovery. But, he added, the woman got exactly what she asked for - a brush with death.

Lives up to its name ... Heart Attack Grill's triple bypass burger.
Lives up to its name ... Heart Attack Grill's triple bypass burger. Photo: AP

''We attract an avant-garde clientele - thrill-seekers, risk-takers,'' he said, adding it is a ''bad for you but fun'' restaurant that ''attracts people who don't really take good care of their health''.

The condition of the woman was not immediately known; she was wheeled out of the restaurant by paramedics.

She had been downing a margarita and smoking a cigarette before she was stricken, Mr Basso said.

''She was eating, drinking, smoking, laughing, dancing, having fun,'' he said of the woman, who fell unconscious on Saturday night. ''But when you treat your body like that, day in and day out, eventually your body is going to give out.''

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The Heart Attack Grill is a hospital-themed restaurant that belly laughs at doctors' orders to steer clear of excessively caloric and fatty meals.

Waitresses wear skintight nurses' uniforms and Mr Basso dresses as a cardiologist, complete with doctor's coat and stethoscope. Diners are called patients and on the menu are ''flatliner'' fries cooked in lard, shakes made with pure cream and four flavours of ''bypass'' burgers - as in single, double, triple or quadruple bypass.

The ''quadruple bypass burger'' can top 10,000 calories. Mr Basso said Guinness World Records contacted him on Friday to say it was being crowned the most caloric sandwich on earth.

The restaurant also offers free meals to people weighing more than 160 kilograms.

The popular restaurant was in the news in mid-February when a man fell ill while eating a ''triple bypass burger'' and had to be wheeled out of the restaurant by emergency workers. (Real ones, not staffers playing dress-up.)

Mr Basso, who calls himself a ''board-certified burgerologist'' working on the frontlines to rid the world of anorexia and sobriety, said he did not really worry about liability issues or one of his ''patients'' suing him.

''Unlike cigarettes, I have had warnings labels since day one, when we opened in 2005, telling people how bad our food is for you. I think that skirts any liability we might have,'' he said.

Mr Basso, who is posting signs throughout the restaurant promoting the new spot in Guinness World Records, said that the restaurant says more about the diners than it does about the ownership.

''What is it about someone who sees that sign and sees that this burger has 9993 calories in it [that makes them say] 'I want one of those'?'' he said.

Los Angeles Times