Digging in at Vegas' infamous Heart Attack Grill

The sign says it all. This burger joint in downtown Las Vegas specializes in fatty foods so bad for...

The sign says it all. This burger joint in downtown Las Vegas specializes in fatty foods so bad for your health it's shocking. DIANE SLAWYCH PHOTO

DIANE SLAWYCH, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Most restaurants would be horrified with a bad review. Not the Heart Attack Grill in downtown Las Vegas. It relishes its reputation for cooking ultra-fatty food and even warns potential diners with a sign in the window: "Caution! This establishment is bad for your health."

But that hasn't discouraged customers, some of whom are intrigued by the novelty of it all.

Last year, the restaurant's Quadruple Bypass Burger was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's most caloric burger. At roughly 8,000 calories it consists of four half-pound beef patties, 20 strips of bacon, several slices of cheese, tomato and onion served in a bun for $17.58.

Since Heart Attack Grill opened just over a year ago, it's become somewhat of a tourist attraction, with passersby stopping to watch people weigh themselves on the giant scale outside the entrance, or read the various signs: "Over 350 lbs eat for free," blares one in big red letters along with "Butter-fat shake -- the world's highest fat content $4.62," or "taste worth dying for."

"Someone actually had a heart attack here," I overhead one man tell his pals as they rushed passed.

Maybe that explains the Grill's hospital theme. Waitresses, dressed as nurses in provocative outfits serve diners ("patients") in hospital gowns. Customers also have their heart-rate monitored with a stethoscope and a tag wrapped around their wrist showing the foods ordered.

If you're not that hungry you can opt for the Single Bypass Burger for $8.33. If you're famished, try the towering Octuple (that's right, eight burgers) Bypass Burger for $21.28 (add 40 bacon slices for $7.40).

Sharing is discouraged and customers are advised to pay with cash "because you might die before the cheque clears."

Other high calorie items include the Chili Coronary Dog and the Flatliner Fries deep-fried in pure lard! The Brownie shake is bound to be filling.

"If we added even a quarter percent more dairy fat into our shakes," the menu states, "it would literally stop the paddles of our ice cream machine and churn into solid butter!"

The beverages are sure to creat a buzz -- massive 4-oz shots, 24-oz beers, or half liquor Jell-o Syringes.

Try not to order more than you can finish, or a "nurse" will spank you with a paddle (which you can purchase for $6.48).

And if you didn't tip the scales at 350 lbs before you entered, you could be in danger of weighing that amount when you leave.

NEED TO KNOW

- For more, check heartattackgrill.com. Their menu says "hate mail" is welcome at Heart Attack Grill, 450 Fremont St. No. 130 Las Vegas, NV 89101.

- For travel information, check the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority website: lvcva.com.

HEALTHY VEGAS DINING

Here are some suggestions for tasty but healthier dining in Vegas -- Greek, Italian and everything in between.

1. Ferraro's Italian Restaurant/Wine Bar

If you want to dine with locals -- and a long list of celebrities -- venture off the strip to this award-winning restaurant at 4480 Paradise Rd. for homemade pasta (as well as "safe harbour" certified seafood and grass-fed, hormone-free beef) and an impressive wine cellar. You'll feel right at home at this family run operation where owner Gino Ferraro personally greets each guest.

2. Estiatorio Milos at the Cosmopolitan

All meals should taste this good. Founded in Montreal, Milos has expanded to other cities including Las Vegas where it continues to fulfill its mission of presenting the flavours of Greece simply prepared. The tomato salad (generous portion) I ordered was fresh, as was the Mediterranean sea bass (grilled to perfection).

3. Sensi Restaurant at Bellagio

Among the standouts at this fine-dining establishment -- specializing in Asian, Italian and grilled dishes -- are the roasted octopus with white-bean puree and saffron aioli (reason enough to dine here), butternut-squash ravioli, and wok lobster. Try the homemade Sensi gingerale and impress a date with the visually arresting Ice Bubble dessert -- a giant teardrop-shaped ice-bowl containing a selection of sorbets and gelatos.

4. Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace

Frequently and justifiably rated as one of the best in Vegas, this buffet boasts more than 500 items prepared by a team of master chefs in nine globally inspired kitchens. Fans of fresh fruit juices will be astounded by the variety. Check out the chef's daily special -- salmon and sea bass the day I visited -- and the extraordinary dessert station with handmade crepes, 22 gelatos, macadamia cookies, addictive mochi (a chewy Japanese rice cake filled, in this case, ice cream) and more.


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