Man falls ill eating Heart Attack Grill burger

By the Associated Press | February 15, 2012 | 6:25 PM EST

Menu offerings and warnings are posted in the window of the Heart Attack Grill on Fremont Street, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Las Vegas. The warnings nearly proved true for a man who was eating at the downtown Las Vegas restaurant that offers "Bypass" burgers, "Flatliner " fries and free meals to people over 350 pounds. A man was wheeled out of the restaurant on a stretcher Saturday evening, Feb. 11, 2011 after a medical episode that restaurant employees say looked like a heart attack. A Las Vegas fire spokesman tells The Associated Press paramedics were summoned Saturday evening and a man was indeed hospitalized. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Laughing tourists were either cynical or confused about whether a man was really suffering a medical episode amid the "doctor," ''nurses" and health warnings at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, a restaurant owner said Wednesday.

"It was no joke," said Jon Basso, who promotes himself "Doctor Jon," his scantily-clad waitresses as nurses and customers as patients.

Basso said he could tell right away the man in his 40s eating a Triple Bypass burger was having trouble. He was sweating, shaking and could barely talk.

Paramedics were called Saturday night, fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said, and the man was hospitalized. His name and information about his condition weren't made public.

Giggles can be heard on the soundtrack of amateur video showing the man on a stretcher being wheeled out of the restaurant where patrons pass an antique ambulance at the door and a sign: "Caution! This establishment is bad for your health."

Eaters are given surgical gowns as they choose from a calorically extravagant menu offering "Bypass" burgers, "Flatliner" fries, buttermilk shakes and free meals to folks over 350 pounds.

Basso said he hopes the man is OK, and added that he felt bad for him because tourists treated his misfortune like a joke.

"We would never pull a stunt like that," he said.