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HEART ATTACK GRILL

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Neonopolis

450 E. Fremont St.

Las Vegas, NV 89101

website

$10-$20

Daily 11am-2am

Burgers

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

One of the most over-the-top concept restaurants in existence that revels in the fact that serves food with such high calorie, cholesterol, and fat contents that it might actually be dangerous for you.

Where is it?

At the Neonopolis shopping and entertainment complex on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas.

What kind of food is served?

Four burgers (all of which are just larger and larger versions of the same thing), fries, and a few milkshakes. That's it.

What is the atmosphere like?

The place is done up like a hospital with waitresses as nurses and bartenders in medical scrubs. Oh, and you have to wear a hospital gown when you eat.

How is the service?

Fast and friendly. No complaints at all.

What are the prices like?

Relatively affordable for a Vegas restaurant.

What else do I need to know?

If you weigh over 350 pounds are are willing to prove it by getting on the scale in the middle of the restaurant, you get to eat for free.

What's the bottom line?

A curiosity; probably worth trying once just to say you did and survived it.

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FULL REVIEW

Finding a healthy meal in Las Vegas is like finding a slot machine that pays out more than you put into it. It's possible, but rare.

The Heart Attack Grill in Downtown Las Vegas doesn't even try to pretend that there is anything healthy about its offerings. In fact, it revels about how eating there may be hazardous to your health. Consider this warning posted at the front door: "Side effects may include sudden weight gain, repeated increase in wardrobe size, back pain, male breast growth, loss of sexual partners, lung cancer, tooth decay, liver sclerosis, stroke and an inability to see your penis. In some cases, mild death may occur."

Located at the Neonopolis mall on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, the place is done up as the most unhealthy hospital in the world. Waitresses are dressed like nurses - the naughty variety, of course - and male staff members wear medical scrubs. Upon arrival, "patients" get a wrist band and a hospital gown before they are shown to their table.

The room is open and airy with big windows that look onto the human circus that is Fremont Street; a wall of flat panels showing music videos or sports depending on the day and time; a full bar that specializes in 22-ounce daiquiris, pina coladas, and margaritas that they brag are half liquor ("The strongest frozen on Fremont!"); and a big scale in the center of the dining room. The latter is for you to prove that you weigh more than 350 pounds. If you do, you eat for free.

The menu is limited - four different burgers that are variations on the same them, fries (deep fried in pure lard, naturally), and vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry milkshakes that they claim have the highest butterfat content in the world. That's it, except for the alcohol and cigarettes they sell.

Their burgers range from the Single Bypass, which includes a high-fat half-pound beef patty, cheese, and five strips of bacon, to the Quadruple Bypass with two pounds of beef and twenty strips of bacon coming in at an artery clogging 8,000 calories. Finish one of those and they will escort you to your car in a wheelchair.

I wanted to eat here but I'm not insane so I went for the Single Bypass. It's huge and certainly enough for two people (splitting of the Single Bypass is allowed), with a fresh and sweet bakery bun, onion and tomato, American cheese, and the aforementioned bacon and beef. I could practically taste the fat dripping off of it although perhaps that was my brain telling me I could because of the surroundings. It was good, flavorful, and fresh but nothing that made me want to add it to my Best Burgers in Vegas list.

The fries also fell into the "fine" category but it was the milkshake that sent me to the moon (or maybe an early grave, at some point). Served with a pat of real butter on the top (nope, not kidding), it was like eating frozen buttercream frosting and I mean that in a good, totally decadent, roll-your-eyes-into-the-back-of-your-head kind of way.

Prices are very affordable, especially for a Vegas restaurant. Burgers range from $8 for the Single Bypass to $15 for a fully loaded Quadruple Bypass. A huge serving of fries is only $2. Milkshakes are $5. You can do an entire meal here for less than $20 a person although what it will cost you later in medical bills is unknown at this point.

Service was great - friendly, fun, and fast. We got our burgers in less than five minutes as did everyone else who was in the restaurant when we were there.

A couple of thing worth knowing: for now, the establishment is cash only. Perhaps they are worried that you'll die before your pay your credit card bills. Also, they don't serve any brand name sodas - just high sugar content cola, orange, root beer, and lemon-lime drinks. No diet and they don't even serve water.

So in the end (no pun intended), the Heart Attack Grill is more about the experience of eating here than the actual eating itself. The food is fine and the prices are right, but it's the photo opportunity that makes this a destination worth visiting. Think of what your friends will say when you show them the picture of you in a hospital gown eating something called a Bypass Burger.

If that isn't Vegas, I don't know what is.

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