Apparent heart attack at Heart Attack Grill

Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas
A man -- not the man who suffered from heart attack symptoms -- eats a burger from the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas.

The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas is proud of its name.

It warns customers, "This establishment is bad for your health."

Man stricken eating heart attack grill burger
Video: A meal to die for

So this story may sound too good to be true: A customer at the restaurant, while eating a 6,000-calorie burger called the Triple Bypass Burger, was stricken with an apparent heart attack. And it was all caught on the cell phone video (seen below).

But some patrons thought it was all an act.

The video of the incident went viral online. The video shows paramedics wheeling a man having a heart attack out of a restaurant that advertises its food can kill. It's the kind of publicity other restaurants would run from -- but not this one.

Jon Basso, owner of the Heart Attack Grill, told CBS News, "We throw slogans at you like, 'Taste worth dying for.'"

Basso calls himself Dr. Jon and his waitresses "nurses." Diners wear hospital gowns.

"I am here to tell you straight out I am here to make a buck," Basso said.

Basso says plenty of restaurants serve unhealthy food -- he's just honest about it.

Basso told CBS News, "Anything that is legal that you want to eat or drink that's fun, that enriches your life at the moment, I will sell it to you."

Sharon Myers, a Heart Attack Grill customer, said at a visit to the restaurant, "Every once in a while you have to indulge, so we thought we would indulge today."

Basso said, "Who doesn't want to risk a little danger every once in a while. If I can put danger back into hamburgers, all the better."

But on Saturday night, the reality of what that can lead to hit hard when a man eating a burger called a Triple Bypass suddenly seemed like he needed one. Waitress Tracy Chamberlin called 911.

"I am nowhere near a nurse," Chamberlin said. "I just play one when I come to work"

The ambulance got there fast.

"People were taking pictures," Chamberlin recalled. "I had people ask me, 'Is this a stunt, do you do this on a regular basis? (I said,) 'No, it's not a stunt, this is for real, this man is sick.'"

CBS News asked a cardiologist if one hamburger -- even a huge one -- could actually cause a heart attack.

Dr. Sohail Anjum, of Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, replied, "I don't think hamburger bite or eating a whole hamburger can give you a heart attack."

Paramedics said he would probably be OK but for medical privacy reasons won't release his name or condition.

For those who suspect a publicity stunt, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue confirms that a man with heart attack symptoms was taken from the Heart Attack Grill to the hospital.

CBS News confirmed that he left without paying for his Triple Bypass Burger.

For Blackstone's full report, watch the video in the player above.

  • John Blackstone
    John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.