So close but so far is all I can say of this new restaurant. I went with a friend on opening night and everything was perfect; the meat was cooked to order, the toppings were flavorful and well proportioned, the bun was great, and I walked out of there claiming that it might have unseated Burger Bar as one of my favorites (More on Burger Bar in a future article). The bacon, cheese, and garlic aioli all had great flavor, and didn’t compete with each other. I went back a second time a week later with the always negative writer of our sister site, the Boston Burger Blog, and the meat was very overcooked. Again the toppings and bun were excellent, but the overcooked meat greatly took away from our experience and flavor. We both agreed that if the meat was cooked medium-rare as ordered, it would have earned several more points. Being a restaurant that has a burger and shake theme, this is something that really should be right every time.
But as you know, the burger isn’t the only factor taken into consideration. The fries need work. The first time I ate there our waiter explained that we needed to get the shoestring fries because they were a clone of McDonalds’ fries, and they were. They were really good, and maybe lacked some of the greasiness that coincide with the big chain’s version. The second time they seemed to be a bit different, and almost seemed to stray towards the lackluster fries of Burger King after the Great Change. The duck fat fries also seemed a bit better the first time than the second. Another great item were the ‘loaded’ shakes; mostly classic flavors and mixes with a good amount of alcohol in each one. While they are a bit expensive, the few that I’ve tried have all been quite tasty.
I managed to squeeze a third visit here in the midst of my busy schedule, and this time there were more problems. First of all, we had a horrible wait for food; people sat after us, ate and left before any of our food arrived to our table. The restaurant was severely understaffed for some convention that was in town that week. While I understand that rushes do occur, some careful planning and a bit of coordination with the hotel management to see what kind of occupancies you’ll have from week to week would be a good idea. On top of our wait, I got steak fries instead of shoestring, which isn’t a deal breaker, but when I’m supposed to be finding anything wrong with my meal this makes it easy. Like my first visit, the meat was cooked perfectly so this gives me hope that they might be back to their original form, even with a packed house. My Asian themed burger had great flavor overall, and a little bit of a bite which was welcome. It came topped with an over-easy egg that was cooked perfectly, and a glaze that had good flavor.
All things considered, this restaurant has already brought me in for three separate visits so there is some merit to that. But the inconsistencies from meal to meal, combined with the not-so-great service prevent me from bumping this burger to the next level. It’s definitely worth a first time visit, if not just to experience the Cosmopolitan property and take in extreme Vegas opulence.