I have stumbled upon a serious problem; what happens when you get served an amazing burger but the fries just totally suck? Yes my life is so difficult… but seriously, how big of an influence do the fries have in the overall judgment of a burger meal? In the case of the burger I ate at First Food & Bar, I’m having this exact problem.
First is located in a horrible end corridor inside the Palazzo’s shopping level, the website’s tagline even states “hard to find, easy to love” and it couldn’t be more correct. As a local I hate going to the strip, but I was here for work and have heard from a friend that they have a great burger. The inside of the space is cool, I was there during the day but I’m sure at night the hip interior and dark finishes look even better.
The menu has far too many items to list here, and changes depending on the time of day. As usual I have a one track mind and am here for one thing: their burger. In this case the Tommy Burger Deluxe: a griddled CAB burger, American cheese, ketchup, LTO, pickle and fries. The burger, fries and toppings all come out on one plate; to add the LTO and pickles that come with it you need to peel apart the bun and meat either through the sticky melted cheese, or from the bottom where not much, but just enough ketchup has been spread to make it slightly difficult. I added the lettuce, tomato and just enough of the really thin cut onions and pickles. Upon first bite I was happy with this burger; the beef had great flavor, although as usual it was cooked far beyond the medium-rare I ordered. I really wish someone other than Burger Bar could get this right every time. The bun was deliciously buttery, maybe a bit too much but still great. I recently decided I wasn’t a huge fan of American cheese, but in this case it wasn’t too salty and fit perfectly with the burger. The concept of this burger kind of reminded me of the Holeman burger I had recently, not quite as perfect but still great.
What weren’t great were the fries; these things just sucked. They were hard, overcooked, too thin, and had a slightly bad oily taste. There’s possibly nothing worse than taking a bite of a fantastic burger, and then stuffing just the right amount of awful fries in your mouth to go with it. Actually I’m sure there are worse things; your house burning down in the middle of the night would surely suck more. Either way, these fries really detracted from what could have been a terrific overall meal.
This leaves me now in a very awkward position; do I skip any thoughts I have regarding the fries because the burger was so good? I can’t. With the Strip factor and all, the $16 price tag for the burger and fries isn’t horrible, but could maybe be slightly better if it came with fries I like. The $4 I was charged for my iced tea is just ridiculous though, pushing this meal to $21.62 with tax. I think all those factors combined push the score far lower than it should be, but sadly this is an overall analysis of everything and not just the burger. If they could go ahead and not charge me $4 for an iced tea and actually make some decent thicker fries, this could easily be a top contender in town. Unfortunately for now, it’s right in the middle.