As word continues to spread about this blog and I push to gain a bigger presence on Twitter, I continue to get requests to come try burgers in town. The latest comes from one of the newest additions to the Venetian; a little place called Public House. Unlike some of the other places that have invited me into their restaurants lately, these guys instantly claimed a fantastic burger and wanted me to put it to the test. This usually puts a lot of pressure on me because I hate telling someone their food sucks after they’ve invited me in to try it, but luckily this one held up pretty well.
Public House is located directly across from the Blue Man Theater amidst a row of other restaurants a little bit off the casino floor. The interior is nicely decorated, and prominently features the keg runs from the walk-in cooler to the taps at the front bar. The folks that opened this place are also the ones behind LBS, Holstein’s and The Barrymore, two of which I think are top burgers in town. The menus and restaurant experiences of all four of these places are great; I really need to revisit some of them to try something other than their burgers because there is some great looking food to be had.
The burger in this case is all natural grass-fed beef, bacon marmalade, gruyere cheese, roast tomato, frisee and guiness aioli, which is sadly almost the exact same ingredients as the burger at The Barrymore. But somehow this burger was far superior; I’m almost questioning whether I had the Barrymore burger on an off night? The buns look almost the exact same, although I found this one much softer and fresh, while the other one was dry and really detracted from the meal when I had it. The meat in this case had great flavor, was cooked close to medium-rare all the way through. The bacon marmalade again stood out for me as a favorite ingredient, with the others not quite standing out as much but still quite good. Overall I was very impressed with this burger and was really happy with it, which happens to be the exact opposite reaction I had to the eerily similar burger at their sister location. I don’t know what to make of this but a revisit may be in order.
The fries were equally similar to those at The Barrymore and also the ones I had recently at a revisit to Holstein’s and LBS. They’re a bit thin which I’m not a huge fan of these days, but I must have lucked out as these weren’t overcooked as they can easily be; but were soft, fresh and had good flavor. I’m not sure why the folks behind these four places have such similar items on their menus, it disappoints me a bit. There should really be more individuality throughout their menus, and not an almost identical burger at two different locations and the same fries across the board. That being said, it’s a good burger and you shouldn’t mess with something that works. What doesn’t work for me is the insanely high price of $19 for the burger and fries here, which is a tie for the most expensive burger I’ve had in town so far. I love a great burger, and understand the premium price for a location on the strip, but as a local this is steep. The burger was great, but the fries could easily swing over to the not-so-great side on an off night and I would be really mad paying $19. If you can stomach that cost you can’t go wrong, but if $19 is too much for you, there are better, cheaper alternatives on the strip.