Ever since I first got word of Rattlecan on the Eater website many months ago I’ve been excited about it; not only did it look totally cool, but it was backed by Chef Sammy D who has already made a pretty great burger in town. A few weeks before it opened I was able to do a quick walkthrough with a Venetian employee which did nothing to calm my excitement either. Plus since it opened, I’ve had many friends and readers chime in with how good the burgers are. All this has built up to quite the hype, so when I finally ventured in there this past weekend I was expecting quite a bit. So how did it hold up to all the pressure?
I’m sure by now you’ve probably heard about all the graffiti artists that contributed to the interior of the space, and if you haven’t you can read about them here. The restaurant is laid out with a pretty cool bar along one side decorated with old skateboard decks, some high top seating in the middle, and a few large private booths on the opposite side. There’s also an outdoor patio with a great view of the fountains and strip, a large seating area in the back surrounded by neon and many TV screens, and even a mechanical pickle you can ride when you purchase their Rattlecan Pickleback shot. There’s plenty to look at in here between all the artwork, carvings on the tables, attractive waitresses… it may be loud and a bit too much for some, but I found it to be very cool.
Their menu is equally stacked: several burgers to choose from, hot dogs, salads, pickled items and a huge selection of beers and cocktails. We couldn’t resist one of their appetizer items after reading it, their BBQ pork donut: crisp tempura BBQ pork stuffed roll, honey drizzle with a pickled jalapeno. It was sweet, crunchy and delicious. Their poutine also sounds amazing, and will be ordered on a future visit.
After much deliberation I went with their namesake Rattlecan burger: custom house blend angus beef, cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, pickle, special sauce, and L/T on a sesame brioche roll. Upon first bite you can taste quality meat and excellent flavor. The patty had great char flavor, and was cooked close to medium rare but maybe a bit overdone. The bacon had amazing smoky flavor, the caramelized onions were really good, and my cheese was perfectly melted and very tasty too. There was just enough L/T and they were fresh as well. The bun was probably the star of the show; it was so dense yet flaky on the top, it was well proportioned and had just really great flavor. Although the picture may make this look like a whopper as some people have pointed out, it is worlds ahead of it and far superior. Easily one of the better burgers I’ve had this year.
I got a pro tip from a friend that the crinkle-cut fries might be of the frozen variety and that I should go with the house-cut fries instead. Since this burger comes with crinkle-cut I was sure to make this adjustment in my order and I’m glad I did. The fries were great, which came as a welcome surprise considering the fries upstairs at First really took away from what could have been a strong burger meal on my last visit. These were cooked well with the skins on them; crispy and delicious without a lot of the bad oily flavor I refer to often. I’ll note that I was initially charged the full $7 for the cost of house-cut fries on both burgers on my bill because of this swap, but our waitress not only had that removed, but also took off the supposed $2.50 fee that should have remained for this change. While there is a $1.50 difference between the two types of fries on the menu, I’m not sure I like the idea of having to pay more to swap these out. I almost always hate crinkle-cut, so I’m not cool with being forced to pick something else. Also, if I were to pay $7 for the small amount of house-cut fries as a side, I would be pretty pissed, even considering how good they were.
Our entire meal with an appetizer, two burgers and two drinks came to a slightly steep $66.75. $12 for my small but tasty cocktail is a bit expensive, and I could probably do without the two small pork donuts for $11. My burger and fries were a very reasonable $16 given the strip location and just how good it was. If you can deal with just a burger meal with two waters or something this is very good food for the money, but it can easily creep up to an expensive burger outing if you’re not careful. I’ll also mention their gluten free bun option which I think is great; my girlfriend has been trying to stay gluten free but it isn’t always easy when eating out around town. It’s a .75 cent additional charge, but you get a very large, rosemary-flavored, good looking bun. It was very good compared to others I’ve had, but it’s still not the same compared to a real bun, and certainly not the sesame brioche I had with mine. Also, Liz our server was super attentive and extremely friendly. All the wait staff seemed very attentive and fun, just like the restaurant itself. Rattlecan certainly has an amazing burger, and finally gives some other places in the property a run for their money.