Burger Bistro (A Second Take)

March 25th, 2013 by Erik Chudy

onions!For the first time I’m providing you with a second take on a burger meal from a guest reviewer, Lou. Lou is a regular reader and fan of the blog, and also a colleague of mine who shares a passion for burgers and food overall. While this might not be the best meal to have a second review for, it’s still great to read another opinion on the same experience. Here is his review along with a couple photos:

On entering Burger Bistro in the LVH, one question invaded our collective mind:  What was this place before they served burgers?  Well, we got our answer (vacant for years), left with more questions (why are there books in the window across from the bar?), and summed up our brief visit as unremarkable, coaxingly expensive, and most importantly, an accurate barometer of the state of the Las Vegas burger.  Normalcy prevails in Clark County.

The burger, mine was a bacon cheeseburger topped with sautéed onions, was decent at best.  More often than not it reminded me of a coffee-shop burger.  That is, if eaten at 2AM at a Station Casino after a rigorous drunken night of sloppy bowling, happiness will ensue.  Especially if it was five bucks.  However, to our disappointment, we were having a 12:30 lunch. Sober.  Five Bucks happened to be half the tip.  Our server more than deserved it.  Who knows how long she had to suffer in the LVH coffee shop?

Let’s not make this meal solely about the money.  That would be unfair, and all things considered, the Burger Bistro is comparable to its competitive set.  However, the skinny fries, overly fried in oil cooked to a tepid [more than likely] 300 degrees were inedible, & the “fat” ones (in name only) were bland, not quite pillow-ey enough, and had a distinctive frozen mouth feel.  Sauces are on the table, Heinz 57 included.  An odd “Ken’s Deluxe” mélange is served with the burger.  Is it 1000 Island?  Steak Sauce?  Both?  Either way LVH, put it on the bun, or keep it off the plate.

some pinkThis was simply one of those places that are capitalizing on the popularity of their product, the ubiquitous burger, while also serving an acceptable heap of meat to the masses.  The patty was bought, but it was Angus and flavorful enough to enjoy on a base level, similar to the largest version of the Costco mold.  However, it is also the kind of patty that needs great ingredients, which are still on sale down the road at the farmers market.  The Aged Cheddar didn’t resemble cheddar let alone an age, the onions, clumped and soggy and greasy and white.  The bacon, promised on the menu to be more selective, was a leftover version from breakfast (which we concluded would be a good selling point; “Breakfast Bacon.” Finally, the tomato was frozen, and the lettuce iceberg-ish.  Our burgers were cooked fine, save for a bit under seasoned.  I’m sure that’s a good idea for the convention crowd, but we wanted to be woken up a little more.  The highlight at Burger Bistro is the bun, a replication-hybrid of Bachi’s Asian roll and a brioche.  They don’t really toast it well enough and put some sort of garlic butter on it.

I think what we really found lacking in this place was a lack of imagination.  The decor is a throwback to a Las Vegas 1970’s Italian restaurant, so why not put an Italian Burger on the menu?  How about a few more choices of beer (there were 4 Miller varieties on a menu of what looked like about 25)?

The Bistro was busy, which gives the LVH higher-ups two options:  Capitalize and improve the space, up the ante on the choices and ingredients, open the front bar to be more fun and welcoming, and get into the concept.  The other, and more likely, is that it remains the same, feeds off its convention clientele, and make reviews like this oil for its Teflon.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the former.   We’ve had the latter everywhere else.

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