It seems as though every casino has to have a feature burger joint now, whether it’s tied to a celebrity chef or not. Gordon Ramsay recently opened one of the more popular ones at Planet Hollywood, long after other chefs opened restaurants at Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Harrah’s, you name it. Some actually hold up fairly well and provide you with some pre-designed burgers to choose from, while others take the lazy do-it-yourself route, such as in the case of my latest meal at Burger Bistro in the LVH. Although burgers are a fairly easy thing to make, it’s even easier for these Vegas properties to throw together a half assed restaurant like this that sell mediocre burgers at insane prices and it’s really starting to piss me off. I’m not going to hide my anger and disappointment anywhere in this article; Burger Bistro’s approach to providing us with another burger joint is just insulting to the scene in town and I want the execs at LVH to know it.
After parking in the lot off of Paradise and wandering through the casino and sports book, I finally asked an employee where the hell this restaurant was since there is absolutely no signage of any kind to let you know. Tucked in a corner with a few other restaurants in the path to the convention center, Burger Bistro sits in a long-abandoned restaurant space that looks like it used to be something Italian complete with faux marble columns, awful pink-lit vaulted ceilings and lots of wood paneling. There’s also an abandoned bar in the front that could be a great place to stop in for a quick burger, yet the restaurant hasn’t made use of this yet for some reason. Another puzzling item is the display of books behind sliding glass doors in the front, not sure if this is supposed to be some sort of library theme? Basically what I’m saying here is the LVH execs decided that burgers are hot, there are massive amount of bodies coming out of conventions so let’s just slap a burger joint in this unused space, charge way too much money and see how it goes. They were so lazy about this that their menu gives you the choices of a few meats, several toppings, and leave it up to you to figure it out. It looks like a bad rip off of the Burger Bar menu.
Being totally uninspired I went with a swiss and bacon burger. After a shorter wait than anticipated, our burgers showed up on a food cart that was wheeled to our table, and what I was given was a completely generic 24/7 café-style burger. There was nothing wrong with it at all, but nothing that stood out as great either. It would be great drunk at 2am, which unfortunately I wasn’t. The pre-made patty was probably cooked on a griddle then thrown on a grill to add grill marks, as it had no char flavor whatsoever. It had decent flavor overall, and was cooked fairly consistent to medium rare all the way through, but lacked any type of seasoning. The frozen tomatoes added nothing, the cheese was barely noticeable, and the standard breakfast bacon was nothing special and not even cooked that well. The brioche bun was really good; grilled with garlic and butter but grilled poorly so there was raw butter in middle. Overall it was a decent burger, but something that could be found anywhere in the country at any time.
My skinny fries were completely awful; hard with a horrible oily flavor that made them completely inedible. And when I typically order skinny fries, I expect something similar to what you’re given at In-N-Out or McDonald’s, these were like potato sticks. The ‘fat’ fries at our table were pretty much what you’d consider regular skinny fries, and had just as little seasoning or good flavor to them. The weird sauce was a mixture of ketchup, A1 and who knows what, and reminded me of some concoction of sauces I’d make as a kid with condiments from my parent’s cabinet.
To round out the negativity, this was way overpriced. Maybe it would be ok for $10 if it included fries, but it didn’t. My plain burger plus cheese ($2), plus bacon ($3), with fries and iced tea at $3.75(!!) that was never refilled came to a ridiculous $23 before tip. I wouldn’t spend that much at Burger Bar for something far better, which is surely the place they’re trying to rip off. The burger trend might still be happening, but this is uncalled for. While they provide a somewhat decent burger, the fries are awful, the service was iffy, and the prices are insulting. This meal pissed me off the more I wrote about it, and I can’t recommend it to anyone unless the folks at LVH seriously consider remodeling this space, providing the customer with more of a thought out menu, and reducing their prices considerably.