After experiencing a severely disappointing burger adventure a couple months ago on Fremont St, I’ve been a bit hesitant to venture back over to some of the other recommended old school restaurants and test their burgers. El Cortez didn’t disappoint, but it didn’t have any of the fanfare that places like Du-Par’s have been getting from some local supporters. With little motivation to travel too far away from my office the other day, I broke down and decided to walk over to Fremont and give Du-Par’s a shot. And I’m actually glad I did.
Du-Par’s is located in the back corner of the Golden Gate Casino at the non-hipster end of Fremont St. I’ve been in Golden Gate many times throughout the years, but never even knew where the restaurant existed until I went searching for it. Hidden behind a field of slot machines you come across the small opening to the restaurant, which opens up to a diner-style counter area with a display kitchen and several booths. Beyond that is another dining room with several booths and 4-top tables. Being that the restaurant is fairly small, I’ve heard of long waits for breakfasts and even at lunch we were limited to two seats at the counter by the kitchen. I guess they’re known for their pancakes, but the menu has everything from greasy appetizers, salads, sandwiches, several burgers and some great looking pies.
They actually had more pre-designed choices of burgers in their menu than some dedicated burger joints in town which made me happy, and also gave me a tough choice. After some deliberation I went with the bacon and swiss burger. The patty was small, but the meat is good quality and supposedly formed daily. It was slightly overcooked but wasn’t too dry with the tomato and other toppings to help support it. The flaky, gooey bun had the most prominent flavor, and was very good; it was slightly grilled, buttery, and crunchy on the inside layer. The thousand island sauce was almost too sparse, and gave it a mayo flavor instead of its full intended flavor. I’d either provide a heftier helping or none at all. The bacon was nice and crispy with good flavor, but maybe a tad salty. The cheese was very well melted but a bit overpowered by that flavorful bun. Overall a very decent burger.
The fries were thick and good, but maybe a few of them were too undercooked for my liking. At $12.75 I’d say this might be on the slightly more expensive side of what you’d expect for a meal on Fremont St, but based on the quality this is a good value for the money and just a good burger. So while I can’t say the same for the one at Binion’s, if you find yourself on Fremont hungering for a burger you can’t go wrong here.