Since Labor Day just passed I thought it would be a good time to take a look at one of summer’s favorite foods – burgers.
We all love a good burger and in recent years it has become one of the hottest restaurant themes. A ton of burger joints opened across the valley in the last 2-3 years. We have had cheap burger joints to gourmet places pop up all over town.
Long before it was hip to have a burger restaurant there was a place that, let’s just say, was ahead of its time. Back in 2004, Hubert Keller was invited to open two restaurants in Mandalay Bay – Fleur and the Burger Bar located inside Mandalay Place Shoppes.
The Burger Bar went to a whole new level as you could sit down and order one of the chef’s creations or be your own chef and have it just the way you want. Some of the chef selections include a Surf and Turf Burger where you get a Black Angus beef patty topped with grilled lobster and grilled asparagus. That Burger delight checks in at $25.
In creating your own, step one is to pick what kind of patty you want. You can choose between Black Angus, Naturesource (which is USDA Prime Meat with no antibiotics or hormones), Lamb, Buffalo or Kobe beef. There are non-meat choices as well like Veggie Burger Patty, marinated chicken breast, salmon and turkey. With so many choices there is literally something for everyone’s taste.
After you pick the meat you have to pick a bun. The six choices include sesame, ciabatta, plain, whole wheat, onion and potato. Once decided, then the fun begins. There are over 40 different toppings you can pick to add to your burger – everything from eight different cheese choices to lobster, shrimp and, yes, even a 1/3 oz. of black truffles at $30.
Now that may be a little too extravagant for a burger but people do order it. Hey it’s Vegas Baby! You can create a really nice burger for about $15 with several gourmet toppings.
There are a ton of choices when it comes to side dishes, featuring three types of fries – fat, skinny or sweet potato. Also available are onion rings, zucchini fries, pepper jack cheese shots, mozzarella sticks, macaroni and cheese croquettes.
I chose a Black Angus Beef Patty, lettuce, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, bacon and a fried egg. It doesn’t get any better than that. So when you are craving a burger, don’t forget about the burger joint that was hip before it was hip to be a burger joint.
I give the Burger Bar a rating of 3.50 Forks out of 4.
Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at Pregame.com. He co-hosts FIRST PREVIEW every Thursday at 10 a.m. on ESPN 1100 AM/98.9 FM. Follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas. Contact him at [email protected].