I like burgers. No, not those offensive versions you find in McDonalds (although strangely, once in a while I DO have a craving for a 2x 1/4 Pounder w/ Cheese). I like GOOD burgers. Seeing how In-N-Out was off The Strip, I went for one of the newest burger joint in Vegas, opened by our favorite three Michelin stars, f-bomb dropping chef, Gordon Ramsay.
Even if you are not a fan of Gordon Ramsay, it’s hard not to miss this popular burger restaurant located in Planet Hollywood. Its advertisements were literally everywhere around Vegas, from taxis to billboards. Thanks to these omnipresent ads, there was already a lineup when I arrived 15 minutes before the restaurant was supposed to open. I was greeted by this signature table setting after I was ushered to the bar.
Note the oil stain on the menu. That, along with some left over food residue stuck inside the menu, almost prompted me to ask for another clean menu like Ramsay did in one episode of Kitchen Nightmares. But I didn’t. Like Gordon Ramsay Steak, there’s a regular pricing and a cheaper, member$-only discounted pricing. It looked tacky, and I was surprised that Ramsay approved this.
Honey-Pig Bao Buns – Borrowing a page from David Chang, you can find variations of these things everywhere now. BurGR’s rendition was simply the roasted pork belly wrapped in a fluffy bun topped with sliced cucumber, radish, cilantro, and honey hoisin sauce. The belly was tender enough – but could be more tender in my opinion. The veggies helped cut down the richness and the salty hoisin sauce seasoned it even further. Of all the similar pork buns I’ve had, this one didn’t particularly stood out for me.
Hell’s Kitchen Burger – And of course I had to get the Hell’s Kitchen Burger. It was topped with asadero cheese, roasted jalapeno peppers, avocado, and oven roasted tomatoes. The freshness and the bold tastes of these ingredients allowed me to taste them each individually – they all seemed to fight for my taste buds’ attention. I also loved the sesame seeds on the bun, it added some taste and crunch to the otherwise boring bun.
“How would you like your burger cooked?” were the magical words you would never hear if you order a burger in Canada, so ordering it in medium rare was quite a treat. The meat was tender, juicy, and absolutely delicious when eaten with the toppings.
Medium rare, just like the doctor ordered.
Truffle Parmesan Fries – As if I couldn’t get enough fine dining out of this trip, I also got the Truffle Parmesan Fries. These were hand cut fries with truffle parmesan, truffle salt, and truffle aioli. I could definitely taste the parmesan and truffle (not real truffles for sure), and the rich, heavy, but delicious truffle aioli propelled the fries into a scrumptious side dish. Having already had the buns and the burger, it took me a while to finish these fries because it was that good.
Despite the lineup when the restaurant opened, the room was only 80% full by the time I left. I was worried about the excessive advertising all around the city were an indication that this place was a tourist trap, riding on Gordon Ramsay’s fame. But it’s not. The burgers tasted fresh, the menu offered variety, the decor had character, and service was attentive – this was clearly “Ramsay touched”. Next time I’m in Vegas, I will definitely do a second visit to try some of their other burgers.
“Look! Hockey pucks!”