Shortly after playing the amazingly successful Rock Vegas Festival I had the opportunity to put a local burger joint to the test in “Jonny’s Search For America’s Best Burger”.
The contender: Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Burger for breakfast? Sure! It won’t be the first time, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
But first things first – a round of Guinness for a band that really shouldn’t be out of bed yet after the shows we’ve just played, but we have a rehearsal space booked and we’re all really looking forward to getting there to work on some new music.
The atmosphere at the Burger Bar could use some help. It seems like they’re trying to pull off half diner, half pub and not really hitting the mark on either. The music = horrible. This is Vegas, so I expect the worst, but the canned dance-a-tronic music being pumped through this place is nearly unbearable. It’s at times like these that great service can really make you forget about the bad music and lack of ambiance, but unfortunately Burger Bar falls short again. Rushed/uninterested service at a snail’s pace. So far, things are not going too well. I order my burger with a positive attitude in anticipation for something great… And the burger does not let me down.
The meat is tasty and cooked perfectly to medium rare. The cheese and bacon are also perfectly melted and cooked and the flavors of each are incredible. I left the bun, sauce and condiments up to the chef and was pleasantly surprised. He chose an onion bun and to serve sliced avocado on the side – interesting. The bun was a little distracting for my taste buds to handle with all of these other amazing flavors – I will steer clear in the future. The avocado looked very lonely and I was intrigued by the chef’s choice to add this as an optional condiment. So, I stuffed in some green layers on the second half of my burger and it was pretty damn good! Definitely complimented the other flavors and brought out an undeniable extra creaminess to this “breakfast burger” – good call chef!
The beef was really the highlight – very flavorful and cooked perfectly. The only disadvantage was simply too much. I encounter this mistake often in burger paradise. Sometimes thicker/bigger is not better. For the perfect burger I believe you need a balance – there must be an ideal “beef to bun to topping” ratio so that all of the flavors come together into perfect burger harmony. This one, unfortunately simply had too much beef. (If you want to know the answer to “Where’s the beef” well, it quite possibly might be at Burger Bar)
I give Burger Bar out of 5 beers.
The beef was really great, but the balance and the overall experience was a disappointment.
Thank you to all who made great suggestions in the Rock Vegas Fest Burger Contest. The next time I am in town I will be sampling more burgers based on your recommendations.
Until next time… keep grilling it and killin it!