Normally, when I go to a Gordon Ramsey establishment, I get a bit disappointed. Not because of the food, but I think that I have become rather fixated upon his tv personality in “Hell’s Kitchen”. I expect there to be shooting flames in the foyer or at least overhear the head chef scream expletives at their staff. But I guess, those are just theatrics made for television.
At least, until I came to his restaurant BurGR at Planet Hollywood. To my delight, the restaurant has a huge display behind glass that shoots out flames. Nothing could be a more appropriate homage to Hell’s Kitchen. But Gordon is a bit late for the burger scene. The Burger Revival has been sweeping the country and so it would be hard to come up with something that hasn’t already been done.
Who am I to doubt the star of “Kitchen Nightmares”, who goes around the country saving restaurants from going out of business? Let the statistics speak for themselves! His first two seasons, he was only able to save 2 out of 21 restaurants. That is about a 9.5% success rate. At least in Season 3 and 4, that figure climbed to 10 out of 23 or 43%. To be fair, many of those restaurants were in deep before he came out there, and there were a lot more deep-rooted problems than just simple mismanagement.
So if anyone can pull off a burger place this late in the game, it would be him. The apparent success of the restaurant is immediately seen in the line that forms during dinner time. The wait is easily an hour. Luckily, I am such a degenerate gambler that I was able to cut to the front with my Total Rewards Diamond membership. Finally I get some use out of it other than tracking how much money I have given to the casinos.
As far as burgers go, I was surprisingly impressed. The quality of the beef was good and they had a nice fat balance so they remain juicy (80/20?). Reasonably priced for something on the Strip in Vegas. Other dishes were just as much a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth.
Jalapeno poppers are normally an overplayed appetizer. But this version is filled with bacon cheddar and each has its own Ranch sauce cup. No worry about double dipping here. Truffle parmesan fries looked great, but alas, a bit over-fried. It had a great essence of truffle. Served with truffle aioli and curry ketchup.
But my favorite was the Farm Burger. Who can resist a burger topped with egg that runs with yolk as you bite into it? The duck breast bacon adds an additional level of meaty, smoky tastiness along with the sharp cheddar.
And of course for dessert, how can one not order anything that comes out as a push-pop? The Sticky Toffee Pudding Push-Pop is paired with a salted peanut ice cream that is more creamy than salty. If you have had sticky toffee pudding before, this will be a bit drier than the traditional dessert, probably done to make it push out easier.
But if you had to go with one dessert, I would go with their wonderful Pudding Shakes, which are half pudding on top and half shake on the bottom. The pudding is phenomenal. It is not your cheapass Jell-O variety. These are made with real milk and extremely rich. It is more the level of a pastry cream than a pudding. Butterfat content in the shake is also high so you are basically drinking liquid ice cream. Pictured below is Shake #4 – Creme Brulee Pudding with Oreo Shake. I ate mine before I could take a picture so this one is from Yelp.
So I guess that someone with 9 Michelin Stars to their name can also come up with great burgers. A wonderful application of talent if you ask me.
Bill total = 1 appetizer, 2 burgers, 1 fries, 2 soft drinks, tax, tip = $70 ($35 per person)
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