I admit that I’m a fan of Gordon Ramsay after trying out Steak last year in Las Vegas! Add in his interesting and fun TV shows (MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen) and it sometimes becomes easy to see him as a celebrity and personality versus a chef. But make no mistake, this man can cook and I put forth his casual BurGR restaurant as proof! Another business trip brings me back to Vegas and lo and behold, right in the Planet Hollywood we’re staying at is BurGR! Very cool fiery signage and display up front showing his culinary intent off. The young and attractive female staffers are decked out in mod-retro mini-dresses that would fit quite well in an Austin Powers movie and the space is brightly colored and spacious. My group gets a four-top with a cool tent menu and cut-out for the cloth napkin. Crack it open and you’ve got Gordon’s beaming face in front of you, goading you to eat more of his delicious food, nice touch! And as we go through this meal, you continuously notice the little attentions to detail that take a good experience and make it great, read on!
The menu at BurGR is smallish, think gourmet grill with burgers, sandwiches, sides and several interesting apps. Service is spot on, we get an energetic young man and I don’t remember what HE was wearing, sorry! We order up some jalapeno poppers and bao buns, I go with the American burger to keep things simple and see what Gordon can do with ground burger meat. The burgers here are ground with brisket and cooked over apple and hardwoods, it all sounds great! There’s a substantial list of micro-brews and wines on an iPad, similar to what we experienced at Steak. I go with a Newcastle brown since it will probably go with anything on the menu as a lighter beer.
Ten minutes later our apps show up and they look fantastic! While the bao buns look pretty familiar, the jalapeno poppers are show-stoppers… A long wood serving tray with six glass cups filled with a dipping sauce along with a beautiful, perfectly formed popper. I take a bite and the popper is perfectly fried without any grease. Not a ton of cheese but the smoky sauce brings the flavor out. The buns are also good but a more typical braised pork belly slice with pickled and julienned veggies for contrast. Nice start, I’m already looking forward to my main.
Our burgers come out and they are beauties. Again, Gordon’s attention to details is obvious. A great looking bun sporting white and black sesame seeds along with a great sheen atop a plump burger stacked with crisp lettuce and a luscious slice of tomato. The choice of ingredients here is great and I take a bite and get a hit of beefy flavor. The patties at BurGR are maybe a 1/3 of a pound and firm. Nicely cooked to medium and the layered cheese and veggies makes for a textured mouthful. The onion rings and truffle fries come in paper cones and some dipping sauce. The ketchup is home-made and packs a flavor punch. The fries have a thick and slightly chewy crust making for a very interesting taste. Checking the BurGR website, apparently they are “thrice fried”, I guess double just wasn’t enough for Gordon. And it makes for a different type of fried potato side.
Sad to say but I had to take off before completing the meal to catch a flight. I missed out on the famous sticky toffee (in pop form at BurGR) but heard rave reviews for the dessert. While the meal wasn’t cheap $40+, Gordon and BurGR elevates simple diner eats and comfort food to another level. And in Las Vegas, the price is certainly right. So yeah, Chef Ramsay is certainly a great TV personality but he stays true to his origins which can’t be always said for food stars. A simple spot like BurGR shows off his cooking chops in an accessible and delicious way. You eat his food and think, “how did he do that?!” So stop by for a visit next time you’re in Sin City and Planet Hollywood!