Who builds the best burger in Las Vegas? That's a burning question, especially on the Strip, where competition among gourmet burger restaurants is fierce. Even some steakhouses and hotel room-service menus have jumped on the trend, offering prime sirloin patties paired with $5000 bottles of Bordeaux wine or rare French champagne.
Until recently, our faves for hand-crafted burgers, milkshakes and fries in Las Vegas were BLT Burger (what beats a burger fried in butter?), at the Mirage casino, and LBS: A Burger Joint (house-made everything!) at Red Rock casino way out in suburban Summerlin. But our carnivore's bleeding-red heart now belongs to Holstein's, at the brand-new Cosmopolitan casino on the Strip.
First, we were seduced by Holstein's free truffle-oil popcorn appetizer. Then, it was the liquored-up milkshakes, like the 'Black Cow' with chocolate-covered pop rocks and a shot of cherry vodka. But we didn't fall hard in love until we bit into the 'Rising Sun' burger made with teriyaki-glazed Kobe beef and topped with nori (seaweed) furikake, crispy yams and a perfectly tempura-fried avocado slice. One caveat: the duck-fat fries aren't all that tasty. Well, nobody's perfect.
If our love affair with Holstein's ever ends, you'll find us at Bachi Burger, an Asian fusion eatery south of the Strip, or running madly around town trying to track down the Slider Truck (self-explanatory) and Sloppi Jo's Roving Eatery (New Mexican-style green chile cheeseburgers, yum). Either that, or we'll be standing in line at the 'Takhomasak' take-out window inside the South Point casino's Steak 'n Shake 1950s-style diner, an Illinois chain that we've loved since our corn-fed childhood.
Have another favorite burger joint in Las Vegas? Let us know by leaving a comment below! Find out more about the city's cuisine scene in our iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch digital travel guide, Viva Las Vegas, Baby!.
Photo: Holstein's, Las Vegas (Michael Connolly, Jr.)