In light of protracted enmity between America and France in recent years, you might think the notion of a French chef crafting an American institution, the hamburger, would be considered audacious at the least and heretical at the worse. True burger aficionados, however, are neither Francophiles nor Francophobes. We’re just crazy about burgers–the bigger, the better.
That’s why when French chef Hubert Keller launched the Burger Bar, burger maniacs flocked to the restaurant’s sky bridge location connecting Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Keller improved on the concept of “build your own burger” by giving diners more options than Burger King ever thought possible with its “have it your way” campaign. Well heeled patrons with money to burn might well opt for the Rossini burger, a treasure trove made with Kobe beef, sautéed foie gras and shaved truffles. At $60, that burger is one of the country’s most costly.
The Burger Bar bears little resemblance to the typical American diner. Its cherry wood booths include small-screen televisions showing what appears to be 8 millimeter restorations of family vacations from the 50s and 60s as well as somewhat risqué for the time ads depicting the human body in as much undress as permitted to be shown decades ago.
The array of burger toppings includes bacon, prosciutto, ham, pan-seared foie gras, brown gravy, fried egg, peppers, sliced zucchini, asparagus, pineapple, smoked salmon, grilled lobster, grilled shrimp, marinated anchovies, a variety of cheeses, and cranberry sauce or black truffles while bun selections include sesame, onion, whole wheat, plain or ciabatta.
Aside from the Rossini, available burgers can be made with Ridgefield Farm beef ($8), Black Angus beef ($9), Kobe beef ($16), Colorado lamb ($9), turkey ($8) or vegetarian ($6). All meats are organically grown and hand-processed on-site in the Burger Bar’s own butcher shop.
The only problem with ordering a premium beef burger is that you don’t want to desecrate it with condiments which might detract from the meat’s native flavor. That would explain why I preferred the Black Jack Burger Kim ordered to the Kobe Beef burger I had. Each morsel of Kobe beef is to be savored slowly and like most of the fast-food generation, I’m more used to wolfing down my burgers even before driving away from the diner’s parking lot. While it was a burger to be experienced, next time I’ll settle for a more traditional American burger I won’t have to worship to enjoy.
Burger Bar Las Vegas
3930 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV
LATEST VISIT: 23 November 2004
# OF VISITS: 1
BEST BET: The Kobe Beef Burger, The Black Jack Burger, Buttermilk Onion Rings