Gordon Ramsay's "Burger" Has Best Burgers in Las Vegas
Those who know me even remotely know of my outright shameless obsession with Gordon Ramsay. I have perhaps watched nearly every episode of every show, both UK and US, he has ever appeared in – including his Master Class. Yet, up until recently I had never actually sampled Mr. Ramsay’s award-winning Michelin Star cuisine. As I was boarding the plane to Las Vegas last month the absolute absurdity of this fact needed to be resolved. After all, if you’re going to be a fan of a celebrity chef, shouldn’t you have sampled his or her work firsthand? One would think.
So, when the opportunity to hit Vegas this past December arose, the first “bucket list” item on my list was to have some sort of Gordon Ramsay dining experience. As with any Vegas trip, it was a short one and we had a lot to pack into the weekend – Cirque du Soleil tickets, rink-side tickets to the Stars vs. Golden Knights game, tickets to Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum. Days and nights in Las Vegas seem to go by much faster than the normal grind here at home. Thus, reservations to Hell’s Kitchen and Steak were relatively hard to come by when I got around to thinking about this.
After walking, by our pedometer’s readings, nearly 12 miles the day before, we were starving when we woke up on day two of our Vegas excursion. I knew then and there, sitting on the couch in my hotel suite trying to figure out which panel on which computer in this weird hotel room would get the sunshades to lift, that I needed to get in a GR dining experience one way or another. Time was running out.
We had approximately an hour and half before our tour at the Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum. We were hung over starving, which is a different type of starving when you need just regular substance. This is a core stabilization type of hunger. We needed something fast.
Winding our way through the V’dara hotel, which led us through the guts of the Bellagio next door, we finally made our across the street to Planet Hollywood. Through a throng of scantily clad “showgirls” (off shift strippers in rental show girl outfits out to hustle a buck with “photo ops”), drunk tourists, and oddly misplaced wide-eyed preteen boys accompanying their families on holiday, we struggled up the steps to Gordon Ramsay’s Burger at Planet Hollywood. This wasn’t the ornate, glamorous experience I had hoped for after years of watching GR’s programs, but it was the only GR option I had left without reservations.
When we first entered Planet Hollywood I would have nearly missed Gordon Ramsay’s Burger if it hadn’t been for the small throng of tourists attempting to wave down a hostess at the restaurant of to my left. I was not overtly impressed by the design of the café. Asides from one wall with the name of the place backlit by flame, and a larger than life picture of our hero on the wall off to my left there was little in the space to make this a “Gordon Ramsay” experience. Then again, I suppose subtle is better than walking into a GR theme park… Actually, that would be slightly terrifying…
We chose a seat at the bar in hopes of expediting our lunch. The bar staff was distant and unfriendly at first impression, seemingly very jaded about their Vegas strip clientel and life in general. We ordered two mimosas and a basket of their famed Truffle Parmesan Fries ($12).
We were unaware that the mimosas were $15 EACH as there was no drink menu and were shocked to see that when we received our bill at the end. Coming from Austin, perhaps I’m a bit spoiled with $2 to $5 brunch mimosa specials, but seriously. I don’t mind paying steep prices for spectacular food, but a mimosa? Seriously? Are the oranges flown in from a monastery where the monks sing 1940's love songs to the fruit?
The fries took almost fifteen minutes to arrive. By then we were absolutely famished and dove into them while placing our main order. Intensely decadent is an understatement, nearly dripping with grated truffle and cheese. And the portion size was for at least four adults making the order great for sharing.
Next we ordered two of the burgers – the Forest Burger (tremor cheese, seasonal forest mushrooms, arugula, and duck bacon for $17), and the vegetarian Portobella Burger (portobella mushroom, aged mimolette cheese, bourisn cheese, shaved vegetables, fine herb aioli for $18). Both were absolutely divine!
The Forest Burger was cooked to a perfect medium and seasoned impeccably. The healthy portion of luscious sautéed mushrooms and thick slabs of duck bacon were cut perfectly by the fresh, spicy, tang of arugula on a buttery, toasted bun. Once all of the beautifully and carefully orchestrated ingredients combined the result was a divinely balanced and wholly satisfying burger experience that disappeared off of the plate far too quickly.
If you are a vegetarian, then I highly recommend the Portobella Burger. It has been a month since I sat at the bar at Burger and I am seriously contemplating returning to Vegas just to have that burger again. It’s probably a good thing I’m not wealthy and prone to run off on weekend trips on the fly. But, seriously, this burger was sinfully delicious. The mushroom cap was superbly seasoned and grilled to retain that velvet smokiness of chargrilling. Married seamlessly with the combination of cheeses and aioli, which could have become easily almost too rich if not for the crisp cheerfulness of the shaved mixed vegetables, the Portabella Burger most definitely held its own against the carnivorous experience of the Forest Burger. Again, the burger disappeared from our plates far too fast.
Thus, overall, Gordon Ramsay’s Burger in Las Vegas is definitely the place to go if you are craving a spectacular and not overtly overpriced burger experience. While the atmosphere of the restaurant may not be overwhelmingly impressive, it is lovely and immaculate from what I could see. The staff is a bit jaded and it may take a few minutes to get your food, so be sure to not arrive on the verge of passing out from hunger. You should be wise to ask for a drink menu before ordering anything from the bar unless money is no option for you. Otherwise, expect some sticker shock at the end of the meal.
All of that aside, this burger experience was hands down one of the best I have ever had and completely lives up to my personal fangirl expectations of what Gordon Ramsay food should taste like – perfect!
When you are thinking about what to order the next time you go to a restaurant, before you’ve even finished your first meal there, you know it has satiated those core sensory demands above and beyond the everyday. To those who might say, “It’s a burger. Just how good can it be?” I say you only have to experience it for yourself to understand the addictive qualities each item on the menu possesses.