Summer / Fall 2013

Cheeseburgers in Paradise

KGB: Kerry's Gourmet Burgers

KGB: Kerry's Gourmet Burgers

Creative chefs have the Strip flipping for burgers.

By: Grace Bascos

Maybe it’s nostalgia for backyard barbecues and long days by the pool, but nothing says summer like a cheeseburger fresh off the grill. The number of choices these days can be dizzying: Wagyu or Angus beef? Cheddar cheese or pepper jack? Roasted poblanos or jalapeños? To help narrow it down, we asked chefs from some of the Strip’s best burger joints to reveal the secret to making a great burger, and found five spots with patties that are pretty hard to top.

Burger Brasserie
Not all burgers are created equal and some of the most unique patties on the Strip can be found at Burger Brasserie inside Paris Las Vegas. The menu here includes chicken, salmon, lamb, turkey and veggie creations. Traditionalists have the classic beef options, while the more adventurous may hunger for the $777 Kobe beef and Maine lobster burger. This specialty burger really takes it over the top, with caramelized onions, imported Brie, crispy prosciutto and 100-year-old aged balsamic vinegar. Wash it down with—what else?—a chilled bottle of Dom Pérignon Rosé Champagne, included in the price.

Gordon Ramsay BurGR
Chef Gordon Ramsay makes his foray into the world of burgers at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Executive Chef Eric Mickle helped develop the combination of meats that make their perfect patty: “We have a blend of three different meats,” he explains; the restaurant uses brisket and short rib for fat and flavor, and chuck “to give you that steak sensation.” But at BurGR it’s not just the meat that makes a difference—it’s the wood. BurGR is the only burger restaurant on the Strip that cooks its patties on a wood-fired grill, fueled by alder and apple wood.

Mesa Grill
After several years of second-place finishes, Chef Bobby Flay finally won the Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. He reigned supreme with a Green Chili Burger featuring an Angus beef patty topped with roasted poblano relish, pickled red onion and a white cheddar cheese sauce. Bite into the award-winning burger at his Caesars Palace restaurant, where Mesa Grill executive chef Paul Del Favero reveals his keys to building a great burger: beef containing the correct ratio of fat to meat (“eighty-twenty is a good mix,”) fresh, high-quality toppings and, of course, “a good guy on the grill who can cook them to temperature and be consistent about it.”

KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers
Kerry Simon’s burger spot in Harrah’s Las Vegas is an extension of his win over chef Cat Cora in “Battle Hamburger” on Iron Chef America. Simon is famed for his creative monthly specials—he once paired a Carne Asada burger with a Mexican hot chocolate shake. The menu is packed with innovative burgers such as his Short Rib Sloppy Joe, and you can even challenge his creations and customize your own.

We would be remiss if we left out Jimmy Buffet’s own burger that pays homage to his carnivorous habits. The Cheeseburger in Paradise on the menu at Flamingo Las Vegas is topped with American cheese and, of course, your traditional lettuce and tomato. If you want to stick to the song lyrics, order yours with Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes, or find heaven on earth with an onion slice.

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