Monday, May 10, 2010

Strip Burger

Strip Burger is the indoor/outdoor burger joint attached to the Fashion Show mall on the Strip side. I went with Brian, Maggie, and the kids (Cole and Gabby) on a lazy Saturday afternoon because we had a $100 gift certificate to use up. Since the prices are reasonable, we had the freedom to over order, so I feel I had enough of a sampling to justify giving a review after one meal.

We started with three milkshakes, which obviously were a hit with the kids. The chocolate and strawberry were both good, but nobody really cared for the vanilla. It isn't too hard to blend ice cream with milk so no points were scored for this indulgent first course. Brian and I each had beer to go with our milkshake (bad timing) and Maggie had a margarita shaken in one mason jar and served in another. The presentation was cute but because the drink tasted worse than a manufactured drink from a machine at Fat Tuesday's, all points were lost.

Disappointingly, the burgers weren't that great either. We had their self-proclaimed famous blue cheese burger ($9.95) and the hickory burger ($9.95). The meat itself was alright, but they hadn't considered using a necessary moisture barrier between the meat and the bun. A juicy burger cooked on a flat top is bound to drip, so the best method for preventing this is to first set the patty on a paper towel after cooking to absorb the excess liquid, and then use some other ingredient (or ingredients) to form a layer between the meat and the bun so as to prevent the bun from getting soggy, such as lettuce, onions, etc. Despite their half-assed attempts and misleading picture on their website (follow link above), the bottom half of the bun still turned into a thin mush. The flavor of the meat and toppings were OK, but not good enough to compensate for the burger's shortcomings, so overall they weren't terribly successful.

We also ordered the "atomic fries" ($4.75) which weren't atomic at all, though it is still hard not to make fried potatoes tasty with the addition of processed nacho cheese and green chilies. I wouldn't order them again, but shamefully we still consumed most of what was in the basket.
The highlight of the meal was another side, fried pickles ($3.95). I had my hesitations but I am always intrigued by interesting fried things so we tried them out. The were crunchy, vinegary, and salty, and were served with a ranch dipping sauce. I could have had these and the chocolate shake and been very pleased with my lunch.

Despite the mediocrity of the meal, the prices were still quite reasonable for a casual Strip lunch and I can see why the place is usually busy. Gourmands on a food tour of Vegas certainly wouldn't eat here, but if you have friends in town on a budget that don't want to venture off the Strip, this is certainly a place a recommend. It's hard to find a sit down restaurant with such a prime location elsewhere that would cost you anything less than twice as much.

Today's Food Ratings:
Blue Cheese Burger: 6
Hickory Burger: 6
Fried Pickles: 8.5
Atomic Fries: 6
Milkshakes: 8.5 (except for the vanilla one)
Margarita: 4.5

Restaurant Rating: 6.5

Would I go back? Maybe if friends were in town and we were at the mall. The salads actually looked pretty good so I might try one of those next time to balance out the fried pickles.

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