I think we’ve reached the saturation point of “gourmet” burger joints in Las Vegas. They’re in our casinos and sprinkled around our neighborhoods and everywhere else. Most of them are mighty tasty, but if you’ve eaten most of them—I have—you might be a little weary.
For a burger to stand out from the clutter, it has to be different. Bold beef and wild toppings are not enough. At I Love Burgers, there’s one burger that jumps off the menu into your face, called I Love Bacon. It doesn’t sound special unless you really pay attention to the description: the patty is made from a combination of ground beef brisket and applewood-smoked bacon. It’s in the burger. Add more crispy bacon on top, plus smoked gouda cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions and maple aioli, and you’ve got some real burger intrigue.
They should call this the guilt burger. The extra fat from the ground bacon creates a deliciously crisp and savory crust on the patty, and its tender interior meshes smoky, salty flavors with the familiar beefy bite required for a great burger. The fresh vegetable toppings are no match for the combined meaty forces of patty plus bacon, as greasy juices mingle with the fried onions and threaten to destroy the stability of this burger’s structure. It’s messy. There’s no way to eat it clean. It’s full of bacon-y sin, and that sweet maple mayo sauce is the indulgent frosting on this evil bacon cake.
It should be noted that at I Love Burger’s Palazzo location, the I Love Bacon burger is $17 (by itself, no fries). But at the restaurant’s Town Square location, where it’s made with ground Angus chuck instead of brisket, the price goes down to $7.99. Just a little tip.
I Love Burgers Palazzo, 242-2747. Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 8 a.m.-midnight. Town Square, 675-7800. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.