The Dispensary’s steakburger
Dispensary Lounge, 2451 E. Tropicana Ave., 458-6343. Open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
The Dispensary Lounge is a throwback. Wood paneling, shag carpeting, a functioning waterwheel … it reminds me of my basement growing up. More importantly, the majority of the menu is made fresh. The specialty is the steakburger, a perfectly charred half-pound patty adorned simply with lettuce, tomato and red onions on a buttery toasted bun with a wisp of garlic and a mound of crispy skinny fries. It comes with a caddy featuring three sauces: mayo, ketchup and a memorable house-made honey mustard. The price recently increased from $4 to $6, making what was one of the biggest steals in town now just a good deal, and you can add cheddar or bacon for under a buck. Shag carpeting might have gone out of style, but fresh food never will. –Jim Begley
Steiner's Caesars Trojan Burger
Steiner’s Nevada Style Pub Three locations, 24/7, steinerspub.com.
Most of the menu items at Steiner’s neighborhood bar are named for Vegas casinos or Nevada towns, which can be weird at times. Rhyolite turkey sandwich, anyone? But the pub grub is well above average, and the big, meaty burgers are a particular favorite. Since it’s a USC-friendly bar, the Caesars Trojan burger ($9.89 with fries or housemade chips) has a double-crazy name, but it’s absolutely packed with flavor, thanks to roasted poblano chiles, smoky chipotle mayo, crispy fried onions, cheddar cheese and creamy sliced avocado. Call it whatever you want, just keep ‘em coming. –Brock Radke