A celebrity chef-created burger joint has arrived on the Strip, not exactly groundbreaking news since Las Vegas is already inundated with burgers by the likes of Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay and Hubert Keller. But Bobby’s Burger Palace from household name Bobby Flay is a worthy, and different, competitor.
BBP is an 18-location mini-chain—with all others east of the Mississippi—so this isn’t a one-off concept, unlike the majority of its celebrity-driven restaurant brethren. If you’ve dined at the other Strip burger spots, you might be surprised with BBP’s refreshing approach. Instead of gussied-up versions of the American classic, the food is essential and simple, good burgers with accessible toppings done really well.
The menu consists of 11 burgers plus a few salads and some tempting milkshakes. While you can customize your burger, there’s no ridiculously long list of toppings and ingredients from which to choose. You just pick your favorite geographically oriented burger—the Philly cheesesteak-inspired Philadelphia, the Cubano doppelgänger Miami or the New Mexico with queso sauce and green chilies (all $9.50 each). While most of these creations are available at Flay’s other locations, only ours has the Vegas Burger ($9.50), topped with white American cheese, slightly spicy Fresno red chilies and “BBQ crunch”—aka barbecue-flavor potato chips.
Any selections can be made with your choice of Angus beef, chicken breast or turkey, and while the turkey burger is just fine, the beef is where it’s at. It’s a damn fine burger, a not-too-dense grind with a good bit of char. In another novel twist for what is essentially a fast-food burger eatery, you can actually order your meat to temperature. And any burger can be “crunchified”—Bobby’s word, not mine—with the addition of thin and crispy Lay’s potato chips, no extra charge. So you do have a few simple choices to make.
BBP is a clean and bright, diner-esque spot where you order at the counter and seat yourself, including some outdoor, smack-on-the-Strip seating—that’s still a rarity. It’s not a sit-down, waitstaff-fueled restaurant, which also sets it apart from many other Strip burger joints. Locals might assume BBP would be a difficult location, but that’s simply not the case. Using the Mandarin Oriental hotel valet drops you right in front of the rear entrance, or Aria’s valet offers a short walk. In actuality, this might be one of few Strip restaurants with easy access for locals and tourists. Curbside parking and good burgers—what are you waiting for?
Bobby’s Burger Palace Shops at Crystals, 598-0191. Daily, 10 a.m.-midnight.