Vegas Bright writer Kelly Lamrock finds a hidden food gem in LVB Burgers and Bar at The Mirage.
The gourmet burger experience is now casino standard-issue in Vegas. Even celebrity chefs like Gordon, Mario, and Bobby have gotten in on the act, and almost every Strip resort has a spot that will top your boring old cheeseburger with artisan buns, exotic cheeses, and caramelized vegetables for a price.
With so many big names churning out gourmet ground round, it would be easy to overlook LVB at the Mirage. LVB stands, apparently, for Las Vegas Burgers, which tries to make up in accuracy what it clearly lacks in creativity. It hastily appeared in a spot vacated by another tri-lettered burger joint, the ill-fated and health-department-denounced BLT Burger. Without a gimmick, a star chef, or a catchy name, what chance does LVB have?
Well, actually, if food quality still matters, this little joint deserves to hang on to its entry in the burger sweepstakes. LVB delivered a great meal in a decent atmosphere.
Waiting for my friends to return from the Grand Canyon (which I’d skipped for the promise of a day of drinking and gambling, because Vegas), I grabbed a seat at the counter and ordered a beer. The place had nearly two dozen craft beer taps, which is standard enough, but they had a good selection and some interesting options. I had an Island Hopper Saison from Crafthaus Brewery, which the server said was made just for the Mirage. It had a nice light feel and a pleasant fruity aftertaste and put me in the mood for a burger.
LVB has wings, salads and a few appetizers, but the “B” is not for salad. “B” is for burger, and I came to LVB for just that. There were six beef burgers in addition to the other sandwiches burger places offer – turkey burger, lamb burger, fish sandwich, veggie, and fried and grilled chicken. These were fine, but ye shall know a burger joint by its beef. I ordered a “K.I.K. – Kick In The Kisser Burger. It offered jalapenos, pepper jack, and sriracha for the kick, along with avocado and a fried egg for texture. I got some onion rings on the side and I ordered a boozy shake for dessert.
The burger was solid – it came on a potato roll that was soft but held up to an assault by runny egg yolk and avocado. The over easy egg and avocado had a creamy feel that cut the spice of the peppers and spicy mayo. The patty did not stand out to me, but it was properly cooked and had beef flavor that was still noticeable amidst some pretty distinctive condiments. It was a good burger.
The onion rings were fantastic. They offered thick cut onion that centered a nice, puffy beer batter. I like onion rings with batter that puffs up enough to have a crispy outside and a tender inside, and these fit the bill. They were hot, chewy and easily the best part of the meal.
The daily special “Snickers Shake” had bourbon, chocolate, caramel sauce and peanuts for texture. If you hear “bourbon and caramel and ice cream” and think “I’d like that”, then you are right. It tasted like what it was, and since I wanted bourbon and caramel and ice cream that suited me fine. It was a generous portion.
LVB gave me an indulgent, classic burger meal that was $40 with beer and boozy shake, tax and tip. All aspects of the meal were at least good, and the onion rings were great. The décor is unremarkable, but it does the trick – lots of TVs, comfy booths, bright lights – like a licensed Johnny Rockets. The service was friendly and efficient; nothing stands out but the professionalism you’d expect on the Strip was there.
I’ve seen places with more hype serve far less appealing food at a higher price. Tucked right by the Mirage’s excellent Sports Book, this place delivers what it needs to in order to be worth a stop.
Even if you may not remember the name after, LVB was A-OK.
[Photo Cred. Kelly Lamrock & Greg Bennett]