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B&B BURGER & BEER

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Venetian

3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-414-2220

website

$15-$25

Daily 11:30am-2am

Burgers

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A burger and beer joint (hence the name) from celebrity chef Mario Batali.

Where is it?

At The Venetian on the Center Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Burgers, mainly, but also a few other sandwiches and some salads. Yes, salads. I don't know why.

What is the atmosphere like?

Loud - the decor and the TVs conspire to create a din.

How is the service?

Good but not exceptional.

What are the prices like?

Typical for a burger joint on The Strip.

What else do I need to know?

There is a very nice outdoor patio that is right next to the canal.

What's the bottom line?

There are better burgers in town but the Batali name means something.

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FULL REVIEW

Celebrity chef Mario Batali has created quite the little empire at The Venetian. His B&B Ristorante, Carnevino, and Otto restaurants are all consistently popular amongst the foodie set so why not go all in with a burger joint, too?

The B&B in the title is Batali and his frequent partner in cuisine Joe Bastianich. The new place is located in the far back corner of the casino, near the sports book, which seems like an odd place if you are coming from the inside but makes all sorts of sense if you approach from the outside. The patio is right along one of the exterior canals and there is a hostess station just steps from the Las Vegas Strip.

The concept here is high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and the best beef they could find. Burgers make up the bulk of the menu with options like a classic Drive-Thru, with two patties on a sesame seed bun; the Morning After with sauteed mushrooms and an egg; the Bottom Burner, with pepper jack cheese, jalapeno pesto, and Mario's signature hot sauce; and a build-your-own option that includes more than a dozen toppings, sauces, and cheeses.

If beef and a bun is not doing it for you, there are many other sandwich options including pastrami on rye, a meatball sub, lobster roll, and more.

They do have a couple of salads, but really? At a burger joint?

We sampled the Bottom Burner and the Royale with Cheese, a burger done with caramelized onions, grilled treviso, and parmigiano-mascarpone cheese. Both were spicy; unsurprising on the jalepeno/hot sauce burger but a bit more unexpected on the other one. The flavor of the beef patty itself was very good - smoky, woodsy, charcoal goodness - but it got overwhelmed by the toppings, which required a glass of water standing by.

The other sample was the crispy cod sandwich, done on a sesame seed bun with jalapeno tartar, so again with the spicy. The person who choose this opted out of that but they didn't have a plain tartar replacement. Despite this, it was well prepared and flavorful.

The big winners at the table were the "Un Fried Mozzarella" appetizer and the side of onion rings. The former was sort of a deconstructed mozzarella stick, with the creamy cheese floating in a bed of rich tomato sauce and super yummy garlic crustini bread to slather it on. The rings were lightly breaded and not too thick, a mistake that many bigger-is-better restaurants make. They were rich in texture and taste and I wished I could have eaten more of them.

You'd expect with a name like Burger & Beer that there will be some of the latter and you would be correct. Plenty of brews in bottles and on tap to choose from, a full bar for other cocktails, and milk shakes that can come with a little something extra if you get my drift.

The prices are about typical for the high-end burger joints. Figure $10-$16 for most main courses, $5-$9 for appetizers and sides, and $9-$12 for the shakes.

The room was a bit on the noisy side with lots of hard surfaces bouncing around the sound from people, servers, and multiple TVs showing sports. If the weather is cooperating, sit on the patio.

Service was very good; absolutely nothing to complain about here.

On the Las Vegas burger hierarchy, I'd place this one behind KGB, Holstein's, and Gordon Ramsay BurGR, but that's pretty rarefied company to be in so 4th is not bad.

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