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BIER GARTEN

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The Plaza Las Vegas

1 Main Street

Las Vegas, NV 89101

702-386-2110

website

$7-$10

Daily 11am-2am

Sausages

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A beer and brat place serving up some fine examples of both.

Where is it?

In the iconic dome at The Plaza in Downtown Las Vegas.

What kind of food is served?

Bratwursts, sausages, and some really good fries.

What is the atmosphere like?

There are only a few tables inside but there's a nice outdoor lawn.

How is the service?

Very good - ask them go guide you on the beer selection.

What are the prices like?

Incredibly cheap for this much food.

What else do I need to know?

Get all of the dipping sauces for the fries.

What's the bottom line?

Another really good Downtown Vegas restaurant.

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FULL REVIEW

As food offerings in Downtown Vegas move up a few notches in terms of quality and variety, so too have costs, so it's great that you can still get a really good meal at a place like the Bier Garten without having to pay a lot for it.

Located at the front of The Plaza, the restaurant is mostly an outdoor experience. There is a small ordering counter inside, a couple of tables by that, and some food-court style tables shared with the nearby McDonald's and Subway, but the bulk of the facility is located along Main Street with a grassy lawn, picnic tables, and a shady trellis equipped with TVs and a sound system. It's a unique set up in the concrete jungle of Downtown Vegas but since it's surrounded by that, and right along a busy street, it's not exactly the peaceful backyard respite it wants to think it is.

The menu is simple. There are a few snacks like fries, onion strings, coleslaw, and a giant German pretzel served with sweet mustard that lives up to its "giant" nickname (it could easily serve four people). After that it's pretty much just bratwrusts and sausages but saying "just" diminishes how really fantastic they are.

There is a section of signature versions, all named after iconic Vegas destinations. The Golden Slipper is an Andouille sausage with bacon, cream cheese, and a fried egg; The Hacienda is a sweet Italian sausage with roasted peppers and caramelized onions; The Stardust is a classic brat with onions and sauerkraut; and so on.

Or you could choose to build your own. There are two dozen choices of sausages or wursts (from classic beef to tofurkey sausage), toppings (including roasted jalapenos and kosher relish), extras (Cajun blue cheese, cream cheese, and cheese "wiz"), and buns giving you a broad pallet from which to create a masterpiece.

The servings are huge and the quality is evident - these are hand-made wonders and the flavors are fantastic.

Be sure to get a side of fries, which were done perfectly - a little crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Our waitress, who considered herself a French fry "connoisseur" declared these to be near the top of her favorites list and we had a hard time arguing. Throw in the dipping sauces, which include German sweet mustard, siracha ketchup, chipotle aioli, chimchurri, homemade buttermilk ranch, Cheese Whiz, and BBQ, and you turn an already great French fry into a fantastic one.

Of course don't forget the beer part of the Bier Garten. There are about two dozen different choices on tap and in bottles and they even offer pairing recommendations with their various signature sausages.

Prices are downright cheap. Signature items are $8 apiece and the make your own starts at around $6. The only thing over $10 on the menu is that giant pretzel and that's only by about a buck. You can have a terrific meal here including a main course, side, beer, tax, and tip for well under $20.

Quality and quantity without paying a lot for it? I'm sold.

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