Holsteins Shakes & Buns
At a Glance
What is it?
Fancy hamburgers but with a fun attitude that makes it less annoying than most fancy burger joints.
Where is it?
At The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on the Center Strip.
What kind of food is served?
Burgers (traditional and gourmet), sausages, salads, and more.
What is the atmosphere like?
Fun barn theme but can be loud late at night.
How is the service?
What are the prices like?
Pricey but not outrageous.
What else do I need to know?
Don’t miss the milk shakes.
What’s the bottom line?
There are lots of fancy burgers in Vegas but these are worth knowing about.
Burgers are big business in Las Vegas and I’m not just talking about the kind that come in a paper wrapper that you eat in your car. No, these days the lowly hamburger has become a gourmet experience with ingredients and toppings that turn what has been a cheap eat into a major meal and a big bill at the end. There are no fewer than a dozen upscale hamburger joints around Vegas and it seems like a new one opens every other week.
Holsteins at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas doesn’t quite fit into the gourmet burger category. Yes, there plenty of out-there options including a one with teriyaki and crispy yam and another with habanero cream and pork. And yes, the prices are certainly higher than what you’d pay at a drive through. But the wide ranging menu is filled with all sorts of fun choices, some of them downright traditional, and at costs that aren’t significantly higher than most Strip restaurants.
The room is delightfully kitschy; all rustic wood with cozy booths and big statues of brightly painted cows all around. A bar fronts the place and it can be loud in the evenings especially when the crowds from the adjacent nightclub congregate nearby.
We’ll get to the burgers in a second but let’s start with the other ideas that help fill out what turns into a limited experience at other gourmet burger places.
Appetizers include the traditional and the wacky and a bunch of stuff in between. You can get Buffalo wings with a traditional bleu cheese dip but you can also select fried cheese curds, a Philly cheesesteak version of spring rolls, or ahi poke.
They have some salads but, really? At a burger place?
Then finally we have the main event – the Big Buns. In addition to the ones mentioned earlier, there are a couple of “classic” options including the Gold Standard; a sirloin burger topped with smoked bacon, goat cheddar cheese, tomato confit, and a garlic-chive aioli. It was big (but not too big) and loaded with so many complementary flavors that it was impossible to figure out where one ended and the next one began.
Unlike many other high-end burger joints, all of their sandwiches come with your choice of fries so even though they range from $15-20, you are getting a side dish with them so it makes it a little bit more affordable.
But let us not forget the Shake portion of their name. They serve big, thick milkshakes in the typical varieties like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry but go to the Bamboozled section for the truly fun options. They’ve got a Drunken Monkey with peanut butter crisps, banana, and frangelico; a Cookie Jar Malt with cookie and brownie pieces and Tuaca; Campfire Smores with fudge, marshmallow, graham crackers, and rum; and an Oreo with the cookies plus Bailey’s Irish Cream. If you aren’t a drinker you can order any of them without the booze, which I did since it was lunch and I had work to do afterward and didn’t think I’d be able to read my own writing. Thick, creamy, over-the-top sweet (in a good way), and a perfect way to end a meal.
As mentioned, prices are not cheap – figure $25-$30 per person when it is all said and done. This ain’t no drive-through.
I’m the kind of guy who is normally very happy with that burger eaten in the car, but Holsteins makes me glad I decided to slow down.