Lan Sheng: Michelin starred Sichuan: in Wallington, NJ
Sushi Roku: Las Vegas, NV

Holsteins: Las Vegas, NV

Holsteins burger1a
When I put the question of "where should I eat in Vegas" out to the internet, one reader got back to me with a place with a shit ton of booze and dry-aged burgers. I think you know what happened next.

Of course, the place immediately shot high up on my list of must-tries. The place is Holsteins. Or, more completely, Holsteins Shakes and Buns. See, they apparently have shakes. And they put booze in those, too, if you want. I guess this is what makes Holsteins an "exciting new burger concept," as they say on their website. Can we stop with the "concepts" and just call ourselves "restaurants" going forward? Thanks.

Anywho, what's important is the food and the drink and the service. All of which were spot on at Holsteins.

Before getting to that dry-aged burger, I thought I'd take their cocktail list for a spin.

Wouldn't it be something else if I could remember what I drank, and then shared specifics with you? Sure would. But it's not going to happen. I'll just bottom line you here. The cocktails I had were interesting and executed well, although flavored vodkas make an appearance a little too often for this to be considered a serious list. Here's one with some green stuff and I guess a lemon. Looking back at the menu online, I asume it's the "Ginger Julie," with mint, lemon, Canadian Whiskey, and ginger ale. I'm not sure why I'd order a drink with Canadian Whiskey.  Although I've made more questionable decisions in Vegas. And New Jersey, for that matter.

  Holsteins cocktail1

Next up I was looking for a proper margarita (not one with St. Germain or this or that or the other thing). The bartender was relatively confident and competent, but apparently doesn't get much call for unadulterated classics. No doubt sensing that I am somewhat of a cocktail connoisseur a pain-in-the-ass, she made sure to triple check that I was enjoying her ratios. I was. It hit the spot.

Holstiens margarita

The beer list is quite vast here. You could spend a day or two getting through it. Maddeningly, much the tap selection is stuff that I can find anywhere in the country. But you could do a lot worse.

While the food menu has all sorts of stuff, the burger is probably why you're coming here. Burger-wise, there are lots of options here as well.

I skipped anything that claimed "kobe" beef, because quite simply, it's not, and it's a meaningless designation with respect to burgers. And I also did not consider the "Nom Nom Burger," since the name made me want to elbow it in the neck (not much unlike my reaction to people who type "nom nom"). I was here for the dry-aged burger, just as I was told by the reader who recommended the joint, and that one's called "The Gold Standard." Pretty ballsy stuff, referring to your burger as the "gold standard."

Described as "dry aged sirloin with smoked bacon, aged goat cheddar cheese, tomato confit, baby arugula, and garlic-chive aioli," my burgdar--"burger radar"--I'm relatively confident that I just created that word--lit up and warned of too many friggin' toppings. So I ordered it with the bacon on the side. I don't care for bacon on burgers much to begin with. The salt and smoke and fat make the beef play second fiddle. Bacon too often undermines a burger rather than elevating it. Write that down so you don't forget. You can use that along with burgdar. These gifts I give to you.

The burger-to-bun ratio was surprisingly acceptable.  The patty seemed to be of the 7 ounces variety. Maybe 8. Lots of juice in this meat. No dry burger here.  Dry-aged flavor? No, I'm sorry. There wasn't a hint of minerality or funk or tang.  But hey, there was nothing wrong with this burger on the whole, that's for sure.

Normally I don't go for any toppings that can be a meal on their own, but I really enjoyed the arugula and that aioli and the cheddar cheese. It made for a slightly messy affair, which is always welcome when eating a burger. This burger was pretty damned perfect, and may convince me to try arugula on my burgers at home.


Holsteins burger2

Those fries looked like they were going to be wonderful. But alas, they were sorta not crispy. The bartender asked if I was enjoying the meal and I noted that the fries were not what they should be. She quickly whisked them away and returned with hot and crispy specimens, and all was right in the world. Or as right as things can be in Vegas.

I was thinking about this burger for a few days, and even went back for another. But, alas, the place was packed, just as it was the first time. I'll certainly return on my next trip to Vegas.

Holsteins : 3708 Las Vegas Blvd South (In the Cosmopolitan) : 702.698.7940