Bad Ideas Abound at PARK ON FREMONT
We like everything about this place except the food
Bad ideas abound at Park on Fremont, but fortunately, the setting and the decor (seen above) are not among them. That setting, and that outdoor patio in the rear, are so charming you will want to while away hours sipping and kibitzing with friends.
If you happen to get hungry during your visit, our staff has but a single recommendation:
The fault lies primarily with the menu…and the food…and the cooking of said food — most of which is so bad it will make you head over to the Heart Attack Grill for a cholesterol-fest.
That menu begs the question: How can a one page, 15 item menu — based upon bar food classics — be so atrocious from top to bottom? The mind reels.
For example, who had the bright idea to load up a mediocre rendition of a Philly cheese steak with mac and cheese?
Does anyone in the kitchen or management think this looks the least bit appetizing?
And did they ever bother to taste the dried out beef and the barely cheesy pasta?
Things go from bad to worse when you get to the stuffed burger:
…a grey, dried-out mass of cheap beef that is under-seasoned, tough and tough to eat (if you get our drift). (Who in the hell wants to be tearing at tough pieces of pastrami inside a hamburger when they’re eating one?)
These stuffed burgers are the stars of the menu, but are so badly conceived and executed they taste like a failed project from a Home Ec class. (Who approves this shite? Does anyone taste the food they send out?)
Like everything on the menu, one gets the sense that the ideas and recipes were gleaned from some hipster’s idea of a gastropub….in 2003.
Another case in point: the chicken and waffles:
….which fail not with the Cap N Crunch coating (a cute idea that), but with waffles so lame you’ll be begging for some Eggos.
As for the vaunted special salads:
…the only thing special about it was someone threw a few, lame strawberries into a bag of packaged mixed greens.
On the plus side, when we first ate there, owner Ryan Doherty stood right beside us during our meal and was sincerely interested in our take on the menu items. We gave him our honest opinion…and he took it like a man, not like some chefs we have known. We have now waited over a month to see if there’s been any improvement. If anything, things have gotten worse.
Of course Yelpers love the place (3 1/2 stars!), but most of them are idiots (cf. Firefly) who value price point over kitchen performance.
Ryan Doherty is not an idiot. He runs a great magazine (SEVEN) and two of the grooviest cocktail bars downtown (this and Commonwealth). The man and his partners obviously have a keen eye when it comes to good taste in drinks and design. N0w, all we have to do is get him some good taste where it counts and this joint might become famous for something other than people watching.
Want some good ideas, Ryan? Here they are (free of charge):
1) Lose the stuffed burger idea. They’re cumbersome, stupid, difficult to cook and without any taste pay-off.
2) Ditto the mac and cheese topping on the Philly cheese steak. It’s like wearing a belt with suspenders.
3) Teach someone how to hand make a decent waffle that looks and tastes like a fresh-made, decent waffle. (Hint: it will have more texture, depth and volume than the one you’re serving.)
4) If you’re going to serve pre-packaged salad greens, quit overselling them as something unique. Charge four bucks and save the strawberries.
5) Make a better burger — no gimmicks, just good ground beef, properly seasoned and grilled, on a soft, squishy bun — and the world will beat a path to your door.
PARK ON FREMONT
560 East Fremont Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101