John Curtas is …

Burger Bafflement

http://www.foodgps.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/PJ-Clarkes-Burger.jpg

We at ELV are baffled.

We’re baffled because the three best burgers we’ve ever eaten in Vegas — at Elevation Burger, P. J. Clarke’s, and Poshburger have all gone out of business in the past year.

Not that any of their demises was unexpected.

Poshburger was a disaster from the get-go: bad location, bad design and (apparently) bad attitude. ELV could’ve saved its investors a lot of money with a short consultation on all three, had anyone bothered to ring him up.

Elevation Burger tried to get people to spend a little more money on a much better product — something that never works with the Joe Lunchbucket crowd, cf. Mexican food. It was also hampered by a shitty location — way out in the desolate southwestern part of town — where Taco Bell is the dining option of choice for most residents.

P. J. Clarke’s was another story entirely: an iconic New York institution, purchased by those who sought to capitalize on the name via expansion, franchising, whatever, who viewed the Vegas market as easy pickins for another steakhouse. It had excellent food (Meyer Ranch beef, fabulous oysters, and one of the better burgers we’ve ever eaten….but it also a lousy location (at the far end of the Forum Shops, under a stairwell) and was right next to a pretty decent steakhouse (Joe’s) that had a seven year head start on it in terms of building a loyal clientele.

All three of these restaurants were, on the whole, better and tastier than their competition (Palm and Morton’s couldn’t hold a candle to Clarke’s), but if you’re going to saddle yourself with a hard to find address, the only way to beat the old axiom location, location, location is to have something that’s extraordinary…..and, apparently, what we found to be just that at each of these places wasn’t extraordinary enough.

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16 Responses to Burger Bafflement

  • Did Elevation burger locations shutdown everywhere? The one in Dallas closed down a few monthsago too.

  • P.J. Clarke’s opened with an extraordinary burger, steak menu, and the best oyster bar in the city (quality and price). The steak menu promptly crashed along with the cooked seafood, giving the place no chance to succeed next to Joe’s.

  • So the question is, what are the three best remaining burgers left in town?

  • Maybe this says something about your taste or lack thereof, and your reviews??

  • Honey Salt has the best burger in town now.

  • @ Cindy. I ate the burger at Honey Salt three times during lunch. Each time it was so over cooked, they could have served me a hockey puck. It has potential, but no one likes to eat a well done brick. None the less, I do like the chicken sandwich and the juices there .

  • ELV responds: We are forced to agree with @George: while Honey Salt does many things admirably, its burger has constantly disappointed us….and is a long way from “The Best Burger in Town.”

  • Hops & Harvest’s burger is far superior to almost any in town.

  • Sodium Chloride is my middle name BUT the burger at Honey Salt was disgustingly over seasoned. Hops & Harvest was disappointing as well. Might be time to give Strip Steak a shot because those pics of Gerald’s look terrific.

  • Mark my words, Hops & Harvest will be closed by June. Poor service and over cooked food have been the only consistencies I experienced there. And yes, I went 3 times. I have also been informed that they haven’t been paying vendors, so… Honey Salt is ok, but I’d like less pretense and arrogance with my lunch.

  • Clarkes was better than Mortons or Palm but I have to agree it was the location. Would they could have taken the Palms spot in Forum but right next to Joe’s is tough. Don’t get me started on Mortons.

    You’re spot on John.

  • ….what was the name of the burger joint at intersection of buffalo/washington next to 7-Eleven, was a video poker bar back in the 90′s, they use to grind their meat daily, had several locations around town? Say what you say but these guys built a quality burger Vegas had for a great price, way way before the advent of the horse crap $20 burgers you see everywhere….I think the point here is all the fluff we see we just don’t remember what a really good burger is!

  • ELV responds: We think you’re referring to Kilroy’s…and it’s burgers WERE very good.

  • Best burger is at Fat Choy.

    Whatever you do, don’t pay attention to anything Eric Chudy says…the guy doesn’t know shit about burgers.

    Burgers and pizza engender the most passionate battles. Hah!

  • L’Atelier is still hands down my favorite “burgers” but damn PJ Clarkes was a great burger. Carnevino seems to lack consistency in their meat and Hops and Harvest is not the same burger as Bradley Ogden. I guess we are to be subjected to places like BurGR so we can stare at GR’s ugly mug the whole meal.

    Meanwhile, places like Olives and Joe’s are going strong, serving subpar food to fucking morons.

  • I never understood ELV’s fascination with PJC. The burger was average (tried it twice), and I had far better at Burger Bar. The Oysters were terrific but the service was consistently horrible. The location is the same as Joe’s and they do fine. I’m surprised they lasted this long and I said on this forum after my first trip to PJC, that they would be out of business in a year. I was a little off on time but accurate none the less.

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