John Curtas is …

Food

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The Best Cheeseburger….Ever?

Does that make your mouth water just looking at it or what?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to travel to Santa Fe (New Mexico, not Argentina) to sample it.

So that’s what we did with our staff this past weekend, where Number Two S0n was eager to show us the relocated, spruced-up, in-town digs of the old Bobcat Bite — a place world famous for its green chile cheeseburgers.

One bite told us his eagerness was understandable.

Because we haven’t had a truly great cheeseburger in Las Vegas since 2013 — the year we dejectedly refer to as the Waterloo of Vegas burgers.

Not since Bradley Ogden closed in Caesars several years ago have we tasted such beef. Not since Poshburger punted in the same year have we loved such a bun. And not since Elevation Burger kicked the can has the whole of a single burger exceeded the sum of its delicious parts.

Yep, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s been slim pickens for great burgers around these here parts….and we’ve yet to recover from those ground meat disasters of Napoleonic proportions.

We’re not disparaging the hand-tooled, $20+ wonders of places like Country Club Grill and Carnevino. No, we mean the loss of a good, basic burger, grilled in quantity, using great beef, seasoned to a “t” and encased in a yeasty-tangy, fluffy ciabatta-like bun like the one pictured above. A burger made by a grillmaster who knows how to get the edges crispy while losing none of the juice. A burger topped with New Mexican green chile, and cheese….that melts into the world’s greatest relish.

We’re talking New Mexican green chile cheeseburgers here, pilgrim….the apotheosis of the meat pie.

Even without the chile, that burger is one for the ages: tasting like the beefiest short rib or prime sirloin you’ve ever bit into (it’s actually ground chuck). That super squishy bun may look like air bread to you, but it was anything but….the dome having a slight, deceptive crackle to it, and the soft, forgiving crumb tasting of sweet, pungent sourdough.

Wrapping meat this good in such flattering accoutrements is like putting a gorgeous body in a tight dress. You won’t be able to take your eyes (or your lips) off it.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to travel 620 miles to taste it.

Sorry, but that’s the sad state of burger affairs in our humble burg.

SANTA FE BITE

311 Old Santa Fe Trail

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

http://santafebite.com/

Matthew Silverman is Making Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Las Vegas is the Rodney Dangerfield of restaurant towns. Despite 40 million visitors a year, an Asian food scene that puts almost every American city to shame, and more great restaurants crammed together than anywhere in the world, neither the national food press, nor the James Beard Foundation give us the respect we are due.

Vegas is also the $40 whore of American food cities — used and abused by that same press whenever they want/need a quickie headline or a furtive assignation to get an article off.

We are seen as the soulless, steroid-stuffed homunculus of the eating out world because food writers (not without reason) have always viewed Vegas as an inorganic, top-down phenomenon — a sui generis, celebrity chef money machine without any deep cultural roots to support its restaurant renaissance. And let’s face it, at times it’s been hard to argue with them.

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