By: Bob Gourley
Gourmet burger places are popping up all over. The evolution from low-cost McDonald’s Big Macs to $16 and up creations with exotic ingredients has excited beef lovers.
Two unique spots are drawing big crowds in the valley. Fuku Burger near Chinatown is situated in a mini-mall and many times of the day you will find lines for their half dozen specialty sandwiches. Everything is prepared to order and visitors are asked to come up with a clever alias so that staff members can creatively call them when the order is ready.
The Fuku burger is a collection of tender beef, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions that is finished with a drizzling of wasabi mayo and Fuku sauce. The latter gives the burger a burst of flavor that separates it from others.
Karai comes with pickled cucumbers, avocado cream and habanero kabayaki. Grilled shitake mushrooms are the highlight of a distinctively Asian offering with pickled red ginger and teriyaki that is finished with wasabi sauce. Chicken Katsu features a heavily Panko-encrusted breast combined with shredded cabbage and finished with distinctive crack and katsu sauces.
Hawaiian culturists will enjoy Fukumoco that features a patty sitting on top of steamed white rice, a fried egg and bonito flakes.
Tasty sides are led by garlic fries. They are crispy and topped with tongarishi spice, crack sauce and banana ketchup.
Jazz fries are adorned with brown gravy and spicy sauce. And if you are in the mood for a spoonful (or more) of macaroni salad, don’t hesitate to give this one a try.
The Strip has some enticing options for the all-American sandwich, but a new location is causing a stir - Wahlburgers at the Bizarre Shops at Bally’s. Begun by the Wahlburger family and superstar Mark, this outpost features full food service and a bar with exotic libations.
The Our Burger sets the stage. A third-pound of beef is accented with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, signature sauce and house made pickles sitting between a very fresh bun.
The signature sauce is not spicy but does add a pleasant accent to the proceedings. There are also double and triple deckers. Any of the burgers can be delivered without the bun with chopped and tossed fresh mixed greens for a healthy touch.
Other options include the Thanksgiving Day Sandwich with fresh ground seasoned turkey patty, stuffing, mayo, house made orange-cranberry sauce and roasted butternut squash. A crispy Haddock sandwich is enhanced with balsamic tartar sauce.
A quartet of sides includes thin crispy onion rings, tater tots, sweet potato tots and Yukon gold fries.
Three comfort food options will stick to your bones. Mac ‘n Cheese with Smoked Bacon is made with mini penne, three types of cheese and garlic panko bread crumbs.
Another “classic” has elbow macaroni, red onion, sweet peppers, celery, parsley and made in-house mayo dressing. Chili is highlighted with a blend of spices. Healthy salads are also available including Caesar and a chopped salad bowl.
A trio of sweets like a crispy apple empanada and cupcake mojo will end things off nicely. Vegas visitors and residents are in good hands with tasty burger options.
Fuku Burger, 3429 S. Jones Blvd., Las Vegas. (702) 262-6995. Food truck visits various places. www.fukuburger.com.
Wahlburgers, Grand Bizarre Shops, Bally’s, 3635 Las Vegas Blvd., S., Las Vegas. (702) 405-9090. www.wahlburgersrestaurant.com.